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I plan to visit Marseille and Bologna for leisure in August.

What kind of transport do you recommend from Marseille to Bologna?

  • Time is precious, especially in the daytime.
  • I'd like to avoid changes late at night or early in the morning, especially waiting long.
  • If there's a nice place X to visit between the two cities, and the route from Marseille to X and from X to Bologna satisfies the two conditions above, it's a considerable option.

I've found there's two direct buses operated by flixbus: 11:30–20:45 and 18:00–03:45(+1). The latter seems nice, but is bookable for only until mid-May.

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If time is the highest priority for you, have you considered flying? You'll need a layover somewhere, but a quick glance shows some itineraries that get it done within 3-4 hours, including flights that leave in the evening so as to maximize your daytime hours. Even including airport time and airport travel time at both ends, it will be hours faster than the bus.

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There are plenty of nice cities to be seen between Marseille and Bologna. Nice, Cannes, in Italy Genova, then you can deviate a little bit from the highway and visit Pisa and Firenze as well. The total driving time (without stopping) is around 8 hours.

If you don't want to stop or you don't have time so the quickest way is taking a flight (but I have no idea about your budget). Consider that there are no direct flights between Bologna and Marseille, so you will have some time wasted sitting in a connection airport, a couple of hours at least.

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How about an overnight ferry to Corsica, pleasant day on Corsica, overnight ferry to Genoa or Civitavecchia, leaving 3 hours on the train to Bologna?

Efficient in terms of daytime travelling and seeing nice places.

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By train, two main routes are possible, depending on what city you want to visit on the way:

  • Marseille - Lyon - Torino - Milano - Bologna: About 9h30, excluding visit time

  • Marseille - Nice - Genova - Milano - Bologna: About 12h, excluding visit time

Both routes have various departure times and connexions each day.

More information on train travel: Seat 61.

  • 1
    this would be a nightmare, not a leisure travel – Val Mar 2 '18 at 14:48
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    I would think it fun, not nightmare at all. (Bus in the night would be a nightmare to me.) – Willeke Mar 2 '18 at 15:15
  • @Val: Some people, including myself, love travelling by train. – mouviciel Mar 2 '18 at 16:27
  • I'm italian, so it doesn't sound good for my country, but railways in Italy are a complete mess. So connections combined with delays will turn leisure into nightmare – Val Mar 2 '18 at 22:24

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