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Driving in Tuscany and tuscany itinenary advice

Canada
Level Contributor
126 posts
1 review
Driving in Tuscany and tuscany itinenary advice

I'm trying to firm up my itinerary for a 3 week trip to Italy starting at the end of June, trip is mainly for photography and I had some questions about the Tuscany portion of my trip.

My plan right now is as follows:

1. fly in to Vencice - 4 nights

2. Train to Florence - 3 nights

3. Rent car and stay in Asciano - 3 nights (base for trip to Siena, San Gimignano)

4. Drive to Pisa - 2 nights (base for Pisa and Lucca

5. Return rental car and take train to Cinque Terra - 4 nights

6. Train to Rome - 5 nights

7. Fly home

The question I have is specifically for driving in Tuscany. Specific questions about the car rental and driving in Tuscany are the following:

1. Is Florence the best place to pick up a car, as I've read that it is easy to get ticketed by drving in restricted zones, just trying to get out of Florence?

2. What type of car is best, as I've heard that a lot of places have very narrow streets and you should have a sub compact, but I i'll be staying at an agriculture farm house apartment in Asciano and some of the reviews have stated a regular car is must because of steep gravel road to and from the accommodation location.

3. I plan to make an early morning trip to Siena and have read that the also have a lot of driving restrictions and I would acutally have to park outside the city. If I'm going around sunrise time, is their busing available to get to locations like the Piaaza Del Campo or TOrre Del Mangio? Are these places fairly close?

4. I was planning on keeping the car for the 2 days in Pisa/Lucca (right now planning on staying at Pisa), are there a lot of driving restrictions there. I read that for Lucca, you need to park outside the city gates. Is it fairly short walk from parking area to sites, or do you have to take buses? Again, is there an issue to go to locations at either Pisa or Lucca around surnise?

5. Is best location to take train to Cinque Terre, Florence or Pisa? If its Pisa, can you usually pick up a car from Florence and drop off at Pisa?? Is there usually large penalties/costs for doing so?

6. What are the main areas I need to aware of regarding restricted driving zones?

Thanks in advance!!

31 replies to this topic
South East England...
Level Contributor
5,571 posts
4 reviews
1. Re: Driving in Tuscany and tuscany itinenary advice

Re: parking in Lucca; we use the underground car park "Mazzini" inside the walls on Via dei Bacchettoni each year when we stay in Lucca. Enter through Porta Elisa, take the first turning immediately on the right and it's about 300 meters on the left hand side. When you leave the car park turn left, follow the road until the first Piazza (Luigi Varanini) again about 300 meters, and turn right through Porta San Jacopo to join the Lucca ring road. Very straightforward, be aware of the need to observe the directions to/from Park Mazzini so as to avoid fines from the ZTL cameras. See this link for public car parks outside of Lucca's ZTL zones: http://www.metrosrl.it/en/park/map

For Pisa parking and ZTLs see athomeintuscany.org/2011/…

mesh

Edited: 10 May 2018, 01:07
Ocean City, MD
Level Contributor
12,536 posts
7 reviews
2. Re: Driving in Tuscany and tuscany itinenary advice

The driver should be aware of Italian driving laws, ZTL's (Pisa has them), etc. and the required Int'l Driving Permit.

aci.it/laci/driving-in-italy/driving-in-ital…

http://driventoit.blogspot.com.au/

www.viamichelin.com will give you an idea of time/distance/costs.

GPS will not show ZTL's or cameras.

https:/…Driving.In.Italy.html

Akron, Ohio
Level Contributor
1,561 posts
495 reviews
3. Re: Driving in Tuscany and tuscany itinenary advice

Response #1 has good advice and helpful information. Likewise response # 2. There can be much information for you and others to read concerning these regulations. If possible share your driving duties with another qualified person for convenience, cost reduction, safety and flexibility in planning day-to-day segments of your vacation. In your case you would benefit from having an additional person for driving if you are dwelling on taking pictures with concentration on photography. Paying attention to driving and parking regulations will deserve much attention over and above what is needed for quality photography. Identify or itemize your priorities for photography and group them according to location and proximity. Hope this helps.

Saskatchewan, Canada
Destination Expert
for Istria, Croatia
Level Contributor
9,990 posts
17 reviews
4. Re: Driving in Tuscany and tuscany itinenary advice

All non-EU residents legally require an International Driver's Permit for each driver for driving in Italy. You can obtain it from your local CAA for a cost of about $25 CAD plus photo.

South East England...
Level Contributor
5,571 posts
4 reviews
5. Re: Driving in Tuscany and tuscany itinenary advice

"If possible share your driving duties with another qualified person for convenience, cost reduction, safety and flexibility in planning day-to-day segments of your vacation" What nonsense, we drive from the UK to Lucca each year and there is no "cost reduction" whatsoever with both of us sharing driving!!

mesh

Montepulciano, Italy
Destination Expert
for Tuscany
Level Contributor
9,013 posts
7 reviews
6. Re: Driving in Tuscany and tuscany itinenary advice

"3. I plan to make an early morning trip to Siena and have read that the also have a lot of driving restrictions and I would acutally have to park outside the city. If I'm going around sunrise time, is their busing available to get to locations like the Piaaza Del Campo or TOrre Del Mangio? Are these places fairly close?"

Parking is easy in Siena as there are plenty of pay parking lots within easy walking distance of the centre, you don't need to park outside. I often arrive late morning or mid afternoon and always find a space so no need to get up before dawn. Torre del Mangia is on the Piazza del Campo.

"If possible share your driving duties with another qualified person for convenience, cost reduction, safety and flexibility in planning day-to-day segments of your vacation" What nonsense, we drive from the UK to Lucca each year and there is no "cost reduction" whatsoever with both of us sharing driving!!

Of course there isn't Mesh, it's Guido's usual nonsense but it's good for a laugh so long as no one ever takes what he writes seriously. Honestly, he's priceless!

Edited: 10 May 2018, 02:31
South East England...
Level Contributor
5,571 posts
4 reviews
7. Re: Driving in Tuscany and tuscany itinenary advice

Must admit lastraniera, he's starting to get on my nerves, just hope no-one takes his advice seriously as you've said! Plus I believe that the OP is visiting Italy on their own.

mesh

Sudbury...
Level Contributor
8,649 posts
1,135 reviews
8. Re: Driving in Tuscany and tuscany itinenary advice

Oh, mesh! Guido is seriously getting on my nerves as well and I diligently warn all new travelers to avoid even looking at his posts, let alone reading his gibberish. Lastraniera and you are absolutely right.

<<if possible share your driving duties with another qualified person for convenience, cost reduction, safety and flexibility in planning day-to-day segments of your vacation.>>

What cost reductions??? You pay additional charges for the second driver. And you do not need a second driver. My husband drove all over Tuscany twice and never even thought about asking for help.

To the OP.

Use GPS: Waze or Google Maps - work well. Also, if you rent a smaller car, like Fiat500, you will be just fine: it is not too small... just the right size.

And parking in Siena is really easy as lastraniera mentioned.

If you want, I can post a link to my Tuscany trip report - we have just returned from our wonderful trip.

Nora

Canada
Level Contributor
126 posts
1 review
9. Re: Driving in Tuscany and tuscany itinenary advice

Thanks for the info and links Mesh!

If parking isn't really an issue in Lucca, would it make sense for me to do the following:

-3 nights Florence (no car for stay, but pick up rental car before leaving for Asciano)

-3 nights Asciano

-1 night in Lucca

-1 night in Pisa (return rental car in Pisa and take train to Cinque Terre)

This would make it easier to to shoot after sunrise when the light is good and hopefully before the masses arrive in Siena (as part of Asciano stay), and in Lucca and Pisa

Canada
Level Contributor
126 posts
1 review
10. Re: Driving in Tuscany and tuscany itinenary advice

thanks for the info about the international driving permit chefathome! I didn't realize you needed one if you're coming from north america. I did get one for my first trip to Iceland, but than found out that you didn't need one. Good to know in advance that I will require one for Italy.

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