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Road Trip to Rome

Newport Beach...
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Road Trip to Rome

Hi! I am planning a road trip with my parents in April for 15 days. We would arrive in Geneva, spend a few days in Provence, France and we would like to drive to Italy and fly back from Rome. We would like to go to Tuscany.... but I would love recommendations as to where to go and how to plan the trip..... we would love to drive!

Thank you!

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Road Trip to Rome

If you pick up a rental car in France and drop off in Italy, there will be a substantial one-way fee. Someone has to go to Italy and drive the car back to France.

In any case, a car may or may not be a good idea, depending on where you intend to visit. In any large town or city in Europe, a car is nothing but a very expensive nuisance. For travel between cities, trains are a much better choice.

On the other hand, if (like us) you want to stay in small towns and village, a holiday by car can be very enjoyable.

Seattle, Washington
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2. Re: Road Trip to Rome

Hi Shanti!

Sounds like a fun trip!

Certainly you want to check into Sydneynick's concern. Easy enough to do online with Hertz, etc. by playing around with your start and stop points and checking the cost. They may or may not need someone to drive it back to France, if, on average, the same number of people are renting in Rome and driving northwest!

A quick check on Hertz for a renting a car in Nice and dropping off in Rome, for 2 weeks in April of 2014, the cheapest offer at this moment is about $890 (or $63/day). Changing the starting location to Milano instead of Nice gives about the same rate. So within country vs. between countries doesn't seem to matter.

Car rental in Italy is not cheap, and certainly not as cheap as you will find in the US. Add to that Supercasco insurance, and it comes to a substantial cost. Well worth it, but mostly for traveling in the countryside and small towns as Nick says.

Nick is right that, on balance, travel between cities is best accomplished by train, and to see the small towns and countryside is best by car.

We have always done a combination of the two on trips. For example you could take the train from Nice to Milan for $53 each, and (after perhaps exploring Milan for a couple of days), train from Milan to Florence for about $40.

In Florence one could rent a car and explore the Tuscan hill towns like Montalcino, Montepulciano, Pienza,etc. Stay in a nice agriturismo for a few days to get a sense of Tuscan country life. We stayed at and quite liked Il Molinello. ( tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g644269-d579173… ). We used that as a base to explore Chianti and the Val d'Orcia in day trips.

flickr.com/photos/…

From there it's easy to drive down to Rome and drop off the car.

With 2 weeks you can probably figure in more that one hub from with to explore....depending on your interests. Italy on the whole is spectacular. It's hard to make a bad choice.

Let me know if you have any questions.

-K

Edited: 19 July 2013, 05:26
Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: Road Trip to Rome

I have to amend one part of my note. Nick (of course) was right that there does seem to be an alternate destination drop off fee. Experimenting more on Hertz.com shows that've Nice-to-Nice (France) is cheaper than Nice-to-Rome for the same #of days.

This applies whether within or between countries. That said, we have done trips with different rental and drop off sites ("open-jaw" itineraries) and just paid the higher rate. The overall advice, train between cities, car in small towns and countryside, is good advice. As you fill out your itinerary, consider a mixture of both. Another consideration: I hate driving in the big cities (Rome, Milan, etc.), or on the autostrade (tollway), but I love driving in the Italian countryside.

-K

4. Re: Road Trip to Rome

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