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9 or 10 days in the Po Valley...

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South Wales, United...
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9 or 10 days in the Po Valley...

My wife and I are travelling to the region of Parma for the first time and the more we're reading around and watching various clips and programmes on internet channels about the area, the more excited we are getting.. We're going at the beginning of September and now I am visibly quaking and beside myself with excitement...

We have explored quite a few other parts of Italy on short breaks and holidays and I am already in love with the country, but I think this time it will be a bit different as it's going to be less of a commercialised tourist hot spot and hopefully it will be just as much fun if not more. One of the very different things will be we are hiring a car for the first time as we've never had to do this before. From looking on Google maps, the place we're staying in near Bardi is a good hour and more away from the main cities, one or maybe 2 of which we would love to go and visit for a day.

Here's are my questions; doing the route planning suggests that usually the quicker routes have several toll roads. We've never used our sat nav abroad before but I think we'll be able to suss out how to plan a route without tolls. Are the tolls really that expensive? Is it worth making sure we have lots of change in Euros ie are they electronic coin bins or manned by humans?

Also, is the Gutturnio wine of Piacenza as nice and as readily available as the Lambrusco?

Sydney, Australia
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for Train Travel
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1. Re: 9 or 10 days in the Po Valley...

You can get driving directions, fairly realistic times, and estimated costs (fuel and tolls) from www.viamichelin.com which is better than Google Maps for road travel in Europe.

For information on driving in Italy, including paying tolls, see www.nickbooth.id.au/Tips/ItalyDrive.htm

Italy
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2. Re: 9 or 10 days in the Po Valley...

Hi, where are you staying exactly? Do you have a car?

No toll road near Bardi, take a good map to plan your day trip because you won't be near Po valley.

I live in Parma, so if you can give more info I can help you. Gutturnio and Lambrusco are very easy to find everywhere.

South Wales, United...
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3. Re: 9 or 10 days in the Po Valley...

Thanks Nick and Tabata_1973 . We have a hire car. We are staying just a few kilometres outside Bardi. We've found out quite a bit about the Parma ham festival that will be going on at the surrounding villages and towns in September when we're there. If we're leaving late evening and travelling home, what is the lighting like on the mountain roads? I assume they're reasonably well lit and safe to drive on.

I imagine parking in places like Bologna or Ferrara would be a bit of a trial for day trips. Would you recommend a park and ride in Parma and then train to the cities for a day trip? I imagine the saving on fuel / tolls would be topped up by the train fares and it wouldn't be much of a saving if any, but maybe convenience wise it would be easier?

Italy
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4. Re: 9 or 10 days in the Po Valley...

Drive carefully and you won't have any problem.

If you plan day trip to Bologna or Ferrara you can do it by regional trains which aren't expensive. Buy tickets at the train station the day you travel and remember to time stamp tickets before boarding trains.

A little tip: almost every regional train stops in Fidenza, if you go there by car instead of going to Parma you can easily park for free. There's a free car park back to the station.

Check trains timetable on trenitalia web page, UK flag and then choose all the trains.

South Wales, United...
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5. Re: 9 or 10 days in the Po Valley...

This is very useful, thank you so much!! :)

Italy
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6. Re: 9 or 10 days in the Po Valley...

Park lot in Fidenza is located in Via Marconi near the cemetry.

If you come in Fidenza come and say hi to my shop.

South Wales, United...
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7. Re: 9 or 10 days in the Po Valley...

Hopefully we will have enough time to call in and say hello. What is the name of your shop?

Italy
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8. Re: 9 or 10 days in the Po Valley...

I have a small tobacco shop, when you are at the station go straight on, you find a small porticoes on your right and on the left a shop closed called max and co, next to the shop closed you'll find my shop, on the other side there's a jewellery, address is via Gramsci 21.

St Paul, MN
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9. Re: 9 or 10 days in the Po Valley...

We spent 6 days in Ferrara, but we did not have a car. Ferrara is fairly small , and it did not look like parking was at a premium , nor did it appear that kamikazi driving was operative with the traffic.

Ferrara google map

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms…

Perth, Western...
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10. Re: 9 or 10 days in the Po Valley...

Not to forget is the Outlet Centre in Fidenza. About the gutturnio, it is very different from lambrusco, much more body and complexity. Amongst the many labels, try once of La Stoppa estate.

From Bardi, i feel to recommend a drive to the val Trebbia - once a favourite place of Ernst Hemingway - with a stop in Bobbio.

Can't miss to take pictures to the old bridge.

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