Florence Hotels Articles

July 26, 2010

Driving experiences while vacationing in Italy

There are agencies at every international airport, but it is best to arrange the rental with your travel agent at home. Some of the Italian rental agencies are affiliated with American agencies that you may be familiar with like Hertz, Budget, Thrifty, etc… The prices are similar to rentals in big cities in America. Make sure that the price quoted is ‘turnkey’. That Value Added Tax may come as a big surprise. Also, the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), that is optional in America where you have insurance, may not be optional in Italy. For those who intend to begin and end in different cities, there are drop-off charges Typically, there are no drop-off charges if you drop off your car at different offices in the same city, for example picking the car up at the airport and dropping it off in the center of the city. This is useful if you intend to end your trip with a few days in Rome. Finally, Europeans usually drive cars with manual transmissions, and you will pay a premium price for the few automatics they keep for Americans.

The cost difference between car and train narrows as you decrease the size of the car, and increase the number of days driven and the number of people in the car. The cross-over point where the car can be cheaper than Italrail and Eurorail is approximately a manual subcompact, with two people for two weeks. A larger car, only one person for just a few days can be pricey.

I can hear you saying, ‘Gasolio is so expensive over there.’ There are two problems with this statement:

The most severe problem with this statement is that ‘gasolio’ is what we refer to as diesel fuel. You will have a large problem if you pick the wrong fuel. You should use ‘benzina’.

You need to think of the cost between sites and the availability of sites without a car. Good price check would for gasoline between Rome and Florence along the Via Cassia: $4.40/gal (approx. 1850 lira/liter at 1600 lira/$) with a car that can go 30 mi./gal for 250 mi. Cost about $37.

If you intend on travelling on the Autostrade, you will have to pay toll. You can find the entrance and exit points as well as the cost from the Autostrade. It takes a little practice to get it right (e.g. “Sel.” means “Select”), but as with most web pages, you can probably stumble through it more easily than you can read its instruction page.

Leaving after your morning cappuccino and pastry, you can arrive in Florence in time for dinner while leisurely enjoying any of the three of the following

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