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Old 17th June 2019, 13:20   #721
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Travelling to Italy end of July, my first trip out of India.Will be visiting Bologna and Modena. Have planned to rent a car to go around these places, can you guys give me some help on driving and things to follow in Italy.How should i prepare myself and things to lookout for.
Few points from my experience in driving in Italy

1. Generally most cities you cannot go driving to the town centres. They will have zones where you need to pay special fares and rental cars will not be allowed and fined if you enter. They are called ZTL (zona trafficaco limitato). so it is better to use car for driving in countryside and highways and not town centers (especially big cities). Park car in hotel and use local transports.

2. Speed limits are more strict than in India so keep an eye on it. Rent an Automatic as along with driving on the wrong side you will be on lookout for road signs, speed limits, map etc. so make driving easy. Speed limits also change frequently 100-120 on highway to 60-80 on country roads., Suddenly in a town/village it will drop to 20.

3. In Italy the locals will lot of times actually not drive according to speed limits. Italians will speed up given a chance but since we are tourists and don't know where speed traps are it is safer to follow speed limits.

4. At toll booths you take a ticket (through automated system) while entering and need to pay as you exit. Keep cash ready and enter the cash lane. in most places the payment will be automated system so you will have to put in notes/coins based on the charge that comes up.

5. At Petrol stations (many are not manned) you will first need to swipe your card (credit card only) at an automated system and select the pump number. fuel up your car and the card will be then charged automatically.

6. Roads are narrower than our highways and lane discipline is very good. People only go to fast lane to overtake. People expect you to go at 80 is speed limit is 80 and will pressure you if you are slower and may even gesture angrily. Don't get flustered while you get used to speeds and lanes etc. People also drive well and will not overtake on turns or do stupid things we are used to seeing here. Italians drive fast but safely.

7. Country /smaller roads really fun so always choose those vs. highways unless you are in a hurry. Countryside is really beautiful and scenic and driving is best way to see Italy in an unhurried manner.

8. To prepare yourself driving on the right side you can play some driving games on your mobile where you get used to turning etc. and feel the traffic flow. Basically you have to remember that you need to be on the center of the road. SO you will be sitting on the left side of car so you are driving on the right side of the road. Generally you just follow the traffic so should not be much of a trouble. Confusion can happen on signals and interchanges so that is where you need to be careful.

Last edited by khan_sultan : 17th June 2019 at 13:34. Reason: Edited line spacing for better readability
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Old 17th June 2019, 14:19   #722
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Few points from my experience in driving in Italy.....
Thank you thats really detailed and helpful. I have planned to spend a few days in germany before hand with friends and try to get a hang of it. Driving I am fine, its the automated systems and intersections that sound scary, but i am not going to visit any cities, its just going to be a the factories around the motor valley.

Last edited by khan_sultan : 17th June 2019 at 14:38. Reason: Trimmed quoted post.
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Old 17th June 2019, 15:23   #723
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Thank you thats really detailed and helpful. I have planned to spend a few days in germany before hand with friends and try to get a hang of it. Driving I am fine, its the automated systems and intersections that sound scary, but i am not going to visit any cities, its just going to be a the factories around the motor valley.
We actually did something similar last year - small towns like Lake Como, Dolomites, Lake Garda, etc.
We visited the Pagani museum, Lamborghini Museum and Factory, and Modena Enzo Museum.

Some tips:
1) Plan your tours in advance as they get sold out quickly. We were fortunate to get 2 passes for the Lamborghini Museum and Factory Tour last minute.

2) There is no parking in the premises, so make sure to arrive 30 minutes earlier to find a parking nearby - especially for Lamborghini where the walk from the Parking to the factory is a good 10-15 minutes.

3) We made Parma our base, and drove around from there. You could stay in a bigger city as well - but traffic & parking will be a hassle. Our hotel had a parking block near the train station which was opposite the road, so it wasn't a big concern.

4) Smaller car is recommended. The Fiat 500 is quite popular with rental agencies, and with narrow roads - I can see why.
Our Peugeot 5008 minivan was a pain to park in some underground lots, and a pain to drive on narrow roads with oncoming traffic near Lake Garda and the Dolomites.

5) The main Expressways / Autobahns have speed cameras, however some of the back roads leading up to these factories are pure bliss to drive on - less traffic. These roads are where you can just follow a local driver who knows the trouble spots and enjoy your drive.

Regarding Germany: If you are in Munich - go visit the BMW museum, and more importantly see how you can rent one of the M Cars for a few hours. Someone said if you rent it on the last slot, you can hold on to it for a bit longer - but I could be mistaken so be friendly, and ask at the counter.

Drop me a PM if there is anything I can help you with.
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Old 17th June 2019, 15:39   #724
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Travelling to Italy end of July, my first trip out of India.
Try to rent a Ferrari or a Lamborghini for a day! Although on the expensive side, it will be an experience you won't ever forget.

We had rented a Ferrari California in Italy and a Lamborghini Gallardo for a couple of hours in Spain waaay back in 2011. Since my mom and sister wanted to shop, this is what dad took me for. It was an experience to remember!

Also the Ferrari in Italy was the first left hand drive car my dad had driven in his life and he was just fine, so don't worry about that!

Unfortunately I was just 10 so couldn't drive

Last edited by Vid6639 : 18th June 2019 at 08:55. Reason: left
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Old 17th June 2019, 15:43   #725
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Try to rent a Ferrari or a Lamborghini for a day! Although on the expensive side, it will be an experience you won't ever forget.
That actually could work.

Personally I found US to be the best in terms of rates - especially thanks to apps like Turo.

That being said, I did see a rental option opposite the Lamborghini factory. Check it out - and there are one two more as well.
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Old 17th June 2019, 22:11   #726
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We actually did something similar last year - small towns like Lake Como, Dolomites, Lake Garda, etc.
We visited the Pagani museum, Lamborghini Museum and Factory, and Modena Enzo Museum.
Thank you so much That will help me a lot. The moment i heard Europe was the destination, the family decided the usual places and i decided it was only about cars
I have booked the whole lot,Ferrari museums and factory, lamborghini museum and factory,Ducati museum and factory, printed the tickets two months in advance.In Italy i have split the stay in Modena and Bologna based on which brand i am visiting the day.
Have booked a drive in Maranello for a Ferrari 488.
I have another 6 days in Germany, where i have planned Mercedes,Porsche, BMW in Munich and Nurburgring.
Porsche and BMW both provide drives, will visit them and see if I can get some last minute deals.
Was the Lamborghini factory tour worth the visit? It was the most expensive at 75 Euros.

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Originally Posted by Pratyush2407 View Post
Try to rent a Ferrari or a Lamborghini for a day! Although on the expensive side, it will be an experience you won't ever forget.
Definitely, a Ferrari 488 or a 812, right on the roads around the Factory and Italian country side is a dream.Have booked it. Will put up a detailed travelogue once I am done with the trip.

Last edited by Vid6639 : 18th June 2019 at 08:53. Reason: Merging back to back posts. please use edit option when replying.
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Old 18th June 2019, 13:30   #727
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Was the Lamborghini factory tour worth the visit? It was the most expensive at 75 Euros.
I quite enjoyed it to be honest, and I am a big fan of Lamborghini (clearly!) so the factory tour was a definite must for me.
I've never been inside an auto factory, so it was definitely interesting to see all the details: from how they select the leather, to the way the car is assembled (though, we of course didn't get to see a car being assembled - but the steps were explained during the walk around).

The museum was average if I had to be honest, but there were some rare cars on display which was amazing to see!
BMW in Munich had a much larger and more interesting manner of display.

That being said - I've heard the Pagani tour is that much more interesting (and I am surprised it hasn't made your list!) as the cars are hand built and much more rarer. It's located around 30 minutes away from Lamborghini.

Last edited by lamborghini : 18th June 2019 at 13:31.
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Old 18th June 2019, 16:11   #728
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

If you get the chance you might want to go and see the Alfa Romeo Museum as well:

https://www.museoalfaromeo.com/en-us...AlfaRomeo.aspx

I have visited it several times, but many years ago. It has gone through some major renovations over the last years. A friend of mine, visited it recently and was quite impressed.

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Old 18th June 2019, 16:33   #729
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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I've heard the Pagani tour is that much more interesting (and I am surprised it hasn't made your list!) as the cars are hand built and much more rarer. It's located around 30 minutes away from Lamborghini.
It was a choice between Ducati and Pagani, so I chose Ducati and its more time to spend with Lamborghini.
The factory parking is 15 mins away from the Museum? This I wasn't expecting.
Also did you spend anytime around the region, like places to eat etc.
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Old 18th June 2019, 16:56   #730
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It was a choice between Ducati and Pagani, so I chose Ducati and its more time to spend with Lamborghini.
The factory parking is 15 mins away from the Museum? This I wasn't expecting.
Also did you spend anytime around the region, like places to eat etc.
It all depends on where you find parking. There was a cafe around the corner - I went and parked the car near there, and walked it up.

It's not factory parking - I literally parked at a parking lot adjoining the cafe, just a regular road side parking that has nothing to do with Lamborghini. Even for the museum visit, you would have to park outside.

No visitor cars are allowed in the premises of Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Pagani so each place had us parking outside. Lamborghini had the longest walk, whereas with the others we got lucky.

My wife and I were also running to Pagani, so didn't get a chance to eat anything. We had a heavy breakfast, and then a sandwich later in the day post Pagani - most fuel bunks have a small cafe / store where you can pick one up.
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Old 19th June 2019, 17:43   #731
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It all depends on where you find parking. There was a cafe around the corner - I went and parked the car near there, and walked it up.
So I will probably have to find parking spots before I reach there.The best is restaurants and cafe around the place

And did you require an IDP to rent a car, or was your Indian license accepted there.
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Old 19th June 2019, 18:32   #732
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So I will probably have to find parking spots before I reach there.The best is restaurants and cafe around the place

And did you require an IDP to rent a car, or was your Indian license accepted there.
It was just around the block - so best to reach the venue and then find a parking spot close by. Hence keep 30 minutes in hand at the least.

Regarding the IDP: I wasn't asked for one when we rented a car from Sixt. That being said, I always carry a valid IDP - why risk it!

Lastly, if renting from BMW/Porsche: Also please carry your passport with you if they ask.
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Old 25th June 2019, 15:44   #733
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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So I will probably have to find parking spots before I reach there.The best is restaurants and cafe around the place

And did you require an IDP to rent a car, or was your Indian license accepted there.
I was asked for IDP by Hertz at Venice even though I had driving licenses from India and UAE to show them. But Europcar at Geneva didn't ask for IDP.

So it's kind of a hit or miss and always better to carry one. Also, carry your passport with you to the rental company.
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Old 25th June 2019, 17:51   #734
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Regarding the IDP: I wasn't asked for one when we rented a car from Sixt. That being said, I always carry a valid IDP - why risk it!
.
Definitely a better idea to carry IDP along as in Italy its mandated by Law.Checked with Porsche they have some good driving experiences at the museum.

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I was asked for IDP by Hertz at Venice even though I had driving licenses from India and UAE to show them. But Europcar at Geneva didn't ask for IDP.
Thank you :-) I checked with budget, they dont ask, but they are sure the Police ask if they pull me over.

There are multiple options to get the IDP from, did you get the same from the local RTO or through Automobile associations like ITCA.Getting from the same RTO requires me to travel to my native to get it done. Any suggestions for a easier way to get this done.

Last edited by Sunrock : 25th June 2019 at 17:55.
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Old 4th July 2019, 00:46   #735
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Friends,

Need some guidance from esteemed bhpians. I have a business trip (and little tourism on personal expense) to Europe starting 3rd week of july for about 3 weeks and would be visiting Ireland, France, Germany, Switzerland and Holland.

1) Do you have any suggestions on travel card that is best to purchase from India (for Euros and swiss franc) for personal expenses? Or is it better to use Indian credit cards or debit cards itself?
2) I have Airtel pre-paid number. Is it better to activate international roaming in my own number or does it make more sense to buy separate sim card like matrix or other vendors. The reason for this question is, if Airtel doesn't have good coverage in partner networks primarily for data and voice, then it may be better off to consider other most reliable international SIM card vendors?

Thanks for your help!
-Ravi
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