European deliveries for you….I have the superb Vito 3.0L van plus a twin-axle car trailer

You need a car or a motorbike delivered from the UK to France or Italy?? You wanna bike holiday in the south of France but do not fancy the 1000km down from London?? No problem. I can come to you, collect the car or motorbike or bicycles plus your panniers or luggage or whatever and take it for you, you pay the fuel plus motorway plus a charge but I aim to keep the costs as low as possible cos I can sleep in the van!!! Perhaps you wanna buy a bike from France or Italy or the UK but dont wanna ride it home???

Ask me for a price and dates!!!! I can be fairly flexible and I have winter tyres on the van for the cold and wet months so I can travel most of the year round.

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Another UK trip

Given that all of my bikes are UK registered I travel frequently between Italy and the UK. Sometimes by bike (if the travel is in the spring or summer months so the weather is ok) and sometimes by trusty Vito van with a bike or two onboard. I love both travelling and France, so the trips are something I really look forward to either alone or in company. The van has a 3.0 TDI V6 engine with 200+ horses and is fitted with a great stereo, cruise control, aircon and whatever.

This March I needed to return my Super Tenere 1200 which I traded in for an almost brand new grey Yamaha FJR1300. The FJR is a lovely bike which the shop had registered as a demonstrator in September 2017, as required by Yamaha UK given that Alf England is a Premier Dealer, and I just looked at the clocks to see that the total kilometers covered so far is a grand total of 63!!! That could be one or at most two demo rides I guess. Wonderful.

OK back to the trip, as you can read about the bike elsewhere. I was not sure how easy it would be to load the Super Ten into my Vito van given that 3 years ago we used an excellent ramp at the shop which I do not have of course. My van is a low roof model (as I like to travel and the Vito drives almost like a car) so interior height can be a problem. So I removed the mirrors and the screen from the bike and thought that I would run her up my aluminium ramp to see how much more I would need to remove, luckily she went straight in with a few millimetres to spare, so all was good. I then loaded up all of the other bits I wanted to return to the shop like the original exhaust, then strapped the bike down, checked the van’s oil, water and tyres and I was ready to go, this was Wednesday morning.

Well I left Roma at about 11am happy to have gained half a day, and headed north on the motorway. The weather was very cold so I had my winter tyres on the van and very valuable they would prove. Winter tyres are great not just for snow but anytime the ambient temperature is below 10ish degrees C as they are softer and grip even in the cold, and they also expel standing water much better. The temperature was only a few degrees above freezing and as I got nearer to Florence I had to take a decision and I chose to head west towards the coast instead of north because the motorway would climb to cross the Pennines to Bologna and I did not want to risk the snow. In Italy if any motorway gets blocked it is always that one.

So I headed west to Livorno and then north to Genoa and then to the French border so past Monte Carlo and I decided to stop for the night in Nice, where I know a lovely little hotel which is easy to find and has a petrol station next door, ideal for an early start! I found the Esatitude Hotel, parked the van in their excellent underground car park, got some food and headed to bed. About 700km covered today.

The next morning I left the hotel early and hit the road with a full tank as today was going to be a long one. I left at about 4am and the navigator indicated about 1230km for Calais for the P and O ferry to Dover. I knew that the day would be a very long one but I had booked an open ticket with a 5 day return so I had no real deadline, essential for a relaxed long trip. I covered about 400km before I stopped for a wonderful breakfast on the motorway and then I carried on, the fantastic (and very expensive) French motorways let me make great progress north, I stopped for a snack and fuel refill somewhere near Dijon. The weather for the first 600km was fine and dry, still cold, whereas the second half was rain and snow with loads of snow covering the fields next to the motorway, so only a few degrees above freezing.

I then headed non-stop for the ferry and I got to Calais by 4pm and after a short wait and a coffee we were loaded on board the ship and I went upstairs to the lounge, which is included in the open ticket, for some good coffees plus a snack and a read of the newspaper. We docked after 90 minutes so I drove up to Dover and headed north, Martin had booked me 2 nights at the lovely Royal Arms Hotel in Sutton Cheney and I arrived in time for great beer and a snack before bed, a great day!!!!

The trip back was easier as the weather was a little bit warmer, and I drove the quicker route, stopped for the night in Chamonix Hotel Mercure and then through the Monte Blanc Tunnel. 4600 km total was the total round trip.

Service no limits

I am Simon, I am English and I live between Roma and Amalfi in Italy. I have lived in Italy since 1990 and I speak reasonable Italian and French, plus some English!!

I love travelling and exploring, I have worked in Export Sales for more than 30 years which has taken me all over the world, and I like nothing better than travelling around Italy and Europe by car, van or motorbike alone or with friends.

I know Italy fairly well and I love to help others to discover the beauty of Italy and to avoid the many pitfalls. Many visitors love Italy but do not really know how to avoid the difficult bits, as the language and the mentality is very different from the American and North European “norms”.

I also have a small fleet of vehicles that I can rent out to the right people or can use to transport you around. You fly into Roma and wanna get to the Amalfi Coast?? I can take you. You need to transport you and/or your luggage around between hotels? Call me. You wanna try a motorcycle experience?? I can supply a touring bike with a satnav in English all ready to go. You wanna visit the Ducati or Ferrari factory?? No problem. You need a route for a 3 day visit to Sicily or Sardinia? I can supply it.

Here follow some blogs to give you a taste of the Italian experience. Thanks!!

Shoe and zip and jacket repairs in Roma?? Noooooo worries…..

Dont know where to go???? Dont wanna spend too much?? Scared of the cost and or quality of the repairs?? An American lady who worked in the US Embassy used to take a suitcase of shoes back to the States each year to get them repaired, and when I took her to this place she was VERY happy. Hey we can help. I know a guy in Roma who can turn his hand to everything, from shoes to handbags to rucksacks to motorcycle leathers, he has always saved the day and at VERY reasonable prices too. I can give you details of where to find his shop in the area of Viale Libia just off the Nomentana but he does not speak English, so if you like I can help…..just ask.

You want your car serviced or parked in Roma but dont know where? Here

Roma and Italy are nightmares for the unaware and the uninitiated. The car is a particular worry, as there is no space to park a car in Roma and the costs of safe off-street parking can be horrendous. And if you park on the street (if you find a space) you are always worried about damage and break ins and worse.


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Well I have the solution(s). I know an excellent guy near where I live in San Lorenzo (which is very near to the central train station Termini) who has a garage for parking a car and or motorbikes at very reasonable rates, and he also has a small maintenance garage inside the car park where he sorts out everything from a new light bulb to a new engine, and most things inbetween.

I also know an official VW/Audi/Seat/Skoda garage, they service and repair the VW group range (and therefore stamp the service book and enter all into the VW computer). The owner is an excellent and reliable fellow but the costs are VW official, so of course higher than the other non-official fixers.

And an excellent mate of mine is a motor bike expert in Roma, he specialises in race bike suspension but they will also service and repair anything on 2 wheels, from moped to superbike. ALL at very very good rates and using only the best oils and components, and they give a waranty on the work carried out.

AND if your car or bike is Italian registered you will need a “revisione” or MOT test when it is 4 years old and then every 2 years. I know an excellent place who test cars and bikes and vans and charge to official published rate and I can take it for you. NO WORRIES just service!!

What an awful show site, but a wonderful couple of top SBK riders…….

Last week from Thursday through Sunday, Moto Days was held here in Roma. The biggest motorcycle shows are in the north of Italy, EICMA in Milano is the biggest and then Verona and so on. But we have Moto Days, so I went along to help a friend Luca Viola who had a stand for his off-road riding school (see http://www.runxfun.it/) and also a great group of guys called Di Di (see http://www.diversamentedisabili.it/). On the thurday morning it was raining like hell so I decided not to go by bike/scooter, instead I thought that a train or metro would be a better idea so I walked over to Termini, Roma’s central train and Metro station. Well of course there is no train nor metro from Termini to the new Roma show ground!!!!!! The Express Train to the Airport (the show is very near to the main airport) does not of course stop at the show ground and the Metro does not reach the show. So the only way is to go to the Tiburtina station and then catch the train from there, which I did. BUT the train takes an hour, as it stops everywhere!!!!!. When we finally arrived at the Fair station there were no signs to the show ground so we walked about 500 metres hoping it was in the correct direction and there, 50 metres in front of the North entrance, I finally saw the first sign mentioning Moto Days!!!! Well done.

On Sunday luckily no rain so I went by bike. Inside Hall 3 I went over to the nearby Aprilia stand and there I met both of their World Superbike riders the Brit Leon Haslam and the young Spaniard Jordi Torres. I have always been a big fan of Haslam ever since I watched his father Ron race against Barry Sheene, Kenny Roberts and Mick Grant, and I knew that he (Leon) now lives here in Italy. They were both busy signing autographs and posing for countless pictures but when I said hello to Leon and chatted with him in English, he was very keen to enlist my help for some translation with his fans so he kept me with him for about half an hour, until the Aprilia staff asked me to leave! I went back a couple of times during the day and chatted lots both with him and also with Jordi and they are both really pleasant and “normal” modest guys, both looking a bit fish out of water surrounded by fans!! Great fun, and Leon even gave me his phone number to stay in touch, so I can help him with his Italian!!! Great fun…….

A few helpful hints for visitors to Roma, the Eternal City

Some general points.

  • The spring and autumn seasons are usually warm in Roma so wear light materials (cotton) but bear in mind that you must be covered to enter St Peters and the Vatican City, as well as most churches. Light showers are possible. Summer is hot and sometimes very hot.
  • Roma has a large population of gypsies and petty criminals and pickpockets. Be aware that tourists are the easiest targets so be careful and never carry loads of cash. Avoid large handbags and wear bags on your front (where you can see them) and not on your back.
  • If a child or group of children gather round you with newspapers or maps then SHOUT AND MOVE AWAY. They are very talented and fast, while they push against you asking for money they move unseen under cover of the newspapers and very quickly take your bags/money or whatever.
  • Always ask the hotel to help you with bookings, taxis, map of the city etc. One excellent taxi service I use is 06 5551, the biggest is 06 3570. Taxis to and from the airport can be prebooked and the rate is fixed, ask your hotel reception for details.
  • Bars have several prices for a coffee: the lowest price is standing at the bar, you pay more if you sit at a table and more again if you sit at an outside table. Prices should be clearly shown.

Shopping.

  • Window shopping: Via Condotti and all of the area around the Spanish Steps where you will find Gucci, Armani, Valentino, Fendi and all of the expensive brands.
  • Buying: Clothes, bags, leather goods etc in Via del Corso, Via Nazionale and Via del Tritone (Benetton, Rinascente).

Sights to see.

  • Piazza Navona, Piazza del Popolo, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, St Peters Church and the Vatican City (a wonderful view of Roma can be had from the top of St Peters church but the lift only takes you halfway up so you must be fairly fit), Colosseum and Roman Forum, Circo Massimo, Campidoglio, Pantheon and sooooo many more.

A few places to eat (note that you generally eat well in most of Roma and indeed Italy, these are just a few places I know). Eating times are a little later than the UK but not as late as Spain so typically lunch between 13-00 and 15.00, dinner from 20.00 onwards.

  • Excellent pasta, pizza and meat at a very fair price: Disco Volante, Via Alessandria 50, Porta Pia area tel 06 44249849. Ask for Mimmo or Ignazio as they both speak excellent English. They have good reviews on Trip Advisor and plenty of seating inside, plus in the summer 20ish places outside.
  • Excellent pasta and meat dishes in the centre very close to the Roman Forum, Trattoria Romana, Via Madonna di Monti next to Via Cavour, tel 06 4745325. Small family run business with only a few tables so book and get there early and you will need a guide book or some basic Italian. Meat is the speciality and is wonderful.
  • Fairly posh place in centre but not too expensive, Roof Garden on the top floor at Hotel Bernini Bristol tel 06 488931 see http://www.berninibristol.com then Roma.
  • Best place to eat in Roma is La Pergola at the Hotel Cavalieri Hilton roof garden, the chef is Hans Beck and must be booked well in advance, needless to say very expensive but worth the experience. See Hilton web site.

Hope this helps!!

We do more, we try harder, we go further, we help you in Italy….

DSCN1728Dear Visitor to Italy,

Servicenolimits can help you to find all the best of Italy and avoid the many potential traps. How can we help?? Well, why not contact me and ask me what you need. For instance you would like to know more about Lazio (or Campania or Abruzzo or Umbria) or you would like to visit the Ducati Factory or the Bimota factory or the Cuma ruins. I can get you more information and I can take you there. Or you want to see a stunning collection of historic cars for sale?? Look at the Alfa Romeo above or the Lancia below, this guy has maybe 30 cars….plus motorbikes.

I can book a hotel or other accomodation. I can help you to buy some of Italy’s lesser known products and services. Try me.

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