Specifically, a little bit of Italy.


Italy can be very quick. The motorway speed limit is 130 kmh and Italians believe that this is a speed that could usefully be adopted everywhere regardless of the posted limit. To go with this, Italians believe that they are the best judge of where to overtake and so continuous white lines and no-overtaking signs are taken as encouragement, not prohibition


If you can travel with Ryanair offseason you can get to Italy quite cheaply. Downsides, for me anyway, include wasting a day going and a night coming back. Once you’re there (offseason) it remains economical. My first night’s B & B was €30 in a countryside guesthouse with panoramic views over Pescara.


Italy’s in the civilised world so the price really is €30. It’s not €30 plus unknown and unexpected amounts of tax (Americans please copy)

Ride comfort

Italy is generally fairly comfortable. Roads are generally well surfaced until your sat nav comes up with a cunning plan for a shortcut. Accommodation is in my limited experience comfortable as well provided you’re not there in the height of summer because you mightn’t get air conditioning.



Italy is generally, but with reservations, fairly easy to handle once you get used to their odd ways. Buying food and drink, for example. You have to order and pay first, get a receipt showing what you’ve paid for and then collect it from a second person. Oh, and Italian. Outside the very touristy areas few people talk much English. Older people - those who went to school up to the 1980s or so - are more likely to have learned French at school but they talk that about as well as the younger ones do English. Most people work on the principle that if they talk slowly, loudly and repeatedly you’ll understand.

Styling and design

Hillside towns like Peschici look attractive to Northern European eyes.


But it’s not really intentional. Hillside towns are so for defensive purposes and the white buildings follow from being made from the local stone. If you want style for its own sake, try Milan.


Italy comes as standard with all manner of things.

Cute little pickups?


Towns built at least partially into the solid rock? (Matera’s old town, it’s a Unesco World Heritage site now and used to be a place of appalling poverty and social problems)

Cute little Cinquecenti in photogenic surroundings?


Cute little tourist transporters?

It’s all there.