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Discussion Starter #1
Like many people on here I am planning a road trip to Italy at some point (I had to promise to take the good Mrs Nelly on such a trip before I was allowed to buy the Spider), hopefully this summer. Inspired by a comment on another thread, I thought I would start one on this subject...

The plan is to cross the channel, drive through France slow time enjoying the scenery, food and drink, then enjoy a few days in Italy and drive back a different route and then back to Blighty.

Those who have done such a trip any advice on the pitfalls of driving on the continent, places to go, places to avoid, breakdown cover, lessons learned, things to take etc etc to help planning the trip would be much appreciated. Ta very much.
 

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Group of 5 in 4 GTV did this trip 2017 going france Switzerland and then Italy for Monza Grand Prix in Sept 2017

we did the Overnight ferry from Portsmouth to Le Havre so that we were fresh for the first Day, This route also is away from the usual Dover Calais that channels you into loads of Tolls,

So we did out first evening in Nancy, France taking in the old Reims Race track on the way, Second day was onto Lucerne in Switzerland and then we went on to Lecco where we hired a Villa around the banks of Lake Como, 970 Miles from Wolverhampton to Lecco, We had the greatest miles done on first day (as we were freshest then less second and less again 3rd), We stopped regular and took photo opportunities when we wanted,

The must do`s are when you get to Switzerland and you have to do the Passes, I know everyone goes on about the Stelvio pass as its featured Top Gear and all that but we did the Legends of Nuffonen, Grimsel, Susten and Firka, Simply unreal amazing and breathtaking, On that route there is a very famous popular walk into Glacier that well worth the 10 Euro you walk into a 150 meter carved out pathway into the actual glacier, Switzerland is Mighty expensive for everything but they do take Euro`s

Italy is just fantastic, Lifestyle Culture Buildings People Food everything about the place is just so nice a really classy place

Breakdown cover on a car over 17 years of age is a task, I plumbed for Asda cover, You really need the full beans cover in case you need recovery from Italy can you imagine the costs if self funded, Insurance was straightforward most providers allow for European travel, Remember to check for Switzerland its in Europe but its not part of EU, Stay away from 95 Ron E10 fuel as its 10% ethanol and cars of this age will not run well on E10 even though the pump sys 95 Ron

There is a mind field of regulation about things you formally and legally need while in all these countries and they differ between france Switzerland and Italy but its all available from forums AA RAC ect, We never got stopped at border or by the Police but it would be wise to comply.

We had a year in the planning and route planned every detail was very worthwhile we uses Booking.com as these were (usually pay on the depart dat and deposit free) most we payed was 40 Euro a night and they were serious genuine hotels, Much better than finding something on the day when your already there.

In terms of car preparation only you can know your self what level of preparation your car needs but its a real test of your car, 2400 miles in 9 days we did in Toys that are usually dry weather weekend pleasure cars but it was an excuse for certain upgrades enhancements in the interests of Safety or reliability obviously, Remember its likely to be 25-30c in Italy in Summer so think about your cooling system

Apart from the usual service items you may need to think of New brake lines, Hoses and Fluids, And gearbox oils, I took my car in for a 3 month check over prior to going, Acted on findings and then again with 1 week to go for peace of mind

Between the 4 cars 1 Bulb and a Engine undertray coming loose was the total problems


If there is anything else you need help on Let me know
 

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Obviously you need to take your car home to Arese and what was the Old factory but is now the Alfa Museum, Allow 5-6 hours to do it properly well worth it, Around 20 Km from Milan
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Brad... many thanks. Very informative and much appreciated.
 

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i am planning a similar trip, but since i am starting from Holland i was thinking Nurnberg ring -> stelvio (backside is supposed to be the best) -> milan -> Museo storico Alfa Romeo (there apparently is a Sparco factory tour near there) -> Dijon (mustard) -> Reims (champagne).

But the posts above got me thinking of maybe Switzerland -> Milan -> Dijon -> Reims. (or the other way around)

Anyways, keep me posted on when you guys are going.

As for rules:
-France:keep one of those yellow safety jacket with your jack etc. Apparently breathalyzer is mandatory to have in the car in France. Officially you are not allowed to eat or drink whilst driving in France.
-Germany: no speed limited is constantly mixed with limited speeds. Speed camera's can be directly behind the new speed sign (as i've found out :( ) so keep the speed the sign says directly at the sign. Winter tires are mandatory in Germany in the winter months.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Matt... Reims could well be on the list of places to visit for the reason you mentioned. I’ve still got a first aid kit, warning triangle and set of spare bulbs in the boot of the GTV from when I lived in Germany and drove home on leave through Holland, France and Belgium to meet various regulations but can’t remember which country they were all for.
 

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As for rules:
-France:keep one of those yellow safety jacket with your jack etc. Apparently breathalyzer is mandatory to have in the car in France.
<<snip>>
Winter tires are mandatory in Germany in the winter months.
Keep your hi-viz vests (one for each person in the car) in the car and put them on before you get out.
You need to carry TWO breathalysers.
Winter tyres are only mandatory in some parts of Germany IIRC.
 

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Top tip: Rheims is pronounce Rrrance. ;)



You do not need alco-testers in France. Save your money.

Carry cash for on the spot speeding fines.
(Split bills 20s and 10s at least 90 Euros. 135 if you are a mentalist.)

Use the iCoyote app for speed trap and traffic info (free for 15 days iirc)

Get a CritAir pollution badge for driving in and around certain French cities.
https://www.certificat-air.gouv.fr/en/

Not sure if all pay pumps take non-French debit cards.

Plenty of old threads in the GMD lounge.

;)
 

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For driving through France:
Hi-Vis vest for each person, spare bulb kit, warning triangle, V5, insurance docs & your driving licence. DON'T forget the documents! We were stopped in France a few years back & the Gendarmes checked everything. Good job we had all the documents because they were looking for a reason to nick us.
It was a layby ambush ahead of us - Mrs C. was on her mobile & they assumed she was driving - wasn't until we pulled up that they clocked the British number plate!
Once in Switzerland:
If you intend to use the Swiss motorway network, make sure you buy & display a Vignette sticker. No need to get one before you go, most petrol stations in Switzerland sell them. If you're going to spend any time in Switzerland rather than just passing straight through, get some Swiss Francs before you go. Yes, most places except Euros but their exchange rates are eye-wateringly bad. And that's on top of the already very expensive prices for everything there.
When you get to Italy:
Sit back, relax & enjoy the drive - you're in Italy in an Alfa Romeo!
 

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We have done multiple trips around Europe (including Italy 5 times).

We always book hotels before we travel as it is so much easier to arrange.

We plan routes using Google maps but always take the timings with a pinch of salt and allow twice as long.
If you plan to stop in nice places it doesn't matter if you get there in time to spend the evening in town.
Don't underestimate how far it is, we took four days each way when we drove to Naples.

We have driven Reims, Monaco and Naples race circuits, the Milau bridge from both directions, all the main tunnels through the Alps and on one trip did over 200 tunnels.

Enjoy and tell us all about it when you get back.

James

P.S. The Ferrari museum is worth a visit too.
 

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Like many people on here I am planning a road trip to Italy at some point (I had to promise to take the good Mrs Nelly on such a trip before I was allowed to buy the Spider), hopefully this summer. Inspired by a comment on another thread, I thought I would start one on this subject...

The plan is to cross the channel, drive through France slow time enjoying the scenery, food and drink, then enjoy a few days in Italy and drive back a different route and then back to Blighty.

Those who have done such a trip any advice on the pitfalls of driving on the continent, places to go, places to avoid, breakdown cover, lessons learned, things to take etc etc to help planning the trip would be much appreciated. Ta very much.
I have done a few trips to Italy in a GTV. Either my son’s car or mine.
Below is a link to a posting from 2011 - might give you a few ideas. We started at Rheims circuit after crossing over in the tunnel.

http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-gtv-andamp-916-spider/277987-the-gtv-at-rheims-circuit.html?highlight=gtv+rheims

Have the car checked before you go. Usual stuff - tyres and oil etc etc.
Take / get a spare tyre if you don’t have one.
Book a good breakdown cover. Yes it’s a waste of money if you don’t use it but mighty handy just in case.
If you go through Switzerland make sure you buy or pre buy a motorway carnet.
The obvious insurance cover abroad is needed. On the trip above we did not use a sat Nav. If I was going tomorrow I would now use one. So take yours if you have one.
The main thing is have fun.
Alan
 

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As for rules:
-France:keep one of those yellow safety jacket with your jack etc. Apparently breathalyzer is mandatory to have in the car in France. Officially you are not allowed to eat or drink whilst driving in France.
Driving in France | 10 Things You Need to Know is a fairly useful site. It is commercial but they have useful additional info.

For minimal Gendarme grief, every occupant must have a hi-vis, not just the driver, and they have to be accessible inside the car ( not in the boot ).

The fine for not having a breathalyser device is apparently ( and this has changed over the years ) €0. Apparently the law cannot be enforced because the breathalysers don't last long in high temperatures so it is a constant cycle of replacing them; especially in the south. Take one for minimal Gendarme hassle or take the chance of being issued a fine of €0 :)
 

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Top tip: Rheims is pronounce Rrrance. ;)


You do not need alco-testers in France. Save your money.

Use the iCoyote app for speed trap and traffic info (free for 15 days iirc)

Get a CritAir pollution badge for driving in and around certain French cities.
https://www.certificat-air.gouv.fr/en/

;)
You do need 2 new alco testers it is mandatory

if you have any means in the car including mobile phone on display that you are using for guidance and that has the ability to show speed cameras then that is an offense and its an on the spot fine

and these cars are not allowed into Parris, They do not meet the emissions standard because of age and so i think its 15km.................... but you can not go in to parris in a GTV, Bit like London they film everything and then send you the bill

another Tip we all carried Fire extinguishers also for the ultimate "what about if"

another silly little thing but it is worth remembering, we all have a 1st aid kit in most households but if you are stopped they will be checking the "use by" dates, Yes there are use by dates for the 1st aid kit, If its out of date then its an on the spot fine
 

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From RAC.co.uk:

Breathalysers/alcohol test (as of January 2013 the French government announced that the introduction of an €11 fine for not carrying one has been postponed indefinitely, however, law still states that drivers of motor vehicles and motorcyclist must have an alcotest ready for use in their vehicle even though no penalty will be imposed if they cannot present one during a police road check)
 

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You do need 2 new alco testers it is mandatory
Wrong. Deemed uninforceble. No one carries them. And I bought an electronic one. :rant:


if you have any means in the car including mobile phone on display that you are using for guidance and that has the ability to show speed cameras then that is an offense and its an on the spot fine
Wrong. So long as it conforms to NF469 it is allowed. Generally NF469 dictates the device
cannot pinpoint cameras precisely, but can highlight camera zones.


;)


and these cars are not allowed into Parris, They do not meet the emissions standard because of age and so i think its 15km.................... but you can not go in to parris in a GTV, Bit like London they film everything and then send you the bill
Ah good point anything registered before 1/1/97 is banned. But there is currently no ANPR. Just
police checks.







BOT
French telepeage badge is good if you are travelling on autoroutes at peak periods.

Can shave ½hour off a 400km trip.

BipandGo works in spain too. ;)



Gen-up on priorité à droite, what is and isn't a roundabout, and the fact in France you are allowed
to go all the way round roundabouts on the
outside and it's then your right of way.
A major cause of GB plate fender benders. ;)
 

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Gen-up on priorité à droite, what is and isn't a roundabout, and the fact in France you are allowed
to go all the way round roundabouts on the
outside and it's then your right of way.
A major cause of GB plate fender benders
Good advice. I drive a lot in France and the roundabouts are probably the worst aspect! Just assume that anyone on, or approaching, a roundabout may be about to do totally the opposite of what you might think they should be doing and you won't go too far wrong :thumbu p:
 

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Gen-up on priorité à droite, what is and isn't a roundabout, and the fact in France you are allowed
to go all the way round roundabouts on the
outside and it's then your right of way.
A major cause of GB plate fender benders
Good advice. I drive a lot in France and the roundabouts are probably the worst aspect! Just assume that anyone on, or approaching, a roundabout may be about to do totally the opposite of what you might think they should be doing and you won't go too far wrong
+1

I saw at least 4 French cars going the wrong way around the new roundabout near Quimper in the early 80s. Roundabouts were few and far between in France in those days!
 

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another thing apart from the Obvious Euro plates requirement that may or may not have a GB logo on the plates you ALSO need a GB sticker attached to the body work additionally

personally i just wanted to be fully loaded with all there darned EU requirements so i took everything i mentioned rather than having this chat with an over worked under paid French policeman who was being lectured to by a English tourist, I just didn't want to risk it, You may very well be right on the corrections you have made i do not know but i didn't want to take the chance and risk i fine, 2 Weeks before our journey a man was locked up in jail in switzerland for speeding, Still in jail at the time of our trip out
 
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