Just because it’s a motorway doesn’t mean it’s a horrible road. They go through the same landscape as everything else.
The A13 Brennerautobahn, Austria
Particularly not bad for a motorway is the A13 Brenner road running due south from Innsbruck into north east Italy (part of the 3,000 mile Sweden-Sicily European E45 route).
As the name suggests, the road crosses the Brenner Pass, one of the major historic routes through the Alps, not least because it only reaches 4,500ft. We’ve used it quite a few times because it’s the best way to avoid Switzerland – and its €33 one-size-fits-all toll sticker – to and from south east Europe.
An even better alternative
Running – more or less – alongside the A13 is the B182 Brenner National Road, the scenic route. A classic valley road, through small towns and villages, often in sight of the River Sill. Funnily enough the A13 – away on stilts mostly – is not obtrusive at all.
We spent an absolutely memorable night in the wooden Parkhotel in Matrei-am-Brenner in September 2006.
This road is also a great back-way in to Milan. At Vipiteno head south west, descending gently into the Po Valley on quiet, switchback country roads.
Meanwhile, the A13 becomes the A22 over the Italian border and continues south to Verona. Go left for Venice, right for Milan and Turin, or straight on for Florence and Rome.