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Trip to Italy

Posted: 05 Jan 2013, 19:35
by nigel.flatman

I reallise that this will sound stupid to most of you.I am irrationally afraid of heights and any mountain roads with steep drops terrify me.At the same time I would very much like to visit Italy in our T25.Is there any easy way that avoids mountain roads and steep climbs for example the coast road.



Re: Trip to Italy

Posted: 05 Jan 2013, 19:58
by AdrianC
No, Mr Flatman from the Flatlands, it doesn't sound stupid. People have fears and dislikes. They may be rational or not, but that doesn't make 'em any less real...

Yes, there's plenty of flat bits of Italy. But they're not really the bits most people want to visit. There's huge swathes of plains, full of - well - fields. And factories. And the other stuff that fills the flatlands because it doesn't work well in wiggly bits. But the _interesting_ stuff isn't there. It's in the dramatic bits. How are you with wiggly-non-mountainous? Tuscany's not flat - but it's not the Alps, either. At least, not by any non-East Anglian standards.

B'sides, you've gotta GET there in your van, right? And you're going to have to accept that the Alps are in the way from here to there. Sure, there's tunnels through - but, apart from them being a damn sight scarier than mountain roads ( they aren't a perfect solution for somebody that doesn't do heights. They aren't exactly sea-level-to-sea-level. You could go a longer way round to the French coast, then around the coast.

There's wonderful citybreaks - Venice, Rome - but they're probably better, easier, cheaper flown to in your situation.

Re: Trip to Italy

Posted: 06 Jan 2013, 13:30
by nigel.flatman

Cheers.Yes it was the getting there bit I was most worried about,as you say the coast road looks favourite.
Have been across the northern plains to Venice by coach, but as you say its not that interesting.Have been to Rome and Sicily by plane but that doesnt really count.Do fancy Tuscany which I dont know at all.
It is steep drops that Im afraid of most,especially with impatient Italian drivers behind me.Also my T25 only has a 1.6 diesel so its not exactly the fastest thing up hill anyway.
This year its Vendee in western France (which isnt at all mountainous!).Thanks for the advice.


Re: Trip to Italy

Posted: 06 Jan 2013, 13:33
by lloydy
my wife cried when we drove the Gotthard pass last summer :lol: I'm more scared of the tunnels

Re: Trip to Italy

Posted: 06 Jan 2013, 13:37
by AdrianC
nigel.flatman wrote:as you say the coast road looks favourite.

Favourite purely from your altitude point of view. We deliberately avoided it when going from France to Italy because it's a ridiculously over-touristy sprawling mess of glitzy ballcocks.

It is steep drops that Im afraid of most,especially with impatient Italian drivers behind me.

<shrug> Ignore 'em. They'll pass you. Once you relax into Italian driving, we found it hugely preferable and less stressful than UK driving - there's no aggression behind it. They may overtake in comically hair-raising places (then brake and turn right or park immediately after), but they do so in a chilled-out and relaxed manner. They aren't getting stressed about the fact they're behind something slow - heck, there's probably a Fiat 500 overtaking an Ape around the next corner... The oncoming drivers are expecting daft overtakes, anyway.

We adored Tuscany - with one of our favourite campsites -" onclick=";return false; Not cheap, but utterly gorgeous, and included home-made breakfast.

Re: Trip to Italy

Posted: 12 Jan 2013, 14:21
by nigel.flatman
Thanks everyone.
Definitely worth thinking about next year.
Like you say I drive on the M25 every day and theres much more aggression there,but you just ignore it!