Driving in Tuscany?

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Hi,

I will have a spare day in Florence in July and am thinking about hiring a car to drive down to a few places in Tuscany. I have the following questions:

1) What rental company is recommended with the cheapest rate for auto transmission? I checked a few places with Thrifty seeming to be the cheapest (52 euro per day). Is there other local companies which could do it cheaper?
2) Where should we go? Chances are we would rent noon to noon and probably spend a night somewhere in Tuscany.
3) In case we choose to spend the night in Florence, is it easy to find parking space in the centre? How much would it cost overnight?
4) Is it easy to find a gas station to refill before we return the car in Florence?

Any suggestion/experience to share is appreciated. Many thanks.

Comments

  • cougar_3
    cougar_3 Posts: 746 Forumite
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    I'm no expert on Tuscany in particular, but search for car hire with https://www.kelkoo.co.uk and have a look at the forums on tripadvisor.com for things to do there.
  • marcuzz
    marcuzz Posts: 4 Newbie
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    You actually can't drive through most of the old town in Florence these days, let alone park. On particularly hot days, if pollution looks like exceeding certain limits, they will widen the area within which you cannot drive, and you will be even more stuck. A car is a very bad idea if you plan to stick to Florence.

    If you want to get out of town, then I'd not drive much more than an hour, for obvious reasons. Siena is popular, but busy. Pisa is an interesting, different choice, nice place to walk around, and you can go see the tower.

    For smaller places, I'd recommend San Gimignano. Maybe Vinci if you want to see a really small hill town with relatively little tourist traffic, a nice old castle to walk around for an hour or so, and a couple of nice wine bars & restaurants to sit down and pass time in.

    There are gas stations scattered around the main ring road circling the old town in Florence (Viali di Circonvallazione), as well as at the exit of the two main roads to Pisa (the A13 Autostrada and the FI-PI-LI Superstrada).
  • VickyM_2
    VickyM_2 Posts: 265 Forumite
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    Why not get on a bus or a train? Much, much less hassle than coping with Italian driving and trying to find somewhere to park. You can get a train in an hour or so to both Pisa and Lucca (well worth a visit), or a bus to Siena, Montalcino or Montepulciano. Trains and buses are efficient, fast & cheap (sorry if I sound like a rep for the Italian tourist board but it is true). there's a very good website with Italian train timetables - can't remember what it is called but you should be able to find it on google, and even has an English version.

    If you want any more information I'm happy to post whatever else I can remember, or check out the section on the Rough Guides website
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