Spend more time enjoying Italy, not in transit
There are several transportation options to travel between different parts of Italy. Some are more cost-effective and time-efficient than others. I will explain how we traveled to different parts of Italy and I will list other options for each part of our trip.
If you want to read other details of our Italy trip such as how we booked hotels and plane tickets for free, click the links below.
- How we booked our flights to Italy entirely on points and miles
- How we booked our hotels in Italy entirely on points and miles
- Getting around Italy/transportation logistics
- Packing everything in a carry on
- How to stay connected while traveling without paying ridiculous data roaming charges
- Amalfi Coast/Positano/Capri
This is what our Italy itinerary looked like:
- DFW to Venice ✈️
- Venice to Florence 🚊
- Florence to Tuscany 🚙
- Tuscany to Positano 🚙🚊🚙
- Positano to Capri ⛴
- Capri to Rome ⛴🚙🚊
- Rome to DFW ✈️
I know. It sounds exhausting, right? Well thanks to (mostly) carefully planned transportation logistics, it was easier than expected. We felt that we did not waste much time in transit which was my main concern.
Tip: All of these expenses qualify for the annual $300 travel credit if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card.
Another important tip: When possible, always have your hotel arrange transportation (unless you’re renting a car), especially when you’re in a foreign country. This includes transportation to and from the hotel and any transportation you may need during your stay. This is the best way to ensure that you do not get ripped off by taxi drivers, etc. Plus, 9 times out of 10 the hotel will get you a rate that is as good or better than anything you will find on your own.
One more tip: Italy is known for pickpocketing, so I was a little worried about that, especially in crowded places such as train stations. I did not feel nearly as unsafe as I expected in the train stations, but never let your guard down. Always be aware of your surroundings. Guys, put your wallets and phones in your front pockets. Girls, wear a cross-body type purse if possible. Do not take your eyes off of your luggage.
Getting from the Venice Airport to our Venice hotel:
We booked a private water taxi from the airport to the hotel. It was not the cheapest option, but it was the most convenient. We booked it online ahead of time and it was 107 Euros. This is the company recommended by our hotel.
It took about 40 minutes to get from the airport to our hotel. That price is per boat for up to 4 people. The boats can hold up to 10 passengers and after the first 4, it’s an extra 10 Euros per person. Initially, we were scheduled to arrive in Venice at the same time as our friends. Due to Hurricane Irma, our flights had to be changed in order to avoid routing through Miami. This put us in Venice 5 hours earlier than our friends. Had we arrived at the same time, we could have shared the taxi and split the rate.
The other option is to take a public water taxi. The cost is about 17 Euros per person, but depending on your hotel’s location, it can add lots of extra time to your trip. To get to our hotel on the public water taxi would have added an extra hour. We also had our luggage and we weren’t sure how crowded the public water taxi may be.
Getting from Venice to Florence
We asked our hotel to arrange a private water taxi to take us to the train station in Venice so that we could catch our train to Florence. The cost was 80 Euros total. Again, there are public water taxis that cost less, but we were trying to save time, plus we had all of our luggage.
We rode the fast train from Venice to Florence for about 50 Euros per person. We bought prosecco at the train station to drink on board, so it was a pleasant 2 hour ride! Our hotel in Florence was in walking distance from the train station.
Florence to Tuscany
We rented a car to drive from Florence to Tuscany. Our hotel in Tuscany was about 1.5-2 hours from Florence and it was a beautiful drive!
Here’s a huge piece of advice on car rentals
Always sign up for car rental loyalty programs when renting a car. It’s quick and free and can save you lots of time at the rental counter. Make sure that your member number is associated with your rental reservation. Even if you do not book direct through a company, you should be able to look up the reservation to add your member number. For example, we rented our car with Avis but I booked through American Airlines because they actually gave me a better rate than booking directly with Avis. I added my Avis number to the reservation. When we arrived at the rental counter (which was very close to our hotel), there was a long line and we heard several people complaining they had been waiting for over an hour.
Well I felt kind of bad but when I walked in and told them my name, they had me bolded on the clipboard as an Avis Preferred member. Because of this, they essentially let us skip the line. We were on our way within 10 minutes. #sorrynotsorry
To be clear, I do not have special status with Avis. Avis Preferred is just the name of their program. Avis Preferred Plus is their elite status. So you do NOT have to have elite status to be able to bypass the line! All you have to do is sign up for an account and make sure your member number is on your reservation.
Tuscany to Positano
This was our longest day in transit but the views were so great that we didn’t mind!
- Tuscany to Rome-3 hour drive
- Rome to Naples train-1 hour
- Naples to Positano taxi ride-2.5 hours (should have been shorter but we were stuck in traffic due to an accident)
Naples is kind of the starting point for anyone heading to the Amalfi Coast. So we needed to get to Naples from Tuscany. After Tuscany, we were splitting up from the friends who were traveling with us. They were heading to Rome and we were heading to Naples. They were driving from Tuscany to Rome. This is approximately a 3 hour drive. Ryan and I could have taken a train from Tuscany to Naples but it would have involved multiple stops and taken just as much time, so we all drove to Rome together. Rome and Naples are south of Florence. Because we were already south of Florence while in Tuscany, taking the train would have involved backtracking for all of us since most trains to Rome and Naples connect in Florence.
We dropped our friends off at their Rome hotel then dropped off the rental car. There was an Avis rental return right by the Rome Termini train station. After returning the car, we walked to the train station to buy our train tickets on the next available train to Naples.
The train from Rome to Naples was about 50 Euros per person and took 1 hour.*
*If we booked in advance, train tickets would have been significantly cheaper. I saw them as low as 15 Euros, although that may be on a slower train. I did not want to book our tickets in advance because it was tough to predict exactly what time we would get to Rome, and I did not want to risk missing a train. On the other hand, I did not want to book later tickets and then end up waiting around the train station all day. So we decided to just wait until we get there and buy tickets on the next available fast train.
Getting to Positano from Naples:
After arriving in Naples, you can take a train to Sorrento and then either a bus or a taxi to Positano. This is the more cost effective way, but it will take longer. It will cost about 4 Euros for the train from Naples to Sorrento. This takes about an hour. Once in Sorrento, you can either take a taxi or a bus to Positano. This will take about an hour. A taxi will cost about 60 Euros and the bus is about 2 Euros.
We decided to take a taxi from Naples to Positano since it had already been a long day of traveling.
This is the part when I messed up by not booking in advance. The fixed rate for a taxi from the Naples train station to Positano is 130 Euros. Booking a private driver in advance could get that cost down to about 110 Euros. The problem is, I did not want to book a driver in advance because as I stated above, I had no idea what time we would be getting into Naples. Our driver ended up overcharging us by about 40 Euros. It did take longer than normal due to an accident, and we did have to go a different and longer route to get around said accident. But still, a fixed taxi fare is a fixed taxi fare. Lesson learned. Always ask for a fixed rate up front! We did get to stop in Sorrento for some delicious Limoncello, though!
Positano to Capri
There is a ferry that runs from Positano to Capri. It takes about 50 minutes and costs about 20 Euros per person.
I chose a hotel right next to the marina in Capri so that we could easily get to and from the ferries.
Capri to Rome
To get from Capri to Rome, our hotel informed us that the best way is to take the ferry from Capri to Naples. Then from the port in Naples, take a taxi from the port to the train station. This is a 10 minute ride and costs about 13 Euros. Then ride the train from Naples to Rome.
So, we did exactly what the hotel said. The ferry from Capri to Naples was about 20 Euros per person. The taxi to the train station was 13 Euros. Finally, the train from Naples to Rome was about 45 Euros per person. We did not know what time we would be leaving Capri and arriving in Naples, so we waited until we arrived at the train station to purchase our tickets. As with our tickets from Rome to Naples, these train tickets could have been significantly cheaper if we booked in advance.
Rome hotel to Rome airport:
Once in Rome, we were close enough to our hotel that we decided to just walk from the train station.
Like I did with the Capri hotel, I chose a hotel in Rome close to the train station. We had planned to take the train from Rome Termini (the main station in the city) to the airport. It’s about a 30 minute train ride and costs about 8 Euros per person. But then our hotel told us we could just get a taxi from the hotel to the airport for a flat rate of 48 Euros so we had them set that up for us. We would have had to either walk or take a taxi to the train station, buy train tickets, and take a 30 minute ride to reach the airport. But with a taxi we could be picked up from the hotel and head straight to the airport, and we could be dropped off at our terminal in about 30 minutes.
We splurged a few times where we could have cut costs, but it was totally worth it to minimize our time in transit. Since our hotels and flights were covered, we didn’t mind paying a little extra to save time.
12 thoughts on “Transportation Logistics in Italy”
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My husband and I are going to Italy in two weeks with almost your exact itinerary. One of my concerns is car rental in Florence. I have read numerous articles about driving in the ZTL zones and that most car rental companies are located in this zone. I have read that pickup/returning in Florence can result in major traffic fines- sent even a year or longer after in some cases. Any tips on avoiding this? I was thinking of just picking up and returning at airport, but we will be using train so not exactly close to airport. Thank you! Jenny
We picked up our car in Florence but returned it in Rome. We did not drive during our stay in Florence other than when we picked up the car to drive to our next hotel in Tuscany. We just picked up the car and drove straight to next hotel which was south of Florence. We used a driver for our wine tours in the Montalcino area so we didn’t have to worry about ZTL there. I did notice ZTL signs though, and they had red and green lights. I think as long as you’re paying attention, you should be okay (just don’t go if the light is red). Also be aware of speed zones. There were several on the drive from Florence to our hotel in Tuscany, but again as long as you’re paying attention to signs you should be fine.
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