Driving a car [in] Italy, any suggestion?

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WhiteMaxima
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Driving a car [in] Italy, any suggestion?

Post by WhiteMaxima » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:37 pm

Will fly into Rome next week, rent a VW Polo. Plan to head north for a week. Any recommendations and cautions? Thanks.

neilpilot
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by neilpilot » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:40 pm

Obviously try to leave nothing of value in your car. This is true anywhere, but maybe doubly true in Italy.

I recommend the HERE app for using your phone as a GPS, without connecting to mobile data. Download the maps at home, before you leave.

ResearchMed
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:42 pm

WhiteMaxima wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:37 pm
Will fly into Rome next week, rent a VW Polo. Plan to head north for a week. Any recommendations and cautions? Thanks.
Double check whatever type of license and especially insurance you have for Italy (assuming you are from USA).

When we looked into this a year or two ago, there were all sorts of restrictions/special requirements for Italy that didn't apply to France, for example, especially the insurance part.

RM
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brokendirtdart
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by brokendirtdart » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:47 pm

Italians can be aggressive and fast drivers. Stay to the right unless passing on the Autostrada(toll highway).

Double check the traffic circle rules. When I lived in Vicenza in the 90s, the driver ENTERING the traffic circle had the right of way.

rjbraun
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by rjbraun » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:47 pm

Become completely well-versed with ZTL restricted driving zones. I am not (as I've never driven in Italy) but have read stories of fines, etc. by those who neglected to.

Here's a link with some additional information:

http://www.autoeurope.com/go/italy-ztl-zones/

Atilla
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by Atilla » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:51 pm

The Village Idiot - here for your entertainment.

neilpilot
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by neilpilot » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:52 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:42 pm
WhiteMaxima wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:37 pm
Will fly into Rome next week, rent a VW Polo. Plan to head north for a week. Any recommendations and cautions? Thanks.
Double check whatever type of license and especially insurance you have for Italy (assuming you are from USA).

When we looked into this a year or two ago, there were all sorts of restrictions/special requirements for Italy that didn't apply to France, for example, especially the insurance part.

RM
Italian law requires an IDP (International Driving Permit), as do a few other (but not all) EU countries. Some car rental companies, such as Avis & Hertz, will want to see the permit along with your license before the complete your rental agreement. Others, such as Europcar, will not ask, but if your stopped the police may or may not ask. Also, if you plan to drive from Italy to another country, confirm that the rental car's insurance covers outside of Italy.

TheJourneyContinues
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by TheJourneyContinues » Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:07 pm

Make all reservations and payments for the rental car with a prepaid credit card. A friend rented through Hertz in Europe and, several weeks after the trip, had an extra random $400 charge put on their card for unspecified "damages" (although there were no damages to the car). There was no real way to fight it, as Hertz US is a separate legal entity from the Hertz in the country where they rented. Seems like a nice way for rental car companies to make extra money after-the-fact off non-citizens who have no true avenue for recourse.

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Hyperborea
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by Hyperborea » Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:09 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:52 pm
Italian law requires an IDP (International Driving Permit), as do a few other (but not all) EU countries. Some car rental companies, such as Avis & Hertz, will want to see the permit along with your license before the complete your rental agreement. Others, such as Europcar, will not ask, but if your stopped the police may or may not ask. Also, if you plan to drive from Italy to another country, confirm that the rental car's insurance covers outside of Italy.
Yup, we were stopped at a police checkpoint in Siena. They wanted to see the IDP.

As mentioned leave nothing of value in the car or if you do, leave it well out of sight. Don't move it into the trunk when you get to the parking lot. Thieves will be watching parking lots and see you do that. If you are putting it into the trunk do it beforehand. This applies not just in Italy.

Also, keep an eye out for scooters, they are everywhere. Always, check your side mirrors and a quick shoulder check before changing "lanes" in the city. They will also filter to the front at every light, don't let it startle you.

For map data, you can also download Google Maps for regions you care about using WiFi if you don't have data or want to minimize data usage.

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Hyperborea
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by Hyperborea » Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:14 pm

TheJourneyContinues wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:07 pm
Make all reservations and payments for the rental car with a prepaid credit card. A friend rented through Hertz in Europe and, several weeks after the trip, had an extra random $400 charge put on their card for unspecified "damages" (although there were no damages to the car). There was no real way to fight it, as Hertz US is a separate legal entity from the Hertz in the country where they rented. Seems like a nice way for rental car companies to make extra money after-the-fact off non-citizens who have no true avenue for recourse.
I would use something like my Chase Sapphire Reserve card. They cover rentals as primary insurance. So, if there was a charge for "damages" I'd then pass it on to Chase and they could battle it out with the rental company.

stlrick
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by stlrick » Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:07 pm

If you want an automatic transmission, double-check your reservation and make sure it is clearly stated.
Wear your seatbelt.
Be prepared for aggressive tailgating if someone wants to pass you.
Right turns on red are illegal everywhere.
Speeding tickets are issued by cameras and sent to the rental car agency, which then adds on an exorbitant handling fee. Speed limits are in kilometers, not mph.

denovo
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by denovo » Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:47 pm

stlrick wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:07 pm
If you want an automatic transmission, double-check your reservation and make sure it is clearly stated.
I would actually say that OP shouldn't bother renting a car if he doesn't drive stick. He can make a reservation , but it's no guarantee. Most cars in Europe are stick. That doesn't occur to a lot of Americans when they reserve cars and the car rental places just want to make the person in front of them happy so there's a good chance your auto car won't be there.

WhiteMaxima
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by WhiteMaxima » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:09 pm

Just got IDP from my local AAA. Drive stick for my whole life so no problem. Just the need to pay attention to red circle for restricted zone for locals.

Pfenness
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by Pfenness » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:37 pm

I liked avis for my last rental. Also they gave me an automatic. Small cars won't fit your luggage. So watch the car size.

I only drove in Sicily. They did not ask for idl and I did not have one.

I always drove slow and let the people cut me off if they want too. Just took it as the normal. I never left anything in the car.

bluebolt
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by bluebolt » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:44 pm

Let others pass. Watch out for speed cameras. Take photos/video of your car when you pick it up and return it, so you have proof if they claim any damage.

If your car has crappy plastic "hubcaps" tied on to your wheels with zip ties and you're on the hook for a fine for each hubcap (don't ask), just pick up some zip ties and put the hubcap back on if something happens.

WhyNotUs
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by WhyNotUs » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:06 pm

Get out of Rome as fast as possible. I made the mistake of renting a car and running about the city, never again. Once you get in the country, no big deal. It is trains and hired drivers for me from now on.
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ivk5
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by ivk5 » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:54 pm

I've rented in Italy 10-20 times over past several years with a US drivers license, multiple agencies (US-based brands, Sixt, others). Nobody ever asked for IDP for what it's worth, notwithstanding stated policies. I've never had issues with unexpected charges, spurious claims of damage, etc. It helps if you don't mind driving small manual transmission cars, as others have noted.

A note about gas stations- not a big deal but potential nuisance. In many places, you'll find unattended stations where you have to prepay in cash at a machine, which makes it a bit hard to just fill the tank. If you buy more than you use, you get a receipt with a code good for credit next time, but then you have to make a point of using the same brand/company.

ETA: I second the point others have made about checking CC insurance, if planning to rely on that- some reportedly do have Italy exclusions.

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Watty
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by Watty » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:23 pm

Hyperborea wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:14 pm
TheJourneyContinues wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:07 pm
Make all reservations and payments for the rental car with a prepaid credit card. A friend rented through Hertz in Europe and, several weeks after the trip, had an extra random $400 charge put on their card for unspecified "damages" (although there were no damages to the car). There was no real way to fight it, as Hertz US is a separate legal entity from the Hertz in the country where they rented. Seems like a nice way for rental car companies to make extra money after-the-fact off non-citizens who have no true avenue for recourse.
I would use something like my Chase Sapphire Reserve card. They cover rentals as primary insurance. So, if there was a charge for "damages" I'd then pass it on to Chase and they could battle it out with the rental company.
As I recall Italy may be one of the countries that credit cards exclude form this coverage so you should check to see if your credit card will cover you there.

American Express has a plan where you can sign up for coverage for a fee of around $20 per rental and people have reported it working well when they have had to use it. Things like the $400 charge would have been put on the AMEX card and AMEX would handle it. I use this when I am overseas just for simplicity. I forget if they have exclusions by country.

I have driven several places in Europe with no problems but I have always tried to avoid driving in the large cities. I will pickup or drop off the car in some smaller city and then take a train to or from the large city. I have never run into a situation where I would have wanted a car in a large city there.

Be sure to understand that many cities have restricted areas, often near the older parts of town, where only residents and people with special permits can drive into. If you drive into it they have photo enforcement and you will get a large fine in the mail. If you are wondering around lost you can go into and out of the restricted area multiple times and get fined multiple times in a very short time.

Be prepared for very narrow streets. I was in England this spring and the rental car had a button on the dash that would remotely fold in the side rear view mirrors when you are on a real narrow road. The mirrors automatically fold in when you get out of the car. This was not a real high end car either.

Read up on roundabouts. They actually work really well but they take a bit of getting used to.

As usual the Rick Steves web sites and books are a good place to look for questions like this.

https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/ ... rental-cdw

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:28 pm

rjbraun wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:47 pm
Become completely well-versed with ZTL restricted driving zones. I am not (as I've never driven in Italy) but have read stories of fines, etc. by those who neglected to.

Here's a link with some additional information:

http://www.autoeurope.com/go/italy-ztl-zones/
+1 - my b-i-l got one of those violations, the car rental company fined him 30 euros for providing rental info to local provencial police. Thought that was the end of it? Think again. A year (no i am not kidding) later comes air mail to his house from you guessed it, the provencial government informing him of his violation and request for payment of 100 euros, with a nice notice that failure to pay will result in a 150 euro fine plus further unspecified legal action. He promptly paid it. So yes, be very aware of road signage and what it means.
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navyitaly
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by navyitaly » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:32 pm

lived in Naples for 3 1/2 years US Navy, just moved back a couple years ago...drove all over Italy...never an incident.

1. never leave anything in the car...never...not a thing.
2. assume every lane is a 2 lane road.
3. very few car accidents happen there.

be safe

red5
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by red5 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:50 am

'Gasolio' is not gasoline! Don't fill up your car with gasolio unless you have a diesel engine. Thank goodness that nozzle was to large to fit into my vehicle.

Capsu78
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by Capsu78 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:31 pm

I would rent the car outside of Rome. I wouldn't drive there and I have logged over a million miles in my driving life.
In the country and Sicily is less of a problem. It's always fast in the fast lane; However, in the slow lane, you have to keep a close eye ahead of you for overloaded trucks, tractors and other vehicles going very slow.

barreg
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by barreg » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:33 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:40 pm
I recommend the HERE app for using your phone as a GPS, without connecting to mobile data. Download the maps at home, before you leave.
Google Maps has similar functionality, ability to download maps offline and use just use GPS (not data). However, I'd recommend buying a local SIM card and data plan, which will then give you the ability to use apps like Google Maps or Waze for turn by turn directions and traffic updates, plus "free" wifi in many places doesn't work all that well, so the data plan comes in handy.

bighatnohorse
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by bighatnohorse » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:51 pm

I notice in Florence that no matter how packed the traffic (bumper to bumper) that if I edged into the next lane, the driver would understand and allow room for me to squeeze in. It's expected.
Stick or automatic, you can pretty much leave it in second gear except for the Auto Strauss. The engine might whine a little, but hey, it's a rental car.

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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by NateH » Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:05 pm

WhyNotUs wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:06 pm
Get out of Rome as fast as possible. I made the mistake of renting a car and running about the city, never again. Once you get in the country, no big deal. It is trains and hired drivers for me from now on.
Take a train to where you are going, then rent a car.
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by Big Dutch » Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:10 pm

It's a little intimidating at first but it's a great way to get off the beaten path and explore Tuscany in particular. As others have advised: have your IDL with you at all times and avoid the ZTLs religiously (expensive fines). Drivers are aggressive given how narrow/tiny many roads are but aren't hostile.

Similar to a previous post, we were also stopped at a checkpoint near Sienna by police/militia. This was the only time anyone wanted to see our IDLs but we were relieved to have them. Enjoy!

~Big Dutch

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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:10 pm

I would take the fast train.

WhiteMaxima
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by WhiteMaxima » Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:54 pm

Thanks for all replies. I got a Garmin GPS with Europe map. IDP from AAA. Will pay attention with ZDL (the red cycle). Get car from airport and direct to north (skip Rome). Return car to Rome and take shuttle to city center.

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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by neilpilot » Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:26 pm

WhiteMaxima wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:54 pm
Thanks for all replies. I got a Garmin GPS with Europe map. IDP from AAA. Will pay attention with ZDL (the red cycle). Get car from airport and direct to north (skip Rome). Return car to Rome and take shuttle to city center.
I'm sure your Garmin will work great.

We drive in Europe (usually Spain) yearly, and always used our Garmin but never updated the Europe map. After a few years, we switched to using the phone since their map updates were free. Found that the phone worked as well as the Garmin while driving, and even better than the Garmin when walking. The Garmin seemed to have more trouble updating position than my phone, even though the phone was never connected to a network.

It was also nice to have one less item to pack & carry. Just be sure, if you drive using the phone, that you have a 12v charging cord.

aristotelian
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by aristotelian » Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:32 pm

Watch out, some cities completely ban traffic except to locals. I recall Parma and Orvieto being this way. We were clueless because we couldn't read the signs! I don't think we got any tickets, but we did get some stern warnings.

WhiteMaxima
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by WhiteMaxima » Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:35 pm

aristotelian wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:32 pm
Watch out, some cities completely ban traffic except to locals. I recall Parma and Orvieto being this way. We were clueless because we couldn't read the signs! I don't think we got any tickets, but we did get some stern warnings.
What I suppose to do when I see the red circle. Park the car outside the city wall and walk through the gate?

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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by aristotelian » Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:38 pm

WhiteMaxima wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:35 pm
aristotelian wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:32 pm
Watch out, some cities completely ban traffic except to locals. I recall Parma and Orvieto being this way. We were clueless because we couldn't read the signs! I don't think we got any tickets, but we did get some stern warnings.
What I suppose to do when I see the red circle. Park the car outside the city wall and walk through the gate?
Exactly. Its been a while but I don't recall having to take transit or anything. Pretty sure we would just park outside the city center and walk. A good tour guide should say.

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mclovin
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by mclovin » Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:06 pm

I would rent a car through the country specific version of the car rental company website that you intend to use. We booked a car for an international trip through the US version of Hertz, but it did not have all of the options or questions needed. The US website told us we could cross country borders, but we were surprised to learn that that information was not passed along and our car did not have the insurance/registration to make the trip.

On a later trip we booked through the Czech Republic version of Budget and were able to indicate that we were going to be crossing borders, so the insurance and fees were adjusted. There were no surprises at the rental counter.

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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by hoops777 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:35 pm

Say your prayers :D
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by euroswiss » Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:57 pm

WhiteMaxima wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:54 pm
Thanks for all replies. I got a Garmin GPS with Europe map. IDP from AAA. Will pay attention with ZDL (the red cycle). Get car from airport and direct to north (skip Rome). Return car to Rome and take shuttle to city center.
Just did the same thing in Milan. Hotel on the outskirts and then train/subway into the center. Much easier than fighting the ZDL and traffic jams.

TravelforFun
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by TravelforFun » Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:39 pm

- Most cars in Europe including rental cars run on diesel and have manual transmission. Can you drive a stick shift?
- Rent the smallest car that can fit what you need as roads are narrow and parking spaces are tiny.
- Do you have a companion that can look at maps/phones and direct you while you're driving? If you don't, it's gonna be tough.
- Outside of cities, fuel stations are far apart.
- Honk before you go into blind curves.
- Learn a little bit of Italian.
- Driving the Amalfi Coast is extremely nerve-racking if that's where you're headed.
- Enjoy.

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heartwood
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by heartwood » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:35 pm

It was 3 or more years ago but we had a problem returning a car to Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport. There were no, zero, signs that indicated rental car returns. We drove through the airport several times before stopping and asking. In the end it was an upper floor of an undesignated building in the airport. This was Avis.
There was also a problem refueling the car just outside the airport before the return, We asked for regular and were charged for premium, a multi euro charge not worth fighting over.

I've driven myself around the world but after the overall experience in Italy (Tuscany and Rome) would consider a driver the next time, even at multiples of the rental cost.

Again three or more years ago with a Garmin in Tuscany, we were routed to back roads and even alleys rather than major roads. I'd hope that google or similar is better these days.

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Re: Driving a car [in] Italy, any suggestion?

Post by bighatnohorse » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:21 pm

I drove the first trip to Italy - around Florence and the outskirts.
The second time, we took trains and taxis - and that's the way to do it.

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Re: Driving a car [in] Italy, any suggestion?

Post by badbreath » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:27 pm

I would do one other thing that I have not seen posted. Inspect the entire exterior of the the car before you even get into it. If you see any scratches, dents, dings go back into the office and tell them and asked for a written report. This can help cover you from being charged for them.
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legio XX
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Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by legio XX » Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:57 am

ivk5 wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:54 pm
I've rented in Italy 10-20 times over past several years with a US drivers license, multiple agencies (US-based brands, Sixt, others). Nobody ever asked for IDP for what it's worth, notwithstanding stated policies. I've never had issues with unexpected charges, spurious claims of damage, etc. It helps if you don't mind driving small manual transmission cars, as others have noted. <snip>
This has been my experience as well. Never heard of ZTL, last had an IDP decades ago - didn't know they still existed. Rented in advance through Avis. Never had a problem. Tootling through the Appenines w a stick is one of the fun parts of the trip. No idea of conditions in the south, never drove there, but "don't leave anything in the car" seems like common sense.

Since I live in Manhattan, I don't drive much at home and never got into the whole GPS thing. It was fun to use the TomTom when a colleague insisted on renting one, but don't know if I'll bother with it next time I go.

Don' recommend in-city driving if you don't have to - this from a New Yorker who is comfortable with the local traffic - if only because parking is a royal pain just about anywhere.

BTW, the age 75 limit is fast approaching which will really louse me up - it's not like there's a subway in the hills and I spend a lot of time at castles - anyone know a work-around? "Borrow" a car from a friend of a friend who gets a cash gift? ?? Is it illegal to drive after 75 or is it just car rentals that are a problem? If the birthday comes in the middle of a trip does the rental end on the day, or can I finish out the trip and just not rent again, at least not OTC? Anyone have any experience with this?

Vic

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Re: Driving a car [in] Italy, any suggestion?

Post by CyclingDuo » Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:19 am

quote=WhiteMaxima post_id=3510315 time=1503945420 user_id=109673]
Will fly into Rome next week, rent a VW Polo. Plan to head north for a week. Any recommendations and cautions? Thanks.
[/quote]

Have fun! On 2 lane roads, the center line is just a "suggestion" to Italian drivers, so don't come unglued when you see everyone crossing the line. Speed cameras all over in every town (pale green boxes), and they all have a warning sign they are coming up. Whether they actually work is another issue. 8-)

If inserting your credit card to pay a toll getting on/off an automatic toll machine booth - it can be tricky. You have to leave your card in longer than our "remove card quickly" here in the US. Instructions will not be in English, so trust me on the issue of leaving your card inserted long enough until the light changes and you can remove your card.

Otherwise, driving is like it is in most of Europe. Like a Monte Carlo race. :mrgreen:

SQRT
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Re: Driving a car [in] Italy, any suggestion?

Post by SQRT » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:15 am

Some good advice already posted. We bought and picked up a new car in Munich a while back and drove it through Austria and Northern Italy for a couple weeks. Had a blast. Didn't need an international license. When we brought it back to Munich to ship it home, the guy asked where we drove? When we said Italy he said "not possible" because there were no dings or scratches on the car. Would do it again.

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OZAR
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Re: Driving a car [in] Italy, any suggestion?

Post by OZAR » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:26 am

I recommend NOT driving in Italy!

WhiteMaxima
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Re: Driving a car [in] Italy, any suggestion?

Post by WhiteMaxima » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:16 am

I am back. Driving large car (citron C4) in Italy city and country. No big deal.

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JupiterJones
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Location: Nashville, TN

Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

Post by JupiterJones » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:52 am

WhiteMaxima wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:54 pm
I got a Garmin GPS with Europe map.
Great! Personally, I use the MapFactor Navigator app on my phone, but a dedicated box has some advantages too. In any case, I recommend the following:
  • Go ahead and program in any locations that you know you'll be driving to (as "waypoints" or "favorites" or whatever your Garmin calls them), so you can quickly pull them up when the time comes.
  • Go into the settings and switch your GPS over to kilometers right now. Yes, you can keep it in miles, but I like to have my GPS information match up with what all the directional and speed limit signs are showing in the country I'm driving in. If the road sign says 50km to my destination city, but my GPS says 100km, I know there's a problem somewhere! :-)
  • Start using it in your car right now. For trips to work, to the grocery store, wherever. It doesn't matter if you already know how to get there, the point is twofold:
    1. To get used to using the thing, if you're not already 100% comfortable with it. Driving in a foreign country will take enough of your attention as it is--you don't need to also be fumbling with screens and trying to figure out features at the same time.
    2. To get used to thinking of your speed in kph and distances in kilometers/meters, if you're not already. When the voice says "turn left in 500 meters", or a road sign says that the next exit is in 5km, it's nice to have a feel for about how far that is without having to mentally convert to miles.
  • Don't forget the gear necessary to mount the device in your rental car.
Stay on target...

WhiteMaxima
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Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:04 pm

Re: Driving a car [in] Italy, any suggestion?

Post by WhiteMaxima » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:48 pm

I bought my Garmin used from CL. I forgot to change the preference (original is avoid toll). Driving from Roma airport to Florence through Tascany country road. Best ever mistake I ever made during this trip: I saw real Tascany. I like Sienna better than Florence. Drive all way north to Vience. On way back to Sorrento via Roma, I reset GPS to include toll and fast route. Use Sorrento as base to explore Almafi coast. Really enjoy the drive. The turbo diesel gave me 45mpg. Return car back to Roma and took bus back to town. Last day in Roma was pouring rain. The best is no crowd and I did enjoy the cool down pour. Amazing Roma road turning into rivers.

Davistax
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Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:24 pm

Re: Driving a car [in] Italy, any suggestion?

Post by Davistax » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:00 pm

In many towns & cities, the street names are on the buildings rather than on sign posts.

CyclingDuo
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Re: Driving a car [in] Italy, any suggestion?

Post by CyclingDuo » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:03 pm

WhiteMaxima wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:48 pm
I bought my Garmin used from CL. I forgot to change the preference (original is avoid toll). Driving from Roma airport to Florence through Tascany country road. Best ever mistake I ever made during this trip: I saw real Tascany. I like Sienna better than Florence. Drive all way north to Vience. On way back to Sorrento via Roma, I reset GPS to include toll and fast route. Use Sorrento as base to explore Almafi coast. Really enjoy the drive. The turbo diesel gave me 45mpg. Return car back to Roma and took bus back to town. Last day in Roma was pouring rain. The best is no crowd and I did enjoy the cool down pour. Amazing Roma road turning into rivers.
Congrats on a great trip!

Agree on Siena being better than Florence. Glad you hit the country roads in Tuscany (best fun driving - and eating/drinking - in Italy). Sorrento, Almafi coast driving is a bit more intense with the curves and coastline, but gorgeous scenery.

Welcome back. Now start planning your next trip....! 8-)

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