Wednesday, October 3, 2012

On the Road: Florence to Nice

image via

Our road trip itinerary had us driving from Florence, along the northwestern coast of Italy, past La Spezia, Genoa, and San Remo, through Monaco, and on to Nice, France.

Driving out of Florence was extraordinary: mile after mile of tree farms, row upon row of every kind of tree you can imagine. In the early morning mist and sunrise it was stunning (but we were too sleepy to snap photos).

The roads in northern Italy are fantastic, although we happened to be driving on the wrong side (the right [vs. left] side of the road, heading north) to get all the best views. Driving south you would see amazing seaside panoramas, especially around La Spezia and between Genoa and San Remo. The drive also takes you over - literally on top of - dozens of little towns and cities, as the Italian authorities built their highways right over them, rather than destroying a lot of undeveloped land. But these nice autostrada come at a price: we paid €42 in tolls from Florence to the French border. And, unlike French (the best) and Spanish (the quirkiest) highways, they don't have many washroom, rest, or restaurant facilities. But those views alone are nearly worth the price.

If nothing else, by the end of this road trip we became somewhat of a couple of western European highway connoisseurs. You can stick that on a résumé, right?

- Jess

date: september 2
weather: mostly sunny, with some cloudy periods
distance travelled: 431 km/268 mi
distance travelled to date: 541 km/336 mi
tolls: €42


  1. Sounds stunning! The great thing about driving is that you are able to see SO much more than you would if you just flew or trained from city to city :)


  2. Oh wow! I want to do that! I used to go on road trips all the time with my boyfriend when we lived in Costa Rica (and we had a car!). Now we're in London, it's all change. Maybe I need to get planning again for springtime! How long did that journey take you?

    1. From Florence to Nice took +/- 4.5 hours (and we stopped a couple times).

  3. Do you drive or does Mike always take the wheel?

    I never drive when we're travelling overseas and Joe always complains that he has to keep his eyes on the road :/

    1. In Malta I don't drive, as I'm too young to be insured on a convertible (weird rule).

      During our road trip I could have driven, but we made a cost-savings decision for Mike to drive, since it would have been an additional €15 per day to add a second driver to our rental car.

      (He still complained he had to keep his eyes on the road though :)

    2. Hahaha, you are too young? How old do you have to be to insure a convertible?

      I drove in Gabon and I will drive in Norway (although I have to take a driving exam there which I'm ridiculously nervous about) but it takes me a while before I'm totally confident to drive on my own in a foreign country.

    3. Half-way between 20 and 30, and I'm not quite there yet ;)


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