Travel thru Venice to Florence & back to Venice for cruise

I have planned a 2 week trip to Italy\Greece. 25th Anniversary present. Multiple couples going. Flying into Venice with a rental property near Florence for 1 week. Then taking a cruise from Venice for 2nd week, then immeadiatly returning home. 3 questions, Where to rent a car for the 1st week? Upon returning from the cruise, how much time to allow between disembarkinga and the return flight? Cash or credit card, what is the best availibility for usage?
Many Thanks for any advice

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
1960 posts

I use AutoEurope.com, which is a consolidator in New England. Chances are you'll go to Hertz to pickup the car, but possibly at a lower price. Also checkout Hertz's rates for comparison. Be sure to get a vehicle that fits your group's needs. There is a Hertz location in the Venice Airport. If you're going to pickup the car immediately upon arrival and head for Florence, this would be the place. $9.50 per U.S. gallon is not too bad if you're splitting it with multiple couples. LOL! If you are going to visit Venice upon arrival, I would suggest taking a train to Florence. The Hertz office is at 53 Via del Sansovino in Florence, 5 minutes by cab. They can give you directions to your destination without going through any ZTL. Hertz cars can be usually be returned in Venice at no additional cost. I would be hesitant to book any flight out of Venice before noon after arrival from a cruise. Italian airports can be very security conscious and time consuming to negotiate. The drive from Venice to Bologna is very easy controlled access highway. It's flat and looks like Texas in a non-drought year. From Bologna down to Florence is about an hour, and it's a pretty congested, crooked controlled access highway. It's about 150 miles from Venice to Florence. I'm sure you'll have an absolutely fabulous trip.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7188 posts

There are lots of options for renting - Autoeurope, Gemut, Hertz, Avis, etc. I normally shop around then choose the best deal. In your case I'd check out taking a train to Mestre and renting there, you may save hundreds by simply getting off the island. It's easiest to return the car there too and train back into Venice rather than follow the traffic over the bridge. You want a credit card for the car, cruise related costs, and major purchases. Bring a debit card for cash from ATM's (safer to use indoor ATM's at bank branches or department stores when you can). Your ship's itinerary will tell you when you will dock. I'd expect early, probably before you wake up. Expect to be off the ship before 10 am, after having eaten breakfast and collecting your luggage. Give yourself loads of time to get to the airport. I haven't done the cruise ship to airport in Venice, you can find out options, cost, and more details by checking out cruisecritic.com.