Hannah Furnell


Graphic Designer, Manchester www.hannahfurnell.co.uk

Roadtrip: Italy, Switzerland & Germany (Southside Festival)


As I had friends staying over with me this first week of settling in to Bergamo, we decided to go to Southside Festival which is based in Tuttlingen (Germany). This meant one thing: ROADTRIP! We set off in our rented Fiat 500 early morning, still hitting the traffic in Milan. After a few debates with the Sat Nav, we were on our way to Switzerland! We saw the mountains far ahead as we came up to the Swiss border, then had to purchase a Swiss 'Vignette' which allows you to drive on the expressways in Switzerland (This costs around 40 Euros). As we drove through Switzerland we saw some amazing views, many high mountains and beautiful lakes. We managed to stop in a small village named Sisikon which sits on the edge of Lake Lucerne, which has amazing bright turquoise waters. It is only a tiny village but definitely worth the stop if you are driving through Switzerland and happen to pass it. We chose to drive on motorways and expressways most of the way as it was most convenient with the 6 hour journey from Bergamo, but still saw some amazing views along the way! Our rental car (Fiat 500):

Swiss Vignette:

Sisikon Village:

A few hours later we arrived in the hot sun of Tuttlingen ready for the festival. Lucky for us the sun stayed with us the whole 3 days with no signs of a storm (the past two years of the festival were known to be stormy!); this had it's ups and downs, as many of us English burn very easily, which was proved this weekend! But apart from the sun burn I really enjoyed the festival with amazing acts such as Florence and The Machine, Mumford and Sons and Bombay Bicycle Club; just to mention a few!

We watched the final act, Blink 182, who I'm disappointed to say I didn't enjoy as much as I thought I would, then headed for Zurich. Thinking this was a good idea before we came to the festival; booking a hostel in Zurich to avoid staying another night in a tent and missing the big rush, we soon proved that idea wrong. After around 15 minutes of driving we hit pitch black winding roads only wide enough for one car, surrounded by dark forest! After arriving home we found out this was the 'Black Forest', and I must say it was the scariest drive I have ever done! As we drove slowly through the black forest joking about it being like a horror movie, and waiting for a man with a pick axe to jump out at us, a deer jumped out in front of the car; EMERGENCY STOP! Then about a mile later, another; EMERGENCY STOP! About half an hour later we finally hit roads with lights, back to civilisation; shaken up from what had just happened. Advice for anyone driving at night in Germany... Stay Away from the Black Forest!


We soon recovered from this experience as soon as we saw relatively comfy beds waiting for us in the hostel after sleeping in tents at the festival. We stayed in Zurich for a while the morning after, but realising they didn't use Euros meant we couldn't do much there, so we began the journey back to Italy. On the way back we stopped at Lake Como, just an hour away from Bergamo. There are also some amazing views and landscapes here alongside the lake; home to many villas owned by celebrities such as Matt Bellamy (Muse), Madonna & George Clooney. Bellagio, which sits in the middle of the lake, is also worth a visit if Como is too busy for your liking.

Lake Como/ Como:

We had a great weekend and I would definitely consider doing another roadtrip across other european countries in the future :)