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Guided Tours Vs. Luxury Travel Vacation Packages

So, you have decided to book a luxury vacation. It is time to call your travel agent. The first question most travel agents will ask you is “Are you interested in a cruise, a tour, or a travel package?” You know that cruises are not for you, but what about a tour? And what exactly is the difference between a tour and a travel package anyways? With different definitions and inclusions, it is important for any traveler to be informed enough to make the best decision for their unique needs.


When you are considering booking a tour for your luxury travel vacation, keep in mind that “tour” implies several things. First of all, a tour is usually guided, and consists of a group of other tourists. A vacation package is usually considered a combination of flights, transfers, hotels and car rentals. If you so desire, you may add on minor excursions that are usually with a group or guided.


A tour is usually a really good deal. You get to stay in the nicer hotels of the areas, and in most situations, it is usually more than one hotel. All your transportation is included, such as to and from the airport and transportation to all the local sites and tours. All the attraction tickets are calculated into the price, so you will not have to pay entry fees to art museums or shows. There are additional tours and excursions that can be purchased, but usually at a reasonable price. Most tour packages will also include some meals. With your luxury travel vacation package, all that is included is the cost, fees and taxes of your air, hotel and car rental. Sometimes there are special availability of free breakfasts of a city tour, but this is not the norm.

Destination Studies and Personal Preference

So when does it benefit you to book a tour verses a vacation package? That really depends on the destination and your personal preferences. If you are planning to vacation in a place like Rome or Paris, there is so much to see and do that travelers are better off being escorted to the sites and having most of the entry fees included in your price. But if you wish to visit these cities to simply bask in the incredible ambience, and you don’t have an interest in touring the “big attractions”, then a luxury travel vacation package is for you. You would not want a guided tour of Jamaica or Hawaii. Chances are you just want to bask in the sun and relax. Consider where you are going and what you want to do on your vacation. For more information on luxury travel vacations visit http://www.amtvacations.com.

Now that you know the facts, the time has come to make a decision. Looking at the definitions, a tour and a luxury travel vacation package each offer something different. They are each priced a bit differently, and have different inclusions. So it comes down to you and where you are going. Chances are your travel agent can steer towards the best choice for your travel needs, but now you know why and you can make the decision for yourself.

The Pantheon in Rome – Intelligent Architecture

There are few buildings in the world today that have survived the ravages of time so well as the Pantheon in Rome. This is mainly due to superior engineering. The Pantheon has often been copied, sometimes equaled but never surpassed, it had more architectural innovations than most modern buildings. This makes the Pantheon really extraordinary since it was built around 125 AD under the aegis of the emperor Hadrian.

Superior engineering

The plan is simple enough: a circular enclosure aside a rectangular entrance. The entrance sports a classic Greek portico of granite columns topped by a triangular pediment. There are three ranks of the 39 ft Corinthian supports, eight in front and two sets of four further in leading to the main rotunda. A rectangular section joins the portico to the rotunda.

Even though this design seems very simple there are a lot of signs of superior engineering. A few examples may be;

* The giant concrete dome topping the cylinder forming the major component was so well designed and built that no similar type would stand up under its own weight.

* The dome is 142 feet in diameter, while the oculus at the peak is over 25 feet of that total. It stands as a result of its unusual composition, outstanding engineering and brilliant construction.

* The oculus in the center – the opening through the top. It decreases the overall weight and serves as a ring that distributes stress around its circumference. Imagine, by analogy, how difficult it is to crush a bicycle wheel. It also serves to admit light to the interior. And rain, too it must be said, though the floor is an early example of slanting the floor toward drains.

* The dome’s tapering steps provide yet more evidence of the mastery of craft displayed by the dome’s designer. It’s 20 feet thick at the base, 7.5 at the oculus and composed of heavier material at the bottom, lighter as it rises. That doesn’t seem so remarkable until one considers that many architects a thousand years later ignored this simple idea.

This is just a few examples of great architecture and engineering, there are many more.

The Pantheon was built without modern machines or tools

It is remarkable that The Pantheon even today, nearly two thousand years after it was constructed, is as stable as when it was first built. It is almost beyond understanding that the Romans could build this structure without the benefit of modern machines or tools. Nor did the Pantheon engineers have the advantage of modern transportation methods. All the materials were floated down the Tiber and moved to the site by man and animal on carts of the period.

Almost no restoration

Though its enormous bronze doors have been restored many times, no major structural work has ever had to be undertaken. This is all the more remarkable given the marshy land on which the structure is built.

By contrast, observe there have been several decades-long projects to preserve the Leaning Tower of Pisa, owing in part to the soft ground in parts of the site. The Parthenon in Greece, though a great building, was a virtual ruin 2,000 years after its birth.

The Pantheon in Rome was first converted to a church during the 8th century and continues to serve that purpose today. In fact, the building has been in continuous use since first being built.

The Pantheon in Rome has been copied several times, two notable examples are;

* The British Museum Reading Room

* The Thomas Jefferson Rotunda at the University of Virginia in USA

When visiting Rome be sure to spend some time with this extraordinary building. Presumably you will not be in Rome to often and you can simply not loose this oppertunity to see some great architecture.

Car Hire or Shared Ride? Which is Better?

A question I hear quite a lot is whether a shared ride shuttle is better than a hire car. The answer of course is that this is the wrong question – both have their place, and their own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take an example country: Italy. Airport transfers or hire cars are both freely available, but which is more suitable? Let’s look at some comparisons – for convenience, I’ll be assuming your flight touches down in Rome, though Italy actually has many airports to choose from.


In terms of price, it’s no contest and the shared ride inevitably wins hands down. Rome airport shuttles are far cheaper than hiring a car, because you’re only paying for one or two journeys, and there’s no need to purchase petrol yourself. On the other hand, if you’re planning on doing a lot of driving, then the hire car works out quite cheaply – certainly more cost-effective than getting taxis, buses or trains everywhere! Overall though, if you’re looking to save money, then a hire care most certainly isn’t for you. Rome airport shuttles will take you to most of the major Italian destinations in the most cost-effective way possible.


Effort depends on the person to a degree. If you’re the kind of person who finds driving relaxing, then you may find an Italy airport transfer a little frustrating! On the other hand, I know plenty of people who will find the idiosyncrasies of driving in a foreign country anything but a relaxing process, and certainly not what they’d call a holiday! From the process of getting used to a temporary car’s feel, handling and foreign design to the confusion of dealing with another country’s Highway Code (and driving on the other side of the road!), and struggling to read the map, it certainly can be a lot to take in. With a Rome airport shuttle, you’re guaranteed a smooth ride from a professional who is used to the country, the vehicle and the map!


This one is actually quite close, and hard to call. On one hand, with an Italy airport transfer, you will need to hang around until the allotted departure time, and the set route means you may need to make a number of stops if you’re the last hotel on the list. On the other hand, getting your hire car from the airport – especially if you haven’t booked – isn’t always a quick process either, and there may be a lot of documents and waiting before you’re ready to drive off in your temporary set of wheels. There’s also the issue of directions here – while a shared ride’s driver will know the routes to the hotel like the back of their hands, the same cannot be said for tourists visiting a country for the first time! And trying to listen to directions in a foreign language isn’t something I’d wish on anyone!


All this is minor compared to the convenience of the whole thing – that’s what holiday transportation is all about when it comes down to it. If you’re planning to explore all over Italy – and especially the remote Italian countryside where public transport is hard to come by – then the chances are that you’ll need a hired car of some description. On the other hand if you’re planning a city break in Rome, airport shuttles provide the one bit of transport you need. Who really wants to be driving all the time when they’re just exploring one city?

Rome – All Year Round – and Much Cheaper With a New Pass

Not only within the city but also the seaside is wonderful. To travel without problems the Municipal Authorities of Rome and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, in conjunction with ATAC, have launched the Roma Pass. This new plan expects to make it possible to use the Roma-Pass card for means of public transportation that leads from the capital to the sea and supplementary services at seaside establishments. Roma Pass is the capital’s first cultural tourist card offering discounts and services to encourage visits to the city museums: it will allow tourists and other visitors to enjoy the sights of Rome.

The pass costs € 20 only and entitles holders to: free admission to the first two museums and/or archaeological sites visited, full access to the public transportation system, reduced tickets and discounts for any other museum and site visited, as well as exhibitions, music events, theatrical and dance performances and all other tourist services.

Roma Pass comes with a kit that includes:

* Roma Pass Transport: your public transport ticket;

* Roma MAP: a map of the city illustrating the location of tourist information points, underground stations, museums/sites of interest (addresses, phone numbers, buses and underground stations, timetables);

* Roma Pass Guide: the complete list of museums/sites of interest that have joined the initiative;

* Roma News: the programme of events and tourist services that are eligible for discounts divided by area of interest: art, music, theatre, dance, entertainment and sightseeing tours.

For the best accommodation information in the city of Rome check www.dde-europe.com

Holiday Freedom – Car Hire

When booking a holiday it’s easy to overlook the requirements needed to travel around once you arrive at your destination. Most package holidays now include a transfer by coach from the airport to the hotel, which means that it may not seem necessary to hire a car. However without access to a car tourists are restricted to public transport and places reachable on foot. Therefore hiring a car gives a greater freedom to visit more obscure places of interest.

Wherever you’re visiting there’s always something extra to see when you rent a car, here are some of the great sights from a variety of popular holiday hotspots.

Malaga, Spain – if you’re staying in the Costa Del Sol’s town of Malaga it’s worth making the short drive to the nearby castle known as Gibralfaro Castle. The name comes from the Moorish Jebel which translates as the hill and Faro meaning lighthouse. The road leading to the castle is long and winding, a difficult walk but easy to undertake in a car. Once you reach the top the caste offers some fantastic views over Malaga and the gardens are a great place to sit and relax.

Majorca, Spain – for those with access to a car there are many great places to visit on the island of Majorca including the Cathedral at Palma. From the outside the building looks fantastic as it sits by the seafront. The Cathedral is a traditional Gothic structure with sandstone walls, and is home to the famous Portal del Miradon, a 15th-century door by Guillem Sagrera featuring scenes from the Last Supper.

It is also worth visiting the Castell De Bellver a uniquely presented 14th Century Royal Fortress with an interesting museum and great views over Palma Bay.

Berlin, Germany – for visitors to the German capital there are plenty of fantastic places to visit, the Brandenburg Gate is arguably the city’s most famous landmark, standing as Berlin’s answer to the Eiffel Tower. Over 200-years-old, it’s managed to play a role in much of the city’s history, making it an essential place to visit for fans of local culture.

Rome, Italy – anyone staying within the region around Rome would be foolish to miss out on a visit to the Colosseum. The arena was built as a stadium to hold fifty thousand spectators who would watch anxiously as gladiators battled with animals. From the outside the Colosseum is a fantastic sight and inside there is even more to see as the original cells that were used to hold animals, criminals and gladiators are still in place and can be viewed by the public.

Lison, Portugal – Lisbon offers many popular tourist attractions including the Castle of St George. The castle was built during the 5th Century and offers fabulous views from its perch at the top of the city’s highest hill. Within the grounds of the castle there is a small restaurant that offers a good choice of food within a relaxing atmosphere.

These are just some of the places that you can visit with access to a car whilst you are on holiday. A simple search on the internet will give you some more ideas of tourist attractions. So next time you are away don’t just stick to the resort in which you are visiting – hire a car and visit the more obscure locations.

Ditch Drab December and Say ‘felice Anno Nuovo’ to Rome

Do you spend the so-called ‘holiday season’ cooking for masses of relatives, mediating arguments between them, tidying up after them, or just generally counting down the days until you can get out of the house? A good solution if you’re looking at a stressful, boring time is simply to leave the country – going away for New Year’s celebrations can immensely cheer up the bleak midwinter and help you start the year happy, relaxed and positive.

You can be sure of a warm welcome in Italy’s Eternal City, Rome, where the weather remains sunny and mild throughout the winter and there’s plenty to see and do for everybody. Rome in winter is perfect for couples (that’s where ‘romance’ comes from, after all) and families alike, and for anybody looking for a good party!

In terms of getting a feel for Roman life and culture, it’s actually better to visit in winter than summer. During August, Italy closes down as locals go on holiday, many restaurants, bars and clubs shut up shop, and tourists overrun the most popular destinations. It’s also uncomfortably hot, and there’s no football! In the winter you’re likely to meet more real Romans, there are fewer tourists and hence fewer tourist-traps, and you can enjoy the good life at a leisurely pace.

The New Year is celebrated in traditionally exuberant, Italian style here, with massive fireworks displays, street parties and outdoor concerts in the Piazza del Popolo and elsewhere. Local traditions include wearing red underwear on the 31st December to bring good luck in the coming year, and throwing something old or unwanted out of the window at midnight – so you might want to keep an eye out overhead! On New Year’s Day, if you’re awake in time, there’s a huge musical parade ending in St. Peter’s Square. Bands, performers and acrobats will be on hand to entertain children while their parents may wish to recuperate with a good coffee.

Of course there’s much more to see and do around Rome if you have a few days. Its breathtaking architecture, art and historical sites are second to none and when you’ve had your fill of culture it’s also brilliant for shopping, food and drink. Head to the Trastevere neighbourhood for charming caffès, authentic trattorie and bars, or browse the street markets in Campo de’ Fiori and Navona. At this time of year they’ll be filled with delicious traditional Christmas treats as well as the usual fresh, homegrown organic produce.

One thing you will need is a good place to sleep off any excess, and the city is well-appointed with several luxury hotels in central Rome as well as more modest establishments for those on a tighter budget. From there you can wander around and explore the diverse, historic districts all day, then come back to relax in sumptuous surroundings with a heated swimming pool or spa, perhaps a cocktail or two… la dolce vita indeed.

Tiber River Cruise: A New Way To Visit Rome From Its River

Since the end of the jubilee of Rome held in they year 2000, the majority of Rome, in cooperation with the Coast guard of Fiumicino, agreed that the river of Rome, the Tiber deserves more attention for its historical importance.

In fact since that year it has been inaugurated to the boat entrepeneurs the competition to apply for licenses and permissions to perform cruises on different parts of the tiber.

As many people do not know yet, not all the Tiber river is navigable, for the presence of marble steps, remains of old roman bridges and other hidden treasures like lead anchors.

It’s so weird to see how Rome is no more noisy when you go down the travertine steps to join a cruise tour. In fact the white marble walls to protect the city of Rome against the floods from the Tiber river were built during the period of the unification of Italy at the end of the 19th century. These shields are long 6 miles and provide in assuring the security of the city against bad weather and insisting rain.

That Rome was indebted, if not for its origin, at any rate for its importance, to these commercial and strategical advantages of its position, there are accordingly numerous further indications, which are of very different weight from the statements of quasi-historical romances. Thence arose its very ancient relations with Caere, which was to Etruria what Rome was to Latium, and accordingly became Rome’s most intimate neighbour and commercial ally. Thence arose the unusual importance of the bridge over the Tiber, and of bridge-building generally in the Roman commonwealth. In this sense, then, certainly Rome may have been, as the legend assumes, a creation rather than a growth, and the youngest rather than the oldest among the Latin cities.

The tiber is also the third biggest river of Italy after the Po and the Adige that flows in the romantic city of Verona.

The river of Rome has also a very important island, the Tiber Island ( isola Tiberina ) that has the shape of a boat because it remembers the transportation by boat of the sacred animal ( a snake ) and of the worship of the god of the healing Aesculapius from Greece in the IV century BC. The scholars says that this animal jumped off the boat and settled in the Island as signal for the Romans of the place where they had to built the sanctuary dedicated to the god of the healing.

Today this famous Island is connected to Rome with two roman bridges of the II century BC which allow pedestrians to cross very easily the side of the jewish synagogue with Trastevere.

Cruising the tiver river today means to visit three parts of Rome:

1- from Ponte Marconi to Ancient Ostia, famous roman colony and strategic salt harbor for the roman ships arriving from the mediterranean sea;

2- From Ponte Risorgimento until the Tiberina Island with the possibility to see also the bridge wanted by the same pope who built the sistine chapel, sistus IV

3- From ponte Umberto cruising to the northern districts of Rome, with the possibility to admire a wonderful panorama of the dome of saint peter’s basilica designed by Michelangelo in the renaissance period.

Your Holiday in Italy:venice, Rome, Turin


Venezia, La Serenissima, Queen of the Adriatic, the Most Serene Republic of Venice is the city of canals, churches and palaces that captures the hearts and minds of all who visit. Venice is home to wonderful tourist destinations famous the world over – St Mark’s Square, Rialto Bridge, the Bridge of Sighs – but the true joy of Venice is found just wandering around and finding architectural and artistic wonders around every corner.

Transport:getting there and getting away

Venice is served by two airport, Marco Polo and Trevino. Transport into the city is by bus or from the latter by water bus.

Trains terminate and depart from Santa Lucia train station on the west side of Venice. The station fronts the Grand Canal where water buses (vaporetti) or water taxis are available.

Cars and coaches arrive on the far western edge of Venice at Piazzale Roma. There are no roads in Venice so from here on it’s by boat or on foot. Venice is the World’s only truly pedestrian city and walking is a serendipitous adventure of discovering vistas in the magnificent urban landscape.

Ships arrive at the Stazione Marittima.

Water buses are best for longer trips and for visiting the islands. There are also the more expensive water taxis. Gondolas are really just for short romantic hops and having your photograph taken.


Summer is hot in Venice. Temperatures average 27°C but high humidity results in a close, uncomfortable atmosphere. Sometimes, hot sirocco winds sweep in from the south. January and February are the coldest months with temperatures ranging from 0-7 C. Snow is rare owing to the city’s lagoon location. Spring is fresh and clear though rainfall can be heavy. Mists are common in late autumn.

Accommodation:from cheap stays to luxury resorts

Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of Venice hotels

Events:what’s on and what’s hot

Venice has the character of a stage set so its many festivals are spectacular.

* The first event of the year is the Regata delle Befana held on 6 January.

* The next month sees the major event in the Venetian calendar namely Carnevale,

which is a masked and costumed extravaganza.

* May sees the Festa della Sensa (Feast of the Ascension) which celebrates the Sposalizio del Mar (Wedding with the Sea).

* The arts fest is held every odd-numbered year in June in the Giardini Pubblici.

* Festa del Redentore in July features a regatta and fireworks festival.

* The Venice International Film Festival is held from late August into September


Turin has been called the European capital of Baroque due to the style of many of its palaces and churches. In many ways Turin differs from the typical Italian city. It exudes a strong French influence with its broad boulevards with white buildings. With the Po River flowing through the city, and the Italian Alps standing in the distance, it’s a place of great charm.

Transport:getting there and getting away

By plane

Caselle Airport lies north of the city and is connected to the city by bus and taxi. Turin is also easily reached from Malpensa airport.

Turin has two main railway stations, Porta Nuova and Porta Susa. The former is for long and mid-range trips the latter mainly for local trains.

Turin has an efficient public transport system of buses and trams and an underground line was opened for the 2006 Winter Olympics.

The City of Turin has recently established a network of bicycle paths throughout the city.


Turin is gloomy with rain and fog in the winter temperatures tending to remain single digit. The summer months between May and September are milder though rain is still common.

Accommodation:from cheap stays to luxury resorts

Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of Turin hotels

Events:what’s on and what’s hot

* April sees the Festival Internazionale di Film con Tematiche Omosessuali is a five-day international gay and lesbian film festival.

*Cioccolatò in early March is a two-week celebration of cocoa. Turin see cocoa tastings, sculpture competitions and stalls around the city centre.

*Salone Internazionale del Gusto is a five-day festival of food and wine held biannually. The event is international in flavour with traditional producers from around the world showcasing and selling their wares in a giant street market.


Steeped in history and rich with monuments famous the world over – the Vatican, the Colosseum – Rome stands as a captivating symbol of history and culture.

Transport:getting there and getting away

Leonardo da Vinci (Fiumicino) airport is 16 miles southwest of the city with the Stazione Termini direct train running hourly into the city. The main bus station is located outside the Stazione Termini. Buses run from 6:00 a.m to midnight with some all-night services. The Rome Metro service has two lines, both of which go through Termini. It runs from 5:30 a.m to 11.30 p.m. and 0:30 on Saturdays.


The climate is mild with sunny skies and pleasant temperatures. However July and August can be oppressively hot, November is often rainy, and December to February can be chill.

Accommodation:from cheap stays to luxury resorts

Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of hotels in Rome.

Events:what’s on and what’s hot

*Holy Week (Easter) is time when Catholics from all over the world arrive on pilgrimages to visit the city’s churches and to hear the Pope at the Vatican. On Good Friday a procession of the Cross goes from the Colosseum to Capitoline Hill.

*The Estate Romana (Roman Summer), is at the heart of Roman social life from June to September. It’s a time when the city reverberates to free concerts, street theatre and outdoor cinema.

*In September museums, galleries and shops stay open all night from 20:00-08:00 on the occasion called Notte Bianca (white night). It’s also a time of free concerts and other happenings all over the city.

Vacation Rentals in Tuscany and Umbria

Visiting the Tuscany and Umbria border Region

South eastern Tuscany meets its smaller neighbour Umbria, on Umbria’s north eastern border. The border area of Tuscany and Umbria in Italy is a wonderful place to stay as the visitor is able to visit the many cities and towns of the two regions while staying in one of the most picturesque areas the world has to offer and enjoying one of its greatest cuisines. The area is largely rural, the main crops are sunflowers, maize, olives, vines and tobacco which is being phased out. Modernity has been slow to reach this area and the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, many visitors feel as if they had stepped back in time 30 or 40 years. Staying in this area you are within 90% of UNESCOs world art treasures: Rome and Florence are within two hours drive and one must not forget the important art works of nearer towns such as Arezzo, Siena, Perugia and Assisi. Apart from their art treasures these towns are places everyone enjoys visiting. All have their own architectural delights and meandering lanes and interesting shops and restaurants. Also worth visiting are the Tuscan towns of ; Cortona and Sansepolcro and the Umbrian towns of Gubbio,Citta di Castello, Todi and Orvieto. Lovers of ceramics will also want to visit Deruta which produces some of the finest majolica.

Wine lovers are also in for a treat as many great wines are found in this area. Although Chianti is not strictly on the Tuscany Umbria border it is only a short drive. The brunellos of Montalcino and Vino Nobile of Montepulciano are found in this area.

There is a wide choice of accommodation available for those wishing to come to this area of Italy. “Agriturismi” offering either self-catering apartments or B&B type accommodation have sprung up everywhere. A popular choice for the visitor to this area of Tuscany and Umbria is to rent a self-catering villa, farmhouse or apartment through a rental agency. With a rental agency one can be sure that the house or apartment has been properly scrutinised and is priced fairly to reflect its quality, situation and accessibility. Farmhouses, villas and apartments with or without swimming pools are all available. If one wishes to stay in a country property in this area car hire is almost essential. Public transport in the rural areas of Tuscany and Umbria although reliable, is sparse. Most villages have a bus service once a day, relying upon this creates a lack of flexibility. Many of the farmhouses and villas for holiday rental are on hillsides a good walk from a main road. Often vacation rental houses in Tuscany and Umbria are reached along gravel roads or “strade bianche” . City inhabitants are often alarmed at these gravel roads but after the initial drive along them the nerves are soon overcome.
Please visit www.tuscanyumbria.com to find a rental property for your holiday in the Tuscany or Umbria regions of Italy.

Driving experiences while vacationing in Italy

There are agencies at every international airport, but it is best to arrange the rental with your travel agent at home. Some of the Italian rental agencies are affiliated with American agencies that you may be familiar with like Hertz, Budget, Thrifty, etc… The prices are similar to rentals in big cities in America. Make sure that the price quoted is ‘turnkey’. That Value Added Tax may come as a big surprise. Also, the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), that is optional in America where you have insurance, may not be optional in Italy. For those who intend to begin and end in different cities, there are drop-off charges Typically, there are no drop-off charges if you drop off your car at different offices in the same city, for example picking the car up at the airport and dropping it off in the center of the city. This is useful if you intend to end your trip with a few days in Rome. Finally, Europeans usually drive cars with manual transmissions, and you will pay a premium price for the few automatics they keep for Americans.

The cost difference between car and train narrows as you decrease the size of the car, and increase the number of days driven and the number of people in the car. The cross-over point where the car can be cheaper than Italrail and Eurorail is approximately a manual subcompact, with two people for two weeks. A larger car, only one person for just a few days can be pricey.

I can hear you saying, ‘Gasolio is so expensive over there.’ There are two problems with this statement:

The most severe problem with this statement is that ‘gasolio’ is what we refer to as diesel fuel. You will have a large problem if you pick the wrong fuel. You should use ‘benzina’.

You need to think of the cost between sites and the availability of sites without a car. Good price check would for gasoline between Rome and Florence along the Via Cassia: $4.40/gal (approx. 1850 lira/liter at 1600 lira/$) with a car that can go 30 mi./gal for 250 mi. Cost about $37.

If you intend on travelling on the Autostrade, you will have to pay toll. You can find the entrance and exit points as well as the cost from the Autostrade. It takes a little practice to get it right (e.g. “Sel.” means “Select”), but as with most web pages, you can probably stumble through it more easily than you can read its instruction page.

Leaving after your morning cappuccino and pastry, you can arrive in Florence in time for dinner while leisurely enjoying any of the three of the following