South of France and Italy Road Trip 'Wine-tinerary'

South of France and Italy Road Trip 'Wine-tinerary'

If you're a wine and food lover, you've found the right itinerary for your South of France and Italy road trip. Your journey starts in the heart of Provence, continues along the glamorous Côte d'Azur and finishes in Piedmont, an underrated region in northwestern Italy renowned for its wine and culinary scene.

Not only does this South of France and Italy itinerary focus on wine and culinary treasures, it also includes local cultural experiences and brings you through gorgeous landscapes that bring a sense of relaxation to your trip.

Overview: South of France and Italy Road Trip

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Best time to visit the South of France and Italy

Blonde girl in white dress looking at ochre coloured buildings in the village of Roussillon
Roussillon village in Provence

For your trip to the South of France and the Piedmont region of Italy, we recommend traveling May-July or September. Some months have benefits over the others:

  • To see lavender in bloom in Provence, the best time to visit is early July, however this is also one of the busiest times of year in the South of France and it can get hot.
  • For less crowds, visit the South of France and Piedmont in May.
  • We don't recommend coming in the off-season from November - March, as it's cold and some places aren't open.
  • August isn't recommended since many wineries in Piedmont take around a 2 week break for summer holidays.
  • Note that once harvest starts in September, it gets busy in Piedmont and tougher to arrange winery tastings.

How to get from the South of France to Italy

Green hills and a vineyard with the blue Alps in the background of Piedmont
Piedmont countryside with the Alps in the background

Did you know that bringing your rental car from France and dropping it off in Italy can double the price of your rental? We saved 50% by dropping our first rental car off in Monaco and hopping on a train to Savona, Italy. The train system connecting France to Italy is fast and easy.

🚆 Compare train rates from the South of France to Savona.

In Savona, we rented a new car for the next portion of our trip in Italy. The Langhe wine region of Piedmont is just a 1.25 hour drive away from Savona.

🚗 Compare car rental rates from Savona

South of France and Italy Road Trip Map

The route:

  • Days 1-4: pick up your rental car at the Marseille Airport for a road trip into the heart of Provence.
  • Day 5: drop off your rental car in Monaco and spend the night in glitzy Monte Carlo or nearby in the seaside town of Menton.
  • Days 6-8: take the train to Savona, Italy and pick up your next rental car for a road trip into the Langhe wine region of Piedmont.
  • Day 9: drop your car rental off at Turin Airport

South of France and Italy Itinerary

Days 1-4: Provence | Day 5: Côte d'Azur | Days 6-8: Piedmont

Days 1 - 4: Provence

Drive through the serene countryside to discover hilltop villages and vibrant local markets, taste rosé wines and eat fresh Provencal cuisine

Your first four days bring you to the Luberon region in the heart of Provence. The Luberon region has a rich historical background, with charming hilltop villages and vineyards that reflect centuries of tradition. It's a place of tranquility, where local markets, quaint Provencal-style restaurants and rosé winemaking have played a major role in shaping the culture of Provence.

If you're longing for a peaceful escape, the Luberon region not only offers stunning vistas, culinary treasures and immersive cultural experiences but also serves as a living history book, reflecting the very essence of Provence.

🚙 Reserve your rental car in Provence.

What to do in Provence

Blonde girl in white dress having a picnic on a concrete picnic table overlooking the grassy and hilly countryside of Provence
Picnic in the Luberon Valley of Provence

See our comprehensive 4 Day Provence itinerary, which includes where to stay, where to eat and unique spots you don't want to miss.

Here are the highlights:

🎨🍷 Visit Chateau La Coste to see its unique combination of contemporary art, nature, wine and gastronomy.

🥖 🧺 🎵 Discover Lourmarin's creative culture, enjoy a picnic at a 15th-century castle and experience the village's bustling local market and vibrant old-centre square.

👀 Explore the picturesque hilltop villages of Bonnieux, Menerbes and Roussillon.

🪻👨‍🍳 Drive the scenic countryside to the stunning village of Gordes and discover Goult and Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt's culinary scene.

 ✔️ Our top hotel picks: Le Moulin in Lourmarin and Le Clos de la Glycine in Roussilon

Read the full 4 day itinerary here

Day 5 - Côte d'Azur

Continue your journey to the French Riviera and stay in either the glitzy Monte Carlo district of Monaco or in the laidback seaside town of Menton

Getting from Provence to the Côte d'Azur

A pool and lounge chairs at a yacht club overlooking Monte Carlo's harbour
Yacht Club de Monaco

The Côte d'Azur (also known as the French Riviera) runs along the coastline between Saint Tropez and Menton and is about a 2.5 hour drive from the Luberon region. We recommend dropping your rental car off in Monaco and either staying in Monte Carlo or Menton for the night. The train is only 11 minutes between the two places.

For glitz and glamour choose Monte Carlo, for laidback seaside village vibes, choose Menton.

Option 1: Experience the glitz and glamour of Monte Carlo in Monaco

Monaco, known as the "playground for millionaires," offers a glimpse into the high-flying lifestyle. With Porsche taxis and Ferraris casually cruising the streets, it's a fascinating and sometimes peculiar destination to experience.

In Monaco, not only will you check another country off your list, you'll uncover opulent architectural treasures and iconic spots you won't find anywhere else. Plus, there is the cool James Bond appeal, since the Monte Carlo district has been used as a filming location in these movies many times.

Monaco is a good fit for you if you don't mind splurging on a few things and if dressing up for a glamorous night out excites you.

See our comprehensive 1 Day Monaco itinerary, which includes where to stay, unique things to do and exciting places to see.

Here are the highlights:

 🛥️ Walk along Port Hercule to see the mega-yachts

🌞 Walk around Place du Casino plaza at golden hour and admire the Beaux-Arts architecture

🎷🍸 Listen to live jazz at a Gatsby-inspired cocktail bar

♥️ ♠️ Dress to the nines and people-watch at the legendary Casino de Monte-Carlo

 ✔️ Our top hotel picks: Hotel Metropole, Hotel De Paris, Fairmont Monte-Carlo and Novotel Monte Carlo.

Read the full 1 day itinerary here

Option 2: Hangout in the laidback seaside village of Menton

If Monaco's swanky over-the-top lifestyle is not for you, instead stay in the relaxed seaside town of Menton. Often overlooked for its famous neighbours along the French Riviera, Menton is a local favourite known for its historic Old Town, Baroque-style architecture, high-quality lemons and scenic Mediterranean coastline.

A bonus is that Menton is a lot cheaper than other places on the French Riviera. Take your time walking through the narrow passageways to see colourful historic buildings, stroll along the beaches, pop into the small boutiques and sit at sidewalk cafes to soak in the atmosphere.

Our top hotel picks in Menton:
  • Hotel de Londres
  • Ibis Styles Menton Centre
  • 🛏️ Browse more stays in Menton

    Day 6 - 8: Piedmont, Italy

    Unwind in the Italian countryside, taste world-renowned Barolo and Barbaresco wines and discover the slow food movement in Italy's underrated wine region

    Piedmont, Italy's second-largest region, remains a hidden gem for most international tourists. But its fame is on the rise, thanks to its prestigious Barolo and Barbaresco wines, drawing Italians seeking a wine getaway amidst nature.

    Known as Piemonte in Italian, Piedmont is making waves with its new sustainable luxury hotels, culinary scene dedicated to the slow-food movement, and one-of-a-kind wine and truffle experiences. Combine this with its captivating landscape of sprawling vine-covered hills and backdrop of the Alps, and you have a true Italian treasure.

    For your last 3 days, we recommend spending your time in the Langhe wine region, home to Piedmont's most renowned wines: Barolo and Barbaresco.

    To get to Piedmont, take the train from Monaco or Menton to Savona, Italy and pick up your rental car there. From Savona, it's a 1.25 hour drive to the Langhe wine region of Piedmont.

    See 🚆 train rates to Savona and 🚗 car rental rates from Savona

    What to do in Piedmont

    Round tables and chairs outside overlooking Barolo vineyards at Palas Cerequio hotel
    Palas Cerequio boutique hotel overlooking Barolo vineyards

    See our comprehensive 3 Day Piedmont itinerary, which includes scenic places to stay, the best wine tasting experiences, unique eateries and charming villages to explore.

    Here are the highlights:

    🍷✨Taste prestigious Barolo wines at Ceretto, one of the world's best wineries

    🍇 Visit Ca' del Baio, a small family-owned winery making some of the best Barbaresco wines

    🏘 Explore the charming villages of Barbaresco, La Morra and Barolo

    🥩 🥗 Enjoy Piedmontese cuisine at some of the best restaurants in the stunning Langhe wine region

     ✔️ Our top hotel picks: immerse yourself in the gorgeous countryside at Palas Cerequio or Casa di Langa

    Read the full 3 day itinerary here

    Day 9: Fly to your next destination from Turin Airport

    From the Langhe wine region, it's about an hour drive to the Turin Airport where you can drop off your rental car and fly to your next destination!

    Trip extension option: you could also drop your rental car off in Milan and spend a few days in the fashionable city. Milan is about a 2 hour drive away.

    Enjoy your scenic South of France and Italy road trip!

    Get started on booking your road trip to the South of France and Italy

    • 🌃 Accommodation: Book your stay in Provence, Monaco/Menton and Piedmont. is our go-to for finding places to stay. Sort by top reviewed.
    • 🚙 Reserve your car rental in the South of France: see to compare car rental prices across different companies.
    • 🚆 Book your train from the South of France to Italy: compare rates with Trainline
    • 🚗 Reserve your car rental in Italy: see to compare car rental prices across different companies.
    • 🤠 Browse tours with local guides: through Viator and GetYourGuide.

    Check out our other Italy and France itineraries with wine experiences:

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