Four Italian road trips to tackle this summer
If you’re into culture, cuisine, fast cars and stunning coastline, you would be hard-pressed to find a better summer getaway destination than Italy. From the fashion of Milan, to the golden beaches of Sicily, Italy has it all – so why not explore the lot in a luxury vehicle?
With Driverso, Europe’s elite luxury care hire service, it’s never been simpler to reserve the drive of your dreams to take the driving holiday of a lifetime. Having added 100 new models, from Ferrari to Tesla, to their fleet, the discerning driver is spoilt for choice. While we would never tell you which of Driverso’s luxurious supercars to take for a spin in Bel Paese, here’s our top four suggestions for Italian hot spots to visit in your hot rod.
Tuscan Wine Country
There are few finer cities on God’s green earth than the capital of the Tuscany region, Florence. Known as the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence possesses some of the world’s finest art and architecture, as well as access to some of the region’s finest wines.
Having experienced a day or two in Tuscany, we recommend taking a gentle scenic route to Orvieto, 160 kilometres south. Your options are plentiful in this region, but stopping off at Siena en route is a must – not only as it is equidistant between Florence and Orvieto, but because it is well worth a visit anyway. The city’s medieval heritage, complete with a 12th century piazza and Duomo that will take your breath away, offers a quaint Tuscan experience perhaps lacking in the tourist hotspot of Florence.
By timing your trip appropriately, there is also an option to stop en route to Siena in the heart of Chianti wine country, to have a tipple (or perhaps stock up for the road) at one of the production vineyards. Tastings can be organised all the way along the route, but Castellina in Chianti is LLM’s pick of the options.
Once you’ve departed Siena, head south towards Montalcino for further wine-tasting experiences, or east towards Val d’Orcia, a World Heritage Site of over 150,000 acres, to experience a quintessential Tuscan driving experience, through rolling hills and vineyards, before heading south to arrive at Orvieto.
Recommended car: Porsche Panamera 4-E Hybrid
The Amalfi Coast
If you like your driving experiences a little more coastal, then start further south, and tackle Italy’s most scenic stretch of coastal road. If you are starting in Naples, the biggest township in the area, take the road south, and from there, the choice is yours, really.
The Amalfi Coast technically starts a little over 50 kilometres south of Naples, but, taking the coastal route south, you’ll soon start to understand why the region attracts so many driving tourists. The stretch of coast itself is only around 50 kilometres, so take your time, and enjoy many of the stunning hillside settlements along the Mediterranean route.
Our favourites include Vietri Sul Mare, the first major stop on the Amalfi Coast itself, and Marina di Furore, a tiny bay-side village with a big personality – seemingly unaltered by the complexities of modern life. Quaint cafés and restaurants are dotted around the fishing village, and it truly feels a world away from the hubbub of the big Italian cities.
Recommended car: Ferrari California T
The Great Dolomites Road
When someone asks you to consider Italy in your mind’s eye, you’re more likely to conjure up the sort of imagery we’ve listed above – art, culture, cuisine and wine – but Italy is also home to some of Europe’s most impressive mountain peaks – and the Great Dolomites Road (Grande Strada delle Dolomiti, in Italian), encapsulates this in a much different, but equally spectacular road trip.
Based in Northern Italy, south of the border with Switzerland, the Great Dolomites Road is a roughly 100 kilometre stretch, beginning in Bolzano and ending in Cortina D’Ampezzo. The route is awe-inspiring, with beautiful grey mountains sweeping either side of roads that do their best to weave in and out of valleys. Lakes, vistas and beautiful rest stops abound – so take your time, and explore everything the Dolomites have to offer at a leisurely pace.
Recommended car: Mercedes-benz GLC 63 AMG S
Of course, no list of famous Italian road trips could be complete without a reference to the Stelvio Pass, which is one of the world’s most renowned stretches of road. In an episode of Top Gear in 2008, Jeremy Clarkson referred to it as the greatest road in the world, and, whether you agree with him or not, you can see why he said it.
Based in the Eastern Alps, the 47 kilometre stretch is the highest paved road in the Eastern Alps, at an elevation of 2,757 metres above sea level. There are over 50 180-degree hairpin turns on a road that zig-zags across the Italian mountains, with spellbinding views in every direction.
Fair warning, unlike some of the more leisurely routes listed above, this is a challenging drive.
Recommended car: Land Rover Range Rover Classic Autobiography