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Car or train from Paris to Tuscany?

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We have the opportunity to do a great trip next summer. We have French friends in Paris to stay with, and U.S. friends who are renting in Tuscany to stay with. I'm hoping to hear from people who have done either a road trip or train travel, both leisurely, from Paris to Tuscany. Why do you advocate car or train if you have a preference? We have been to Tuscany before and found a car very valuable, so even if we did do rail travel most of the rest of the way, we might rent a car there. We have about 17 or 18 days to devote to this odyssey, and want to spend at least 2 nights in Paris, 5 in Tuscany and 2 in Rome for our flight out. We'd like a lot of opinions on this. Also input on places to stay on the way and how long. We enjoy small to mid-size towns and would like to spend some time in Provence for sure. And we are traveling with a teenage son. Thanks, all.

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