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Automated/unattended pay-at-pump gas on a SUNDAY in Tuscany?

We've heard that, other than the Autostrada, gas stations are closed Sunday. What is the likelyhood of finding gas via automated/unattended pay-at-the-pumps on an early Sunday, driving through the hill country and secondary/coastal highways? Do most stations now have the automated machines, or not so much? Also, are the gas stations surrounding FCO airport operational on a Sunday? Our route happens to be from Montepulcino towards Grosseto, down to Roma FCO (SS146 - SP34 - E78 - SS1 - A12), where we will be dropping off our rental car, hopefully with a full tank of gas. J.

Posted by
31079 posts

a previous poster says I haven't driven in Italy for nine years. ... The station attendants are usually thieves. So that slur on Autogrill employees is based on a 9 year old experience? I frequently drive in Italy, most recently this year, and my experience is that I have had no more problems at Autogrills in Italy than at any similar places in Germany or France.

Posted by
18485 posts

I have never heard that Autostrada stations are closed on Sunday, but I haven't driven in Italy for nine years. At Autostrada gas stations, keep one person in the car at all times. The station attendants are usually thieves.

Posted by
18485 posts

If things have changed at the Autogrills in the last 9 years, I am truly joyful. When they send me back the computer they stole out of my car 9 years ago, I'll be a believer. Until that day comes, THE GAS STATION ATTENDANTS AT THE AUTOGRILLS ARE THIEVES.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks for the warning Sam. Nigel, since you frequent the motorways in Italy, what's your take on gas availability Sundays on secondary, NON- AUTOSRADA highways and smaller towns?

Posted by
31079 posts

I'd never plan on filling the car on a Sunday in Italy. Just me, YMMV. Or Switzerland. France and Germany OK, especially France which has so many unattended stations. I had trouble with unattended stations in Switzerland. I remember hunting for an unattended station around Lucca one year and failing completely.

Posted by
315 posts

Jay, I don't recall Sunday gas station issues on our trip in 2010. You may also want to be aware that a good number of stations we came across close everyday for a few hours in the early afternoon. Also, I do not recall being able to fill the car myself as all the stations were attended. Most of our driving was on the secondaries in the areas of Venice, Bologna, Milan and north of there.

Posted by
794 posts

One other thought on unattended gas stations. If the ones in Italy are like the ones in France you are going to need a chip and PIN credit card.

Posted by
9110 posts

With a little forethought, it shouldn't be an issue. Most cars can suck three hundred and fifty miles out of a tank of gas - - about the distance from Milan to Rome.

Posted by
3 posts

Sam, thanks for that link. I had also found that one, but it appears to be circa 2004. The availability could only have gotten better, right? ;) The automated pumps featured in the SlowTravel article take cash, so that's an option for credit cards without microchips. I understand these cash machines do not give change. We're looking at less than 300 Kilometers of travel on that particular Sunday, so if we can squeeze 300 plus miles out of a tank of gas as suggested, we'll just need to find it outside FCO before returning the rental car. Pretty confident the airport stations will be open. Our hotel proprietors in Montepulciano have since assured us there are now many unattended stations these days, as well as stations open in Grosseto, so think we are good. Thanks for posting everyone.

Posted by
2829 posts

It's a non-issue. Since 2008, automated pumps have been ubiquitously deployed all over the country. Some have credit card issues but - good news - more and more take banknotes for pre-payment.

Posted by
2916 posts

From Andre's comments I assume that those techno-marvels in Italy have automated pumps that have slots that allow you to shove in Euros. If that's true, maybe France will follow suit. I got a chip and PIN card before our last trip there because of the increased prevalence of unattended chip and PIN credit card-only gas stations. Italy may not be able to get its trains to run on time, but it seems to be pretty good in some areas of machinery. Just think of Olivetti typewriters, and Fiat. But I'm dating myself.

Posted by
31079 posts

what's a type -is it? - writer? (actually, my going to college present from my parents was an electric Olivetti - it worked OKish) One thing - remember if you put money into the pump it will be pre-pay and there is no change made. If you put in too much money and the tank gets full you lose the balance.