Transit and Itinerary Assistance

I've booked flights and hotels - now trying to get the "details" booked! Flying into Rome on August 29. 4 nights hotel in Rome. 5 nights hotel in Tuscany (Barga) 3 nights hotel in Venice
Flight to Amsterdam - one night there and then flight home (Atlanta) Plan is to rent car for the Tuscany nights. Where is best place to rent car heading out of Rome? What about seeing Montepulciano or Montalcino on drive to Barga? While in Tuscany want to go to Cinque Terre one day - then open for suggestions. Best way to get from Tuscany to Venice? And where to drop off car? Must sees in Rome and Venice? Lots of questions! All help welcomed!

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
1960 posts

Carol: I'm usually going through Booking.com and AirBnB.com for most accommodations. Booking.com is the biggest site for rooms in the travel world. First, check out RoninRome.com to see what a fellow Atlantan has to say about where to stay in Rome. Consider taking the local train 70 minutes from Termini to Orvieto. There is a Hertz office across the street from the Orvieto train station. You can go through Hertz.com or AutoEurope.com to see the least expensive rental for the same car. Orvieto's a must see hill town, and a great place to spend the night. The fabulous Civita is about 30 minutes southwest of there. A controlled access highway will take you north to many great hill towns and Florence. Orvieto is about 90 minutes from Siena. Most think going to the Cinque Terre is a little too far unless you have 3 days to visit; skip it and spend the time in Florence. Many people will stay in Tuscany 15-30 miles south of Florence or in Chianti. They'll do day trips to Florence, Siena, San Gimignano and Volterra, which are must see's. You might consider turning the car in at a Florence city location, and take the fast train 149 miles into Venice. Trains in Italy are cheap and often the easiest way to go.
I suggest you go to your local library or bookstore and get Rick Steves', Fodors or some other well written travel book about Italy. Many of your questions will be answered.

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
3505 posts

David's advice sounds great. Friends of mine used the DK Eyewitness Back Roads Italy guide on a trip to Tuscany. They only did one drive, but they said it was well worth the price of the book. I used the DK Back Roads Spain and found it very good. Must-sees are a matter of taste. I could (and have) spend hours looking at the mosaics in St. Mark's. Others found a 30-minute visit to be enough. Tell us what your interests are and you'll get better recommendations. I used all of Rick's audio guides in Venice, Rome and Florence. They cover the "top sights." Be sure to print out the maps. They are all interesting and usually entertaining.

Posted by carol
athens, gA, Usa
5 posts

Thanks so much for the advice! Rainy day here in Atlanta - so I'll head to the bookstore to pick up DK's Eyewitness book now.... I've already bought the Fodor's Italy and Rick Steves online series for Italy - so good there. Hotels are already set - thanks to Marriott points. Rome: Boscolo Palace (across from US Embassy, next to Borghese Gallery) Tuscany (Barga): Renaissance Tuscany (this is out of way location - but... with car, will be good to get to Cinque Terre, Lucca, Pisa, etc). Venice: Palazzo Abadessa I think getting train from Termini to Orvieto sounds like great idea! Then it is just finding location in Florence to drop off.... Interests: Art, some.... although hours and hours roaming museums is not going to do it for us. Historical sites, yes - just outside...... We enjoy good food (I'm in kitchen at home as much as possible) - definitely good wines! Outside versus inside is also always the preference (we own 9 motorcycles, plus my mazda miata - and with pool in yard - most activities are outside). Finding out-of-the-way cafes, roaming the by-ways - that is definitely preference. In Rome I'm going to book up Underground Tour tickets for Colosseum, tickets to Borghese Gallery, tickets to St Peter's, etc. Would it make sense to get out of Rome to Pompeii? Other outdoors suggestions in and around Rome? Thanks again,
Carol

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
3505 posts

I found Pompeii fascinating (Rick has an audio guide for that too), but it is a really long day trip from Rome. Much closer and somewhat similar is Ostia Antica, Rome's ancient port (Rick has an audio guide for that too). You may be able to drive to La Spezia and then take the local train to visit the Cinque Terre, but as David said, it takes a long time to get there and I think a day trip would just be frustrating. Not enough time to hike the trails or explore the towns, and enjoy the ferry ride. Siena is a nice day trip in Tuscany. I'd spend a day in Florence - you don't even have to go into any of the museums, just walk around, lots of outdoor sculpture to enjoy, the Baptistry doors, the Piazza della Signoria, the facades of the Uffizi, are just a few. In Venice, I love riding the vaporetto and watching Venice slip by. One of the most magical experiences was taking the vaporetto at first light to San Marco, then watching the sunrise over the lagoon. No tourist, just a few photographers and a painter or two, and the street sweepers.

Posted by Rebecca
Anchorage, AK, USA
5 posts

Just returned from Tuscany, totally agree with David's advice on getting a car in Orvieto. It's just an hour by train outside of Rome and such a beautiful little city. We picked up the car in Florence and then dropped it in Orvieto. You could probably do it backwards. Lots of fast trains between Florence and Venice.

Posted by carol
athens, gA, Usa
5 posts

Perfect! I've already booked my train tickets from Rome to Orvieto (was really surprised at how inexpensive the train tickets in advance are!).... and will pick up car then in Orvieto. Think lunch and walking around Orvieto will also be on the "agenda" for the day:) For the car drop off - I'm looking at Florence - hoping that it isn't too bad to get to the car rental locations in center. Then we'll take the fast train from Florence to Vienna.