Subject: Re: Tolls and driving in Italy and France

Evan has already answered the question about French autoroutes, but I wanted to add a couple of comments, as we just came back from France last Sunday. There are always two options at the toll booths -- telepeage, which is the annual pass, and a manned booth that accepts either cash or credit card. For some toll areas, though, there is a third option, which is unmanned, and requires the exact amount. You need to pay attention to the icons posted on top of the individual lanes, and select one that has a picture of man reaching out to take your money (as compared to one that shows money only or a machine).

As for "amenities," the autoroutes have rest stops every 20 kilometers, many of which have restaurants or coffee shops. We've found that the regional products (produits regionaux) offered for sale at these stores are truly exceptional when there is a specific sign that alerts you to the fact that it is an area selling produits regionaux. Most of these are entering an area -- we stopped at one entering the Auvergne, and another entering Beaujolais.

Bonne route, as they say on the autoroute! Dot Allen in Silicon Valley