Roadtrip route Italy mapped out - Additional tips for the road
A few weeks ago we took a real road trip through beautiful Italy. Because this trip was so inspiring and fun, we’d really like to share the itinerary with you. Here we show the road we took to get from Belgium to Italy and back. We stopped at the most beautiful locations and we share them with you here as well. Enjoy our roadtrip route Italy.
Belgium and Netherlands
Our road trip route Italy starts of course in Belgium, our country of origin. If you start from the Netherlands (you can see where) then you often have a slight advantage over when you come from Belgium. Consequently, the first border we crossed was that of the Netherlands. In Belgium and the Netherlands you don’t have to drive long by the way, in a few hours you’re through here and already find yourself on German roads. At least if you take the route through Germany and Austria and not through France. You can do that too, but we chose the route along Germany (where you can get good gas). Because we have already done a road trip through France about two years ago.
Germany - Austria
In Germany you drive quite a bit longer than on our roads. Here we drove about six hours to get to Austria. The roads in Germany are excellent, so you can drive through here. That makes this route quick and easy. It’s just that sometimes it can feel a little boring because you often have to drive 200 kilometers on the same track. So occasional breaks are recommended.
After a total of eight to ten hours of driving (depending on how many breaks you take), you will arrive in Austria just over the border. We stopped in Lermoos in Austria after our first day of driving because we have family living there and it was on our route. We booked an overnight stay there and went to bed in time to be able to drive hundreds of kilometers again the next day, fresh and fit.
Austria - Italy
The goal of this second day of riding was to cross a bit of Austria and a whole bit of Italy. That’s quite a few miles for one day! Since we avoid the toll roads at all costs, we do have to make a detour now and then but you get phenomenal views in return. And that view starts as early as Austria. You drive all the way through the mountains until you reach Meran. Then we continued driving until we reached Trento. After a short break, we ended up driving as far as Modena, a little further than Verona (which was our original final stop). This second day of riding was also the toughest and lasted about eight to ten hours, much of it in the mountains. This requires some extra concentration and is also a bit slower.
Route in Italy : San Vincenzo
Our next stop on our route in Italy was immediately our first destination in Italy. San Vincenzo is in Tuscany and from there we made several city trips in the area. Just under two hours away is the city of Siena. Perfect for a day trip! We also visited Florence, a good two-hour drive from San Vincenzo. You can also pass Firenze when driving to Tuscany. It’s a little detour but if you don’t like that, we didn’t really think it was worth doing this city trip either.
We also visited Pisa from San Vincenzo, which is about an hour and a half away. Of course, you can also stay overnight at each location but we didn’t really find that worthwhile. Around San Vincenzo there are also plenty of cozy little villages that are more than worth visiting. You don’t really have to plan for it because you just pass it by car. The SS1 route along the coast is spectacular though and if you wouldn’t pass it initially, you should drive past it. One of the most beautiful parts of our route through Italy.
Depending on how much time you have for your road trip in Italy, you may or may not still drive to the South. We unfortunately didn’t have time for that, and frankly, driving for hours every day is pretty exhausting too. So we will explore the South at another time. We left Tuscany to drive to La Spezia. Here lie the five UNESCO World Heritage villages of Cinque Terre.
To drive from San Vincenzo to La Spezia, you normally also pass through the SS1 Aurelia road we just mentioned. It’s also perfect to stop here, but you can easily drive three hours to La Spezia anyway. We planned to spend only one day in Cinque Terre so we didn’t take any breaks anywhere along the way. Cinque Terre fell a bit short 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 spent the night in Parma. The intention was to drive up to Lago Di Braies the next day, but the universe had other plans. The beauty of a road trip is that you pass beautiful places and can also just stop and stay there whenever you want.
For example, we came across Lake Garda on the way and found it such a charming place that we decided to stay there for a few days. It is a wonderful place to spend a (number of) day(s). Lake Garda and surrounding towns and villages are a huge area, so it is recommended that you stay here for a while. It’s also so beautiful there 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 point of Lake Garda. Also a beautiful route in Italy.
Lago Di Braies
After our pleasurable visit to Lake Garda, it had naturally become 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 did not disappoint either. The mountainous region of the Dolomites is truly a gem. So we stayed here one night to explore part of this beautiful nature reserve. The day after, we would have liked to drive back towards Belgium, but it depended on the traffic jams along the way. Because in total, it would be a twelve-hour trip. So immediately a big challenge and, to be honest, not always safe to drive for such a long time. A nice ending to
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 finally 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 one food break included. We had gotten used to driving a lot after two weeks of roadtripping so this was feasible for us but we don’t immediately recommend it.
An overnight stay somewhere between Austria and Germany would not have been an unnecessary luxury. You have to feel this for yourself especially what you can handle and from the moment you start to get really tired, you should stop. We weren’t tired yet so we decided to drive on. We also alternated between each other every three hours, providing a good balance between riding and some rest. So 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 also common sense. Since you can’t possibly predict everything, we’ve listed some helpful tips for this particular road trip.
- Before your road trip, have your car checked again at the garage. Your tire pressure and brakes are especially important to check because you will be traversing many mountains if you are not driving on toll roads.
- Check the traffic regulations of each country you are traveling through in advance. Are they different from ours? What to look out for. How fast can you drive on the highway? In Italy, for example, you have a lot of speed cameras but they are always well marked. You also have a huge difference in speed limit there. For example, they often go from 90 kilometers per hour to 30 on the highway. With us, this is impossible to imagine, so be prepared for it in Italy.
- Tank as much as possible in Austria. Here, gasoline is a whole lot cheaper than in Italy or Germany. And always refuel at a known company or one where you can pay for your refueling afterwards inside a store. Avoid gas stations without a store.
- Use your smartphone’s GPS. This way you are always up-to-date with the route you are taking and traffic jams and alternative routes are calculated for you. Sufficiently available internet (4G) is therefore a must
- To reduce the number of breaks, and thus waste less time on the road, it’s best to bring a well-stocked cooler and some cookies or fruit for the road. This way you don’t have to stop as often for drinks or food and you can ride more in a day. Plan your breaks carefully, too. If you see that your tank is about to be filled, it’s better to combine that with a quick bite in the afternoon, for example. Or a short pee break.
Roadtrip route Italy
We found a road trip through Italy to be a very enjoyable experience and hope you can make it a great vacation too thanks to our itinerary and our extra tips for the road. Lots of roadtrip fun! Be sure to let us know in the comments or via Facebook how your trip was.