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taking a Tuscany break between Venice and Rome? Help needed


Our family of 5 is traveling in mid-June to Venice and Rome for 10 days. We are now considering spending a couple of days after Venice to rent a home in Tuscany, and to take a much-needed but (very) short breath before heading to Rome. Transportation/ logistics seem confusing (looks like our best option is train Venice-Florence ($200 for 5 people and 2 hrs non-stop) and car rental from Florence to Rome (family-sized Avis about $1000, not even sure if 5 carry-on bags will fit but mini-van looks even smaller). Are there better ways of getting that arm of the trip done for an adult regular-sized family of 5? Are there specifics anyone on the forum can share/ recommend? Thank you.

Posted by
2770 posts

You can take also an high speed train from Florence to Rome.

Or a not-so-fast train from some towns in southern Tuscany to Rome, if you want to stay in the countryside.

What's confusing? If you can fly oversees you can train for two hours.

Incidentally, the official sites if the two railway companies do not display prices in foreign currencies.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks Dario,
Confusing because car rental locations and one-way fees end up with quite a cost spectrum within the same rental company and the same class of car (Avis), possibly due to more than one pick-up locations within a quote, and one-way cost to drop off in Rome. A few people on this forum recommended Avis through AutoEurope, and that's what we are looking at.
Also, thank you for the advice on considering dropping off the car in Florence and taking a train Florence-Rome: is the advantage of dropping off the car in Florence and taking a train in relaxing while getting to Rome? The overall cost of the train to Rome vs. the car approach is slightly higher but will do it if it makes sense. Truly appreciate the feedback.

Posted by
2770 posts

My advice was to avoid driving into Rome by taking a train either from Florence or from southern Tuscany. Because of traffic and ZTLs.

The cheapest tickets for high speed trains from Florence to Rome cost € 27.9 pp.

From Orvieto a local train to Rome costs € 8.6 pp. From Chiusi it's € 10.5

How much are you paying for a day of rental?

Posted by
314 posts

Have you already booked your place in Tuscany? If not, why not book in a smaller town with good transport options and avoid the car rental? For example, Lucca is easily accessed by train and will have enough to do for 2 or 3 days. Siena is a bus ride from Florence.
We found when we drove in Tuscany that it took longer than expected to get places. With only 2 nights i would prefer train

Posted by
6876 posts

Traveling with 5 is difficult under the best of circumstances, and a 10 day trip with 2 days in the Tuscan hill country is not really enough time to visit two really important travel cities.

Remember your first and last days are essentially wasted, and every time you change cities is a lost day.

You should really save Florence and Tuscany until your next trip--and there will be another trip.

FYI: Many travelers explore Tuscany with a Hertz rental car, and they leave their cars at the Hertz office in Orvieto--across the parking lot from the train station. From there, it's just a 70 minute ride into Roma Termini on a regional train. And Tuscany is one of those places that if you don't have a car you just cannot properly see the region. The best hill towns are not service by railroads.

Posted by
21086 posts

For me, peeling off just two nights somewhere between Venice and Rome and dealing with rental-car agencies twice would not be a good start toward relaxation. I think the idea of a place like Lucca or Siena or Orvieto is a good idea. No need to deal with cars.

You should be looking at and/or for your rail fares.

Posted by
14919 posts

Are you looking a a 48 hr or 72 hr rental? You're going to use the better part of 2 days in travel and rental time. If you take a place for 2 nights, you're only going to have one day of relaxation and a lot of stress on the day before and day after. If you take a place for 3 nights, that's nearly half your trip.

Honestly, the best thing to do is rest and relax on the 4 hour train ride from Venice to Rome. Venice is not going to tire you out. It's the best place to relax, get over jetlag, and soak up the atmosphere. If you try to cram in a stay in Tuscany, you will only increase your stress level on the way to Rome.

If you want to add a stop on the way to Rome, choose a place you can visit by train. BTW how many nights do you have on the ground in Italy? 10 nights is 9 full days. With 10 nights you could comfortably visit 3 places. With 9 nights, you will be pushing it a bit. You're likely to have only half a day, if that, on arrival in Venice by the time you get to your hotel. And a morning flight from Rome means your last day isn't a day at all.

Posted by
3384 posts

Most homes in Tuscany of the size you need (agriturismo, villa) require a week rental
I think it will be difficult to find a place for just 2-3 nights that works and you will definitely need a car

Lucca is OK. But a bit out of the way ( to the West) if your next stop is Rome

Might consider a 2 night stop in Orvieto ( Umbria not Tuscany but a beautiful hill town)
Train Venice to Florence then change to regional train to Orvieto
Train Orvieto to Rome

Orvieto has lots to do ( or not do) fabulous views and the Duomo is a must.
Best enjoyed after day trippers leave

Posted by
19 posts

I’m no expert like some here but we are in Italy now and moving from place to place with luggage takes time and energy. And we are just 2 adults. I think any relaxation you are hoping to get will be cancelled by the above issues. How about building some down time in Rome? We took a stroll through the Borghese Gardens (which is more like a park) and there were many Italian families enjoying the sun, riding 4 wheeled bikes that seat 5, picnicking and relaxing. I’m sure the experts on this board would have other ideas.