On the road again

A road trip need not involve a campervan the size of a small ferry complete with heckling family members in tow. Nor should it involve anything from a university or anything American – and definitely not the two together.

The cultured Europeans have been doing it in style since Byron took the notion on and set out for the hotspots of Europe’s underbelly, or doctors told their patients there was nothing wrong with them that a week by Lake Geneva wouldn’t sort out. So, check out 500 miles of ecstatic beauty that is the Lake Geneva to Florence run. This trip takes you from Geneva's Lake Léman waterfront through the seven-mile Mont-Blanc tunnel, before emerging into Italy's deep Aosta valley.

Next it’s onto Turin and Alba before you finally hit the Med at Savona and enjoy the Levantine Riviera as far as La Spezia. Find the little roads climbing up the Apennines to Abatone, and then twist down into Florence......and you should just be in time for lunch – which really is any time in Italy!

If money is no object you can park next to George Clooney's motorbike slot at the Splendido in Portofino, HotelSplendido.

On a budget? Casa Cambi near Savona, CasiCambi.

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