Guest post by Judy Toth
My husband and I love to walk, both for the exercise and because we see so much more). So in each city or town we visited in Italy, we walked everywhere. In Rome we did check out the subway just in case we had inclement weather or got very tired but we never used it.
To get from Rome to Florence and back to Rome, we took the train. Great trip! We went first class so that we had a reserved train as well as a reserved seat. The direct train is fast (1 ½ hours) and pretty economical (even in first class).
After we finished our visit in Florence, we rented a car to drive to Pisa, around Tuscany, and back to Florence to pick up the train back to Rome. In general, it was not difficult to find our way around driving. The most difficult part was making sure that we were on the right road to get in and out of Florence. Street signs are not always readily visible, directional signs are somewhat unclear, and intersections are complex. However, once you are on the highway or in the small towns it is much easier.
If you do decide to rent a car: check the hours of the car rental location (they probably close from 1 to 3 in the afternoon), the hours they tell you are only guidelines not gospel (they may decide to close at 12:30 or not reopen until 4), and you may have to wait a while for a car.
We were very lucky when we picked up our car, but not so lucky when we dropped it off. At that time there was a long line of people waiting for cars because they had “run out” of cars and were waiting for returns. In fact, one man, who had apparently been waiting quite some time, saw that we were returning a car and came up to us and tried to cut a deal to just take our car. We were not going to let THAT happen!