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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, moderate term lurker, first time poster. Just finalized CGTS order for March 6 delivery at Zuffenhausen. Was planning to do a loop from there to Venice, Imola, Maranello, Monza, and Zurich when it was pointed out to me that living in SoCal may have warped my sense of the seasons. Does anyone have experience driving these roads (E532, E45, E35, A2) at that time of year? Is this possible, or am I crazy for trying? I have lost all my snow skills, and the first trip in a new car does not seem like the optimal time to re-learn.

Thanks in advance for any help.
 
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On my honeymoon in '97, we drove through snow in the Brenner pass between Austria and Italy in the last week of April. We were in a rented BMW 316i, and had no problems, but I would not have wanted to take my own new car through that.

I would definitely say that if you go in March, expect snow. You might be pleasantly surprised to find nothing of consequence, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Edit... one of my memorable moments in Italy was when we were driving past Modena and I told my wife I wanted to get off the autostrada and see if we could find the Ferrari factory. We spent about 90 minutes driving around and never did find it, in those prehistoric technological days when easy access to GPS and Google Maps were just a twinkle in somebody's eye, but my dear bride put up with my silliness anyway. :)
 

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You have to cross the alps and this could be a problem especially if you don't have winter tires. Of cause there are some highway´s like the brenner which should be free of snow most of the time but you never know.
 

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I would do some research on normal Alps pass closing history. You can probably google this and find out.

I went in July and there was snow on the passes. Roads were fine. In March, I would be worried. Mike R (here on P-9) did this in October which is probably similar to March.

Germany requires winter tires from October to March. This is included in the European Delivery program at no cost. They will swap out your tires before you ship it back.
 
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Thanks, guys. This is what I was looking for. I had done a check for open dates on Gotthard, and found it was typically late May, but was unclear if that was for the tunnel as well. It's starting to look like this may need to be re-thought.

jbrennan - sounds like you got a good one (wife, that is) - you should hang on to her!
 

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Early March can be a crapshoot regarding weather in Switzerland and Southern Germany, and even in Italy and South of France (I was once in Cannes and they had freezing temps and a snow dusting in early March).

Porsche will mount winter tires (talk to the Euro Delivery specialist so the factory is informed). I had them and ran into snow and the car handled great (almost as good as my Outback).

Many interesting passes will be closed at that time (some like the drive to the San Bernadino tunnel, Julier etc may be open but snow covered if it was snowing). What I would recommend to drive are interesting places down in the south of France (Gorges du Verdon, along the coast), Italy (Modena sounds good). And check some of the alpine websites for pass openings (see my blog for some links).

The Gotthardtunnel should be open (but the passes most likely closed). Another thing you can do in Switzerland is to use the rail's RORO car transport. For example, you can take your car to Thusis or Landquart and drive onto the train and then unload on the other side. Same for the Loetschberg, Simplon, Gotthard passes.

Check out my blog here for more information (see signature).
 
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Didn´t know that you get winter tires for the german delivery. You should´t have a problem than.
 

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Dear all, I confirm that most of the (highest) passes in the Alps will still be closed in the early days of March, unless there is absolutely no snowfall this year (you never know with the global warming!). I am telling you that because my family has a chalet in the Swiss Alps where I have spent most of my Christmas / winter holidays those past 20 years. But trust me, even without access to some of the highest passes, there are many other splendid routes in this part of the world!
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Mike R - great blog with much good information! Thank you. Unfortunately, I don't have that much time to do it right. For blah,blah,blah reasons, the trip had to be rescheduled from summer to now and shortened to just over a week.

Nice to know that at least it can be done without too much risk to life, limb, and body panels.
 
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OK, so just got back and had to close the circle on this question.

I had winter tires mounted for the delivery, which was no problem at all - just had to ask.

Brenner pass in Austria was clear, with only some slush on the side of the road in some of the places that didn't look like they got direct sunlight during the day. No problems there.

As expected, Gotthard and St. Bernard passes were closed. The Gotthardtunnel was free and clear, with dry road conditions and even very little accumulation on the shoulders. No problem with traffic through the tunnel, and a whole 16K to roll down the windows and listen to the PSE.;)
 
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