I've been dipping in and out of the Forum for months now and not really finding much of interest but today I have spent over half an hour reading all the posts- it's back to the old variety, some practical, some fun, some political, some beautiful
F Bower's activity
We came back from Italy end October and it was snowing heavily on the motorway either side of the Gotthard tunnel. I recall seeing a sign that said winter tyres were needed from November onwards and read somewhere that you can be prosecuted if you even hold up the traffic due to being ill prepared. Despite the snow ploughs and having a 4 x 4 I found the motorway quite treacherous - best to check when the winter tyre requirement goes to.
Hi, You don't say whereabouts in the UK you are starting your journey but we have done this many years from Cambridgeshire/Oxfordshire and soon Cardiff. I would say first night in Northern France (we use a great place in a hamlet called Wisques), then possibly Colmar/Riquewihr in the Vosges. Third night in Mennaggio (Lake Como) and on to Firenze. Possibly not the cheapest given you need a Vignette to pay for Swiss motorways but very scenic (you feel you are on holiday from day 2), you avoid expensive Swiss hotels and most of the route is motorway so no worries about snow. You can do it in fewer days (we used to do Cambridge to Rome with one overnight stop at Lake Lucerne in Switzerland) but if you are not going to fly, enjoy the drive!
From my understanding EU citizens need only register at the Anagrafe of their local commune if they intend to stay more than 3 months. For this you get a receipt - it is not residency. Visitors to Italy still get registered with the local police through hotels/B &Bs etc and this way you register for a longer period. The issue about doctors is one that interests me as my son, his wife and baby plan to do the same as you Gary but I have found, living in various EU countries, that registering with a local GP is a very British thing. I suggest you ask around parents at school to find a good doctor, give him/her a call and ask whether the EHIC would cover any visits that might be required. That way you know you have a short cut to help if needed. Enjoy your year in Tuscany!
You mention that you visited the Colli Albani /Castelli Romani for a day - we live amongst olive groves near Lanuvio but I believe many expats go for Grottaferrata or Frascati and I understand there is an international school there. Only half and hour to Ciampino airport and 45 mins to Fiumicino and we sometimes pop into Rome for lunch or when we have visitors, otherwise we have everything we need locally. Highly recommend the area. Lake Albano has water sports, Lake Nemi is just beautiful.
Beautiful route - we do it twice every year on our way to Rome and back. Agree about going over the top of the Gotthard, it doesn't add much time, especially if the queue for the tunnel is more than 30 mins. The stretch from Lake Lugano to Menaggio is particularly pretty and avoids any border queues.
We've had a house in Genzano di Roma for over 10 years - you will love it here. We initially got most of our furniture from Ikea/brought it from UK/Mondo Convenienza and a couple of shops which have now shut. There are lots of shops on the Appia but they usually specialise in lighting or sofas or hardware etc so it depends on what you want. When we need something we usually research online then drive around the various shops we find as the shops often have different items to the website!
On our journey from Cambridgeshire to Rome we would stop in Switzerland because it was very easy with our dog. He was allowed to stay in the hotel room with us and there were always bowls of water available outside cafes and pubs. Never raised an eyebrow at the border and no-one ever asked for any dog documentation. The Uk customs sometimes checked he was comfy etc on the way out - just a chat. The biggest hold up was always getting back into the UK.
To be fair, if you spend a lot of time speaking Italian in a certain context (in our case with builders), the Italian word is the first that comes to mind and sometimes it's difficult to find the equivalent in English. We were recently discussing the type of 'zoccolo' we wanted as a finishing to the house - look it up in a dictionary and you get hoof, clog, plinth, skirting board, base support of a cupboard. None really translate the bit outside between the ground and window sills - in our case 1/2 metre high and coated with peperino stone. I knew the word for citofono from Italian flats long before I ever used the English 'entry phone' as UK houses don't usually have them. These are just two examples but our family - kids included - just use the Italian word where we have become used to it - it's nothing about showing off or trying to intimidate people - life's too short!
Thanks for your feedback - we have done this route every year for over 10 years so a new idea of somewhere to stay was of interest. Does sound like somewhere more for people with time to spare rather than the long haul South. But thanks again for your posting.
I use a very good site to check out seismic activity in Italy - you will see there are lots of tremors going on in the Po valley NE of the Appenines but there was also a smaller tremor 170 Km North of Rome. If you pan out you will see the activity runs right down the Appenines and over into Greece etc which is usual as it is one of the tectonic plate joins. Fascinating stuff emsc-csem.org