recommended driving route

Greetings, I'm looking for some advice as to which is the easier route to drive. We are looking at two options. Venice, Salzburg, Munich, Paris OR
Venice, Milan, Italian & French Riveria, Paris. (Yes, you are correct that the train would be the most practical option, but I'm afraid it's not an alternative in this case.) How is the road systems, environments, mountains, traffic..? Anything you can share with me would be appreciated.

Posted by Doug
Portlandia
3313 posts

The Riviera can be chaotic if you stray from the Autoroute. Otherwise, both routes can be done on high quality freeways so it is a matter of what you want to see.

Posted by Martine
Ottawa, Canada
581 posts

Gerry, we drove both routes not exactly the same but similar. The roads are much better than what we have here, better maintained. We took mostly major highways, you get use to the faster driving, tolls, high bridges, etc. We did not encounter that much traffic at either times, once near Füssen, and once near Florence. If you want more informations about driving distances, maps, toll and gas prices, try www.viamichelin.com We did not drive in Paris, we picked up the car afterwards.

Posted by David
Stanwood, WA, USA
17 posts

Have driven most of both routes and both are beautiful for different reasons. The Italian and French Riviera's are spectacular even from the Italian autostrada or the French autoroute. One thing to be aware of are the tunnels. There are in the neighborhood of 110 between La Spezia and the French border and 50+ between Genova and the border. They can be brutal when it's sunny. Driving in and out of them every 10 - 30 seconds begins to mess with your eyes and brain. But it's well worth it. All of the roads are great but traffic jams can be bad no matter which way you go.

Posted by Andreas
Frankfurt am Main, Germany
2678 posts

Roads are similar to sometimes even better maintained than in the US or Canada. Venice to Salzburg - if just done on freeways - is a 4:30hrs drive. However you're passing the beautiful Carinthian Lake District (Wörthersee, town of Velten etc.) which are definitely worth a stop. Also instead of taking the freeway to Salzburg from there you could take Großglockner Hochalpenstrasse, one of the most scenic rides in the Alps! For Austrian freeways you need a toll sticker. You can buy them at any gas station before entering Austria. There's one good for 10 days and it's under €10. On Italian freeways you pay per section, similar to some American turn pikes. Half way between Salzburg and Munich is Lake Chiemsee with Herrenchiemseeisland and castle being worth a stop. Also a side trip to Füssen and the famous Neuschwanstein castle would be doable. Make sure to refill or top up your car before entering Germany as that'll save you lots of money. There is no general speed limit on German freeways but some local ones at intersections etc. Salzburg to Munich is 90mins nonstop drive.Munich to Paris can be done via Stuttgart, Heidelberg, Kaiserslautern, the Champage region or via Lake of Constance, Black Forrest and Alsace. The first one is the faster, the last one the more scenic one. The all-freeway one is 9 hours nonstop. The German freeways are free of charge, the French collect toll every couple of miles...