Hanoi vespa club: Euro trip: Italia - France - Switzerland - Italia

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by lamcaumoi, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. lamcaumoi

    lamcaumoi Hanoi Vespa Club

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    [FONT=&quot]Dear Adv Riders,

    We are a small Vespa club in Hanoi, Vietnam considering about a caravan trip to some Euro country. We plan to ship our scooter to and start the trip from Rome, Italia. This trip will go through Italia, France, Switzerland and finally back to Italia to attend to VespaWorldDay2014 in Mantova. After that, we will drive back to Rome for the last 3 days of the trip then ship our scooter back to Hanoi.


    Here below is the detail route and map of the trip



    • Day 1: Fly to Rome (28May)
    • Day 2: Custom procedure for bike importing
    • Day 3: Rome– Pisa: 350 km
    • Day 4: Pisa – Savona: 200 km
    • Day 5: Savona – Cannes: 200 km
    • Day 6: Cannes– Avignon: 250 km
    • Day 7: Avignon– Dijon: 400 km
    • Day 8: Dijon– Paris: 350km
    • Day 9: Paris tour
    • Day 10: Paris tour
    • Day 11: Paris – Nancy: 350km
    • Day 12: Nancy– Zurich: 320 km
    • Day 13: Zurich tour
    • Day 14: Zurich – Milan: 300 km
    • Day 15: Milan – Mantova: 200 km
    • Day 16: Mantova: Vespa World Day: 12June
    • Day 17: Mantova: Vespa World Day: 13June
    • Day 18: Mantova: Vespa World Day: 14June
    • Day 19: Mantova: Vespa World Day: 15June
    • Day 20: Mantova – Florence: 200 km
    • Day 21: Florence - Rome: 300 km
    • Day 22: Reserved
    • Day 23: Flyback to Hanoi (19June)


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    #1
  2. lamcaumoi

    lamcaumoi Hanoi Vespa Club

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    We did contact with Italia, France, Germany (just in case we have chance to go), Switzerland on their custom and other procedure. Some have reply (Italia, Germany) and some not yet.
    Since we are trying to gather as much info as possible, kindly support us on:

    - Is this route is possible since we are ride our vintage vespa then could go at max 70Km/h and average about 50km/h?
    - Road condition, petroleum station (good, bad, anything that we need to be aware)
    - Driving license: we have the international driving license issued by http://idl-iaa.com/. Is this ok in these countries?
    - Insurance: We plan to buy at http://www.ucimi.it and are checking whether it valid in other country as well or we need to by for each.
    - Border crossing procedure and other necessary document.
    - Your valuable advice

    Lam,

    Hanoi Vespa Club
    #2
  3. alicethomas

    alicethomas Been here awhile

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    No. Legal minimum speed on the highways/motorways is 80km/h (Switzerland). Minimum displacement 151cc (Italy). If you don't like to be pushed by 40-60000kg trucks, you should be able to ride 90km/h even with headwind.
    And you would have to pay (expensive!) road toll for the highway (except Germany).
    So better plan a (perhaps shorter) route without highway. Do you like big towns or landscape?
    Road conditions are usually good. In France not many petrol stations, esp. in the back country, most of them are closed during the weekends. They usually require a special "card bleue" (debit card). Plan ahead to fill up in towns at major stations from Shell & Co.
    Not a major problem in the other countries.
    Official international license is ok, if carried together with the national license.
    Unofficial is like nothing. But police doesn't seek to mob tourists, it's just in case you become involved in a serious accident.
    Isn't your Vietnam insurance valid aboard too?
    If the UCI issues an insurance with "green card" that's ok for Europe.
    Passport with Schengen Visa is enough for every EU country and Switzerland.
    #3
  4. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    Chào ông. (and that's about as much Vietnamese as I remember)

    Pretty much what Alicethomas said. You will want to keep off the motorways and stick to secondary main roads. This was my average speed this summer over 3 weeks on a large motorcycle - you can see that the average speeds are well within the comfort zone of your Vespas.

    [​IMG]

    I notice that you have a number of days where you want to travel 350 or 400 kms - that is going to make for a VERY long day in the saddle without using Autostradas (or equivalent), which you won't be able to use due to minimum speed and displacement requirements.

    I'd suggest that you plan on 250 kms per day and perhaps shorten your route accordingly. Speed limits on non-Autostrada roads are fairly low, and even lower in towns. And keeping a group together slows things down even more.

    Regarding "Green Card" insurance - I haven't used your source, but it looks good. Other sources are:MotoTouring in Milano, Stefan Knopf in Heidelberg and our own RTWDoug here on ADVRider. It doesn't matter where you get the Green Card as long as it covers the countries that you want to visit. All Green Cards that I have seen that were issued in western Europe cover all of the EU countries and Switzerland.

    Enjoy your trip - I want to visit Viet Nam again. The last time I was there, traveling around the countryside was - discouraged.
    #4
  5. Teabar

    Teabar Been here awhile

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    Hi there,
    I can see you are covering a lot of big towns which is why I guess you've included so many main highway routes. Like has been said I would cut short my journey and stick to lesser roads. You'll not see enough of the Alps if you stick to the main roads - and that would be a shame if you're coming all this way.

    I like your trip up to Cannes. If it were me I would then cut up through the French alps using Route Napoleon (starts in Grasse, rt next to Cannes) and wind my way up through Briancon and Bourg St Maurice using the Routes des Grandes Alpes. Could be fun for a big group of scoooters. If you did this I accept you would be missing out on Avignon and surrounding area, whicj would be a shame, but if I were here only once I know what I would choose.

    Finally, just one last thought, if you are going through Dijon I would recommend instead an overnight stay in Beaune, just SW of Dijon. It's a lovely town, small enough to walk around at the end of the day, with loads of restaurants and lots of accommodation (and a big, easy to find Tourist Information office). The next day you could take the road through Nuits St Georges which is great wine country (a relatively straight road between Beaune and Dijon but off the main highway and through some picturesque country side). Just a thought.

    Hope you have a great trip however you do it. It's inspiring!
    #5
  6. RTLover

    RTLover Long timer

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    alicethomas, MichaelJ, and Teabar have all given you good and reliable info.

    My focus is on your routing and the distances. From your map, it looks very much like you've planned for autoroute travel from Cannes to Paris and then to Nancy. As MichaelJ said, the speed and power of scooters make them illegal to ride on the autoroutes. Which is a positive, because that route has very few scenic possibilities. Now, in the alternative, you should look into what Teabar said about the Route du Napoleon as a start and it ends at Grenoble. The Route des Grandes Alpes might be tough for vintage scooters, IMO. But if you do ride it, you'll be rewarded with some spectacular views.

    Recommend this intinerary after Grenoble: Chambery--Bourg-en-Bresse--Chalons--Autun--Chateau-Chinon--Nevers, then follow the Loire River and then split off to Fontainebleau--Paris. Good routes from Paris to Reims and Nancy are scarce and unless you really want to see Reims, I'd recommend Paris--Epernay--Chalons-en-Champagne--Bar-le-Duc--Nancy.

    A lot of riders over-estimate their daily distances and their own stamina. Don't forget that this isn't an endurance ride.

    One clarification about finding petrol in France. There are plenty of stations. Most of the big super-markets have pumps as well as major companies such as Total, Shell, Esso but many are moving to self-service, which is 24/7, BUT the only cards that will work are French cards for the most part. Foreign cards are generally accepted at stations that have a real person attending, which is virtually impossible to find on Sundays/holidays. Best fill when you get below one-half, just to be sure. Cash is always accepted.
    #6
  7. lamcaumoi

    lamcaumoi Hanoi Vespa Club

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    The map was draw just base on Google map since I’ve never been to any European country. That is the reason why most of the route in the map are highway. Of course we prefer the landscape then need your advice on choosing the best route.

    Some of the must visit/ ride destination/route are:
    [FONT=&quot]- [/FONT]Rome (of course)
    [FONT=&quot]- [/FONT]Paris
    [FONT=&quot]- [/FONT]Zurich
    [FONT=&quot]- [/FONT]Coastal route: Genao – Monaco
    [FONT=&quot]- [/FONT]As much pass of the Alps (Stelvio, Sondrio, Bernardino, ..) between Switzerland, Italia as possible (within our time constrains J)

    Since our Vietnam does not have the Automobile Association then this license issued by IAA is all that I can. Did use this one when hiring and driving in America then I think it is ok.

    The UCI insurance was recommend by ACI (Automobile Club d’Italia) and according to their website, they cover all EU territory include Switzerland.
    We also did check with Swiss custom department, just have to buy motor sticker tax for using our motor vehicles at selling price of CHF 40 at their border custom office.
    #7
  8. lamcaumoi

    lamcaumoi Hanoi Vespa Club

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    Happy to know that you have been in Vietnam. This word will be used when you want to say Hello Sir. J

    We will try to avoid the Autostradas since, as said, we can go at max of 70, 80 km/h only. The detail route are being optimized. We are trying to plan for around 250km per day as you suggested. This will help us to spend more time to enjoy the landscape, destination than just riding.

    UCI offer us at the price of 80 euro for the period of 30 dadys. Let me take a look at the other to find a better price. J

    Just give me a call or text if you been in Vietnam then we can have some chat and Bia hoi drink
    #8
  9. lamcaumoi

    lamcaumoi Hanoi Vespa Club

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    Dear Teabar and RTlover,

    Your information on the Route du Napoleon make us very exited to follow a and this have be included into our must ride route together with coastal and Apls pass.

    [FONT=&quot]Since the distance between Cannes and [/FONT]Grenoble is around 370km with a lot of twisty (I guess), please advice if any town, village in between then we can stop and take a nigh rest.

    [FONT=&quot][​IMG]
    [/FONT]

    Teabar info of Beaune was very valuable then we decide to overnight stay in this lovely town.

    So the route between Cannes and Paris will be as follow:

    Day1: Cannes - town in the Napoleon reoute
    Day2: town in the Napoleon route - Grenoble
    Day3: Grenoble -Lyon- Beaune: 310km
    Day4: Beaune – Paris: 330 km

    This route will take us 4 instead of 3 days as the original one ( via Avignon). Could you please advice if any train from Paris to Nancy or anywhere near the Switzerland border to go to Zurich. This will help us to save 1 day.

    Rgrds,

    Lam
    [FONT=&quot][/FONT]
    #9
  10. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    Just wondering, how large is your group?

    For an overnight stop (good choice, you would not enjoy doing it all in one day) I'd suggest Gap. It's a large town and has lots of accommodations.

    Here's an option that will add about 90 km between Cannes and Grenoble, but won't add to your total days, and will give you some superb scenery and little to no traffic.

    From Gap, head west to Die and then north up the Vercours on the D519. This will take you over the Col de Rousset

    [​IMG]

    at the southern end and through the Gorges de la Bourne

    [​IMG]

    at the north end by Villard de Lans.

    Your two days would be 224 kms from Cannes to Gap and 190 kms from Gap to Grenoble through the Vercours.

    If you do this, I strongly suggest that you fuel at Die. There isn't any fuel between Die and Villard de Lans (about 70 kms) that I remember.

    You might also go over to the Alpine Roads site for more information. Most of us that you've talked to here are there also.
    #10
  11. RTLover

    RTLover Long timer

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    Don't go anywhere close to Lyon. The road system in that area is a nightmare and traffic is very heavy.

    I was not able to find any information on the transport of cars/scooters by train from Paris to Nancy. There used to be a Paris-Basel option but that was eliminated in 2010 due to not enough customers. About Paris, you might want to find lodging outside of Paris and then take the train into Paris. Riding in Paris is not a lot of fun. The underground Metro works very well for getting around.
    #11
  12. lamcaumoi

    lamcaumoi Hanoi Vespa Club

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    The group member is not yet finalize but it is not more than 6 guys with 4 vespa.

    Thanks MichaelJ. The pix is awesome then sure, will stay at Gap then Die, Col de Rousset to reach Grenoble.
    #12
  13. lamcaumoi

    lamcaumoi Hanoi Vespa Club

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    Thanks RTLover, Lyon is not the must visit destination of the trip then we will use the ring road to by pass the city then go direct to Beaune. But Paris is difference, we have to bring our vespa into the town, take a picture with the Eiffel tower, Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elyse. We may cut 1 day of our Paris tour (original plan is 2 days) if could not find any kind of other transportation to Switzerland border.
    #13
  14. lamcaumoi

    lamcaumoi Hanoi Vespa Club

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    In reply to alicethomas post.


    The map was draw just base on Google map since I’ve never been to any European country. That is the reason why most of the route in the map are highway. ? Of course we prefer the landscape then need your advice on choosing the best route.

    Some of the must visit/ ride destination/route are:
    - Rome (of course ?)
    - Paris
    - Zurich
    - Coastal route: Genao – Monaco
    - As much pass of the Alps (Stelvio, Sondrio, Bernardino, ..) between Switzerland, Italia as possible (within our time constrains ?)


    Since our Vietnam does not have the Automobile Association then this license issued by IAA is all that I can. Did use this one when hiring and driving in America then I think it is ok.

    The UCI insurance was recommend by ACI (Automobile Club d’Italia) and according to their website, they cover all EU territory include Switzerland.
    We also did check with Swiss custom department, just have to buy motor sticker tax for using our motor vehicles at selling price of CHF 40 at their border custom office.
    #14
  15. lamcaumoi

    lamcaumoi Hanoi Vespa Club

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    Just took a short walk at Alpine Roads site and seem that I did underestimated the Alpine when planning just 1 day to ride from Zurich to Milan. Since the time is limited (23 days is the maximum period without being fined from current work), could you please advice on a 2 days route.

    Many thanks,
    #15
  16. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    Let me start by hoping that the storm doesn't do too much damage. You're far enough inland so that most of the effects won't hurt you, but the coastal areas won't be so lucky.

    On to the business at hand...

    This is the route that I'd do

    From Zurich southeast along the Zurichersee. The road will turn south towards Schwyz. You will ride right past the Victorinox factory in Ibach, just south of Schwyz. They have a store there, but the prices are no better than anywhere else.

    Continue south to Brunnen on the Vierwaldstattersee (Lake Lucerne) and continue to Andermatt.

    Vierwaldstattersee looking south from Brunnen

    [​IMG]

    Schollenen Gorge looking north (between Andermatt and the lake)

    [​IMG]

    From Andermatt, south to Hospental and over the St. Gotthard pass. Consider taking the old cobbledstoned road (La Tremola) down to Airolo from the top.

    La Tremola viewed from the new road

    [​IMG]

    Down into Airolo and down the valley to Lugano and south to the Italian border and Milano.

    The route is just a bit over 300kms. Most of the road is open and will flow nicely. You will have traffic coming out of Zurich, and the stretch from Lugano to Milano (about 90kms) is pretty urban, so it will be a bit slower.

    Microsoft AutoRoute shows the direct route (all Autobahn) as 280 kms and 3 hours. The route I've outlined above (which actually parallels the Autobahn for most of it) is 310 kms and 5.5 hours.

    And in Switzerland, you REALLY want to avoid the Autobahns - they have a LOT of tunnels. Especially the 17km long St. Gotthard tunnel that runs under Andermatt. And is usually jammed with traffic.
    #16
  17. alicethomas

    alicethomas Been here awhile

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    It's not sure that the high alpine roads are open for public.
    Winter lasts very long in the mountains and bad weather means new snow.
    But their status can be checked online, i.e. with http://www.alpineroads.com/passstatus.php

    Paris is far away, it will need much time. But if you have to go...
    I would visit Luzern (Lucerne) instead of Zürich. See Michaels picture!
    The Gotthard route is a nice ancient path crossing the Alps.
    Nicer (but more time consuming) is a detour via Susten-Grimsel/Oberaarsee-Furka or Nufenen. These are the most beautiful Swiss passes.
    #17
  18. GiorgioXT

    GiorgioXT Long timer

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    MichaelJ advices are really spot-on !

    Lugano to Milano could be really jam-packed with traffic, particularly in the afternoons of working days, arriving from Gotthard, I'd rather after Bellinzona take the road that follow the east coast of Lago Maggiore,- also much more scenic- Magadino , Luino , Laveno Mombello , Sesto Calende. Somma Lombardo, then the SR 336 to Magenta through Malpensa Airport and arrive in Milano through SR 11.

    Plus, if the reason for Paris is visiting it more than riding it, consider the option of taking an high-speed TGV train from Grenoble or Geneve
    #18
  19. GiorgioXT

    GiorgioXT Long timer

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    Italy : Rome to Pisa
    Take SP 493 to Bracciano , SR2 to Viterbo , Lago Bolsena, Siena (Worth a visit more than Pisa!) San Gimignano , SR 439 through La Sterza and Ponsacco to Pisa
    #19
  20. lamcaumoi

    lamcaumoi Hanoi Vespa Club

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    Thanks MichaelJ, Haiyan Typhoon made landfall in our country but luckily, had weakened and change the source to came across the coastal, not direct to any province.

    [​IMG]

    La Tremola must be between B and C point in the google map, right. So beautiful.

    As I can see from the map, there are 2 parallel routes. Can I say that the old road is the curve route (numbered 2 in blue) and the other is new one also name Autobahn (number 2 in violet) that we need to avoid. If we can plan to have 1 more day then could you please suggest a place to stop between Zurich and Milan.
    #20