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Where should we return rental car when leaving Montepulciano?

On June 2, 2018 we will be completing our stay in Montepulciano. We want to return our rental car someplace and then take the train to Monterosso in the Cinque Terre, so we would prefer to return the rental car at a train station if possible. Where would it be best to do this?

The S.M Novella train station in Florence is one option since I assume there would be rental car offices there, but since it is downtown it would probably be difficult to deal with the traffic. Are there other options where we could return the rental car and catch a train to Monterosso?

Posted by NYCTravelSnob
261 posts

Getting to Cinque Terre from Montepulciano is not easy or convenient by train. You can end up with numerous transfers and a very long trip.

Dropping the car at SMN in Florence is an option, but for a first-timer, there is a learning curve. Many would advise against it. Florence doesn't have a "downtown." It has a city-center. Train stations are almost always located in the city-center. Florence is problematic because SMN and the car rental garages are in a ZTL. If you decide to drop a car at SMN, you'll need to learn the procedure for doing so. You'll still need to change one or more trains to get to Monterosso.

Personally, I'm dead set against too many train changes with luggage in tow. The nice thing about having a car, you can get on a freeway and drive at the time and pace you prefer. If you don't mind driving the E35-E76-E80, you can take the car all the way to La Spezia and drop it at one of the rental offices on Viale S. Bartolomeo. Then you can hop into a taxi or walk to La Spezia Centrale. Monterosso is a 20-minute ride non-stop from there. For me, that would be the easiest way.

Posted by Roberto da Firenze
San Francisco Bay Area (USA)
10668 posts

Yes. I agree that returning the car in La Spezia is the best option. You might need a taxi from the rental offices to the station, because they are not too close to the station. Avis is a bit closer, but still a walk. All others are near the Cruises' docks at the port, and it's too far to walk. After you return the car, simply ask the rental car agent at the desk to call you a taxi.

If you travel on a weekend, be aware that La Spezia offices are closed on Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday. If you travel to Monterosso on a weekend the only option would be to return the car at the Pisa airport, then transfer to the Pisa train station from the airport (there is a people mover called PisaMover).