A few weeks ago we took a real road trip through beautiful Italy. Because this trip was so inspiring and fun, we would like to share the route with you. We show here the road we took to get from Belgium to Italy and back. We stopped at the most beautiful locations and we also share them with you here. Have fun with our road trip route Italy.
Belgium and the Netherlands
Our road trip route Italy starts naturally in Belgium, our country of origin. If you are leaving from the Netherlands (it is natural to see where) then you often already have a slight advantage than when you come from Belgium. The first border we crossed was that of the Netherlands. In Belgium and the Netherlands you don’t have to drive long, in a few hours you’ll be through here and you’re already on German roads. At least if you take the route via Germany and Austria and don’t drive through France. You can, but we chose the route through Germany (where you can give good gas). Because we’ve done a road trip through France before, about two years ago.
Germany – Austria
In Germany you drive a lot longer than on our roads. Here we drove about six hours to get to Austria. The roads in Germany are excellent and you can drive through this well. That makes this route fast and easy. Only sometimes it can feel a bit boring because you often have to drive 200 kilometers on the same track. The occasional break is therefore recommended.
After a total of eight to ten hours of driving (depending on the number of breaks you take), you will arrive in Austria just across the border. We stopped after our first day driving in Lermoos in Austria because we have family living there and it was on our route. We booked an overnight stay there and went to bed on time to be able to drive hundreds of kilometres the next day.
Austria – Italy
The purpose of this second day drive was to traverse a bit of Austria and a whole part of Italy through. That’s a few miles for a day! Because we avoid the toll routes at all costs, we have to make some detours from time to time but you do get a phenomenal view in the place. And that view starts in Austria. You drive all the way through the mountains to Meran. After that we drove on to Trent. After a short break we finally drove to Modena, a little further than Verona (which was our original final stop). This second day of driving is also the toughest and took about eight to ten hours, of which a large part in the mountains. That’s a little extra concentration, and it’s a little slower.
Route in Italy : San Vincenzo
Our next stop on our route in Italy was immediately our first destination in Italy. San Vincenzo is located in Tuscany and from there we made several city trips nearby. Just under a two-hour drive is the town of Siena. Perfect for a day trip! We also visited Florence, a two-hour drive from San Vincenzo. You can also pass Florence when driving to Tuscany. It’s a small detour but if you don’t like it, we didn’t really bother to do this city trip.
We also visited Pisa from San Vincenzo, which is about an hour and a half away. Of course you can also stay at any location but we didn’t really bother. Around San Vincenzo there are also plenty of cosy small villages that are more than worth visiting. You don’t really have to plan it because you just pass there by car. The SS1 route along the coast is quite spectacular and if you didn’t pass it initially, you should drive past it anyway. One of the most beautiful parts of our route through Italy.
Afhankelijk van hoeveel tijd je hebt voor je roadtrip in Italië kan je al dan niet nog naar het Zuiden rijden. Wij hadden daar helaas geen tijd voor, en eerlijk gezegd is elke dag uren autorijden ook best vermoeiend. Het Zuiden zullen wij dus op een ander moment verkennen. We vertrokken uit Toscane om naar La Spezia te rijden. Hier liggen de vijf UNESCO Werelderfgoed dorpjes van Cinque Terre.
To drive from San Vincenzo to La Spezia, you normally also pass the SS1 Aurelia road we were just talking about. You can also stop here perfectly, but to La Spezia you can easily drive three hours. We were planning to spend only one day in Cinque Terre so we didn’t take a break anywhere along the way. Cinque Terre was a bit disappointing for us so we drove on to Parma in the late afternoon.
Parma – Lake Garda
Since it was already late after our visit to Cinque Terre, we stayed overnight in Parma. The intention was to drive the next day to Lago Di Braies, but the universe had other plans. The great thing about a road trip is that you can pass beautiful places and just stop there and stay whenever you want.
So we came across Lake Garda along the way and found it such a charming place that we decided to stay there for a few days. It is a beautiful place to stay a (number) day(s). Lake Garda and surrounding towns and villages are a huge area and therefore it is recommended to stay here for a while. It’s also so beautiful that you won’t want to drive on right away. We stayed here for three days. We drove from the southernmost point to the northernmost of Lake Garda. Also a beautiful route in Italy.
Lago Di Braies
After our wonderful visit to Lake Garda, it was of course time to drive to the beautiful Lago Di Braies or Pragser Wildsee. This blue-green lake among the Dolomites had long been on our bucket list and it didn’t disappoint either. The mountain area of the Dolomites is truly a gem. We stayed here one night to discover part of this beautiful nature reserve. The next day we would like to drive back to Belgium, but that depended on the traffic jams along the way. Because in total it would be a 12-hour drive. It’s a big challenge and, frankly, not always safe to drive for so long. A nice end of
our route in Italy.
Our way back went a bit like the way out. We passed Innsbruck and Lermoos and in Germany we passed Stuttgart and Bonn to eventually drive back into the Netherlands and Belgium in Aachen. In total we drove about thirteen hours on this route with only two short pee breaks and a dining break included. After two weeks of road trips we had become used to driving a lot and therefore this was feasible for us but we do not recommend it immediately.
An overnight stay somewhere between Austria and Germany would not have been an unnecessary luxury. You have to feel what you can handle and from the moment you really start to get tired, you have to stop. We weren’t tired yet so we decided to drive on. We also alternated every three hours and that ensures a good balance between driving and some rest. After a long but breathtaking road trip we were back home in Belgium.
Additional tips for your route in Italy
A road trip always requires some preparation and common sense. Because you can’t possibly predict everything, we’ve listed some useful tips for this particular road trip.
- Have your car checked at the garage before your road trip. Especially your tyre pressure and brakes are important to check because you will cross many mountains if you do not drive on toll roads.
- Check out the traffic rules of each country you cross in advance. Are they different from ours? What should you look out for? How fast can you drive on the motorway? In Italy, for example, you have a lot of speed cameras, but they are always well signposted. Also, there is a huge difference in speed limit. For example, they often go on the motorway from 90 kilometers per hour to 30. This is impossible for us to imagine, so be prepared for it in Italy.
- Tank as much as possible in Austria. Here the petrol is a lot cheaper than in Italy or Germany. And always refuel at a well-known company or a company where you can pay for your refuelling afterwards inside a shop. Avoids gas stations without a shop.
- Use your smartphone’s GPS. So you are always up-to-date with the route you take and traffic jams and alternative routes are calculated for you. Sufficient internet (4G) is therefore a must
- To limit the number of breaks, and thus waste less time on the road, you should bring a well-stocked cooler and some cookies or fruit for the road. For example, you have to stop less often for drinking or eating and you can drive more in a day. Plan your breaks well, too. If you see that your tank almost needs to be filled, you better combine it with a quick bite in the afternoon for example. Or a short pee break.
Road trip route Italy
We found a road trip through Italy a very nice experience and hope that you can also make it a nice holiday thanks to our route and our extra tips for the road. Lots of road trip fun! Let us know for sure what your trip has been like in the comments or via Facebook.