40 Days Italian Road trip
Time flied, 40 days ago we landed in Geneva International airport and started our journey into Italy and on the 40th day we left our final destination “Val di Funes” in Italy and drove towards Appenzell in Switzerland, crossing Austria along the way.
Forty days was enough and yet not enough. Enough because every destination we visited we did not have to rush, we had sufficient time to see the sights and “smell the coffee and cakes”. It was not enough because there were other parts of Italy we would like to visit but did not.
Our road trip brought us to about 30 beautiful destinations which included big cities, small villages, coastal towns, dolomites valleys and more. We had always wanted to visit Italy and we knew that 10 days or 20 days would not be sufficient. We gave ourselves 40 days so that we could include some of the not so standard places that most visitors did not have the time to go.
|Destinations we visited|
|3||Lake Como||4||Cinque Terre|
|7||Siena||8||Val d’ Orcia|
|15||Matera||16||Sicily – Toarmina|
|17||Sicily – Catania||18||Sicily – Ortigia|
|29||Val di Funes||30||Val Gardena|
Booking.com & AIRBNB
We booked our accommodations mainly from Booking.com and Airbnb. Twenty eight nights were booked on Booking.com, 8 nights on Airbnb and 3 directly with the hotel. We looked for rooms/apartments that had ensuite toilet, cooking facilities and parking. It was not easy to have all our criterias met and still get an accommodation in the right place at the right price. In a couple of our accommodations we had to use shared toilets and at some other accommodations we did not have any cooking facilities.
Averagely the accommodation cost for each night was about €66. We had been using booking.com for many years and on two occassions when we faced some problems the customer service of booking.com was very quick to response. Though both the times we managed to resolve the problems on our own, it was assuring to know that we would not be left high and dry. It was only when we could not find suitable accommodation within our budget on booking.com that was when we turned to Airbnb. Airbnb though allowed free booking cancellation nowaday, it cancellation policy was not as flexible as that of booking.com which was very important to us.
During our road trip we encountered a car-break-in incident (“smashed window”) when we were in Rome. Our Citroen car leasing contract came with “every thing”, it covered accident and theft with “zero” cost to us. So the “Rome” incident was a test of the convienent of “car leasing” during such an incident.
The repair of the “smashed window” went rather smoothly. There was not much disruption on our travelling itinerary. We were guided by the Citroen “accident & theft” hotlines to first make a police report, leave our car at the most convenient Citroen repair outlet along our route, go about our sight-seeing and then returned for our “repaired” car.
This incident had further strengthen our belief that car leasing for a long long road trip was definitely much cheaper with more benefits and advantages than car rental.
|Contact Citroën Euro Pass Singapour |
HP: + 65 9075 0464 (pas de messagerie vocale / no voice mail)
Quote: “CEP JAIKTRAVEL BLOG” in your email to enjoy €50 discount on the lease cost of a Citroen car of minimum 21 days.
Meals and cofffee breaks
Our food which included meals, cakes and coffee came up to about €24 a day for two of us. For that amount we managed to have one to two coffee breaks (coffee, cakes and icecreams) and one full meal a day. Almost half of our accommodations provided free breakfast and only some of them offered very good breakfast with good spread of food. We cooked 80% of our dinner and ate pretty well as it was easy to buy fresh meat like salmon, chicken, beef and pork. Fresh fruits like cherry, strawberry, blue berry, apple, orange and lemon were also easily available.
Our self cooked breakfast consisted mainly of bread, ham, eggs and coffee. If we stayed at an accommodation with cooking facilities it would be fried eggs and meat. If there was no cooking facilities but as long as there was a kettle we would have soft boiled egg or hard boiled egg or egg mayo to go with our bread. Fresh fruits, vegetables and coffee formed the rest of the spread that went onto our breakfast table.
It was pretty easy to cook a good dinner whenever our accommodation had the cooking facilities. Supermarkets, big and small were everywhere even at places we did not expect. Self cooking allowed us to eat well without paying a “bomb”, it also helped us to avoid the queues at restaurants and was most convenient when we were at places that were remote where restaurants were non-existence in the vicinity.
Our most memorable destinations in these 40 days were not the big cities like Milan, Florence or Rome. They were the out of the way towns like Matera and Alberobello which were so unique and farmlands at Val d’Orcia and Val d’ Funes that mesmerised us.
Val d’ Orcia
|Val di Funes|
Total cost for 40 days
We found travelling in Italy relatively cheaper than New Zealand and Australia but more expensive than Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia. Cooking our own meals helped us to save a lot and leasing a car instead of renting one also cut down the expense tremendously. The leasing cost came up to about €21 a day. The entire cost for the 40 days Italy road trip was about €7000 and below is the breakdown.
|food (meals, marketing, coffee breaks)||13.5%|
|car lease cost||12%|
|petrol, tolls & parking||14%|