Subject: Re: From Rome airport to Siena by car

If their flight arrives at 3:30, at best they will be on the road at 4:30 with getting luggage and getting the car. I assume they are traveling this fall? That means they will start out in daylight, but finish in the dark.

At 4:30 there will be a lot of traffic on the ring road.
>From Fiumicino to the exit to the A1, it is about 12 km. Actually, I think Andrew's guess that the exit is 10 is correct. I looked at my map last night, and that is what it looks like. The problem is that from the airport you pass exits numbered 30 through 33, and then it goes to 1. It is about 240 km then from getting on the A1 to Siena. Take the A1 to the exit for Sinalunga and take SS326 to Siena. The approach is from the southeast. This route is almost all autostrada, of course, and speed limits are 140 km/hr, the road is three lanes and well maintained. It is not very scenic, but it is fast. Last year SS326 was under construction, and I bet it still is. It was under construction in 1998, too. If they ever finish it, it will be great, but the heavy truck traffic makes it a difficult ride now. The good news is that it is only about 30 or 40 km of the drive.

The other route is to take the A12 which comes in very shortly after exiting the airport. It only goes as far as Civitavecchia, and then you are on S1, which is still a pretty good road, but is not an autostrada. Speeds are lower, and there are some areas where it is only a two lane road. It is well maintained. The road follows the coastline, although not close enough in most areas to see the sea. At Grosseto, change to SS223. This is still a good road and is a much more scenic route, but it is mostly two lane road. This is the road that goes straight into the south side of Siena. It is actually about the same distance, but is slower. If your friends are not used to driving in Italy, the passing and being passed might be disconcerting. At least on the autostrada a driver can pick the right lane and stay there. (Don't pick the left lane and stay there, however! :-))

The most important thing is to have very specific directions when they get close to the villa. I have never seen one that was right off the main road. The ones in which I have stayed have had directions like turn at milestone 17 and follow the unpaved road 3.2 km to the driveway. . . .

Let me know if I can try to answer any other questions.

Lisa in Chicago