people using sat navs.....

09/06/2011 - 10:28

we have guests from 15 countries (including italians) given that even google maps have difficulty in finding our location we always ask guests on booking to inform us from where they are coming so we can send them VERY SIMPLE INDICATIONS as to how to get here by car advising them once in the vicinity to use these rather than their sat navs.However not a few choose to ignore these and use their machine which takes them all over the place with delays for all concerned. We had some americans who on informing me they would be driving to us in the marche from venice ,we sent directions for the 5 hour drive down the coast to us in the marche....they managed to do it in 11 hours via bologna-firenze- arezzo -perugia etc, some other people having noted the words Montefalcone in our intructions typed in this in their sat nav and ended up yes in A montefalcone but it was another one in another region..... all this is very frustrating because one sees it coming so to speak...



We had clients who booked a train from Rome to Amendola. I had to tell them just before they boarded it that they had the wrong town, region etc. I had told them there are no trains to Amandola..... My now show house viewers used they sat-nav to get here from Rome via Terni (for some reason) and then get lost from Terni and arrive at the agent's 2 hours late. It is now renamed Dumb Dumb in our house. Wish they'd just use a map or ask.

We always send detailed instructions to our apartment, however some seem to leave this at home and rely on dumb dumb.....hence lost, lost. Last guests found by neighbour and hand delivered to the door, must have wondered what this toothless 80yrs old was taking them to....welcome to Marche!....sweet. neighbourhood watch at its best.

Sat Navs are brill in my opinion, BUT, you have to know where you are going, by inputting the correct location. As Italy will have several locations using the same sounding name or even the exact same name you need to ensure you have also the correct Region/Post Code so you don't land up in Puglia rather than Campagnia. As someone used to say, Sh!t in Sh!t out.......

I started to clearly say to people - do not rely on a SatNav, those who do may end up lost, use my written directions which I attach here/enclose and do remember to bring these instructions with you. Once I did that there were no more problems! 

Even with the most accurate information input it can cause problems out of the townsw.  Not to the point of going hours awry but certainly we have found sat nav trying to get us to turn when the round is actually not there and many roads we have driven on don't show on the sat nav but suggest you are in the middle of a field.  I think it has been a few years since this area was mapped.

We've used a TomTom GPS and one that came installed in a Nissan car. Both have been the cause of occasional amusement and sometimes serious annoyance. My conclusion is that the fault usually doesn't lay with the devices themselves, but rather with the mapping data supplied by whoever does such things in Italy. The GPS displays roads in an amazing amount of detail, including some very minor ones -- the 300 metre driveway which leads only to our house, for instance. Unfortunately, it seems that roads are all categorised as belonging to one of only three groups: Autostrade, main routes (A-roads in British terms) and everything else. This means you can be working your way up a hillside through a series of hairpin turns, when the GPS suddenly tells you to turn sharp right on to a near-vertical dirt track which cuts across one of the bends and so - as far as the gizmo is concerned - will shorten your journey be a few hundred metres. Another irritation often occurs when trying to find a particular street. If you happen to be looking for a shop on, say, Via Giovanni Maria Falconetto, you might find this listed as Via Giovanni Maria Falconetto, Via Giovanni Falconetto, Via G Falconetto, Via GM Falconetto, Via G Maria Falconetto, Via Maria Falconetto or just Via Falconetto. If the street in question is anywhere near the edge of a town or village, then it's entirely possible that, as far as the GPS is concerned, it's actually in a town other than the one listed on the business card or on the internet site. There have been moments when I've been trying to find an address on the GPS that I've actually felt some sympathy for Italian courier drivers. Add to all this the potential for confusion caused by rubbish Italian road signage and stress when non-Italians get on the road here and try to get from Point A to Point B, and I'm not much surprised that visitors go badly astray. I do think that the best solution is for people to provide detailed written instructions on how to get to a holiday place or whatever. Still, we have sometimes been given driving instructions here which were misleading at best, mainly because of how easy it is to start to assume things are obvious once you've driven a particular route a few hundred times. Al

I agree with Allan about detailed driving instructions and how even they can be misleading. We were visiting friends for the first time in Cornwall last week and the non-driver wife (NDW) sent us EXTREMELY detailed instructions of how to get to their house: “Follow the road along the creek, past the bungalows on your right, then a roundhouse, then some pink villas, past a redbrick bungalow and there is our long hedge”. Well, everything was right but…no sign of a roundhouse. We arrived safely nonetheless and queried the roundhouse.Oh, yes, there is one said the NDW and, on our way back from the restaurant, showed us – the only problem was you could only see it if you turned round and looked over your shoulder, really NOT to be recommended on those appallingly narrow Cornish roads!

When friends visit our place I email them directions.  These consist of the usual road maps - increasing 'scale/detail' as they get nearer the house, plus photos of road junctions they will come  to as they near our place.  The photos have arrows showing which way they go.  This seems to work Indeed, I keep a print out of the email at the house so that if I need anything delivered/serviced, I can give the company the print out  [our place is in a tiny hamlet in the middle of nowhere].  The washing machine service man drove onto our drive waving the instructions and beaming like mad - so they really do work.  It is the pictures that make the difference, so I'd recommend this method to anyone

Well alanh is giving you a complete rally roadbook (personally I'd test out their knowledge of tulip diagrams!) but to be serious. Give utterly precise distances if any of the route involves gravel or potholey road stuff, and tell visitors to use their trip speedometer. 1.7km on a truly bad road could easily take 20minutes, (and of course the tarmac dwellers will imagine they have done ten kilometers and completely missed your house). If they've hired a modern Panda the trip is instantly available at the end of the stick on the rhs of the steering wheel - not quite where you'd expect it perhaps! I promise you if you instruct a drive of 1.85km even the thickest mug will clock that you are serious and read their handbook to find out how to set the trip.

I find Google maps invaluable when trying to find somewhere with or with out Sat Nav. Putting the location in and viewing in Street View is marvellous and shows you exactly where you will be going at road level.

In reply to by Flip

Streetview is fantastic (I've actually made it onto it whilst standing outside D.U.M. Coal in Piane de Falerone !!......) On Google maps, when you (say) get directions from 'A' to 'B'...........there is a little tiny pointer (halfway down the page on the left), entitled '3D'. Clicking on this, gives you a 'helicopter' view of your journey !! Nice to try to 'anywhere' !! S