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Self drive Paris to Rome

Australia
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Self drive Paris to Rome

Hi there

We are spending the 1st 2 weeks of our honeymoon end of March travelling from Paris to Rome. All we are booking in advance is 3 nights in Paris then we hire a car and plan to make our way south to the French Riviera (stopping along the way) and along the coast into Italy. We'd love to get past Rome to the Amalfi Coast and Sorento then back up for at least 2 nights in Rome.

Trouble is we have only 10 nights between when we leave Paris and fly out of Rome. My fiance has spent the last 2 weeks agonising over guide books and maps trying to work out the "must sees" and the best route to go. We are desperate for any advice from someone who may have done a similar trip (even in reverse). We just are not sure on how long to allow for getting from 'a' to 'b' and how long to allow for seeing the sights once there. We are hoping to see a mix of the big tourist attractions and the 'real' countryside and towns.

Thank you so much for any help you can offer us!

kohala coast, hawaii
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1. Re: Self drive Paris to Rome

Hello,congratulations on the upcoming marriage.

This itineray is a tall order, logistically. you might want to check out driving routes and the estimated driving times using mapquest europe. is there a particular reason why you want to drive this entire route? There aren't really enough days to fit this all in - unless you want to spend most of your honeymoon driving in a car - instead of actually experiencing France and Italy.

but, as a suggested route, at that time of year, I'd avoid driving over the alps - you could encounter snow and much stress/delays. instead, I'd drive from Paris to Lyon for the 1st night. the 2nd day I'd drive to Provence or the Cote D'Azur (optimally 2 night stay), then drive to Portofino (or Santa Margarhita Ligure)(1-2 nights), Florence (2 nights), Amalfi (2 nights), oops we're out of time. You could improve the timing situation by flying from Paris to Florence, and taking up the driving plan from there.

one more word of advice; be sure to rent a car with english speaking GPS to avoid stress during the drives.

2. Re: Self drive Paris to Rome

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Geneva, Switzerland
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3. Re: Self drive Paris to Rome

Renting a car in France and leave it in Italy will cost you a max ...And your program in 10 days only looks like a marathon. So i suggest you to take a flight from Paris to Nice (www.easyjet.com) then rent a car and explore the Cote d'Azur area. Then take a train at least to Genova (Italy) from Nice (www.trenitalia.com) or to the Cinque Terre area (well worth area to visit) ...then rent a car and go to Rome through the coastal road, visit Firenze, Siena, the Toscany area. If you have more time or if you go directly from Nice to Roma by train, then visit the Amalfi coast (wonderfull road, very crooked road and loco people tend to drive like gangsta). Avoid a visit at Naples, they actually have a lot of garbage problems and the city is like a great dustbin.

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Self drive Paris to Rome

I also agree with mauna_kea_lady she has given excellent advice on the road journey from Paris. I think Amalfi should go off your list if you are driving. Concentrate on the regions MKLady mentioned, and you will have a lovely trip.

look at www.viamichelin.com for time for your journey's from A-B. It's a great site...

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5. Re: Self drive Paris to Rome

Your question took me back to the days when we were first married and used to do lengthy drives through France and Italy on a two week holiday (three days getting to Sicily, one week on the island, three days getting back). That said times have changed and traffic has escalated.

If you are still keen to travel this way here is my suggestion. Paris - northern Provence (1 night) Riviera (1 night) Avoiding the slow coastal route take the motorway to Lucca - (2 nights inc. possible visit to Florence by train) central motorway to the Amalfitana (a long drive but doable) (3 nights) -Rome (3 nights).

As you can see the only way to to achieve this is by motorway and you'll therefore not have time to see the "real countryside". I agree it might be an idea to save the Sorrento area for another time and see more of the hilltowns of central Italy without so much driving.

Geneva, Switzerland
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6. Re: Self drive Paris to Rome

yes but once again, rent a car in France and leave it in Italy is only possible with some big companies and the price is rather very high

7. Re: Self drive Paris to Rome

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Australia
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8. Re: Self drive Paris to Rome

You are all so helpful (and well travelled)! I am blown away by how so many of you have provided such wonderful advice. It is both my fiance and my first trip to Europe and as we own our own business it is very hard to find time (let alone the money) to get away for a 3-4 week trip so we thought we'd try to see as much as possible.

I've always been concerned about the time travelling instead of seeing things and it seems like you all would recommend flying or train for some of the trip. Surprisingly we have got an excellent price for the car hire (which is already booked and paid for with AVIS) through our travel agent of $600 AUD. I was surprised too- unlimited KM's, taxes, new Mercedes A-class Auto.

I am now thinking however of seeing if we could pick it up as you all suggested somewhere further down the track and get the train instead.

I am going to look into the ways you have all suggested my fiance tonight... please let me know if you think of anything else! Many thanks!

Geneva, Switzerland
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9. Re: Self drive Paris to Rome

congratulation about the rental car deal ...Hope everything under control ...

That said one suggestion,

day 1- from Paris to Lyon 465 km, 4h15, visit the town

day 2- from Lyon to Avignon 230 km, 2h10, visit the town

day 3- Avignon surroundings : Beaucaire, Tarascon, Les Baux de Provence, Arles, Aigues Mortes, Ste Maries de la Mer

day 4- from Avignon to Nice 270 km, 2h30, visit the town

day 5- Nice surroundings : Juan Les Pins, Antibes, Corniche de l'Esterel, St Tropez

or the backland from Nice

day 6- from Nice to Florence (Italy) 440 km, 5h00, visit the town

day 7- Florence surroundings : Siena, Pisa, the Tuscany area ...

day 8- from Florence to Roma 290 km, 3h00

day 9- Roma

day 10- Roma

(the whole trip on toll highways of course)

use www.viamichelin.fr for more info about the distances

Sydney, Australia
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10. Re: Self drive Paris to Rome

excellent advice philpetrus, you have hit the whole question on the nail to speak!

great itinerary for you to follow Marchbride. I was going to get my "maps" out. I do have heaps but to tell you the truth, I was hoping some-one like philpetrus would step in...my desk is tiny and you will see, once brought the driving maps are huge !

It can become quite amusing trying to read them on the dash board with hubby saying "what route now"!

The maps can get squashed up and messed up frequently due to car and driver misunderstandings.

Happy travelling and once again congratulations.

EM.