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(Post Link) post #1 of 7 Old 26-01-07 Thread Starter
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Driving to Italy...

...anyone done it recently?

I'm thinking of driving our Spider to tuscany for our summer holiday. Wanted to do the journey as quickly / efficiently as possible (but will enjoy the car more once we get there!). Any ideas on mileage / journey times / routes etc. most appreciated.

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Re: Driving to Italy...

Your going to drive to Italy??
You'll be hoping its hot then as all you will be able to fit in the car is a couple of pairs of pants :-)
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Re: Driving to Italy...

Aye! I took Tarquini down there last year, as he needs a longish run now and again.

I didn't go the "direct" (A1) route from Calis to Paris. I went due South from Calis, parallel with the German border on the "A26/E17".

Eventually I ended up in Paris (though the A26 does carry on South as the A5). I found the A26 a lot quieter than the A1 normally is. It may be worth a punt if you intend to go in August.

It had a lot of "Aires" .. kind of big rest areas. Some have a shop and others just had toilets etc. but it was nice to be able to stop somewhere less busy than the regular service stations.

Paris is a nutter, so best of luck around the Paree-Ferrique. Eventually you come out on the Autoroute de Soleil (A6?) and then it's a fair old tramp toward Lyon.

Get off the motorway towards Bourg-en-Bresse A40 and head East. You'll end up near Mont Blanc' without the need to go through Switzerland.

If you leave Britain on the 07:30 ferry you end up arriving in France at 10am local time. The tramp to Paris takes a couple of hours - the French built it in the wrong place - so you end up hitting it at lunchtime.

It takes AGES to get round Paris.. you won't be on the way South till 13:00 and by then you'll be starving hungry. Go as far as you can as it gets quiet the further south you go.

Don't overdo it though. Have a break every two hours (it more or less coincides with half a tank of gas, so fill up every second stop).

Resist the urge to stop for hours and hours though... nothing knacks your average speed quite like a leisurely lunch break every hour but on the other hand, enjoy the drive.. you're not in some race with the devil.

Towards the south there's a few places that have cheapo B&B facilities. You have to guestimate your average cruising speed and stamina and book one in advance, if it's high season.

Personally, I always use the Holiday Inn after you crossed into Italy. If you make good time you can get through Mont Blanc in the evening and the HI is down the road towards Aosta. It's new, big (lots of rooms) has benzina and is right on the Autostrada.. but reckon on getting there after 8pm. It's still light. but you'll be rubber-ducked.

Bring a cool-box that plugs into the ciggie lighter and put some sandwiches, fruit and water in there, so you have something to nibble every time you stop. Don't do the big lunch after 2pm or you'll nod off. It's better if you have a snack every time you stop.

Put one bottle of water in the freezer before you leave (so it freezes). It'll stay cold all the way to Italy. Don't drink too much fizzy pop or caffeine drinks.. just eat light snacks, have a regular drink of water and good, regular breaks.

Bring something to put under your throttle foot.. a cloth or something (you'll get cramp) and it's an idea to have sunglasses. Wear long sleeve shirt as you'll get a burnt arm otherwise.

Dunno the mileages but I think Calis to Holiday Inn Aosta is about 600miles. It sounds like you only have to average 60mph but if you stop a total of 2 hours, you have to average 75.. you get the idea.

I'll try and find the details for HI Aosta if you think you're up it.

Ralf S.

No bullets for Chaingun..

Last edited by Ralf S.; 26-01-07 at 16:41.
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Re: Driving to Italy...

From Calais to Firenze is about 860 miles. Since you will be going in summer, I would go via one of the passes - either the Grand St Bernard or Simplon. Takes longer than the tunnel options but the driving and views are worth the extra time. If you choose to go via the St Bernard pass, then I would go Calais- Reims-Besancon-Pontarlier-Vallorbes-Lausanne-Martigny and over the pass. You will have to choose whether to buy a Swiss vignette to use their motorways, but I have found it reasonable to use the normal roads there - even in summer. Once in Italy, use the autostrada for the long distances. The other roads may be in poor condition and you will be held up by the trucks.
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Re: Driving to Italy...

Double post leightv

Check out your original in way off topic for more answers

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Re: Driving to Italy...

When I've done the alps, probably dfriven that route about 15 times now, it's usually been calais or dunkirk (depending on ferry costs) then basically motorways direct through, Lille - Reims - Dijon - Bourge en Bresse - Geneva - then i'd follow the snow to potes du soliel (but that doesn't help you much - but it's signed from geneva no problems. Dunno if you got it but satnav users update or you'll be staring at a blank screen for hours.
Also they've started putting in fixed cameras on this route which is fairly rare for france (so I've been lead to believe) but they are marked well in advance and easy top spot.
We used to do Orpington J4 M25 to Morzine (suimilar distance to the italian border) in about 11-12 hours door to door this way.
Have a good trip, and remember all the usual nonsense with bulbs, triangle, fire extinguisher, hi-vis vests if you breakdown and if you've still got any room left after that some luggage
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Re: Driving to Italy...

Hey! Thanks a million for all the helpful advice. Looking forward to reading thru it all and planning the trip!

Apology's for the double post...I'm new, won't do it again!!

Thanks again chaps!! Well appreciated!!

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