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Hi all,
This is my first post on AO.com so bear with me, I am planning the obligatory Alfa museum trip from the UK and the exitement is starting to mount (just the 2 of us in the new Spider) and I wondered if anyone else had recently been? we are doing the Dover/Dunkirk crossing and winding down through France, stopping to sample the wine on the way and camping as we go
Planning to spend a few days in Italy then up to Munich via Como, we've been told the Stelvio Pass doesn't open till early June but can't seem to get any info regarding the condition the Pass will be in, will it be fully clear before they open it?
Any cheap hotel info would be very welcome also
Cheers
 
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Welcome to AO :wave: I'm going to move this to the general discussion area because I think you'll get more of a response there (the intro section is just for saying hello ;))
 

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:) Thanks
I'm sure I'll find my way about with a few pointers
 

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It took months of pestering to get her to agree.... well just the Pass then I guess, I assumed something would be open as the alert on the site was so low key.
 

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We're doing the 3 passes in June:cool: And the Millau bridge on the way back. Done the Museum several times and can't wait to do it again for the 2010 Celebrations!
 

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If you are returning back thru Germany you ought to visit the Mercedes Museum in Stuttgart if you haven't seen it already. What a museum!!!!
There is now open the new Porsche museum also in Stuttgart which looks very :cool:
Have a great trip
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Never thought about Merc or Porca museums but will deffo give them a look thanks, just done a dry run packing the boot to make sure all will cram in for the trip, yes I know it's early as we dont go till June LOL but feet are itchin already, driving Mrs SpiderMonkey up the wall she thinks I'm potty, how's this for aftersales...Dews Alfa in Brighouse agreed to do a pre-trip check on the Spider (levels,air etc) for a tenner!
 

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. . . we've been told the Stelvio Pass doesn't open till early June but can't seem to get any info regarding the condition the Pass will be in, will it be fully clear before they open it?
. . .
From my experience I would say, that when the road is opened, it will be properly clear (driveable with summer tyres). But there is still the posibility for new snow at any moment, so nothing can be promised. To get an idea of the situation and the remaining snow and to see if there is traffic already, before you start your journey, you could check the webcams on the summit of the Stelvio pass:

These would show the road, but seem to be off at the moment:
WebCam - Banca Popolare di Sondrio
WebCam - Banca Popolare di Sondrio

The menu with all cams:
WebCam - Banca Popolare di Sondrio
 

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We tried to do Stelvio on the last week of May last year, and it was closed for snow, although some friends of mine were there the week before us, and managed to find a way through (I was only REALLY jealous). The lesson here is don't heed the first closure sign, drive a little further on and try there.

As an alternative we did the San Bernadino Pass which is WELL worth it (there's a Shell garage halfway up too, so feel free to drop the box ;) )

Don't be fooled into thinking you're going "to" the passes - we found that the mountain roads leading to the passes were often as spectacular as the passes themselves.

But don't listen to me too much - we ended up in Austria by accident :cheese:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm glad it's not just me that takes a wrong turn, as it happens we want to get to Austria aswell, planning a mammoth trek after this one (Mrs SpiderMonkey wants the Euro trip out of the way first) gonna do Greece next, making the most of the holidays as I rarely get any time off.
Boot just about accomodates all the gear we need to take for the trip, Mrs SpiderMonkey won't be too happy about the passenger footwell being used as storage!
 

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I can definitely recommend doing the Stelvio pass - but sine you want to go to Austria anyway, make sure you do in in a Northerly direction - from Italy to Austria. It's a much better drive in that direction.
We stayed in the Hotel Post in Glorenza just a little way from the Stelvio pass, but only because we broke down. That said, it was a very nice hotel, the staff (family owned) all very friendly, and it was extrremely cheap too. Food was really good too.
On the other hand, there's a hotel on the pass in Trafoi called Hotel Thoni (which is where we actually broke down, got recovered to Glorenza) and while we didn't stay there, and I can't tell you the price, it's in a breath-taking situation, and the staff were lovely, letting us stay there and charge our phones from their sockets while we waited for the recovery truck.

If you do go to Glorenza, the SS40 North leads up onto Austrias major motorway network, and is also a fantastic (although a lot flatter!) driving road.

Basically, in that area, there is so much scenery and so many lovely sweeping delightful roads, you can hardly avoid them.

Oh, since you're planning on sampling wines anyway, can I suggest Reims? Most of the champagne houses there run guided tours, which you can usually book online before you go. We went on the Mumm one, and it was excellent value. Put it this way - we drank more in champagne than we paid for the tour! The city of Reims is very nice too.

Millau is a decent shout for a destination, but it's a fair detour from going straight to Stelvio. Avoid Nice - it's a craphole, and the South coast of France will probably be a hot, miserable and crowded place at the kind of time you're going.
 

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Check out this route:

from:calais to:SS301/Via Strada Statale 301 to:Stelvio National Park, Italy to:linz - Google Maps

Goes via Reims as I advice (mmm. Champagne)

Has the advantage of going North over the pass (point 57, Bormio is the starting point for the pass)

Also looks like it uses a breathtaking road to get to the South end of the pass in the first place. (Go to point 45, and swap to aerial view. Look at that. Top of a mountain, alongside a lake. Must be beautiful, surely?)

After the Stelvio, uses the lovely road I was talking about up to the motorway too.

The only thing that puzzles me is point 38. Get in a train? Are you sure? :cheese:
Still, there's a road just to the south which would surely be fine to use instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
All the routes suggested look AMAZING we only have 2 weeks this time but we are now planning a road trip to Greece in September, we are taking 3 weeks then so will be able to follow some of the roads suggested thanks, still short on hotel experiences if anyone can help?:)
 

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On the route you mentioned, I have experiences with 3 hotels. My only requirements for a hotel room apart from the price are that the rooms have their own shower/toilet, so I'm not saying that they're better than any other.

South of Lago di Como: Hotel Volta:
- SatNav is useful to find it
- italian (=spartan) breakfast
- only son speaks english (very well) / mother french (I believe)
http://www.hotelvolta.com

below Stelvio pass: Hotel Franzenshöhe:
- probably the highest hotel stay you'll ever have
- italian (=spartan) breakfast
- impossible to miss
Hotel Franzenshöhe: Überblick

Village Stelvio / Stilfs: Hotel Traube:
- the most comfortable of the three
- great view
- very nice breakfast buffett
Hotel Restaurant Traube - Stilfs / Stelvio - Südtirol / Alto Adige - Vinschgau / Val Venosta - Ortlergebiet / Gruppo Ortles
 
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