Italy can be an excellent place to tour in your own private hire vehicle. Many people choose Rome as their base of operations and plan excursions into the surrounding countryside from there, a far less popular choice is utilising Florence, in the heart of Tuscany as a base, which is quite surprising due to the amount of excellent day trips to be had from this splendid town. Amerigo Vespucci Airport is only just outside of Florence and makes the ideal pick-up location for your hire vehicle; all of the major rental companies are on hand including Avis, Hertz, Europacar and Budget to supply your hire car. One of the most charming day trips to be taken from Florence can be spent exploring the area between Florence and Siena known as Chianti (the region which produces the wine of the same name); the town square is famous for its weekly market.
The local wine cooperative has over 150 wines available for tasting. Lunch options in this region can be excellent, many local farms offer food to visitors, which can be enjoyed picnic style whilst exploring the vineyards and farm buildings. The Chianti botanical gardens are also well worth a visit if the weather permits, as is the winery of Rocca della Macie, with a range of classic wines available for tasting and purchase. By using Florence as your central base from which to explore Italy, you will have access to a far wider range of rural areas than you would if you were sticking strictly to Rome.