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I've decided to take my GTV to Italy, back to its natural habitat. I've got 10 days, no kids, a tent and a stack of Euros. Thinking of going to Lake Como, via Germany (so I can hit some autobahns) and Switzerland. I've been to Italy before (Florence and the Amalfi Coast) but I've never driven it. I know it's a bit of a trek for 10 days, but I get bored sitting on a beach anyway, and would rather spend the days in the bends, and the nights in a bar, possibly exploring what Italian Tinder is like...

Any ideas anyone? I'm after specific roads, campsites, etc so I can actually plan a route. I'd rather not sat-nav it. Maps seem to hit the vibe a bit better. I've got my "Learn Italian" MP3s primed and ready :)

Grazie!
 

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If you go through Germany you will most likely enter Switzerland at either Basel or further east at Lindau at the other end of Lake Constance. From Basel the most direct route is by the St Gottard Pass. No need to use the tunnel which can get very busy while the pass is, however, straightforward. From Lindau I have never been but the map makes it look much more interesting. No doubt others can advise. Don't forget that in Switzerland you need a vignette for the motorways. It costs 40CHF and runs from January to January irrespective of when it is bought.
 

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Thanks TonyGr. Didn't know about the vignette thing, I'll look into that. I'm guessing there's going to be lots of tolls and extra hidden costs that I need to factor in. Still looking for super cheap campsites online - all I need is a bit of grass to put a tent on! Any other ideas gratefully received - I'll post details of the trip on here if anyone else is interested.
 

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I know some beautiful roads in Switzerland....though you won't want to be staying there too long as they have a way around their schengen agreement...everything (apart from fuel, beer and chocolate) is three times the price....

Anyway if you do drive through CH....avoid the Gottard tunnel...especially on a Saturday....it is blocked up with half of the Mercedes Germany ever produced.

Either turn off before and do the Lukmanier Pass...turn off before Gottard at Andermatt and the pass goes from Disentis via Olivone and joins up with the main drag near Biasca. It is well worth the detour.

Or if you want to end up going past Lake Garda down to Verona (well worth a visit), then instead head past Zurich to Chur...then turn off the San Benardino pass at Thusis, and go via Teifencastel over the Albula Pass (only open in Summer), then once you get over to the Engadine Valley, turn left up to Zernez (don't go to St Moritz...it is very expensive and, frankly, boring), and then from Zernez over the pass towards Merano. This route from Thusis over to Merano is fantastic....the Julier Pass (the main route over to St Moritz) is open all year round and is also a great pass, but I'd do Albula in Summer...

From Merano you can drop down on the Autostrade (toll motorway) towards Verona and the rest of Italy.

For the record, I'm taking the 166 via France, through Italy and over to Croatia...then back somehow to Britain from there.

The 40 CHF/Euro for the Vignette isn't much....you will soon clock up much more than that using Italian Autostrade or French Peage motorways.
 

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Thanks TonyGr. Didn't know about the vignette thing, I'll look into that. I'm guessing there's going to be lots of tolls and extra hidden costs that I need to factor in. Still looking for super cheap campsites online - all I need is a bit of grass to put a tent on! Any other ideas gratefully received - I'll post details of the trip on here if anyone else is interested.
Calais down to Basel is around 50 euro in road tolls. Switzerland is 35 or 40 Euro and valid till the end of the year. Italy tolls are more expensive but if you budget 10 euro per 100km on the autostrada you should be safe.
I went via Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany this year as the French fuel strike was on and didn't enjoy the Belgium part at all. Driving standards were very poor. Calais down to Basel is easy driving if you want to cover the miles quickly. I like the route through Switzerland but watch your speed, fines are very heavy if you get caught. Weekends will be busy everywhere at this time of year so be prepared for traffic.
 
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