Anthony Peregrine spends three days following the Mediterranean coast from Montpellier to Rome.
"All roads lead to Rome" is a blatant lie. Some of them lead to Blackburn. And those that do lead to Rome are not enjoyable. They take forever and, once you get into Italy, confirm that life is cheap and your life cheapest of all.
The plane is no better. From my home in France, the least expensive way to fly to Rome is via London. So the train is the reasonable option.
Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/journeysbyrail/8302896/Rail-journeys-Montpellier-to-Rome-by-train.html