in Italy.. Should we use public transportation instead of driving?

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Post by Guest »

Have any of you driven in Italy and if you have any recommendations on how, if it was hard, easy, any tips. Trying to decide if it is better to drive or take public transportation for my trip in October

Post by Kayla »

I rented a car at the airport in Venice and drove out to the Dolomites and spent 5 days driving in the mountains. It was easy. As long as you are 100% comfortable driving a stick shift, you’ll be fine.

Wouldn’t recommend getting a car if you will mainly be in cities, as the parking seemed atrocious, the streets are very narrow, and there’s a whole bunch of driving rules in the cities that are confusing and can result in you getting a hefty fine.

After spending time in the mountains, I took trains and other public transport to get around.

Post by Jenni »

I have had rental cars the last two summers in Italy and will from now on! I was very anxious at first but now love it! Outside of medium/large cities, driving is a breeze. I find drivers much more conscientious than drivers in the US. Having a car has opened up the country! I am now able to explore and see so much more than I would have ever been able to relying just on public transportation.

I always get full coverage insurance for peace of mind. And, always ask for the smallest automatic car they have. I can’t drive manual 🙈🤪 and prefer small so that I can more easily fit in some of the narrow passageways of medieval towns.

Post by Heidi »

Scary AF. My husband was fearless on the road to Amalfi, I spent a portion of it with my eyes closed especially the part where he went down the hill passed all the parked cars only to find out there weren’t parked but were stopped letting a bus pass and we had to back up out of the way. Their roads are narrow and scary. He’s been 20 times so he wasn’t bothered at all, I was looking at the map for the nearest hospital in case I had a heart attack!

Post by Lane »

We rented and drove on one of our many trips to Italy and I definitely do not suggest it (especially if you aren’t a seasoned driver who has driven in more complicated areas). Even in Tuscany driving into the cities/towns/villages can be complicated. They have a 100 ways you can get tickets (and they aren’t cheap tickets either): speeding, parking in wrong places, driving into the wrong part of town, etc. We drove into Montepulciano and ended up with a parking ticket (even though our Airbnb owner told us to park in that exact spot), we got into a spot where it look us nearly 20 minutes to turn around because of the traffic and limited space, and it took forever trying to get out of the city as well with many VERY tight spaces. Basically, if you can use public transport I suggest that. Driving in Italy is for someone that is well prepared and looking for a challenge. It’s doable, but I wouldn’t consider it relaxing.

Post by Pam »

Joyce gave very good advice. Driving in the city can be tricky and there is little parking. In most cities, you cannot even drive in the historic districts without a special permit, usually for residents or Delivery people, so you will have to park outside the city and walk or use public transportation. The roads are much narrower in many places and can be unnerving for Americans who are used to wide lanes and shoulders.

Post by Alex »

It highly depends on where...and how skilled driver you are. First of all only (mostly) stick shift, in some areas like mountains and hills roads can be narrow and windy. Big cities are pretty hard to go around with traffic.

Ps I'm italian

Post by Rebecca »

Italy is fairly large and has diverse infrastructure. To provide an accurate answer, I believe you need to be more specific in your question. For example, driving across Tuscany is relatively simple and really the only way to see the beauty of the countryside. Driving in Florence, is ok, but you must be very careful not to drive-in the restricted zone. Driving along the Amalfi coast is hair-raising and distracts you from the lovely views. Telling us where you're going will allow us to provide more specific help.

Post by Joyce »

It is not difficult to drive in Italy. I have done it many times. I have also completely relied on public transit, primarily trains and buses, which can be very enjoyable. Trains in Italy (and there are many speed/rapid trains) can be very relaxing, allows you to be with locals, see beautiful scenery, and are an enjoyable mode. Don't get a car if you are spending time in big cities or Amalfi Coast - its a hassle and you'll get more out walking and transit. If you are out in the country or up north in the Dolomites village hopping, a day or 2 with a car can be helpful. Overall, I'd recommend no car and enjoy the ease of transit unlike what we have in the US.

Post by Jared »

I drove from Palermo to Napoli (and many destinations in between). I would say driving in Southern Italy is not an experience for everyone... but it did allow us to stay and eat at farms in the countryside instead of hotels in the city! This was amazing.

Driving in Italy requires your complete attention. On the plus side Italians are attentive and we never saw a wreck the entire time we were there... in an ironic way that makes me feel safer than in the US where everyone is looking down at their phone while speeding up towards a red light.
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