So. My French stage stops here abruptly, cut off by the Alps which I will now have to cross to get to Italy.
Italy is often a swear word in the mouth of the hitchhiker who has dealt with its roads! For one, hitchhiking is forbidden in Italy (it’s illegal to hitchhike at entrances to motorways, at tolls and even service stations) at least on paper. Secondly, hitchhiking in this country can soon reveal itself as being a true ordeal. This practice is not, or is only partially accepted into local customs, and there is often a very long wait before someone decides to stop because suspicion seems to be de rigueur when faced with travellers who follow the thumb. But not to make generalisations, having myself hitchhiked several times in this country, it seems easier to get picked up in the North than in the South. I have therefore decided not to linger, and to head at maximum speed by motorway to get directly to Slovenia.
That being said, knowing that Italy is one of the most difficult countries for hitchhiking, I’ll tell you how to maximise chances of success for crossing the country as quickly as possible from West to East leaving from Grenoble. Do not leave the motorways FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER, or you risk seeing your chances approach 0%!
From Grenoble town centre, you should join la grande avenue de Verdun that falls directly onto the A41 (just before the entrance to the motorway there’s a service station) that branches off to the top of Montmélian on the A43 heading towards Modane and the border. Once in Italy, the A43 continues on the autostrada A32 until Turin. Above all, do NOT head into Turin but carry on following the A4 to the top of Tortinese straight on until Milan then Bergamo, Brescia, Padova and finally Trieste! Once you’ve passed the Slovenian border, it’s easy to join the A1 at Divača to get directly to Ljubljana!
So, as they say, ANDIAMO!