Suggestions for an Italian road trip

Old Nov 21, 18, 1:12 pm
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Suggestions for an Italian road trip

Mrs Wilsnunn and I are looking at going on an approx 1 week road trip in Italy at the end of January next year (partly taking advantage of the fact that I will be over 25 and car hire won't be extortionate any more!).

We hope to find a good deal during the upcoming Black Friday Sale (I got some amazingly cheap weekend breaks this year as a result of it last year), but are wondering if anybody had any suggested routes (NB looking for suggested routes, not exact flights). The BA website lists a few, but none seem properly road trip worthy to me.

Details for us:

Fly from LHR (we would drive there and park) or LCY and LGW (by train/tube/DLR).
Hoping for Sat-Sun (9 nights) or a subset (this would affect flights if from LCY?)
Hoping to stay in 3-4 or so different areas (2 or so nights per place)

I am in need of a few more avoids this year to keep silver, so may make one way CE, the other way will either be ET or CE depending on what there is available (prices).
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Old Nov 21, 18, 3:00 pm
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I would fly to VCE (Venice) and book your car hire via AVIS using AVIOS. I do this for my ski trips. Go to Venice for a day or two (my favourite city) Have an easy drive out the airport, right for 300m then left onto the road to go up to Cortina.

From Cortina, go over the hill at passo falzareggo and go onto the Sella Ronda/ Alta Badia roads. Beautiful scenery, there are tons of really amazing restaurants in various places.

Or straight on to Arabba (I have friends in the town)

An alternative is to stay in Venice, then take the train down to Florence (done this) and take a stop in the food capital of Italy, Bologna.
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Old Nov 21, 18, 4:06 pm
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Watch out the roads aren't closed further up in the Alps, because of snow and avalanches. If you want a hair raising experience, try doing a tour of Sicily. Driving in Palermo is particularly fun. You've just need to have no fear. Seriously, a trip around Sicily would be wonderful, although the weather might be a bit off in January.

Last edited by Concerto; Nov 22, 18 at 4:27 pm Reason: correction; more info
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Old Nov 21, 18, 4:21 pm
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Originally Posted by GlasgowCyclops View Post
I would fly to VCE (Venice) and book your car hire via AVIS using AVIOS. I do this for my ski trips. Go to Venice for a day or two (my favourite city) Have an easy drive out the airport, right for 300m then left onto the road to go up to Cortina.

From Cortina, go over the hill at passo falzareggo and go onto the Sella Ronda/ Alta Badia roads. Beautiful scenery, there are tons of really amazing restaurants in various places.

Or straight on to Arabba (I have friends in the town) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbjwU2oDJ_E

An alternative is to stay in Venice, then take the train down to Florence (done this) and take a stop in the food capital of Italy, Bologna.
Hum... what about Turin? Anyone know the best food (and wine) is in Piedmont
(basically almost every big city is the italian food capital for the people that lives in - or comes from - the related region )

About the OP, I can't really help as I don't really like driving, but what about an open jaw Turin to Pisa or Florence and visit Piedmont (Turin, Langhe, Monferrato), Liguria (Cinqueterre) and Tuscany (everywhere) on the way?
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Old Nov 21, 18, 5:44 pm
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Originally Posted by Concerto View Post
Watch out the roads aren't closed further up in the Alps, because of snow and avalanches. If you want a hair raising experience, try doing a tour of Sicily. Driving in Palermo is particularly fun. You've just go to have no fear.

Oh yep just noticed it was in Jan. Don't go beyond Beluno, Me and 200 other ski buddies of the tinternet may be there on the Sella Ronda. Seriously, you will need snow tyres (Avis is good) and back up chains.

Head south of Venice for great roads. :-)
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Old Nov 21, 18, 6:27 pm
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Monaco to Sanremo and onwards along the coast should be open in winter and it's quite a drive. Speed limit in the tunnels is still 130km/h (i.e., 150+ for Italians)

Inland to Milan is boring. It leads you to the lakes and then the mountains, but the plain between the coast and the lakes is boring and Milan's not that interesting either unless you like expensive fashion.
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Old Nov 21, 18, 6:29 pm
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Suggestions for an Italian road trip
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Old Nov 21, 18, 8:00 pm
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I would put a strong vote in for Sicily - beautiful island! Yes the driving culture might be a bit... ehm different... but it is not disastrous. I find especially the eastern part with volcano Mt. Etna gorgeous, so if you can find a way to fly into CTA that would be my suggestion..
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Old Nov 22, 18, 12:56 am
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If you are going at the end of January I would probably look to focus mainly on the Cities as Italy can be very cold and snowy then - why not open jaw into Bologna then train it to Florence (with the high speed trains it takes all of 35-40 minutes) and then down to Rome (1-1.5 hours) and out of FCO - it is the road very well travelled but December/January a good time to go and itís not as crowded as the peak Spring/ Summer/ Autumn season is walk straight into the Uffizi rather than queue for six hours! You can also get some amazing winter deals at really good hotels too...? Also if you get any sunny cold crisp glorious Winter days are absolutely stunning and the light shows these cities off to the best advantage (the trains are reliable and you donít need to contemplate negotiating your way around Italian cities and drivers by car) Happy holiday planning.
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Old Nov 22, 18, 2:26 am
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Liguria

You can fly GOA from LGW on BA as well. Having Genoa as a base for the trip you can go to Langhe with a 2 hours drive (not a great impact in winter, but food and wine are always good). You can go to Cinque Terre (but I would suggest train in this case, or you go to Levanto by car, park it there and them use train between the Terrre). Portofino is off limits as for now. Again, you can take a car and drive to Pisa, Lucca or Florence. You can drive to Sanremo and this coast is awesome.
Pros: it may snow here in Genoa, but it happens once in a winter time. The climate is mild and it is not so cold as in other parts of Italy. It is really a 2 hours drive to other sightseeing places.
Contros: do not consider bridge collapse as a contro. If you drive away in early moring you won't sufer heavy traffic.
Consider that Appenine area (Bologna, Florence) can we affected by heavy snow in winter.
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Old Nov 22, 18, 2:26 am
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I am in the North and its already getting cold, by January you might find driving treacherous or even impossible in the most interesting parts.

I would suggest something like the following, driving South to North:

1. Fly into Bari or Catania. I've found Sicily is every Italian's second favourite destination and Puglia is every Italian's second favourite cuisine (after wherever they are from, of course).
2. Naples and the Amalfi Coast. Naples is the most quintessentially Italian city but i wouldn't recommend driving into the centre unless you take the full insurance package on the car.
3. Rome. There's nowhere on earth that comes remotely close to the history and culture there. You could spend the whole week here and not see everything.
4. From here, and weather depending, either go over the Gran Sasso Park and take the long way to Bologna, or go straight up, stopping in Siena or Florence on the way.
5. If cars are your thing, spend a day touring the Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Ducati, or Pagani factories, all of which are within a few miles of Bologna.
5. Fly out of Bologna.

That should be plenty for a week's driving, I wouldn't plan for more than 2 or 3 places in that time. I also wouldn't bother with Milan or Turin in winter, and Venice is pretty boring.
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Old Nov 22, 18, 3:03 am
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The cities would be the easiest way to handle January weather, but that's a contradiction to your road trip idea. Thinking of regions that do favour a car over the train, I would go to Tuscany, especially since LCY-FLR seems relatively convenient and well-timed for you. There's plenty to fill a week there, certainly if you stick to the slow roads and branch out as far as Lucca, Volterra, Pienza. Or you could stretch yourself all the way down to Rome and Amalfi Coast (which would be my second pick).
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Old Nov 22, 18, 3:10 am
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If itís January I would stick to cities and train in between. Save the car for touring gorgeous countryside in warmer weather.
Venice - Florence - Bologna - Rome - Naples.
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Old Nov 22, 18, 3:28 am
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Originally Posted by Lefly View Post
basically almost every big city is the italian food capital for the people that lives in - or comes from - the related region
Slightly OT here but I often find those beautiful small towns and indeed medieval hamlets to be the truly authentic food & wine capitals of Italy instead Having been to many of the big cities (currently fairly often in Rome because of work and not really getting accustomed to the chaos!), we now prefer to avoid the hustle & bustle [of the big cities] and enjoy the real dolce vita in places such as the countryside in Abruzzo (driving from Rome towards the Adriatic coast is, by itself, a cracking experience), Umbria, Tuscany or even up in Trentino Alto Adige for some altitude running the astounding landscapes, superb atmosphere and the friendly locals are all truly unique

G
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Old Nov 22, 18, 4:22 am
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Originally Posted by AlicorporateUK View Post
Slightly OT here but I often find those beautiful small towns and indeed medieval hamlets to be the truly authentic food & wine capitals of Italy instead Having been to many of the big cities (currently fairly often in Rome because of work and not really getting accustomed to the chaos!), we now prefer to avoid the hustle & bustle [of the big cities] and enjoy the real dolce vita in places such as the countryside in Abruzzo (driving from Rome towards the Adriatic coast is, by itself, a cracking experience), Umbria, Tuscany or even up in Trentino Alto Adige for some altitude running Ė the astounding landscapes, superb atmosphere and the friendly locals are all truly unique

G
Never tried the "Festival delle Sagre" in Asti? That's the top about food
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