To drive or not to drive?

This will be our third trip, but until now we have not rented a car. This time, we want to visit the very small town near Camaiori where my grandparents were born, and we can't seem to figure out any other way to get there but to rent a car. Does anyone have experience with hiring a car and driver or with driving the back roads of Italy in that area? We will take the train from Monte Rosa to Camaiori early in the morning. I know there is a Hertz office there. If we were to look for a driver, how would we arrange that in advance? We messed this up last time we stayed in Lucca, not realizing that the rental office was closed on Saturday. We want to give it another shot this time.

Posted by Devika
Olympia, WA
73 posts

We rented a car in Tuscany and found it was quite convenient to do Chianti and Vinci and some other small towns. Driving in Naples and Rome may be a nightmare but driving outside is fine. We found it better to rent a smaller car as roads are narrow. We also rented from Hertz and we really had no bad experiences except for getting lost once. But I believe that is common. Invest in a good Michelin driving map. Another poster had mentioned that Michelin routes can be found on the internet now and printed. Learn all the rules and signs and it should be fine.
Hiring a driver is more expensive.
Try this web site for help
http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/driving/index.htm

Posted by Elizabeth
San Jose, CA
5 posts

Driving in the countryside is so much fun!! I definitely don't suggest this in a big city but it's a beautiful way to see the countryside. It's just like driving here, plus maybe a few roundabouts. Very easy. Definitely have a good map and a passenger in the car to read the map and signs. The most frustrating thing is the signs are posted EXACTLY where you have to turn, so there is no sign indicating the exit is in 1/4 km, 1/2 km etc. This is why it is so important to have a passenger to navigate.