Italy on a scooter

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Frizzy Fred, May 13, 2019.

  1. Frizzy Fred

    Frizzy Fred Adventurer

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    We have been referring to these forums for some time now in planning our adventurers. And thought I would share our latest adventure of riding across Italy on a 150cc scooter as I struggled to find info for long trips on scooters.
    Our roughly planned route will go from Rome to Naples to Salerno to Sicily (need the ferry for this part of the journey), across Sicily to Palermo, take another ferry to Civitavecchia, then along the coast up to Turin. From Turin we'll head to the Dolomites, entering from Como and exiting at Lake Garda, then head south through Tuscany back to Rome and hand our bikes back.
    It is roughly planned at this stage as the destinations may change depending on roads and the time it takes to travel each day.
    We have planned to average about 200kms each day with some shorter days and a few long epic days.
    We've picked up our bikes -Piaggeo Medley - and have a bit of practice run around Rome before heading off tomorrow (Tuesday 14 May)
    Cheers Rebecca
    #1
  2. ac72

    ac72 Adventurer

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    Sounds fun.

    Don't know how practical it is with your itinerary (and 150cc power!) but if you have the time you should try to head up into the area roughly circled by Bolzano, Bressanone, Brunico, San Candido, Auronzo, Belluno, Feltre, Trento - everywhere in that zone is very picturesque and is arguably the 'proper' Dolomites. It's the far corner but if you only go to one area, the Parco Naturale de Fanes-Sennes-Prags and Parco Naturale Tre Cime are spectacular. It's also a total contrast to the rest of Italy as the first language is German (or Laden in some areas).

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    #2
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  3. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    I'm looking forward to this. Who hasn't dreamed this?
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  4. TM1(SS)

    TM1(SS) Matthew 24:36, Ride today, ride now :-) Supporter

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    Be careful...Italy is where my Vespa addiction got started, can't be without one now :-)
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  5. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Anthony.jpg

    The magnificent Audrey Hepburn takes Gregory Peck for an Italian scoot...

    Audrey.jpg
    #5
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  6. Gestalt

    Gestalt Been here awhile

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    Sounds good fun and as for the power you should be fine I have a Vespa 150 S and you should have no issues with getting around, I have to say however the vespa although also a Piaggeo is quite a bit more comfortable, but to make up for it the Medley will corner a little better I guess, but power wise you are covered, I rider mine just as much as my Ducati Desert Sled, super comfortable and plenty fast enough, you get to see things rather than missing them due to the ease of speed.

    I look forward to following this.
    #6
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  7. Frizzy Fred

    Frizzy Fred Adventurer

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    Day 1 (14 May) - We hit the road today to the sounds of Talking Heads "Road to Nowhere" leaving Rome on the SS7 to Terracina where we stopped for lunch. The road was good and the traffic wasn't too bad as we waited till the morning peak hour subsided. We only missed one turn about . Luckily we had a second sim for data so google maps could reroute us back to SS7.
    Went from Terracina to Portici on the SS7 which became the SR213 which then become the SS7qtrvar, as we wanted to avoid going into the centre of Naples - traffic was still chaotic though. Our southeast asia trips had prepared us well for the free-flowing. non lane conforming driving techniques. All in, it took us about 8 hours from city to city including stops
    We went through tunnels cut into the side of the cliff just past Terracina that had limited lighting except for the ones that had arches as the side wall to let natural light in and you could see views of the sea.
    We lived life on the edge a little with almost running out of fuel entering into the suburbs of Napoli in what looked like the slums of Napoli. We finally found an unmanned fuel station where you the bowsers would only work on pre-authorised payment and were both thankful that we did not run out of fuel in the streets that we just left. I mean we still had one bar but it did get a bit scary when there was no fuel station in sight for a while.
    It was a great first day of riding and the bikes we hired are in pretty good working order - Only needed to get some extra oil for mine
    Cheers Rebecca

    Attached Files:

    #7
  8. Frizzy Fred

    Frizzy Fred Adventurer

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    I'm thinking we could suffer the same consequence
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  9. Frizzy Fred

    Frizzy Fred Adventurer

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    Thanks for the tip. We have this highlighted in our itinerary too but will wait and see how we go for time as it will nearing the end of our trip
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  10. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

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    Is there good mobile network coverage all over your route? If not, I have had good luck with the free nav software from maps.me. John Downs wrote about it in his report on his South American rides. With this software you download the map into your phone. After that you do not need a cell signal to use the map. The maps are searchable, zoomable, and do routing if you want. Can come in handy as a backup if you are somewhere without a mobile connection. Watching your thread with interest! Thanks for posting!
    #10
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  11. Frizzy Fred

    Frizzy Fred Adventurer

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    Yes - we use maps.me regularly too. Mostly in the major towns though
    #11
  12. Frizzy Fred

    Frizzy Fred Adventurer

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    Day 2 - 15 May
    We travelled from Portici (Naples) to Sorrento today. While the weather wasn't bright and sunny, there wasn't too much rain about which contributed to us experiencing some breath taking views along the coast road. We covered 54kms in about 3 hours due to the huge number of stops to look at the views. Today's playlist started with an Australian Crawl classic "Hoochie Gucci Fiorucci Mama", but should have been "Four Seasons in One Day" by Crowded House. The weather was a cool 12 degrees when we left and about the same when we arrived, and we finished the day on foot in a massive thunderstorm - not the Sorrento experience everyone told us we could expect. Sorrento is full of tourists and we decided to leave our bikes at the hotel as there is not much parking even for bikes to go exploring
    We should have taken the SS18 from Portici instead we ended up going around the base of Mt Vesuvius (the extra long short cut when we look back at the map now) on the SS268 to Pompeii. From Pompeii we headed along the coast on the ss145 and deviated from this to the Via Sorrentina as the road was mostly an uninspiring 50km motorway. We then got to ride not so bad roads with beautiful bends and breath taking views all the way into Sorrento. We're basing ourselves in Sorrento for a few days to explore the coast and head back to Pompeii by train
    Cheers Rebecca

    Attached Files:

    #12
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  13. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    This is great way to discover Italy. I'm now tempted to take my scooter adventuring.
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  14. TM1(SS)

    TM1(SS) Matthew 24:36, Ride today, ride now :-) Supporter

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    Personally, I think a Vespa is one of the ultimate adventure machines!!
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  15. knuckle

    knuckle Adventurer

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    My Vespa she ain't been out of Texas--yet :ricky
    #15
  16. TM1(SS)

    TM1(SS) Matthew 24:36, Ride today, ride now :-) Supporter

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    Well knuckle, throw a dart at a map and go !!
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  17. Jim K.

    Jim K. Long timer

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    I'd seriously try some of the suggestions from ac72, mentioned above. These are the "true" Dolomiti & they are spectacular. Some of the worst battles of WW I occurred here as well, with an excellent museum just outside of Cortina, so interesting history as well as scenery, with a German/Italian cultural mix.

    (BTW: I spent 9 months touring Europe in '72 on a 1958 Heinkel Tourist. You folks are in for a great time!)
    #17
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  18. Gestalt

    Gestalt Been here awhile

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    I love my Vespa 150 S, my wife prefers it to my Desert Sled as it is just so comfortable. Even two up its quite ok, it will do 100KPM all day not issue, but Thailand is an easy country to tour, near guaranteed good weather is a major bonus. I have to respect these guys for the scooter trip, there is a lot to be said for the slower steady approach, speed and power are far from everything. There is some reward to riding smaller bikes, I am even thinking of buying a Van Van 200 to recapture a little lost youth. Safe trip guys.
    #18
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  19. Frizzy Fred

    Frizzy Fred Adventurer

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    Day 3 & 4 (16 & 17 May)
    We spent the days exploring the spectacular Almafi coast. This is one of the most beautiful spots we have seen in Italy so far. We explored Pompeii and climbed Mt Vesuvius on one day and then spent a whole eight hours the next day on the Almafi coast along with all the bikes, cars and buses that were also trying to snake their way along the coast.
    We started in Sorrento and took a couple of smaller less travelled roads to explore some of the out of the way places like Marciano and Termini and then proceeded along the coast to Maiori where we looped back to Sorrento over the mountain range. We quickly found the roads less travelled are generally the roads less maintained as the roads over the range were some of the worst roads we have encountered so far (around the Tramonti to Corbara area). But the road did provide us with some wonderful views look back over to Mt Vesuvius across Pompeii.
    My bike unfortunately has some major mechanical issues ( a bit more than just needing some oil), so we have to head back to Rome to get a new bike which means foregoing Sicily. But this also means we will have more time to explore the north more, especially some of the places like Bolzano
    Cheers Rebecca

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  20. Frizzy Fred

    Frizzy Fred Adventurer

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    Day 5 (18 May)
    We travelled along the coast to avoid the major roads in case my bike broke down and it was the best decision we made as we got to experience a much more interesting ride. We used the SS18 which took us through many small suburbs with cobblestone roads. While the ride was more interesting and the traffic was a bit heavy in some parts being a Saturday morning, our comfort level on our seats deteriorated quite significantly. We ended up going through Naples proper which was quite beautiful and a very different Naples to what we saw the first time we went through there, and the traffic was chaotic but not unmanageable. We followed the SP303 once out of Naples still along the coast until we found a this great little medieval town (Gaeta) to stop over for the night
    We travelled 145kms in 6 hours with stops
    It's a little more laid back in Gaeta with most restaurants opening around 8.30pm - we've been asleep by this time most nights - and so we were on the hunt for a place that was open. Eventually found a great place that specialised in Cod (Cod cooked every which way you could imagine) and were lucky enough to be the only customers at the early hour of 7pm. The food was delicious and the wine was very easy to drink as it has been in every place we've been so far. Not sure if it's because we've had big days on the bikes or because it is just Italian wine is just good everywhere.
    Cheers Rebecca
    #20
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