GPS Signal Lost – a drive through Italy

December, 2015

If you’ve ever driven through Italy for even just a sliver of time, then you will immediately relate to the title of this post. For those that haven’t, then hang around for the ride. I’ll try and give you some insight on what you can expect…

As with France and Spain, Italy has expensive Toll roads, which over time have replaced the smaller free and typically, more winding main roads in these countries.

Aix-en-Provence, France, motorhome, camping
French tunnel snippet – somewhere along the way to Aix-en-Provence

Don’t get me wrong, these Toll roads are a delight to drive on (even though I’m not the driver…yet) and very well maintained, with designated Services along the way. So, of course, you spill your pockets out onto the bitumen every time you drive on one of these. Apparently the cost is for the upkeep or probably for someone’s personal deep pockets – did I say that?

Italy, GPS, motorhome
Flash entrance…means a long one

It appears that when you’re driving on the privately owned Italian Toll roads, especially in the north of Italy, more often than not, you will drive through a tunnel…or more like many many tunnels. The length of a tunnel is sporadic and depends on the depth of the mountain that it was blasted through. A tunnel can be anywhere from a fleeting moment in time, or kilometres in length.

GPS, Italy, motorhome, camping, tunnels
White line fever! Yes, that’s snow on the mountains

The result of driving through a tunnel that is slightly longer than a fleeting moment in time is: GPS Signal Lost! Assuming of course you are actually using a SatNav, which has become an essential piece of equipment in Reg (our wonderful motorhome) and slowly replacing our paper map…remember those?

Italy, tunnels, motorhome, camping. GPS
Seriously long tunnel en-route to Deiva Marina, La Spezia – note Lizzy’s lost signal

The loss of signal is not a real problem…most of the time. I say most of the time as typically the signal seems to be lost at a most crucial point. Such as coming straight off a highway and into a busy city or town, when the GPS proves vital! It also becomes a tad boring hearing the drone of Lizzy’s dulcet tone: GPS Signal Lost every 5-10 minutes, it seems. Just feel like ripping her plug out and putting her to rest!

It’s also a bit of a drag seeing the inside of lit tunnels whilst driving through a countless number, on a 200-kilometre drive. Even the internal lights become pretty when you’re bored! This is a real shame as when you surface for air from these voids, there’s a 5 or 10-minute glimpse of spectacular scenery and just a tantalising tease really, before you’re swallowed up by another dark vortex…I’m going in. Perhaps a slight exaggeration as tunnels are well lit all the way, but you still need headlights on at all times.

Italy, tunnels, GPS, motorhome, camping
A flashing vista lurks just outside the tunnel
Italy, motorhome, camping, tunnels, GPS
Another fleeting glimpse…

I understand that Italy is very mountainous, especially in the north. And that these roads had to be blasted through massive mountains or small hills accordingly. All I’m saying is not only is it expensive to use these roads, but you don’t see much of the country at all, so you may as well fly everywhere! On the other hand, having experienced a few non-toll roads, I can honestly say that the state of these can be quite bad.

tunnels, Italy, GPS, motorhome, camping
En-route to Gianella, Grosseto

I know there are loads of motor homer’s out there that don’t use Tolls because of the cost but perhaps you’re more experienced than us when driving a Sherman tank down narrow cobbled laneways. I take my hat off to you guys out there doing it tough! Perhaps one day, we’ll do the same, but for now, it’s back to dishing out the cash!

Visit my Nilla’s Photography Galleries for more global images. More posts on Europe at Image Earth Travel.

GPS, Italy, motorhome, camping, tunnels
Prettier country lane – away from the maddening tolls



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22 responses to “GPS Signal Lost – a drive through Italy”

  1. seasiangirl Avatar

    Fabulous photos, Italy is on my list to visit, hopefully in 2018 🙂

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you! I’m surprised the photos are OK as I took these from a moving Reg (motorhome) with a Lumix camera.
      Just flew back from Australia and will be in southern Italy for a while now so come and visit 🙂

      1. seasiangirl Avatar

        Would love to.. Am planning for 2018!

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Cool, see you then! 🙂

  2. girleccentric Avatar

    Love the photos. I don’t travel much so I’ll love to hear about your travel escapades.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Ndukwe. Hope you get the opportunity to travel one day if that’s what you would like to do.
      I have many more posts to upload yet so stay tuned.

  3. voulaah Avatar

    Very beautiful images, thank you so much for sharing

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you and glad you enjoyed the images! I don’t think they’re very good as they’re all taken out of a moving motorhome and I don’t like post-production! 😉

  4. The Moment Keepers Avatar

    beautiful photos!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you! It’s hard to take photos from a “speeding” motorhome. 😉

  5. inesephoto Avatar

    Your photographs are taking me to Italy. I don’t mind 🙂

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      I hope so, you can come and visit me, I’l be back there on the 12th 🙂

      1. inesephoto Avatar

        Safe travels! Thank you so much for the invite 🙂 I am stuck in Ireland for the next few months. The best I can do is visiting my Italian friends who live in Co Carlow 🙂

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Thank you! Not the time of year to be stuck in Ireland but always great to catch up with friends.

      3. inesephoto Avatar

        We will see, may be I will figure out something for Christmas 🙂

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Sounds great and would be fun!

  6. thegreyeye Avatar

    Omg, the roads are so nice and the mountain is so magnificent 😄

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Yes, indeed and very different to the other roads there that the government doesn’t upkeep!

  7. my online ethereum wallet Avatar
    my online ethereum wallet

    I really like what you guys are up too. Such clever work annd exposure!
    Keep up the very good works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to blogroll.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Many thanks and glad you like my posts!

  8. Fede Avatar

    Oh so u drove through the endless tunnels that makes up the highway between Genoa and la Spezia?! There it is crazy, the tunnels never finish and every kind of signal just does not work 😏 they wanted to improve the tunnels so that the signal would work but it never happened xD

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Yes, like an endless maze and then some! Was a wild drive but the snippets of scenery when you come up for air are amazing! 😉

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