Tuscany Via rental car


New member
Will be in Florence as a tourist for 3 days, then wish to tour the countryside of Tuscany for 3, then have to fly home :( This will be out of Bologna.

Thought a car is the best method to see. We'd return the car in Florence, then catch a train to Bologna to fly out the next day. A sad day.

Florence the best place to rent? Unfortunately will need an automatic! Will be just two of us.
Is there a rental office at the train station.
Which towns are suggested to see. San Gimignano, Val d'Orcia, and Pisa are suggested.
Preferred town to stay overnight?

Our interests (as I am touring with my 22 yo daughter) are broad ... history, art, food, and wine.

Thank you.


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Ciao Alaska,

I agree, the best way to see the countryside with limited time is to rent your own car so that you can move around freely.

Florence is the best place to rent from, as you've already seen it then makes it easier to return the rental and then catch the train to Bologna.

There are no car agencies right at the train station, but they aren't far - most are located around Borgo Ognissanti which is just a few blocks south of the trains station heading toward the Arno river. You can see a map and more tips here:

In 3 days, I'd suggest staying in a central area in Chianti - anywhere between San Gimignano to Siena.
Here are some I'd suggest:

Depending on when you're coming (season of the year), some of the farmhouses will rent out apartments for less than a week, generally with a stay of 3 days. So if you do come in the low season, you should also look at

I'd suggest then doing Siena and a drive through Chianti on one day,
San Gimignano and the area nearby on another
and Val d'Orcia on another.
Pisa is further away so I'd suggest doing these on your 3 days - but if you really want to go, you could do a half day trip from Florence by train, prior to renting the car ;-). It is an hour train ride there and back, so you can definitely go in the morning, do lunch there and then return to Florence.

Hope you're enjoying planning the trip!


New member
New Years

Much thanks for the advice. Our trip is coming in a couple weeks. We are spending 12/31, 1/1, 1/2 for the Tuscan countryside trip .... interesting place for New Years?

Thank you again for your help ... love the threads ... helps so much.


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Yes, you'll have fun spending New Year's in Tuscany :) Although you'll have to be in a bigger town to see any major fireworks display. Keep in mind many places will be closed Jan. 1 but there will still be plenty to see and do... just expect quiet day, as most sleep in after the eve's celebrations.

Make sure to book your lodging ahead of time - lots of people are out and about on those days and places get sold out quickly.


New member
Thoughts regarding hiring a driver for a day or two, instead of renting a car. We'll be in Florence, and we were going to rent a car their, then head to Siena. Car rental WITH an automatic shift for 3 days is over 500 Euros. Easier to take a train to Siena and hire a driver? Especially if we do wine tasting ... driving may not be the smartest thing :confused:

Where do I find people that may do this?


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
You can definitely hire a car with a driver - unfortunately, I don't know anyone personally to recommend but if you search on Google for "car with driver in Florence" or "Tuscany" there are lots of results.
Many are chauffeurs who will simply take you where you need to go, others improvise themselves as tour guides as well and yet others are actual guides. I am sure many of the valid ones will also be listed/reviewed on other sites.

Another option which might be easier to organize would be to go on specific tours - some are pretty small, you don't have a bus load of people all on the tours, particularly the ones that go visit wineries.
Take a look at the offerings on here: http://www.partner.viator.com/en/8357 (disclaimer: any tours booked through that site give us a small commission, a small way to support our site ;-) )

All of the tours are offered through local companies and I've heard good things about them.
I think it would be a valid alternative to do the wine tastings.

As for Siena, you can also reach it easily with a bus from Florence's SMN station - the SITA/Bus Italia buses get there faster than trains and get you closer to the center so less of a hike to get into the center. I'd recommend you stay in Siena if you want to tour the area to the south, and take tours that start from Siena to make the drive shorter ;-). You can take a look at places within the city here: