(Closed) Anyone who’s been to Southern Spain/Italy…

posted 8 years ago in Travel
Post # 3
Member
56 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I think the traffic is heavier in Italy than in Spain, there are also more crazy drivers. I know that in Italy there are many sporty things you can, many national parks. I’m sure you can find more info here: http://www.parks.it/Eindex.html

Post # 5
Member
354 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

We rented a car for part of our Italian honeymoon and loved it! We rented the car in Florence, used it drive around Tuscany for several days, then drove to Venice via Bologna and Verona. We found Italian drivers to be more aggressive than the average driver in the US, but we would just get out of their way 🙂 We didn’t have any traffic problems, but we didn’t really drive through any big cities, except for Bologna. Parking can be a bit of a problem – if you’re staying in a city, it’s helpful if your hotel provides some sort of parking option. If they don’t, I’d try to plan out your parking before you start on your trip. Also, get a really detailed map (more detailed than the one the rental car company provides).

Even though your US car insurance most likely covers you for rentals, even in Europe, we opted to get car insurance through the rental car company (based on Rick Steves’ recommendation). It was one of the best decisions we made. Our car ended up getting pretty dinged up in parking lots, and it was great not to have to hassel with trying to pay for the damage through our US car insurance company – it would have been a complete honeymoon downer. The insurance wasn’t cheap, but it was definitely cheaper than what they would have charged us to fix the dings and scratches.

The drive on the smaller roads in Tuscany was gorgeous. We took a major freeway from Tuscany to Venice that wasn’t quite as scenic, but was a lot faster, and still pretty. I think if you went from Milan to the Cinque Terre and along the coast from there to Naples, the drive would be beautiful. We absolutely loved the Cinque Terre. There are great hiking trails between the towns. We also rented ocean kayaks and paddled around for an afternoon there. We didn’t tour any vineyards in Tuscany, although you can. We did lots of wine tasting in a couple of the Tuscan hill towns. We also hiked quite a bit in Tuscany. There are a couple companies that run organized bike tours in Tuscany, but we decided to save that for a different trip – definitely worth checking out though. You guys may be able to get some good beach time in as well. We were there in mid-October, and it was a little too cold to swim, but you’re heading further south than we did and a little closer to summer 🙂

I’ll stop now, since I’m starting to write a novel, but feel free to PM me if you want any more info about our Italian car rental experience.

Post # 7
Member
190 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I did a semester in southern spain and rented a car a couple of times, including a 10 day trip where we drove all over the place. Driving in Spain is absolutely fine. There are modern highways and the drivers all seemed to drive pretty much like they do in the US.

The cars are smaller, but that’s an advantage since parking in cities is much easier with a smaller car.

Post # 9
Member
354 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Automatics are available but are more expensive to rent than standards.

Post # 10
Member
1067 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

oooh good post! I’m going ot Italy and Fiance and I are deciding on this kinda stuff too!

Post # 11
Member
190 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

The drives in Spain were as scenic as we wanted to make them. We were focused more on andalucia/madrid outskirts/portugal, so we didn’t have the choice of coastal views, but overall there was a ton of pretty scenery to see as we drove, even on the highways. The small towns are fun too. You can often see them off the highways  (generally a castle on a hill with white houses surrounding it) and get off the road to explore

If you google “scenic drives in spain” you’ll get a ton of results that might be helpful.

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