The idea of hiring a car in Italy and driving through the stunning countryside, dropping into a few wineries along the way, visiting cities such as Venice, Florence and Rome in a car… sounds idyllic right?
The reality however is that most Italian wines are produced by small, family-run wineries who do not have open cellar doors and getting from one Italian city to the next is way faster on the high-speed trains.
Equipped with Wi-Fi and on-board restaurants, it is also much more relaxing to sit back and take in the scenery. By the time you pay for fuel and all the tolls, let alone any car hire, it is not even much more expensive!
As to driving into cities like Venice, Florence and Rome… that is ill-advised. It is much more time-efficient and relaxing to use the public transport system.
Venice is actually closed to all cars. The only way to get around is on foot or by boat. Even public transport is by water.
Whist it is physically possible to drive into Florence, the city has recently closed off entry to all non-authorised vehicles. If you enter a restricted area without a permit, there are cameras which will photograph your license plate and send a fine to your home. Not exactly the kind of holiday happy-snap you’re after!
Driving in Rome is not for the faint of heart at the best of times. But recent changes have meant that more and more of Rome’s must-see sites are pedestrian only.
the area between Piazza Venezia and the Colosseum cannot be accessed by car, and now the area from Piazza di Spagna to Piazza del Popolo is set to become a no-drive zone as well. This entire area is set to be revamped with new paving, new traffic regulation and a restructuring of accesses for taxis and other public transport.
This is just another reason why the best way to visit the sites in Italy is on foot!
Planning a visit to Italy? See: How to Get Around in Italy.