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Best route from Venice to Cortona

Vancouver, Canada
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Best route from Venice to Cortona

Just looking at Google maps and its sending us via major highways which loop around the perimeter of Florence in about 4.5 hours. If I route it along coastal roads through Ravenna, its giving me 6 hours, which is a max driving time I think.

http://goo.gl/maps/qlG1G

I prefer the idea of taking secondary roads, but if it will have us sitting in heavy traffic congestion much of the way (July 27th), then maybe not.

I'd appreciate any recommendations for a route that takes us along some pretty country roads, avoids serious traffic congestion and tolls as much as possible and perhaps an attractive stopping point in the middle of the day. How does my mapped route look? Or would you advise something different?

Imperia, Italy
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1. Re: Best route from Venice to Cortona

The six hours is not a maximum driving time. It's an estimated driving time, assuming you're driving fast but legally in reasonable traffic conditions. As July 27 is a summer Sunday, driving along the coast is likely to increase your driving time.

I don't know the roads around Ravenna, but along the Riviera on summer Sundays, the times given by viamichelin for travel on ordinary roads (rather than the autostrada) are wildly underestimated.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Best route from Venice to Cortona

If you use the autostrade from Venice to south of Florence, then obviously you will not go through any settlements and you will pay tolls.

The route you propose would be a pleasant drive, but Google Maps usually under-estimates driving times in Europe., but in this case ViaMichelin agrees on a driving time of around 6 hours (plus stops).

There is little that is scenic between Venice and Bologna or Chioggia and Ravenna: you are crossing the flat plain of the Po River. About halfway between Venice and Ravenna, there is Pomposa Abbey, which is a pleasant stop.

Beyond Ravenna, you will be going through mountains for much of the way, with the road twisting through nice scenery.

I would suggest that you go to Rialto Market before you leave and get the makings of a picnic.

CA
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3. Re: Best route from Venice to Cortona

The place to dine in Cortona is La Bucaccia.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Best route from Venice to Cortona

Hmmm...I thought I wrote a response, but its not here. Let me try again.....

When I say 6 hours max, I mean that I think 6 hours would be the most driving time we would want to take on. Any more time than that in the car starts to get tedious.

<<There is little that is scenic between Venice and Bologna or Chioggia and Ravenna: you are crossing the flat plain of the Po River.>>

Ok, so would you suggest that we take the motorway as far as...Ferrara or Bologna? Just to speed through the less interesting parts and allow some time for stops between there and Cortona? I don't want to be winding down goat tracks - unfortunately DD is prone to car sickness, so we'll have to balance that a bit.

Perhaps something like this?

http://goo.gl/maps/D2lVZ

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Best route from Venice to Cortona

That would work, but going by autostrade you will have tolls, which you say you want to avoid. The stretch from Venice to Chioggia is quite interesting as you follow the shoreline of the Venice lagoon.

You will not encounter any goat tracks. Most of the roads will be ordinary country roads of adequate width, with one lane each direction. The others will be divided highways. However, there will be bends as you go through the mountains.

north carolina
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6. Re: Best route from Venice to Cortona

I have driven that route, and various parts of it, several times.

Either way, the drive is tedious and tiring at least until you get by Bologna. Around Bologna there will probably be heavy congestion and delays, and the signage is not always clear.

After that the drive is much more pleasant and attractive.

The via Michelin directions are probably the best you can do, but their times do not allow stops for food/petrol/rest.

I suggest: Florence route, probably 6 hours;

coastal diversion, probably 7 hours.

If you get off of the major roads then portion of the trip will take twice as long.

The ride down E45, Ravenna area towards Umbria is really quite lovely, but last time we ran into major highway construction along that road , too.

San Jose, California
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7. Re: Best route from Venice to Cortona

Personally I would do the coastal route and then cross over to the E45 just south of Ravenna. However, a good portion of the E45 is either under construction with the 2 lanes going down to one, or crossing over onto the oncoming lane, or it is treacherous with massive potholes. Despite all this, it is my preferred route to take to Venice coming from the Arezzo area (which Cortona is near). You would then exit off the E45 in Sansepolcro and take the back country roads through Anghiari and Monterchi until you pick up the SS73 and then continue onto Cortona. If you have GPS, I would not use it through the Sansepolcro to Arezzo portion as it will send you off on some wild country lanes or goat paths, as you suggested. Once you are in Arezzo, then you could resume the GPS. And while this route is longer, I don't like taking the A1 Autostrada from Bologna heading south. It is quite winding and the trucks go quite fast. Only after Florence does it really smooth out.

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Best route from Venice to Cortona

Wow, nothing beats local knowledge. Thank you. We will have a look at our options with all of that in mind and be sure to allow sufficient time.

9. Re: Best route from Venice to Cortona

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