Flying into Rome Fiumicino, renting a stick, driving to Cortona for two weeks, driving back, dropping car at airport, spending a couple of days in Rome. Never been, know very little about Italy, no accommodation confirmed, haven't driven a stick in 20 years, leaving very soon. If I don't rent a car what is the easiest way to get to Cortona. Do I definitely need a car in Cortona? What is the drive like out of Rome airport to Cortona. How would you spend your time in Rome if you only had 3 days, where would you stay that is central and safe. Can't wait. Travelled but never by myself ...any other hints?
I would like the same information about getting from Cortona to Rome, and info about driving vs taking the train as I will be doing a week in Cortona and then 3 days in Rome also. I'm trying to decide whether to get a car or train it. In Rome I booked a hotel recommended by Rick that is very central--Hotel Du Torri. I'm sure many people will have ideas on what to do there, but Rick's Rome book is a good start too. I usually read him first, then go on the net and read other books to supplement the information, get other ideas, then I make a choice of what sounds the best for me. Italy is wonderful, but I would suggest reading up as much as you can, be prepared!
Cortona by car is only about a 1 1/2 to 2 hour drive from Rome and most of the way you are on the A1. It is not a difficult drive.
If you decide against getting a car, Cortona is very accessible by train. From Rome, the best station to go to is Camucia which is a small town at the bottom of Cortona. Once you get to Camucia, buses run from there to Cortona. You can also take a train to Terontola, but I don't know if there is any public transportation from there to Cortona.
I think a car is better, though, because Cortona is so convenient to many other locations that are easy daytrips such as Assisi, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Pienza, Siena, etc. The main exception in my mind is Florence which is a much easier day trip by train.