Best route from UK to Livigno

Best route from UK to Livigno
Started by Cazhxxx in Italy - 7 Replies
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We will be driving to Livigno on Thursday night. We have a 4x4 but no winter tyres. The route through France, Switzerland into Italy seems straightest, however more expensive (I believe there are a couple of tunnels & vignette for Switzerland to buy? And of course tolls) A friend said they drove through Belgium, Germany, Austria and into Italy that way. However I have read that you have to have winter tyres to drive this time of year in Germany. Is this correct? Are they pretty hot on it? What's everyone's best route to get to Livigno? Thanks in advance.
Edited 1 time. Last update at 27-Feb-2018
Can't help on the route specifics, but...

cazhxxx wrote:We have a 4x4 but no winter tyres.

It would be best to find some winter tyres! Seriously, it just would. They are readily available in the UK and the additional cost is not significant (as your summer tyres will last longer... and so might you!).

It's extremely cold in the Alps at the moment (temps going below -20C for Livigno) and snow is forecast from Thursday through the weekend.

cazhxxx wrote:However I have read that you have to have winter tyres to drive this time of year in Germany. Is this correct? Are they pretty hot on it?

Yes. Winter tyres are mandatory in Austria and Germany. Also, I believe if you have an accident in Switzerland then lack of winter tyres, although not technically illegal (Swingbeep probably knows for sure), is likely to mean you're held responsible whatever the circumstances.

The Admin Man
Far Queue
Hi Cazhxxx,

I have done this trip a few times and would recommend the Swiss route. You can always skip the French Tolls if you pop up north from Calais and take the A25/E42 across to Luxembourg then either down to Metz for a short toll on the motorway or carry on to Saarbrucken and Karlsruhe before heading down to Basel.

The drive via Germany/Austria etc will add about 4 hours to your trip, and is about 150 miles further to drive. The Swiss Vignette is €35.75 and is valid for a year (only required for the motorways) and the Veriena tunnel is CHF39 (about €34). Just check the times you would expect to arrive at the tunnel as the trains (it is a transport not a drive through tunnel) don't start running till 5.20am.

I have to agree with Admin, I really would advise that you get winter tyres fitted. You do run the risk of issues with plod if you don't. Although not compulsory at a national level in Italy, some areas do decree that winter tyres are mandatory. Not sure if Sondrio is one of those areas, but why take the risk, you only have to look at the chaos here in the UK over the past few days that a couple of inches of snow has caused to people without being prepared for winter driving.
Get. Some. Winter. Tyres. 4x4 on summer tyres in snow will be rubbish.
Admin wrote:
Yes. Winter tyres are mandatory in Austria and Germany.

This is a common misconception, the laws regarding winter tyres in almost all the European countries that have them are situational, they are only required in wintry conditions.

The Automobilclub von Deutschland (AvD) has put together a table detailing the requirements on a country by country basis Unfortunately it's all in German, but if you copy the text under "Winterreifenpflicht" for the countries you plan to drive through into Google Translate you should get most of the information.

Here in Switzerland the driver is obliged to ensure that his/her vehicle is in a safe operating condition at all times. Driving in winter conditions with summer tyres is not considered safe and therefore liable to prosecution. In the case of an accident, the driver may be found liable if the car is not properly equipped for the winter. The insurance company may not cover the full cost of the damage and may even take action against the driver for negligence. Furthermore, drivers can be fined if they impede the flow of traffic due to not having winter tyres and if necessary chains.

Livigno is in the province of Sondrio, from 15th November to 30th April it is obligatory to either carry chains or use winter tyres on some of the roads there including the SS301

Summer tyres don't function properly below 7°C, stopping distances increase dramatically. It's pretty cold in the Alps at the moment and temperatures are likely to remain below zero for the rest of the week, so it would be unwise to attempt the journey on summer tyres.
just to emphasise GET WINTER TYRES
Hi did you do the drive in the end? What route did you do? We went to Chiesa in Valmalenco back in December and did Switzerland (vignette + Vereina train). The Bernina pass was open but you did need winter tyres and snow chains to get across. However, the pass to Livigno was closed from that side, so presumably you had to go further East. How was the skiing?
Switzerland into Italy via tunnel just north of Livigno is the best way in from the UK. Definitely take chains if you have no winter tyres. But as comments above you may not be insured on summer tyres in Switzerland and Germany
Edited 1 time. Last update at 28-Jan-2019

Topic last updated on 28-January-2019 at 17:09

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