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Driving to Italy, realistic? Where?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I have driven to the French Alps many times.... but for next year's half term there is a suggestion of doing the Italian side of things. This throws up a couple of immediate questions.
1) is it a realistic idea to drive to the Italian ski resorts?
2) if so, are both the French *and* the Austrian sides of Italy within scope?

To set the expectations. We are always on the 8pm-10pm Tunnel, and don't stop en-route apart from refuelling. We always travel up the mountain before the transfer coaches arrive (so if we couldn't get to the resort non-stop before 1pm, then it's a non-starter).

Once I know which sides of Italy are viable (if any), the question will move on to exactly WHICH linked area suits our target.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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It's not really any different, just add a couple of hours on. Either side

I overnight though, can't deal with that drive in one. Personally
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Get your petrol in france though- the price will rocket across the border. Italy is the second most expensive in Europe, after -no surprise - Norway

Tolls are a pain too
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Leave 2 to 5 hours earlier.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
1) is it a realistic idea to drive to the Italian ski resorts?
Yes, The Aosta valley for example is not much further than the Tarrentaise
2) if so, are both the French *and* the Austrian sides of Italy within scope?
Yes, but it is a long drive. It took us over 20 hours to drive from Venice home compared to about 15 from Les Arcs. It is probably about 3 to 4 hours extra to Cortina than to les Arcs. A lot on this route depends on the the road works in Germany and getting stuck behind camper vans in the Dolomites.
ps a lot of the Sud Tirol was transfered to Italy as a prize after WWI; be careful calling it Austrian in certain parts of Italy. They and the French appear less touchy about the Savoie.
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@jamescollings, just be aware that if it's school holidays the Mont Blanc is likely to have long queues. Otherwise Champoluc for example is typically 90 minutes from Chamonix.
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I've driven to lots of Italian resorts, from Courmayeur in the west through to Bormio in the central north and as far as resorts on the Slovenian/Austria border in the east. Further east you go the longer it takes (not surprising really) and for quite a few resorts you have to go a fair way south before heading north again. I've also driven to some of the resorts a bit further south in Italy (Abetone, just north of Pisa) and that *is* a long way - really does need an overnight stay.

If you travel through Switzerland, note that the Swiss motorway vignette includes the Gottard tunnel.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I've driven from North Wales to Italy a couple of times in the summer. Last time we drove home from Verona area in 1 hit 24h like you suggest, it was extremely tiring and I wouldn't do it again. If it was for a longer round trip with multiple destinations like a few days in France or Austria each side then its not too bad. We live 4-5hrs from Dover though so that adds quite a bit to our journey.
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As it is half term you might find that driving to the Dolomites easier than say the Aosta region. You'd have to check the other European holidays, but if say Paris are on holiday you might find yourself in busy traffic all the way through France. Whereas driving across Germany/Austria to get to the Dolomites might be easier.

Key is to check out every where else's school holiday dates.
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Quote:

As it is half term you might find that driving to the Dolomites easier than say the Aosta region.

It's a fair bit further (from, say, Calais) to the Dolomites than to Aosta.
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Quote:

You'd have to check the other European holidays, but if say Paris are on holiday you might find yourself in busy traffic all the way through France.

Though I have never done the drive during the 1/2 term month I suspect it will be fairly quiet from Friday midnight as the OPwill get to Calais.
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pam w wrote:
Quote:

As it is half term you might find that driving to the Dolomites easier than say the Aosta region.

It's a fair bit further (from, say, Calais) to the Dolomites than to Aosta.


I know! But you would follow two completely different routes. So one route could be relatively quiet but further as you wouldn't be driving through France for very long. While the other could be shorter but take more time due to French half term traffic.

The OP did mention driving to the Austrian side of Italy, which is why I mentioned it.
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I don't think I'd do a hike like that in one go at half term.

But I am not based where the OP is.

Bad enough getting through the (MB) tunnel at Easter (poor decision making on my part).
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@under a new name, neither would I. Especially if passing all those lovely mountains in Austria to get to Italy! I can understand not wanting to ski half term in France though.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@jamescollings, Down through Frejus tunnel to Milky Way - Sauze, Sestriere, etc.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I've done Edinburgh to Trentino (Passotonale) and back in a week at half term, not something I'm keen to do again if I can help it. I stopped off over night in Luxembourg on the way, I went up through Dunkirk, into Belgium and down through Germany and passed through Innsbruck over the Brenner pass.
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@deerman, that tunnel backs up a fair amount too though.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
It is quite expensive to drive across France at the minute. I went to Milan in the winter and the tolls and mt Blanc tunnel fees made it far more than I expected - there was a very weak pound.

That said, it's a very easy drive and the Italian side is much closer than many French resorts. Courmayeur and Gressoney offer something very different from typical French skiing.

The real gem in driving to Italy is going to the Dolomites which is the most extensive, spectacular and reasonably priced ski area in the world. The only thing it doesn't really offer is nightlife which many think adds to the charm. Having a car gives you endless possibilities of days out at gems such as Cortina and Civetta. Fast Autobahns with no tolls also make the journey very bearable
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Thanks everyone... now to select an area and resort
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I would go for For Corvara. Not too far from the Brenner pass, on the Sell a Ronda giving limitless skiing and an easy drive to some absolute gems
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Just a word of warning about Italy for half term 2018. This time the UK half term clashes with Carnival in Italy and half term in some of the Austrian regions so will be much busier than usual. If you want to experience the nice quiet slopes and lack of lift queues that Italy can offer at half term then 2018 is maybe not the year to be trying it.
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I would easily be proven wrong but as far as I've seen... Monterosa rarely gets so busy other than New Year.
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