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First time driving in France/Italy/Switzerland - ??

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My husband and I are planning our first driving trip to Europe.

We have been to Europe before, but have used trains and planes to get around - but that was with children.

this time it will be just the 2 of us.

I have worked out a basic itinerary of the way we want to drive and what areas we would like to see, but I am a bit worried.

We have never driven in France and Italy before, and we live in Australia - so of course we drive on the 'left' side of the road.

I am trying to avoid staying in the main cities.

I have not worked out the number of days in each place, but we have about 5 weeks in total

Would love some advice as to whether my route is a doable one, and suggestions of alternatives

1) fly into Paris and spend 4 nights (have been a few years ago so this is just a re visit)

2) take train to Dijon and pick up a car. this part I am not sure about Not sure whether to pick up car from Dijon or Lyon? Stop over for a few nights and visit the area

3) make way towards Italy and the Italian Lakes. - we will need to stop somewhere on the way - again not sure where and for how long.

4) Italian Lakes - which area would be the best to stay with a car?

5) From Italian Lakes north Eastwards to Verona - would like to stay around this area. Base myself here for a few days.

6) drive and stay around Florence - again not sure where.

7) from Florence to Rapallo and stay for a while

8) from Rapallo to the French Riviera and then on to Aix En Provence - stay for a bit.

9) drive back north of France to Sarlat and stay for a bit

10) Sarlat back to Lyon where we drop off the car.

would love some opinion of my ideas and suggestions of how to comfortably drive this without doing really long driving days.

thanks in advance


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