Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-13-2016, 07:14 PM   #41
Full time employment: Posting here.
CaliforniaMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: San Diego
Posts: 799
I want to again thank everyone for all their ideas and comments. I have printed out this entire thread and will be taking it with us on the trip! Better than a guidebook! Thanks again everyone, we are really looking forward to our upcoming adventure! This is such a great forum!
__________________

__________________
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.
CaliforniaMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-14-2016, 11:39 AM   #42
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 44
Just got back from 3 plus weeks in Italy this spring. Would highly recommend renting a car and staying a few nights in San Gimignano as a tuscany base. We visited Florence, Siena, Chianti region from there. Also drive to Sorrento as base to see Pompei, Capri, and Amalfi Coast. The ferry to Capri leaves right from the Sorrento Harbor. Having the car gives you complete freedom to come and go when you want. Car rental was very reasonable. I would download the google map of the area we were heading to that day. You don't need phone service just phones GPS. Worked great. Get the car after you have seen Rome. JMHO
__________________

__________________
LiveBelowMeans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2016, 02:00 PM   #43
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 4,674
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
You can also get a ferry to Capri from Positano and Naples. To get to Sicily, we took the ferry to Capri then on to Naples and the train to Rome to catch a Vueling flight to Catania.
__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2016, 05:18 PM   #44
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 728
The Tuscany region has so much to see and do. We spent 14 days there with our base being in Siena and a rental car. We spent 2 weeks in Rome and took a high speed train to Venice. YOu will really enjoy your trip.
__________________
Teacher Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2016, 06:02 PM   #45
Recycles dryer sheets
fosterscik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 132
We visited Italy this year and drove around Tuscany after leaving Rome. We picked up our car in Orvieto - Hertz has an office there. Orvieto is on the main train line north from Rome. By doing this you avoid having to drive in Rome traffic and get into the southern end of the Tuscany region, And Orvieto is well worth a visit before setting out with your car. We drove to Sienna and used that as a base for our road trips, but there are lots of other potential base towns in the region.

We dropped the car in the center of Florence - I wouldn't do that again City driving is much more challenging.

FYI: I didn't need an international driving licence at the Orvieto Hertz office, my US state licence was fine so I could have saved a few bucks.
__________________
fosterscik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2016, 06:30 PM   #46
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2,849
Been to Italy many times, never more than two weeks though.

Sounds like a great trip, though I also would have recommended several bases. You can do base trips to Pompeii and As far north as Florence out of Rome but those are extremely long days.

I would add about driving that most Italian cities and towns have ZTLs where if you enter the central parts of these towns, your car is photographed and you are sent a big ticket months later. Oh and your car rental company will charge you an administrative fee of €50 for giving your name and address to the city authorities.

I would drive in Tuscany but not out of Rome, Venice and not in the Amalfi Coast.

There are organized and self-directed day trips out of most Italian cities. For instance, you can take coach tours which in many cases are easier than taking public transportation. In Rome I took a day tour on a coach to Hadrians Villa and Villa d'Este, which was a lot easier than taking the train or bus.

In Florence, I took a day trip which first went to Pisa (and it's not just the Tower but the Duomo and Battisero, which rival those in Florence for artistic value) then to San Gimignano and Siena. But Florence also offers a public bus tour on the SITA bus which includes a round trip and an audio commentary for a fraction of the cost of a coach tour or renting a car. But I've also rented a car in Florence and then driven to San Gmignano, Volterra and stayed near one of the ports in the medieval walls. Very difficult to find accommodations available inside. Especially near the Piazza deal Campo (if you're fit, definitely climb the Torre deal Mangia to see the clamshell shaped piazza below.)

From near Siena, you can drive around the Vald'Orcia, visit towns like Pienza, Montalcino and Montepulciano. Then firer east into Umbrian towns like Assisi and Perugia. Tricky thing is again, the ZTLs and finding parking. That is why coach tours can be useful, they drop you off and pick you up though you may have to hike a bit from parking to the center where the attractions are.

If you like hikes, Path of the Gods in the Amalfi Coast is really spectacular. Lake Como also has spectacular hikes, though I've only done the guided one in Bellagio.
__________________
explanade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2016, 03:23 PM   #47
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,103
I would not spend five weeks in one place. Consider five one week stays. We love Italy. Our favourite things include a week at an agritourism outside Siena or perhaps Orvieto and touring using it as a base. South of Ancona on the east coast was also very enjoyable. Perhaps a week in the North-Venice/Milan, Como. Maybe four days in Cinque Terre followed by time in Lucca (where you can easily take a commuter train to Pisa in 30 minutes)

Perhaps a week in the Sorrento/Amalfi area. Also consider a week-10 days in Sicily. We spent three weeks there a few years ago and loved it. Very different from other parts of Italy. A car is a necessity in Sicily.

Rent cars when you are leaving a town. You do not need one in any of the cities. It is very easy to drive in Italy. We have a Europe GPS which helps enormously. Bought it here, it paid for itself first time out. It is 8 years old now, we have not bought any updates, but the roads do not change very much. We will be using it next month in Ireland.
__________________
brett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2016, 03:31 PM   #48
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: E. Wash
Posts: 930
With all the Italian experience on the board, what is the recommendation is terms of getting an Intl Driving Permit. Some sites say it is required in Italy others seem to say the requirement is largely ignored.
We are doing a week in Italy in Oct prior to joining a Viking Cruise in Prague. We plan 3 days in Pienze and Lucca for our home base. We start the trip in Bologna so will spend a couple of days there prior to renting a car for the rest of the trip.
Certainly looking forward to your trip report California Man
__________________
nwsteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2016, 04:05 PM   #49
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 783
I always get an international driving permit. It only lasts a year, but it's not expensive.

However, I've never actually needed to use it. I use my US driver's license and it's never been an issue. But then again, I've never been pulled over or in an accident. I figure for the potential to ruin a day, for $20 it's cheap insurance. I'd hate to run across the official that wasn't happy with only my US license.

And officially, many of the places I visit require an international drivers permit. So it's my fault if I don't have it, even though nobody has asked for it (yet).
__________________
Eat, Drink and Be Merry.
tulak is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2016, 05:50 PM   #50
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 728
WE get the international and was asked to show it when we rented a car.
__________________
Teacher Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2016, 06:18 PM   #51
Full time employment: Posting here.
CaliforniaMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: San Diego
Posts: 799
Quote:
Originally Posted by tulak View Post
I always get an international driving permit. It only lasts a year, but it's not expensive.

However, I've never actually needed to use it. I use my US driver's license and it's never been an issue. But then again, I've never been pulled over or in an accident. I figure for the potential to ruin a day, for $20 it's cheap insurance. I'd hate to run across the official that wasn't happy with only my US license.

And officially, many of the places I visit require an international drivers permit. So it's my fault if I don't have it, even though nobody has asked for it (yet).
I will get an international permit at the Auto Club, they just give some translations of what is on your license, but better to have it than not.

Some time ago I was pulled over for speeding in Turkey (I was not going fast, but I guess over the posted limit). Those flashing red lights in the rear view mirror had me a bit worried, had never been pulled over in a foreign country before.

I pulled over and the officer came up to the window, he said something, I don't really know what it was since I don't speak Turkish, but I gave him my California drivers license. They seemed to be a bit perplexed and curious about what it was, maybe they didn't realize that in the U.S. it is the states that issue licenses. I had my passport with me, in case they asked me, but wanted to see what they would do with the license first.

After a short while he came back to my window and it was clear to me I was going too fast and that I had to pay them a fine. They told me the amount, but not knowing the language (only a few words) or understanding the money (a lot of zeros), I gave them what turned out to be 1/10 of what I owed. They looked at me kind of puzzled, but I guess then realized that I was not trying to be difficult, was just a stupid American tourist.

Luckily I had enough cash with me and paid the fine right then and there, for which they gave me an official looking receipt.

So from now on when I drive a car in a foreign country, I will have an international license, and enough cash.
__________________
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.
CaliforniaMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2016, 06:26 PM   #52
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nemo2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Belleville, ONT
Posts: 2,772
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliforniaMan View Post
They seemed to be a bit perplexed and curious about what it was, maybe they didn't realize that in the U.S. it is the states that issue licenses.
1966....driving in the US with an Australian licence, got pulled over, (with a multitude of other vehicles), in a roadblock, (could've been NY or PA); handed over my State of Victoria permit, only to have two troopers thumb through a large book of US states vainly looking for it.

Further explanations were necessarily forthcoming.
__________________
"Exit, pursued by a bear."

The Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare
Nemo2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2016, 06:27 PM   #53
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,103
Same here in Turkey. Drifted through a red light on a smallish street in Antalya while looking for something. Cop was great. Did not even ask for a license, international lic. Just shrugged, told me to be careful. Lucky.
I have an international license from the auto club and it does not have an expirey date. Never once been asked for it by any rental agency in Europe over what must be 50 plus rentals.
__________________
brett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2016, 12:25 PM   #54
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Chuckanut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: West of the Mississippi
Posts: 5,354
One thing just came to mind, probably to late to do you much good.

Watch out for the toilet surprise. Toilets in Italy can be down right awful. Often there is just the bowl, not even a seat. And they can be hard to find. Usually you must buy a drink, even the cheapest espresso will do, before you can use a toilet in a bar or ristorante. Pay toilets are worth the euro or so that they cost.

My favorite ristorante in Italy actually has clean bathrooms, hot water, soap and even little individual hand towels. The ladies in our group were overwhelmed, almost to the point of tears, when they found that descent restroom.
__________________

__________________
The worst decisions are usually made in times of anger and impatience.
Chuckanut is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Orlando Dec 19 for 2 weeks: Need inputs LuvSouth Travel Information 26 11-19-2010 01:39 PM
Italy vacation advice sunshine Travel Information 25 02-01-2008 05:19 PM
Back from Italy jacambece Other topics 4 05-01-2006 11:28 AM
Pre-packaged tours of Italy Jay_Gatsby Other topics 36 02-04-2006 11:18 AM
Italy - Mamma Mia, It's Like a Whole Other Country Danny Other topics 34 11-16-2005 11:42 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:35 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.