Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Road Trip - Barcelona to Milano by Car

While a road trip from Barcelona, Spain to Milano, Italy can be made in under 10 hours, the adventure couldn't be complete without a few stops along the way. Driving along the Spanish coast through Marseille, Toulon, Nice and Monte Carlo almost begs of a two or three day journey to take it all in.

Out of Barcelona, you'll start on B-10 then take C-58 / C-17 as you head toward AP-7. Now would be a good time to fill up on petrol and pick up thirty Euro for the tolls you'll encounter.

Your next road change will be to C-33 with a toll of 1.25 EU. That will be followed by E-15/AP-7 and another toll of 10.50 EU. You will have traveled 160 km by this point and will be entering the country of France and the city of Girona. Take in a museum here. The Museu del Cinema offers an interactive journey into the history of the cinema, from Chinese shadows to the magic of television. Located at Sequia 1, Girona.

Coleccion de Automoviles de Salvador Claret offers a collection of more than 300 vehicles including cars, lorries, motorcycles, velocipedes, bicycles and engines in addition to an aviation collection. Located at Sils, Selva, Girona. There are many other museums as well, including Museu d'Historia de la Joquina (a toy museum.)

Continue on AP-7 through Capmany, stopping for a quick tour of the historic Capmany castle, dating back to the eleventh century. Stop in for some tapas and a sangria before driving on AP-7 for a while longer. Take A-9/E-15 at the exit.

You'll have to buy another toll ticket at Le Perthus and again at Montpellier 2 and 1. Beware, there are speed cameras at A9 km marker 102.3 and A9 km marker 59.7. Exit A-9 at exit number 25 onto A54 toward Nimes, Arles and Marseille.

Take N572 / E80 followed by N113 / E80. If you are getting tired, consider resting your head on a pillow in Saint-Martin-de-Crau, France. This small town is quaint and thick with history. They offer a charming Friday morning market you're sure to enjoy.

Out of Saint-Martin-de-Crau, take A7 / E714 / E80. You have many tolls to go, make sure you have plenty of Euro on hand. Close to Marseille, take A8 / E80. Be wary of speed cameras at A8 km marker 147.0, A8 km marker 148.0, A8 km marker 149.0, A8 km marker 151.4 and A8 km marker 196.8.

Stop in Cannes or Nice along your way for a bite to eat and a visit to any one of their dozens of museums. Don't forget to sample a few French pastries along the way as well.

About 40 km out of Nice you'll pass into Italy. Take A10 / E80 for about 50 km then head toward Milano. You can stop along the way at Genova, also called Genoa, and take in some sites there. Acquario di Genova is the largest marine park in Europe and is appropriately located on the waterfront at Ponte Spinola. A revolving view of the city is available at Bigo, located in the Porto Antico area.

Out of Genova, you'll take A26 to your final destination, Milano, Italy. Have a cookie on us!

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