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Author Topic: My 2024 Road Trip to Sicily  (Read 1034 times)
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betabuoy
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« on: January 12, 2024, 11:42:08 AM »

I need to be in Sicily this April for a family wedding, and what better way to travel than in the mighty Beta Coupe!  I accept there are probably easier and cheaper ways to do this, but it’s an excuse for a Grand Tour and one of my sons will accompany me outbound, and my wife on return.

Plan so far is to cross on the Dover to Calais ferry then route via Reims, Dijon, Mont Blanc, Turin, Bologna, Taranto, (ferry to Messina), Catania.  Estimate five or six days, use cheap accommodation, and do a bit of history on the way… and of course hopefully find some Mille Miglia roads for fun!  Return will be more leisurely up the Italian west coast, then Cote d’Azur and across France to visit further family in Nantes. And apparently, I’m expected to budget a bit more for accommodation for the return leg!

Last time I did a similar route was in ’86 in a Mk1 XR2.  All went well until I left the car in Pisa and the car locks were attacked with a screwdriver resulting in quite a bit of theft (including passports)!  Don’t need that again.  So, I’m keen to understand better what, if any, safe parking options are available!

I’m keen to hear of any recent experience, tips, routes, things to avoid etc before I get too committed into the planning.

Chris
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1979 Beta Coupe S2FL (1st registered May 1983!)
1967 Morris Minor Traveller
1925 Austin 7 Chummy
Neil-yaj396
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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2024, 01:52:21 PM »

Hi Chris

Sounds like a great adventure. The return leg of our big 2017 trip to Northern Italy was almost a reverse of your outbound plan as far as Turin. We came back via Zeebrugge to Hull though. That is no longer possible, but it's worth considering Hull/Rotterdam as it's really close to home for you, cuts the milage and sorts a nights accommodation. You could do Dover on the way back maybe.

I've attached a link to the write up of my trip:  https://www.betaboyz.myzen.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=3445.0

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betabuoy
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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2024, 04:06:27 PM »

Hi Neil,

I remember reading your report at the time and thanks for the link to re-read... you certainly had a Grand Tour.  And I note your comment on the Zeebrugge ferry but I'm not too disheartened as we have family in Surrey so there's an easy night stop there.

I note you took the Great St Bernhard Pass to cross the Alps, but in April I'll be limited to the Brenner Pass which is the lowest but so much further east via Austria; sadly, this is why I've chosen the tunnel for this trip.  I'll have to save one of the more spectacular routes for another day!

Planning has started.

Chris
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1979 Beta Coupe S2FL (1st registered May 1983!)
1967 Morris Minor Traveller
1925 Austin 7 Chummy
peteracs
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2024, 09:19:25 PM »

Hi Chris

Maybe the high road over the Alps to Turin will be weather dependent, with all the changes ie shortened winter season, maybe April it will be open? We travelled that way to Turin in the summer a few years ago and it is well worth the trip. We returned via the tunnel which was much less interesting…

Peter
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squiglyzigly
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« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2024, 10:13:20 AM »

Chris,
What an excellent way to attend a wedding in Sicily. Make sure you pack some oversize stretchy trousers after the onslaught of wedding food. 15 courses minimum! And old Lancia’s are often used for wedding cars.
I have done a few roads trips in recent years from Venice to Rome and a couple more around Sicily which may have some relevance to your plans. April weather in the South is usually very nice, 20 plus degrees and lots of sunshine, can feel like a British summer.

Also if your heading to Taranto I have a ‘little’ local knowledge as I have an apartment only 40 miles south along the coast.  Many local’ish must see places such as Matera (James Bonds last movie), Alberobello, Polignano a Mare, Lecce, Gallipoli etc
Is your phone number still the same ending 07xxxxxxx940?
Probably easier to share a ton of info if you prefer.

Ian
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betabuoy
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« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2024, 04:39:13 PM »

Hi Chris

Maybe the high road over the Alps to Turin will be weather dependent, with all the changes ie shortened winter season, maybe April it will be open? We travelled that way to Turin in the summer a few years ago and it is well worth the trip. We returned via the tunnel which was much less interesting…

Peter

You are right Peter.  I will keep an option for one of the routes in case of a very mild spring; but once committed to the French crossing area, all routes are pretty high.
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1979 Beta Coupe S2FL (1st registered May 1983!)
1967 Morris Minor Traveller
1925 Austin 7 Chummy
betabuoy
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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2024, 04:43:31 PM »


Is your phone number still the same ending 07xxxxxxx940?
Probably easier to share a ton of info if you prefer.

Ian


Hi Ian, Yes, same phone number.  Try and call sometime during the week if you can.  I'll make sure I've a map in front of me too!

Chris
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1979 Beta Coupe S2FL (1st registered May 1983!)
1967 Morris Minor Traveller
1925 Austin 7 Chummy
Neil-yaj396
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« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2024, 10:23:43 AM »

Inbound, towards Dijon, we used the Frejus tunnel ('sister' to Mont Blanc). Isn't that more convenient for Turin? Brenner would involve driving South to Milan then a long boring Autostarda drive West to Turin I would have thought....
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peteracs
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Peter Stokes


« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2024, 09:08:44 PM »

Hi Neil

I had mistakenly thought Chris meant the newer tunnel. Makes much more sense as direct from Turin and is the route we used on our return.

Peter
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HFStuart
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« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2024, 10:59:43 AM »

I'm especially envious Chris. I'd use the Harwich to Hook of Holland overnight for an ealy start the next day* but there's really no bad way to do this.

I can imagine that hotels will be more expensive on the way home. For some reason the argument of 'this'll do, it's only for a night and it's got a bar' is not always received well.

*Definiteley not for access to unrestricted AutoBahn.....
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betabuoy
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« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2024, 07:42:24 PM »

It was a great shame, but after some very insightful conversations and then a further look at the distances and routes involved in April... I decided it was necessary to listen to my wife and instead we chose, on this occasion, to fly to Sicily.  The Alps still beckon but a better time of the year would have given some more picturesque options, and some better car parks would have improved security.  Anyhow, we still enjoyed a great Sicilian wedding, and I get to keep my car!

So instead... my dear wife has warmed to idea of using the Beta for some continental travel and we're off to France for a short break next month.  Just going through the tunnel then routing towards the west coast to Nantes via Rouen and Le Mans.  We'll only be over there for a couple of days then up to Caen for the 'cruise' to Portsmouth then back to Yorkshire.  Hopefully, this will all be without incident!

Chris   
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1979 Beta Coupe S2FL (1st registered May 1983!)
1967 Morris Minor Traveller
1925 Austin 7 Chummy
betabuoy
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« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2024, 10:25:52 PM »

Less adventurous Beta to Nantes trip now complete. Notes on the trip are on my ‘GCRE Engine Upgrade’ page in Members Cars.
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1979 Beta Coupe S2FL (1st registered May 1983!)
1967 Morris Minor Traveller
1925 Austin 7 Chummy
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