Originally Posted by m@rco
Ok guys, I should have been more specific: I meant more than 10cm of loose snow on top of a snow-covered surface on a slope. The OP was referring to visiting Italy from the UK. He has to cross the Alps one way or the other... But you're right, even 15cm or more should be doable on a flat surface. But as soon as you want to reach those Alpine skiing resorts and mountain roads become steep (>12%) with hairpins, you're going to have trouble to 'start' from full stand still. Nonetheless, a good set of snow tires brings you very far.
Unfortunately majority of Americans don't know much about anything outside the US