Driving in Tuscany - a funny question...

Feb 4th, 2004, 07:34 AM
  #1  
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Driving in Tuscany - a funny question...

Hi everyone -- I have a weird question that I have not found answered on here thus far. We are considering renting a car from the airport in Pisa and driving around Tuscany for the 4 days we have there. We're staying in Montalcino and want to see San Gimignano, Siena, and Montepulciano at a minimum.

What I'm wondering is this: are the roads themselves scary in terms of being hilly, curvy, or dangerous? I've read plenty about the drivers, but nothing about the actual roads...

I was extremely car-sick on a long drive from San Francisco to Yosemite a couple of summers ago, so I need to be prepared!

Thanks!
Heather.
hlocke1 is offline  
Feb 4th, 2004, 07:40 AM
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I too suffer from car sickness and had no problems in Tuscany-the Amalfi Coast was a whole 'nother story though! The road are similar to 2 lane highways and the only questionable road was in Chianit from Grieve to Radda which wound around the hills. Other than that, they are straight shots.
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Feb 4th, 2004, 09:07 AM
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Ooh - that helps to hear. I looked at the photos of the roads on slowtrav.com and they didn't look too bad to me. So, thanks for sharing! =)

Any other input would be much appreciated...
hlocke1 is offline  
Feb 4th, 2004, 09:08 AM
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If I remember correctly, the roads were fine. We found that the road signs were not always the best and we made a few wrong turns.

Getting lost can be fun but not always. So for our trip this March, we're off to Barnes & Noble to get a good road map.

We're staying in Montalcino also...can't wait. Have a great time.
Lorac1127 is offline  
Feb 4th, 2004, 09:20 AM
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The roads are in good condition, although secondary roads can be very curvy and quite narrow.
Michael is offline  
Feb 4th, 2004, 09:22 AM
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I agree with the above posts. You should have no problem. One thing to add....if you get on the "autostrada" (freeway...with tolls), if I remember correctly, you can pay the toll in the machine with your credit card.
You put your paper toll ticket in the machine to be read, and it gives you the total due. Then, you put your credit card into the same slot to pay the amount.
Other posters, please confirm this for us!!!
ekellyga is offline  
Feb 4th, 2004, 09:45 AM
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The above poster is right about the tolls on the autostrada and don't be intimidated about posts here on the tolls. I read all sorts of posts about how expensive the tolls were but we drove from Siena to the A.C. and the tolls were only about $17.00 which we didn't think was bad at all considering all the complaining in other posts.
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Feb 4th, 2004, 09:54 AM
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Hi hlocke1

Check out this older thread regaring signage on the roads in Italy!!

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34434620
Lewis is offline  
Feb 4th, 2004, 09:56 AM
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Well, from reading the above posts, we are clearly in the minority, but my whole family got carsick in Tuscany! Don't get me wrong - we loved the area - but actually cut our stay by a day to get back to the city.

If you know you are prone to carsickness, take whatever precautions work for you. If you end up not needing them, better yet!

By the way, prior to Tuscany, the last time I got carsick was driving the windy roads to Yosemite! Have a great trip.
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Feb 4th, 2004, 09:56 AM
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rcc
 
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I have one thing to add.

Remember to bring some motion sickness pills, just in case.
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Feb 4th, 2004, 10:35 AM
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In my recollection, the roads in Tuscany are usually in good condition, but many are very winding and there are lots of hills. You don't have places where you're close to the edge of a dropoff, but if winding roads or going up and down hills make you car-sick, I think you might have that experience.

Since you didn't ask specifically about the road signage, I'll limit my two cents worth to saying that you should have a good map and someone who can find things on it quickly and make snap decisions as to which road to take.

I'm not trying to scare you off -- I enjoyed all my drives in Tuscany. But you said you wanted to be prepared.
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Feb 4th, 2004, 11:27 AM
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This has all been really helpful. =) Thanks to all who have posted so far.
hlocke1 is offline  
Feb 4th, 2004, 11:40 AM
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SAB
 
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I find that I tend to get car sick if I'm sitting in the back seat, but not if I'm driving which was the case in Tuscany where we made made a point exploring small winding roads.
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Feb 4th, 2004, 11:44 AM
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Excellent point, SAB. In addition to the back seat, I get carsick as a front seat passenger on windy roads, but never as the driver. My husband, who never gets carsick, did in Tuscany and he was the driver. Maybe it was all the wine we drank on vacation!
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Feb 4th, 2004, 11:45 AM
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While we've loved driving in Tuscany and have found the roads generally good, although we've backed off a couple non-paved ones, I do understand how someone prone to motion sickness could easily be bothered. Some of the roads winding up to the hill villages can be especially bothersome to those bothered by motion.

But I'm curious why you said you had a funny question. I see nothing funny about this question. Not only is it quite serious, but it is totally logical and a very good question.
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Feb 4th, 2004, 11:54 AM
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dln
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We were in neighboring Umbria, not Tuscany, and took some very twisty roads, the worst of which were the ones leading into Orvieto and Gubbio. Take a look at the map, and you'll get an idea from all the squiggles exactly how bendy and windey they are! I am not prone to car sickness, but I remember thinking that if I were, I'd have wanted to stick to as many highways in Italy as possible, and avoid the mountain roads. And stocked up on the Drammamine!
 
Feb 4th, 2004, 12:33 PM
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Patrick -- I guess I said it's a funny question b/c it's a little embarrassing. We're going for our honeymoon and I really don't want my new husband to be cleaning up my sick again.

The opinion seems pretty split on this thread. Any other words of advice? =)
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Feb 4th, 2004, 12:43 PM
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By Dramamine and you'll be fine....Also, I've found that cracking the window and getting some fresh air helps tremendously.
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Feb 4th, 2004, 01:31 PM
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I also suffer from car sickness, and there were times, when driving through Tuscany, that I did feel queasy. The main roads are in good condition, but, as others have said, there are times when they will twist around and be pretty hilly. And that's even more true if you go on the secondary roads (which you should!).
I've found that dramamine helps a lot, and there are some formula that don't make you sleepy. So buy some and be safe!
progol is online now  
Feb 4th, 2004, 01:34 PM
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Tell the newbie hubbie

a) Not to drink

b) If he has to drink, not to drive

c) If he has to drive, to do so SMOOTHLY

I have several people in my family who are prone to carsickness at random times. I've found that if I drive at one sustained speed and take the curves smoothly that they are less likely to get sick. It's all that herky-jerky motion along with going around curves that seems to cause problems.
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