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Old 6 Days Ago   #1
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Driving to Italy from Scotland

Hi all.
I need some advice.
I would like to drive to Italy next year, either around May or August/September. My wife Anne is having a hysterectomy late January and thereafter I will be having a new knee on my left leg. Id like to drive (was in Milan 1997) in the Panda.
As yet not sure where to head to but love Italian food and the ambiance. I'll be 64 and Anne 55. Any advice, destinations and accommodation recommendations would be great.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #2
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Re: Driving to Italy from Scotland

We did it a few years ago, though in my old Jag rather than the Panda.

We broke the trip up in chunks and stayed a night or two in places that interested us (well me).

A good stop in France if you like a bit on Vin is Beaune, just south of Dijon.
It's the centre for Burgundy wine region and is a good 6 hours drive from the crossing, so a perfect stop.
The town is walled and quite nice, driving around the ring road and you pass all the bottling plants with bottle stacked sky high.

We actually stayed in Savigny les Beaune, just to the north and it's what you imagine a typical French wine village should be, a big Chateau and locals out in the vinyards hand picking grapes and me and the Mrs stuffed with cheese and good wine!

A bit further on and we stopped around Huez, Le Borg d'Oisans, Les Deux Alpes as I'm bit of a TDF fan and surprisingly (for the Mrs) they happened to race through while we were there, good timing or what!

After that we wandered over into Italy via the back roads and through Pinerolo and on towards Turin.

We turned south then, had a fiddle in Bra then down the E717 to Savona and the coast.

This part of the motorway is a fantastic drive, the carriageways up and down are nailed to either side of the valley and the traffic just straightline the bends by edging out on the hard shoulder to sweep around left handers.
It's a shock seeing 4 nuns in a Stilo do it at 140 kph!

After that we bummed around the coastal towns. One night we ran up an eye watering restaurant bill in Portofino, when I paid my credit card company rang me to see if it was really me!

Next March we are heading to Florence, Siena and Lucca, but we'll fly and pick up a hire car.
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Last edited by Goudrons; 6 Days Ago at 23:39.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #3
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Re: Driving to Italy from Scotland

Quote Originally Posted by murphyv310 View Post
Hi all.
I need some advice.
I would like to drive to Italy next year, either around May or August/September. My wife Anne is having a hysterectomy late January and thereafter I will be having a new knee on my left leg. Id like to drive (was in Milan 1997) in the Panda.
As yet not sure where to head to but love Italian food and the ambiance. I'll be 64 and Anne 55. Any advice, destinations and accommodation recommendations would be great.
As I spend five months of the year in Umbria I'd suggest spending some time there, of course. It's not as advanced in tourist terms as Tuscany, (and cheaper) but it's easy to get to Siena, for instance, from the northern part of Umbria. I really don't like cities so I'd plump for a well-recommended agriturismo. Wine is great - sagrantino, rosso di Montefalco, ciliegiolo, Orvieto - Campo del Guardiano from Palazzone vineyard is exquisite - reds or whites from Zanchi near Amelia, olive oil is the best to be found (being inland and relatively high, the olives in Umbria withstand hard winters and need less spraying against olive fly than the norm). You have to be unlucky to eat badly in Umbria but you need to find places that are a little more adventurous/interesting, which have pushed traditional dishes on a bit. Living there we don't really know much about hotels and other places to stay (however, Il Cantico della Natura near Lake Trasimeno is lovely, as is Borgo della Marmotta just outside Spoleto) but I could give you hints on places to eat in the Spoleto area.

We've made the trip twice a year, spring and autumn, for years, in one Fiat or another often a Panda. We spend three nights in hotels on the journey (route is Devon, Channel Tunnel, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Italy), We're both 70 (till next week) and find August too hot, it's generally not too bad after ferragosto (the 14th) but September and October are lovely, as is May.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #4
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Re: Driving to Italy from Scotland

Thanks Chaps.
We are in the first steps of planning so the above is really useful.
I'll come back here and update but in the meantime any further tips and places will be very helpful.
Thanks again.
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Re: Driving to Italy from Scotland

Quote Originally Posted by murphyv310 View Post
Thanks Chaps.
We are in the first steps of planning so the above is really useful.
I'll come back here and update but in the meantime any further tips and places will be very helpful.
Thanks again.
Planning is a good part of the fun.
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Re: Driving to Italy from Scotland

Best of luck with the journey, I'm sure it will be very pleasant, especially if you're not too constrained by time.
We go twice a year to "la bella italia" although we fly and use Trenitalia to get around, only hiring a car if required. There are so many beautiful places to visit it would take ages to list them all, but Lucca is a place we return to every year, the music festival throughout July is fantastic and Lucca is handy for trips to Florence, Pisa & Siena by train.
If you're going in May, the Mille Miglia starts on the 16th, the route is on their website. We're heading over, based in Verona for the event.
The Italian F1GP is 2nd September.
If you've never been to Venice, try get there too. Staying in the city can be expensive but if you find a small hotel somewhere not too far away, catching a train in is a good alternative. Treviso is nice, about 30mins away. If you do decide to visit Venice I'll post a list of some great places to eat, full of locals, students and hipsters and half the price of the tourist traps. The best places are around the Cannaregio & Jewish Ghetto areas.
Likewise Rome, if you get that far. My wife asked "why are you driving like a maniac?" to which I replied "I'm not driving like a maniac, I'm driving like a Roman" Don't take your car into Rome (or any Italian city for that matter) and expect it to be a stress free experience. If you do head to Rome, look for a small hotel in the Trastevere area of town. Loads of cool places and people, a bit more chilled out and minutes into town by train.
I'll make a list of websites and post them on here for you
Ci vediamo dopo!
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Re: Driving to Italy from Scotland

Quote Originally Posted by Parabolica View Post
If you do head to Rome, look for a small hotel in the Trastevere area of town. Loads of cool places and people, a bit more chilled out and minutes into town by train.
If you head up the Janiculum hill behind Trastevere to the monument of Garibaldi for a picnic lunch, remember that they fire an enormous artillery gun there at midday.

We didn't know, we were tucking in, sat on the wall above wondering why everyone was looking over the edge.
We soon found out.
I nearly soiled myself!

If you make it to Venice, take a flask of coffee with you to St Marks square.
22 euro for two thimbles, half full of luke warm cappucino.
Did we laugh!
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Re: Driving to Italy from Scotland

Here's a few;
www.visittuscany.com
www.lucca.info
www.turismovenezia.it
www.summer-festival.com
www.1000miglia.eu
and a couple of blogs that we found very useful;
www.monicacesarto.com (a lovely lady)
www.girlinflorence.com

If you're into bikes, the Italian MotoGP is 3June @ Mugello. San Marino, 9Sep @ Misano.

and, don't get the idea that we chew our way 'round Tuscany but.......
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Re: Driving to Italy from Scotland

The speed limit signs are in Kilometers an hour not miles an hour and you can only use that excuse once (especially if you are in a bright green Panda).

I would suggest a stop near the Alps or make a weekend of it and visit Paris first. The Autoroute from Paris to the Italian boarder makes the smoothest of UK roads look like the surface of the Moon. Toll road but worth it. Fewer skiers and not quite summer so it should be pretty quiet in May.
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Re: Driving to Italy from Scotland

Catching the Mille Miglia is a good idea - third week of May. The route varies from year to year, sometimes going through Spoleto and Terni on the Via Flaminia, which takes it past the end of the road up to our village. 2018 route goes from Cortona to Orvieto on the way south to Rome, which means it may be conveniently close but I'd need to see more detail to be sure. The cars in the event are absolutely mouth-watering, and there's a parallel event for modern Ferraris.
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Re: Driving to Italy from Scotland

Most interesting and largest car museum in Europe , or even in the world..., on your way to Italy:

http://citedelautomobile.com/en/home

This was once a private collection, owned by two ( very rich...) brothers.
Look for Schlumpf collection on the internet, amazing story!
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Re: Driving to Italy from Scotland

Just to the north of Milan.
https://www.museoalfaromeo.com/en-us...AlfaRomeo.aspx

I nearly died of dehydration, drooling so much.
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Re: Driving to Italy from Scotland

Quote Originally Posted by Goudrons View Post
Just to the north of Milan.
https://www.museoalfaromeo.com/en-us...AlfaRomeo.aspx

I nearly died of dehydration, drooling so much.

Know what you mean, been there twice...
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Re: Driving to Italy from Scotland

Quote Originally Posted by Peter Pick-Up View Post
Most interesting and largest car museum in Europe , or even in the world..., on your way to Italy:

http://citedelautomobile.com/en/home

This was once a private collection, owned by two ( very rich...) brothers.
Look for Schlumpf collection on the internet, amazing story!
It was a fairly well-kept secret for years, with people like Denis Jenkinson - the Motor Sport Grand Prix reporter at the time and legendary navigator for Stirling Moss on the (real) Mille Miglia - hinting at its existence from time to time.
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