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?
BY THE NUMBERS
date: september 2
weather: mostly sunny, with some cloudy periods
distance travelled: 431 km/268 mi
distance travelled to date: 541 km/336 mi