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Old 03-29-2007, 02:32 PM
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We are sailing on the Emerald Princess June 10, 07 with a stop in Civitavecchia. Since we are spending several days precruise in Rome we are not planning to return on that port day. Does anyone have any suggestions of what we could see or do that day? Should we rent a car and see the countryside? Any recommendations? Thanks.
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Old 03-29-2007, 05:29 PM
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Renting a car is not a bad idea. I'd head south on the Via Aurelia as it follows very close to the coastline. As I recall there are several charming little towns along the way.

If you get as far south as Fiumicino, just slightly east (maybe 15 kilos, is Austia Antica - ruins, etc.)

Watch Via Aurelia (it was - probably still is - two lanes). Nonetheless, I've seenthree to four little Fiats running side-by-side.
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Old 03-29-2007, 07:44 PM
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I was looking up something pertaining to our post-cruise trip to Florence and got to thinking about your situation. What would I do? (I lived in Italy 3 years in Tirrenia, between Pisa and Livorno.)

(1) Go to Pisa if I had not been there. 2 1/2 hours from Civitavecchia by train.

(2) Better yet, Elba (Napolean's exile island). South of Livorno but still about 2 1/2 hours from Civitavecchia. (you have to change trains to get to Piombino. There you take a hydrafoil to Portoferrario (Elba), about 30 minutes if I remember correctly. Charming seaside port town. You'll see more luxury yachts than you can imagine. Lots to see. Napolean's estate is a short cab ride from the port.

You could also drive there. There is a car ferry at Piombino. Driving Elba is not for the faint of heart. My wife and I have driven the entire island several times.

Now I'm thinking, can we work this into our 4 day post cruise? We loved that island.

Go to Google maps and search for Piombino or Portoferro.
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Old 03-31-2007, 10:27 AM
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Thanks for all your Great input. We have some things to research now! We are also thinking about renting a car in Marseille and driving Provence for the day we are ported there. Is this something you are familiar with?

We have sailed the Legend two times. We loved the ship and crew. Have a great trip!

Quote:
Originally posted by ftroute:
I was looking up something pertaining to our post-cruise trip to Florence and got to thinking about your situation. What would I do? (I lived in Italy 3 years in Tirrenia, between Pisa and Livorno.)

(1) Go to Pisa if I had not been there. 2 1/2 hours from Civitavecchia by train.

(2) Better yet, Elba (Napolean's exile island). South of Livorno but still about 2 1/2 hours from Civitavecchia. (you have to change trains to get to Piombino. There you take a hydrafoil to Portoferrario (Elba), about 30 minutes if I remember correctly. Charming seaside port town. You'll see more luxury yachts than you can imagine. Lots to see. Napolean's estate is a short cab ride from the port.

You could also drive there. There is a car ferry at Piombino. Driving Elba is not for the faint of heart. My wife and I have driven the entire island several times.

Now I'm thinking, can we work this into our 4 day post cruise? We loved that island.

Go to Google maps and search for Piombino or Portoferro.
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Old 03-31-2007, 04:26 PM
 
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I certainly would not want to disagree with someone who has lived in Italy. After all, I have only been a tourist who has spent many months driving through the country,, but has yet to find a good deal on a rental property. However, I would have to respectfully disagree with the recommendation to drive all the way to Pisa from Civitavecchia. Why? Its just too far for a port day..and is better suited for a port call at Livorno (only 15 -20 min from Pisa). So, what to do in "Civ." I agree with the idea of renting a car (we have done this many times in "Civ" and trying to see some of the region. Some might suggest you go Tarquina and that area to see the Etruscan ruins..but we found those to be somewhat boring and overrated. You might want to consider just driving in the direction of Viterbo, and than North to Orvieto. You could stay on the minor roads and explore some of the very small villages along the way. Another option is to drive yourselves over to the East of Rome and visit Tivoli. In that area you have Hadrians Villa (Villa Adriania) and the so-called Tivoli gardens (Ville d'Este) and there is also some nice hiking areas within the town. We once made a mistake of spending 2 nights in Tivoli (not worth that much time) but its perfect for a day trip. Through many years of trial and error we have learned to limit our driving distince to about 1 1/2 hours from a port (and this is the maximum) when you only have a single day. The trick is to drive to your furthest point early in the day, and than gradually work yourselves back towards the port during the remainder of your trip. This helps decrese the concern/panic of missing the ship and makes it much easier to gauge how long you need to return to the port. We usually rent from Europcar in "Civ" which is a bit of a hike from the port entrance (there is a free bus shuttle from the ship to the port entrance). If you can find a taxi on the pier willing to take you to the rental car dealers (not always possible) its probably worth the Euros just to save the time and hassle. I might add that 5 hours (round trip) to see Pisa causes me some heartburn. Personally, we tend to avoid Pisa when its only 20 minutes from our location. Other than the tower (and surrounding square) we have never found the charm of this place.

Hank
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Old 03-31-2007, 07:20 PM
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Thanks Hank - that sounds like a really nice day. And thanks for the advice about planning the timing of our route - well noted.

We do port in Livorno as well and are taking the train to Florence. We have Pisa on the list that day if we leave Florence early enough to stop - but from everything we have heard about Florence some how I doubt this will happen! This is our first Med. trip and we are really looking forward to our visit. thanks for your help.
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Old 04-01-2007, 11:43 AM
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You might want to check the rental car agency and see if the Civitavecchia office is open on the day of the week you will be there. I seem to recall seeing that most (all) we closed on Sunday.
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Old 04-01-2007, 03:48 PM
 
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ftroute is absolutely correct about rental car dealers in "Civ" all being close on Sundays. They also have limited hours on Saturday. This has been an issue with us for many years. On one occassion we were disembarking from the Marco Polo (in Civ) on a Sunday and needed a rental car for 3 weeks. Europcar agreed to deliver us a car at the pier (they no longer can do this due to security issues) for an additional fee of $25. We were so shocked at the low cost we jumped at the opportunity and have been a big fan of that Europcar office ever since. I seriously doubt they would agree to that arrangement for a 1 day rental. We have also run into this problem in other parts of Italy so its always good to check on the rental car dealers and their days/hours opened. MaryMary, I totally agree with you on spending the full day in Florence. Its a totally amazing city and I once saw a Conde Nast poll that rated it the number 1 tourist destination in the world (my wife would vote for Paris). We spent 3 days in Florence last year (Hotel David) after a cruise and loved every minute (we had previously only visited 3 times as day trips).

Hank
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Old 04-02-2007, 04:23 PM
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Thanks for the heads up about days and hours. We will be there on a Tuesday so all should be well.

You both seem to be very well traveled. We are also planning on renting a car in MArseille and wonder if you have any advice on provence towns to hit or miss.

Thanks to both of you for all your help. It has been invaluable.

Mary
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Old 04-02-2007, 08:25 PM
 
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Ahh MaryMary (just had to say that), You really know how to touch the right buttons. DW and I used to talk about living 3 months a year in the South of France and 3 months in Tuscany or Umbria. Unfortunately, the dollar dropped over 40% against the Euro and we have reconsidered our plans. What you do on a driving day from Marseille really depends whether you want to maximize the things you see, or would prefer to spend more time in only a couple of places. Assuming you have not traveled in this region I might suggest the following,,,keeping in mind that we prefer to start a driving trip with the idea that we will change our plans if the mood moves us. Its fun to keep that flexibility. If you look at a map I would I would draw a rectangle from Marseille to Aix en Provence to Avignon to Arles and finally back to Marseille. Within that box are many wonderful places so the bottom line is that you cannot do it all...in fact, we have spent several weeks in this immediate area and have barely dented the options. A couple of interesting little towns in the box are Le Baux and St Remy, There are some excellent high speed toll roads in this region (you can drive around 90 MPH) and wonderful back roads. Aix en Provence is certainly a great starting point and its only about 30 - 40 min from Marseille. From Aix to Avignon takes about 1:15 (direct route) or Aix to Arles takes about an hour. Arles back to Marseille would take a little over an hour. You might google these places and see if you find something of interest. If you go inside the "box" to a place such as Le Baux, you need to allow more time since the back roads, although beautiful, do take extra time. There are just too many wonderful possibilites. Just thinking of this region makes me smile!

Hank
 
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car, civitavecchia, civitivecchia, coast, cruise, driving, elba, italy, marseilles, piombino, pisa, piza, rental, rentals, things

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