Car Rentals in Italy
Renting a car in Italy can be an immensely rewarding experience, but without the proper planning and information, your car rental experience can also be a total nightmare. If you do want to rent a car, it is only advisable to do so in order to facilitate your moving from one city to the next or to experience the fantastic coastlines or countrysides that Italy has to offer. Driving in most Italian cities is not advisable since you will not easily find your way around and even if you do, parking is usually very limited. Furthermore, many cities have restrictions for entering the center of town (Rome for example) and some cities (such as Milan) have periods in which only some cars are allowed to circulate as an attempt to cut down the smog levels. If you do need to rent a car for your trip while in Italy, your best bet is to find a hotel that offers parking, park your car, and leave it until your off to your next city (check parking rates so you don’t get unwanted surprises). This is especially true for Rome and Naples where cars are being driven on roads not exactly intended for modern vehicles. In Naples, there is virtually no sense of lanes or precedence (right of way) and you are not expected to stop at stop signs – a slowing down will usually do (and in Naples, many don’t even stop for red traffic lights and may honk at you if you chose to do so). If you are an adventurous soul and don’t mind the confusion, driving in Italy, and in particular Rome and Naples, it may actually be fun. If you are predominantly sticking to the countryside, you should have very little problems. In fact, it is very common for even the most hesitant driver to rent a car for a ride through Tuscany. Also, although the official speed limit on the Italian “autostrade” is about 80 mph, don’t be surprised if you see cars going considerably over 100. Just make sure to remember that the left lane is the passing lane – don’t cruise in the left lane as you will surely find yourself approached by a fast moving car staying just feet away from your rear bumper and flashing it’s headlights at you. Don’t forget that you pay for the Italian autostrade so be sure to have bills or a credit card handy once you are at the exit toll. It is advisable that you carefully plan your route before embarking on Italian highways as the signage is often mediocre at best and if you miss your turnoff, it may be miles before you can turn around.
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Be sure to remember not to leave anything in the car, not even a bag of trash (how is the thief to know what is inside the bag?), and not even in the trunk. If you must keep your possessions in the car, keep them in the trunk but put them there before you reach your destination. Thieves target foreigners and know that they often keep valuables in the trunk.
Many of the major car rental companies offer rental cars in Italy but, it is better to reserve your car prior to your departure in order to get better rates. You can arrange to pick up your car at a major airport if this is convenient for you which is not a bad idea considering that a taxi ride from the major airports to the city costs about $75. Remember that many rental cars in Italy do not offer manual transmission so if that is an issue for you, ask for a vehicle that does.
If you are looking for transportation from Rome's Leonardo Da Vinci Airport to the city's center, you can't get a better deal than with Limo Service Rome www.limoservicerome.com. They cost less than a taxi and you get an air conditioned, quality vehicle with a licensed driver. They can also provide tours. When you call, ask for Andrea. Mention Cellular Abroad, and he will provide an English-speaking driver at no extra charge!
If you are planning on renting a car in Italy you will probably need accomodations.
Cellular Abroad recommends Ahotelinitaly.com for your online booking needs if you are planning to book, as the name implies, a hotel in Italy. This site offers a lot of great information and quality images on over 1800 hotels throughout Italy at great rates. The site is straightforward to use and offers hotel bookings for all pocket books. If you do rent a car, make sure you find a hotel that offers parking as parking in Italy, especially in the cities, is a luxury. Go to www.ahotelinitaly.com for more information on hotels in Italy.