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Anyone driven to northern Italy from UK

(26 Posts)
sievehead Wed 06-Apr-05 15:26:36

Not shy of long car journeys as often do them to see my sister in Le Mans, France. Just wandering about going camping in Italy as have a new tent..... not sure how long it would take to drive to maybe the Lakes from Calais? Anyone?????

Beetroot Wed 06-Apr-05 15:32:05

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pragmatist Wed 06-Apr-05 15:40:20

Break up the journey with stop offs en route?

We did a grand European tour by car a few years back (pre children) encompassing Berne, Munich, Florence, Saltzburg and somewhere else (can't remember)...although not necessarily in that order. It was a lot of driving and wouldn't necessarily want to do it with small kids. How old are the children?

MaryP0p1 Wed 06-Apr-05 15:42:35

We drive to about 45mins south of Bologna (middle of Italy) and it takes 2 days. 1st day stop in Switzerland could get to Como if you really push hard but it makes the second day very hard. Our journey is just over 1000 miles from Essex.

Camping in Italy is great (depending on the time of year). Lots of really good camp sites.

Hope this helps some.

sievehead Wed 06-Apr-05 16:04:53

Kids are 5 and 2 (girls). Very impressed with you all!! Is it quicker to go via Switzerland then? How long to the first stopover from Calais then Mary Pop1? Were your kids with you?

binkie Wed 06-Apr-05 16:15:33

We've done motorail for those sorts of trips - have a look at railsavers if you like that idea.

MaryP0p1 Wed 06-Apr-05 16:17:43

Yes I always driven with my children and did it when I was a child with 2 car sick children and some newspaper (nice).

The route we take is Metz, Reims head towards Strasberg skimming into Germany into Switzerland then through Switzerland (Gottenberg tunnel) and your there. By the way the tunnels get very blocked in the Summer so allow time for this.

How old are your children?

Tinker Wed 06-Apr-05 16:21:27

You may have to pay Swiss road tax at the border. We did on a day trip to Basle last year. Think it's apportioned for the year. We paid £40 in August.

MaryP0p1 Wed 06-Apr-05 16:22:19

If I were going to Como I'd probably do it in one day but as we are going that bit further our stop off is in a nice cheap hotel in Switzerland. Just the French side of the tunnel.

LIZS Wed 06-Apr-05 16:38:53

We drove down a few years ago on Marypops' route and you could make Strasbourg in a day, probably 6 hours-ish from Calais.

Friends do the whole drive from Zurich to UK in 10-12 hours and it is usually at least another 3 from here to the Italian lakes - Como and Maggiore for example - but you can bypass Zurich if you go via the St Gotthard. If you are travelling at a weekend over the summer avoid the St Gotthard tunnel, the St Bernardino is a bit longer but tends to be less congested. The Swiss Vignette entitles you to drive on Swiss motorways and is available at the border.(Think £40 is the full year!!)

Alternatively you could go further down through France via Geneva and through the Mont Blanc tunnel into Italy and drive across. For Lake Garda you'd probably better going via Germany and Austria.

Which lake are you heading for in particular ?

LIZS Wed 06-Apr-05 16:39:48

Marypop, where do you find a cheap hotel in Switzerland ?!!!

MaryP0p1 Wed 06-Apr-05 16:43:19

I'll dig out the details.

LIZS Wed 06-Apr-05 16:58:35

No worries, don't put yourself out just for my curiosity ! It is just we live here and they all seem so expensive .

Beetroot Wed 06-Apr-05 17:14:43

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Beetroot Wed 06-Apr-05 17:16:45

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Beetroot Wed 06-Apr-05 17:18:54

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OldieMum Wed 06-Apr-05 17:24:40

We drove to Lake Garda via one-night stopovers in Picardy, Burgundy, Beaujolais and the French Alps, as we wanted the journey to be part of the holiday. It worked very well and meant that the only day with a really long drive was the leg between the French Alps and Lake Garda.

sievehead Wed 06-Apr-05 20:25:18

LIZS - I was thinking Lake Maggiore as that seems to be the one with the most recommended campsites in the Alan Rodgers guide - and also looks less far than the others???

lapsedrunner Wed 06-Apr-05 20:31:25

Put your planned route into www.viamichelin.com and it will calculate distance & time.

MaryP0p1 Thu 07-Apr-05 08:05:13

The AA route planner will do the same

pragmatist Thu 07-Apr-05 14:51:22

OMG I wouldn't fancy it with a 2 and a 5 year old. Could you start your journey off after tea and drive through the night - taking turns with your dh - so that the girls sleep for a lot of it?


Or could you invest in a portable dvd player for the car?

MaryP0p1 Thu 07-Apr-05 17:47:54

That didn't work for us as we both got too tired to drive. The DVD player worked a treat though.

sievehead Thu 07-Apr-05 19:17:31

We have got a DVD!! Its fab - we actually get to talk (or bicker) in peace! Anyway we've decided to go to the Dordogne, as we have found a fab looking campsite there. Still a long way though. Just trying to find a hotel in Boulogne for our first night!

sorrel Sun 10-Apr-05 14:38:20

see article in Sunday times today 10/04/05

JanH Sun 10-Apr-05 15:08:11

Thought there'd been an Italy one too!

three ways to cruise through France (again!)

(One to South, one to Italy, one to Spain. They all make you want to go right now )

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