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Need help with travel from Avignon to Vernazza Italy

We will be in the area of Avignon for about a week and then will travel to Vernazza Italy. We thought about renting a car just because the travel time would be less but we don't know the area or the language well and it seems that there is an additional rental car fee if you go from France to Italy. Is that true?

Our other option is to take a train from Avignon to La Spezia station and then take the regional train to Vernazza. It is about a 12 hour trip. If we go this route should be purchase our tickets before we leave the states or can we easily get them once we arrive in Avignon?

Thank for any help and suggestions you can provide.

Posted by
18 posts

You are correct that the drop charge for leaving a rental car in another country is quite steep. I have seen 250-300 euros. The train trip between France and Italy is slow and there are not a lot of choices of time, but it is doable. You do not need to purchase tickets before leaving the US, but I would go buy your tickets a day or two in advance since part of the trip is on the TGV which requires seat reservation and can sell out. Also, you might want to look for a travel agent that sells train tickets in Avignon since the train station lines can be quite long and you may not get a clerk who can speak English with you.

You can look at option on the SNCF website
Have a great trip!

Posted by
3696 posts

You might be able to rent your car in Avignon and take a beautiful drive along the coast (part of the time anyway) to Nice, and drop the car there and avoid the huge drop fee, then take a train to CT.

Posted by
111 posts

If you do take the train, note that you don't usually go as far south as La Spezia to connect to Vernazza. Online train schedules such as DB will recommend a connection further north, sometimes at Genoa, but those points vary depending on departure time and travel date. A morning departure (12 hours) goes through the mountains and Torino, not along the coast.