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20 day trip through Northern Italy, France, Switzerland

20 day trip through Northern Italy, France, Switzerland

Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 06:09 PM
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20 day trip through Northern Italy, France, Switzerland

I am planning a 20 day trip and I want to visit Northern Italy places such as Venice, Florence, Lake Como. Also Id like to stop by some places in Switzerland and southern France such as Marseilles and Nice.
I want to rent a car, however I have read that I should not do it in Major Italian cities and only do it for the ride outside of the cities. How about in France and Switzerland?
I d prefer to start in one end and finish at another I do not have to fly in and out from same city.
Any sites I should skip or visit and what are the must see locations?

Thx
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Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 07:12 PM
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Welcome to Fodors. Where are you coming from? Are you traveling solo or with someone? What is your budget? When are you planning to go? What are you interested in seeing and doing? Do you want to travel through sites or visit them? In 20 days how much time do you think you will spend in 5 cities and three countries, including travel time between them? What kinds of places do you plan to overnight? Etc.

It looks like you need a guidebook and a look at a map.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 11:56 PM
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Car rental drop off fees in another country from pickup can get expensive. Check out how much it is. May be worth it to drop at the closest return to the border, take public transportation across the border to another pickup location, etc.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2024, 12:20 AM
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Some French cities have local pollution limits but if you hire a French car it should come with the required stickers. Switzerland's motorways need another sticker https://www.ch.ch/en/vehicles-and-tr...rway-vignette/ which a French car probably doesn't have while Italian cities often have ZTLs which restrict access to non-local vehicles. Finally dropping cars in the wrong country cost a fee.

Since you seem to be wanting to visit cities you could look at something pretty exciting, the train. They come with windows so you can see the view which is often much better than that from a motorway.
seat61.com offers useful details and you can buy tickets from a bunch of organisations
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Old Apr 23rd, 2024, 12:59 AM
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What do you mean with "Switzerland". Lake Como is just 2 miles from the Swiss border.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2024, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by AJPeabody
Welcome to Fodors. Where are you coming from? Are you traveling solo or with someone? What is your budget? When are you planning to go? What are you interested in seeing and doing? Do you want to travel through sites or visit them? In 20 days how much time do you think you will spend in 5 cities and three countries, including travel time between them? What kinds of places do you plan to overnight? Etc.

It looks like you need a guidebook and a look at a map.
Traveling are two adults, no kids. Budget is about 8-10K for those 20 days. Planning in middle of June. I am flying in from Armenia and then flying back out to Armenia. I like historical places as well as good food.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2024, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by neckervd
What do you mean with "Switzerland". Lake Como is just 2 miles from the Swiss border.
Meant to visit Bern.
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Old Apr 24th, 2024, 09:47 AM
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Barev, John.

You might want to look at car lease programs. in the good old days, they used to make financial sense starting at three weeks. I do not know about these days.

Sounds to me like you are using the cities of Nice and Marseilles as reference points. If I had a car, I would mostly avoid cities, except for the port of Marseilles. You can take a boat trip form there out to Chateau d'If and Port Friou. The port itself is magnificent. But I would mostly stay in and visit villages.

From Venice you have a route through Padua, Vicenza, Verona, Sirmione (Lake Garda), Como, Isole Borromee (Lake Maggiore), then in France: Briancon, Sisteron, Manosque, Aix, Marseilles ,and of course an almost unlimited number of places to visit along or near that route. There are no 'must see' places, just what appeals most to you.

Florence is an outlier going south, and a place like Zermatt in Switzerland is an outlier going north. Up to you if they are necessary, but it would be a spectacular trip even without them.
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Old Apr 25th, 2024, 02:37 AM
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Como (Como Camerlata, Como San Giovanni and Chiasso) - Bern: trains every hr, change at Lugano and Lucerne or Zurich.
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Old Apr 28th, 2024, 10:15 AM
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You could start your trip in Venice (no car needed there), go to Florence by train and then train to Milan to pickup a lease to be returned in Marseille. The advantage to having a car, particularly in Switzerland is that you can avoid the tunnels and get some grand Alpine views driving over the mountain passes. It is possible to drive in Switzerland without the vignette which is obligatory for limited access highways but that requires some planning. Checkout the car leasing programs offered through Autoeurope.com.



If you are not tired of mountain driving, you could take the route des Grandes Alpes to go from Chamonix to Nice via Briançon




Last edited by Michael; Apr 28th, 2024 at 10:20 AM.
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Old Apr 29th, 2024, 01:34 AM
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"The advantage to having a car, particularly in Switzerland is that you can avoid the tunnels and get some grand Alpine views driving over the mountain passes"

There are public buses (included in SWISS Travel Pass, etc.) over all Swiss mountain passes. Most popular itineraries:
Mals railway station (train from Bolzano/Bozen) - Reschen Pass - Scuol (train to St. Moritz)
Mals railway station (train from Bolzano/Bozen) - Pass dal Fuorn - Zernez (train to St. Moritz)
Mals railway station (train from Bolzano/Bozen) - Passo Stelvio - Tirano (Bernina Express to St. Moritz)
St. Moritz - Maloja Pass - Lake Como - Lugano (train to Locarno)
Chur - San Bernardino Pass - Bellinzona (train to Locarno)
Domodossola (Panoramic Centovalli train from Locarno) - Simplon Pass - Brig (train to Zermatt) - Saas Fee
Airolo (train from Bellinzona) - Nufenen Pass - Grimsel Pass - Meiringen (train to Interlaken)
Airolo (train from Bellinzona) - Gotthard Pass - Susten Pass - Meiringen (train to Interlaken)
Neuchatel - La Tourne Pass - Le Locle (train to Besancon)
Boltigen (train from Interlaken) - Jaun Pass - Broc chocolate factory - Bulle (train to Gruyeres - Montreux)

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Old May 2nd, 2024, 07:45 AM
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Driving a car rented in Italy? I'm resident of France. FYI, many French towns are in France's Low Emissions Zones which require a French Crit'Air sticker to legally enter, including the areas surrounding Nice&Marseilles. Only "REGISTERED CAR OWNER" can PRE-ORDER this French Crit'Air sticker, it is not sold on the spot and not available to cars rented outside France. You can find the official map from French government by googling "Zones à faibles émissions mobilité (ZFE-m) bison-fute". Without this sticker, you'll need to leave your car outside the low emissions zones. Nice is in "Métropole Nice-Côte d’Azur" Low Emissions Zone which covers Nice + 50 surrounding towns. Marseilles is in "Aix Marseille Provence Métropole" Low Emissions Zone, which covers Marseilles + 91 surrounding towns.
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Old May 2nd, 2024, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by FrEsDe
Driving a car rented in Italy? I'm resident of France. FYI, many French towns are in France's Low Emissions Zones which require a French Crit'Air sticker to legally enter, including the areas surrounding Nice&Marseilles. Only "REGISTERED CAR OWNER" can PRE-ORDER this French Crit'Air sticker, it is not sold on the spot and not available to cars rented outside France. You can find the official map from French government by googling "Zones à faibles émissions mobilité (ZFE-m) bison-fute". Without this sticker, you'll need to leave your car outside the low emissions zones. Nice is in "Métropole Nice-Côte d’Azur" Low Emissions Zone which covers Nice + 50 surrounding towns. Marseilles is in "Aix Marseille Provence Métropole" Low Emissions Zone, which covers Marseilles + 91 surrounding towns.
Do you know if cars rented at the Nice Airport already have this "sticker"?

Stu Dudley
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Old May 2nd, 2024, 08:53 AM
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Since leases even in neighboring countries are generally brand new French cars, wouldn't they qualify automatically as low emission? Would brokers such as Autoeurope know?
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Old May 2nd, 2024, 08:55 AM
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Xyz xyz

Last edited by StuDudley; May 2nd, 2024 at 08:57 AM.
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Old May 3rd, 2024, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by StuDudley
Do you know if cars rented at the Nice Airport already have this "sticker"?

Stu Dudley
Cars rented in France would have Crit'Air stickers.
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Old May 3rd, 2024, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by FrEsDe
Cars rented in France would have Crit'Air stickers.
Thanks,

Stu Dudley
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