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How to train from Marseilles into Italy?

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We will be staying near Marseilles (Grimaud) the end of September, then want to continue into Italy. I was hoping we could take a train from Marseilles, maybe into Florence, then pick up a rental car for the rest of our trip in Italy. We're in no hurry - we plan on spending maybe 6 weeks through Tuscany, Umbria, Abruzzo, Lazio, flying home from Rome. We are very flexible about which city we start from in Italy, could be Milan, Turin, Genoa, etc - I'm just looking for a fairly direct train ride.

Is this do-able? Or should we just rent a car in Marseilles and save the train fare? Is driving from there into Italy any sort of problem?

As always, thanks so much! Maria

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