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Honeymoon Driving Trip France/Italy

Old Oct 26th, 2006, 01:07 PM
  #1  
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Honeymoon Driving Trip France/Italy

After a brief consideration of a larger driving trip through Europe for our honeymoon, we have decided to do a two week trip through southern France -Italy. I would like some help from those on the forum who have specifically driven from Nice in France to Positano and then Rome. We don't want to take a train - specifically driving. Some background - we're from the NYC area. Interested in historic sites, art, everyday life throughout the region, local festivals, etc.. Not interested in shopping. Trip is in late May and my fiance speaks fluent Italian. Any ideas on specific towns, sites, driving recos along the way? Help is much appreciated!
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Old Oct 26th, 2006, 03:03 PM
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ira
 
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Hi J,

It would help if you told us how long you want to spend in Southern France, on the AC and in Rome.

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Old Oct 26th, 2006, 04:34 PM
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We've taken two trips to Italy, mostly driving on both of them - Venice to the Amalfi Coast to Rome on the first; Tuscany north to the Dolomites, then Milan on the second. To us, it's the only way to go. We did some autostrada when we wanted to get somewhere FAST, but mostly secondary roads exploring the countryside, experiencing, at least a little, the lifestyle of the locals. Although we had definite locations for our destinations, the best part was discovery along the way. And the scenery is amazing. If you drive through/towards Florence on the way to Positano, go south on S222 through the Chianti countryside. Wow! Orvieto, just north of Rome, is one of our all time favorites - incredible setting and sites. Caserta, north of Naples, the gardens of the Royal Palace are supposed to rival Versailles.

The one caviat I'd suggest is don't do a lot of one night stays - that was our mistake last year. It became all about checking in and checking out, waiting for the car to be brought up. Even if hotels say they have parking/garages, it doesn't equate to what we might be used to here in the States at the motels along the interstates. Virtually all our selections involved waiting for someone to go down the street to get the car, or move other guests' cars to get to ours. Not a really big deal but it did add up to alot of wasted time.
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Old Oct 26th, 2006, 05:41 PM
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Sure !
I would have 2 interim stops for 2 nites each---Portovenere and Pienza. I would then drop the car in Sorrento and use public transport on the AC before a train back to Rome. Good luck and best wishes.
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Old Oct 27th, 2006, 11:14 AM
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Thanks for all your help! Ira I really don't have a timeline between spots in mind. We kind of thought the sites would take us from place to place. Maybe a rough guess (considering the suggestion above) of 2-3 nights per stop? Sorry figuring this out as we go!
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Old Oct 27th, 2006, 01:30 PM
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Are you aware that if you rent a car in France and drop it off in Italy you are going to have to pay HUGE "drop-off" fees?

To avoid them, you might consider dropping off your French rental car in Menton and then taking a train to San Remo to pick up an Italian rental there.

When I was in the Italian Riviera, I drove into France to see the French Rivera. I went as far as Cap d'Antibes. Although I quite liked Nice, I didn't care much for the French Riviera, which reminds me (a lot) of Southern California.

In Italy, between the French border and Genova, the best places I found were not right on the coast but just a few miles inland. Apricale, for instance, is a fabulous hilltown, and there are other equally interesting hilltowns (Triora and Bussan Vecchia pop to mind) that you could visit. On the coast itself, Cervo is extremely pretty, and has a great restaurant (Giorgio's). It would make a great honeymoon stopover. (The restaurant rents rooms.)

The food along the Italian Riviera, from the French border to Pisa, is just wonderful (especially if you like pesto and seafood!)

South of Genova, Camogli is a lovely place, as are many of the towns in the vicinity of Portovenere. Cinque Terre is famous, but a car is very difficult for that area. (Better to stay near Portovenere and take a boat to Cinque Terre).

I would think by the time you got to Tuscany you might have had enough of the coast, and could cut inland into places like Massa Marittima or even Siena.

I doubt you will want to take your car to Rome or drive around Napoli. In fact, my suggestion would be that you consider dropping off your car in Orvieto and taking the train from there to Napoli, and on to Positano. I'd like to suggest that you spend at least one or two nights in Napoli (at a harborside hotel with a pretty view) and use that time to see Positano and some of the great art of Napoli. Then go chill in Positano for the remainder of your honeymoon.

The trip I just described would take about 3 weeks -- not two. So I strongly recommend you figure out your priorities, and decide whether you want to see Nice and the French Riviera plus Italy's Liguria, or whether you'd prefer a touch of Liguria and Tuscany, and then on to the Amalfi.





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Old Oct 28th, 2006, 07:33 AM
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ira
 
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good advice from ness.

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