Got any Europe driving tips?

marty359

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Does anyone on here drive to Italy via the Alps every year or know the route well?

Im getting married in Siena in August and will be driving back via the Alps to Calais in the guzzler:) The cars going on an overnight train on the way down but I was just looking for any handy tips for the way back like paying for tolls in advance,places to avoid on route,speed traps,roads to bypass that time of year or anything usefull to make life a bit easier.

Thanks in advance Marty.
 

A210AMG

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I've only been to Italy a couple of times but it shuts down in August from memory.

If you go via Swizerland and use the motorways you have to buy the tax.

Cameras and police are getting more and more in Europe, Several years ago we use to bob on quite nicely.

Also get some spare bulbs, Triangle, beam convertors and yellow jackets (*2)

Some great roads, some great tunnels :) enjoy and best of look but be safe and take care.
 

crockers

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Got any Continental Driving Tips

I find driving on the right side of the road helps..:)

Have a good trip...and don't carry any laser detectors in your car - even if not used they can land you in trouble
 

vijilants

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Make sure you take a satnav with euro maps.....very handy.

Also make sure your breakdown cover or insurance covers recovery from Europe.
 

A210AMG

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Joking aside driving on the correct side still catches you out.

Either late at night off tunnel or ferry and you come to your first round about or again early or late leave the hotel and no other cars around...


Your brain does think...which side !!!


I've driven dozens of times now but it still catches you out..


Few more:-


Green Card
Check your mobile phone is set for roaming
Tell you bank so your cards don't get stopped.
 

yachtman

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Be very careful as you leave a petrol station, especially in rural areas, as it is unbelieveably easy to set off down the wrong side of the road.
 

Vlad

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Just got back from the Alps...I assume you are going via the Mont Blanc Tunnel?????

Fuel is expensive in France due to the devaluation of Sterling...roughly £1.26 a litre or less in towns. Tolls are also getting expensive...count on @ £70 each way........infact just say that France is expensive!!!!....£6 for a pint in the Alps...yikes!

Loads of police with radar guns...so keep the speed down.
 

flango

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I've driven down to Massa Carrera a few times which is about 200 Km north west of Sienna, distance to Massa from Calais is about 1300 Km I take the route that runs North East France towards reims, Lyon strasbourg there are about 3 toll roads in France from Memory before entering Switzerland. Then you head down towards Luzerne and the Italian border, Every road you will use in switzerland is a toll road. You then enter italy heading to Milan on (yes you guessed it a toll road)

If I remember correctly I think the tolls add up to something like £75 -£80 for one direction but that was when Sterling was stronger.

Good luck and stay safe.
 

oldcro

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Do not leave your new wife behind when leaving a filling station. :D
 

CE230

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Make sure your recovery includes driver incapacity even if the car is fine.

I would avoid motorways and enjoy the scenery.
 

Druk

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Siena is beautiful, great choice.

Can you say how long you have for the drive back? shortest route or most scenic, via the Swiss or French alps directly or further east? We've been there a few times.

Two warning triangles are mandatory and reflective vests for each occupant. There is some advise that one is required for each available seat in the car not just current occupancy so buy four. Dont be misled by the cheap construction industry versions, they must have additional reflective shoulder strips. They must be carried within reach of each passenger and not simply in a bag in the boot. Be strongly advised that if you stop, or are stopped, the vest must be donned before you get out the car. There have been cases where the driver has been 'done' for getting out then putting the vest on. Motorway speed limits are generally 130kph, (in France 110kph in the rain). Froggies are commonly placing hidden radar traps approaching tolls so best not to speed.
 
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Ian B Walker

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When coming to a stop sign in France always stop and count to three. I didn't and it cast me 90 euros
 

Londonscottish

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First off - congratulations. And what a great idea taking the C32.

My advice is to see if you can find the time to go over the odd Alpine pass.

Over the years I've had a complete blast

(1) criss-crossing the Pyrenees between Northern Spain and Southern France. Some unbelievable great, empty roads there. Mainly in Nissan 200sx's
(2) blasting up from the south coats of France into the hills behind - again fabulous twisty climbs and drops on empty roads. Mainly in Alfas.

I've only driven from Northern Italy into Switzerland once and was pushed for time and took the fast route through the tunnels - bit boring.

So my advice is to put the time aside to take the C32 up and down the mountains the hard way - truly memorable.

Like this guy.....

http://www.mbclub.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=67559
 

Druk

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Depends if you want to return via the Alps....

The Bernina Pass from Italy into Switzerland near St Moritz



or the Dolomites. The Pordoi Pass.



:bannana::bannana::bannana:
 

wemorgan

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When driving down the mountain passes use a low gear for engine braking rather than the brakes.

Check that the spare wheel is correctly inflated.
 

satt-guy

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Re. VLAD - would you recommend the Mont Blanc tunnel pass with the traffic jams which I hear occur often there,, or via Monaco?
 

jrggino

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Italy

:DOK well what a great place to get married. Ok I actually live in Italy (Bologna) I have to drive the route each year for MOT purposes. I can say that switz is so so cool, i love driving through switz so much.
As the others have said but i will tell you what i have picked up so sorry for the repeats lol.
Make sure your insurnace cover's you for the duration ok. Bring your log book and all licences, both plastic and paper bit, as france requires this.
Make sure you fit the headlamp deflectors correctly as i have known the police to check when you arrive at port heavy fines.
The French do not mess about they will first ask for your passport and thats it, you will pay even if they drive you to a bank.
watch your speed in France they are very hot, even they use the toll road tickets to check the speed, pay attention. My advise would be to plane a off motorway journey as the roads in France are very good.
You can purchase the Switz toll road license, or you can pay when they stop you and tell you to go and buy one at the gates. They have changed the type of disc as mamy years ago you could peel it off and put it on another car now its lots of bits impossible to swop. I have to renew shortly I think its about £36.
Attention to Italy they dont allow radar detectors, i have one here and it gets attention for sure.
They have just started to put cameras up on the motor ways. The motoways are best to travel in Italy well for me anyway as there a roads or just normal roads are very bad.
Italy as far as i know donbt share info with the police, but its coming. I have some tickets but nothing came of them. But it will soon I am sure.
The bug bear for me was the toll keosqs . They are only suited for there left hand drive unlike the other countries. so unless you have someone in the pass seat its a pain. I have now telepass which is an outomated devise and i get charged. I Know they were working on something last year for holiday makers so check out www.telpass.it . could save time. Italian roads are very bad and late july and all of august Italy more or less shuts down for holiday everyone is on thhe roads.
Pay attention please may accidents here, truck drivers will not indicate they just pull out. pay attention ok rest as well when you can as Italy puts so much strain on a person trust me, they all drive like animals.
There are may routes to take, use AA or Rac and check out the routes aand the places on the internet prior, not sure how much time you have spare, but many places of intrest. I Normally just want to get home and back, so i leave Bologna always at about 6 in the evening, and as it gets latter the trafic goes. I have done Bologana to Calis in just under 13 hours.
Hope all goes well for you, if you need any other advise, i will try to help.
Happy driving, if your driving back after you have hitched yopu will have a moaning wife with you LOL

Gino
 
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marty359

marty359

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Thanks to everyone,great stuff guys.


Siena is beautiful, great choice.

Can you say how long you have for the drive back? shortest route or most scenic, via the Swiss or French alps directly or further east? We've been there a few times.
We have been to Italy a couple of times this year to sort things out and look at venues and yes its our favourite place too.Italy is a lovely country and people are really friendly.
We arrive at the Livorna station on the 15th and plan to stay somewhere on the west coast for 3 days,dont know where yet though,before heading to Siena to sort the paperwork out.Married on the 23rd in Siena(ive been given permission to take the car right up to the Piazza del Campo main square outside the town hall) then back to the villa in Scandicci on the outskirts of Florence.Leave the villa on the 25th taking 5 days to get back to Calais so scenic would be nice, and the Swiss Alps do look stunning.


Im a bit dissapointed about the amount of police traps though,dont get me wrong i dont want to tear through Europe leaving a vapour trail behind me but i want to have a bit of fun:)


jrggino, what do you use to locate the speedtraps or just allways stick to the speed limits? are they like ours with warning signs just before them? when we drove from Pisa Airport to Florence we saw quite a few cameras hidden along the roadside but the locals still came flying past us.

Marty
 
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marty359

marty359

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Ah one more thing, I havent got a spare tyre just the compressor and tyre can. Are they any good or is it better to get hold of a spare and stick it in the tyre well incase.
 

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