Planning a road trip to Italy? Want to take your campervan, motorhome or even car with tent? Here are 5 of the best places (and campgrounds) to visit. Add one or more to your Italy itinerary- you won't regret it!
Campervanning in Italy- why you should go!
Italy is an incredible country- one of our favourite places to tour in Europe with our motorhome. We love the weather, the food, the scenery and the people- it's just magical.
However, one thing we've always struggled with is finding the balance between wild/ free camping in Italy with our camper and using proper campsites.
This was partly our fault- our first experience in a crowded Italian location was Lake Garda. In August. That was a bad bad error in judgement- it was utter chaos and there were very few places to park up in a camper.
Since then, we've tended to avoid tourist spots and we always avoid big cities. But, in Italy, avoiding the cities is avoiding a HUGE part of the culture. The history. And the incredible architecture.
So, we are determined to change our ways and visit some major cities in Italy on our next trip.
To that end, we've asked Paul from The Two That Do to choose five of the best places to visit in Northern Italy- and the best campground to stay at nearby.
We hope it helps you plan your Italy road trip too! If you don't already have your own vehicle, you can book a motorhome rental for the trip!
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Campervanning in Italy- why you should use campsites
The freedom of travel offered by a campervan or motorhome is one of the principal reasons for purchasing one in the first place.
Why then confine yourself to an organised campsite rather than the spontaneity and openness of free / wild camping as you go?
Put simply – it's incredibly difficult to drive through the historic centres of Rome or Florence and totally impossible to visit Venice with a vehicle- especially a large one!
With the right campsite, you can get access to some of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. You can also leave your vehicle, secure in the knowledge that it will be watched over whilst you're sight-seeing. We never, EVER recommend leaving your van unattended in ‘the wild'- especially near a big city.
You can use aires (called Sostas) in Italy- but, like many places in Europe, the ones near the cities are often crowded and can be a place targeted by thieves. For that reason, we highly recommend using a proper campsite for your own peace of mind.
5 Best Campgrounds in Italy for Motorhomes and Campers
So you’re touring Italy in a motorhome and accepted that camp sites do have their advantages. How then do you decide which are the best sites or campgrounds to visit?
After enjoying a diverse selection of stops on our travels we recommend a visit to these 5 best campsites in Italy for motorhomers to re-energise and relax while living on the road
Rome is the capital of Italy and the most visited tourist destination- and for good reason. We've been to Rome many times and never get tired of the history, the ancient sites, the architecture or the incredible views.
Home to iconic monuments such as the Colosseum and Pantheon as well as numerous renaissance period plazas Rome is one of Europe’s most romantic cities. Taking a couple of days to walk its cobbled streets enjoying its ancient architecture is deservedly a bucket list trip for millions.
Experiencing this for yourself must be one of your own priorities. However, with its notoriously difficult and congested traffic, it is definitely not a place for motorhomes.
When is the best time to visit Rome?
We highly recommend visiting out of season. Rome is always busy and always open, so no worries about missing the best parts. In fact, Rome is one of the best cities in Europe to visit in Winter.
Having said that, our favourite time to visit Rome is in October, when the colours of the changing leaves look AMAZING against the backdrop of the city. (Here are some of our other favourite places to enjoy Autumn in Europe)
Best campsite near Rome
Stay at Village Flaminio- 11km north of the city centre. It's a great campground for campervan and motorhome owners who want to leave their vehicle somewhere secure while they visit the city.
How to get to Village Flaminio
Address – Via Flaminia Nuova, 821 – 00189 – Roma
GPS Co-ordinates: 41˚ 95’ 61 12” N, 12˚ 48’ 23 97” E
From the A90 Rome ring road in the north follow signs for Roma Centro and driving south merge on to the SS3. Continue south for 5km and then take care to avoid the wrong turning we unfortunately took.
Do not take the tunnel in the right lane signposted Roma and Stadio Olimpico, instead take the left fork for Flaminio. The entrance to Village Flaminio is then 200 metres on the right hand side.
Village Flaminio – Facilities
Opened in 1974, Village Flaminio has built an impressive range of facilities catering for visitors to the Eternal City.
Not just deluxe bathrooms, free wi-fi coverage and laundry facilities but a sizeable swimming pool, barbecue area, bar and small mini-market. The site also provides free clothes horses!!
Village Flaminio reception is open 24 hours per day 7 days a week and provides luggage storage facilities and safe deposit boxes. They will also order taxis and exchange currency for you.
Village Flaminio – Costs
Set in the lush Veio Park Village Flaminio offers close to 200 shaded pitches for motorhomes of any size.
Prices for low and high season are displayed below (correct as of 2020):
Low Season / High Season
Adult: €11.00 / €13.50
Child 3-12 yrs: €7.00/ €9.00
Child 12-16 yrs €9.00 /€11.00
Motorhome €12.00 /€16.00
Car €5.50 /€7.00
Motorbike €3.50/ €4.50
Dog €4.00 /€5.00
High season is designated to be over Christmas and New Year, Easter, July and August.
For our own stay the total cost was €34.00 per night.
How to get to Rome from the campsite
Situated just 11km north of central Rome Village Flaminio is perfectly located to enjoy a day or two of sightseeing.
Due Ponti train station is just 450m or a 6 minute walk away on the opposite side of the Via Flaminia Nuova. From here a train to Rome’s Flaminio Station adjacent the Piazza del Popolo takes around 15 minutes with services every 10 minutes.
In addition it is also possible to take a taxi in to or out of Rome. The time of day and therefore traffic will of course affect the cost of the fare. Our own taxi journey after midnight took no more than 20 minutes and cost a reasonable €25.00
Village Flaminio – Pros & Cons
Village Flaminio is a first class facility in close proximity to one of Europe’s great capital cities. The reception staff are very helpful and able to answer all your Rome tourism questions.
Should you tire of sightseeing, the swimming pool is a welcome and relaxing location, the pool side bar and restaurant ideal for a refreshment or two.
The total costs are higher than average for campervanning in Italy but should be expected for a site of this quality close to Rome.
You can't go campervanning in Italy (especially Northern Italy) and NOT make a stop to see Venice. This incredible city has canals, history, stunning views- and it utterly unsuitable for vehicles.
When is the best time to visit Venice?
Again, we highly recommend visiting out of high season. Our favourite time to visit Venice is after summer- in fact, it's one of the best places to see in Europe in October.
But no matter what time of year you go, do NOT try and drive into the city, especially with a motorhome or camper.
Best campground near Venice
How do you visit this glorious city whilst touring Italy by motorhome? The answer is Camping Fusina, the second of our 5 best campsites in Italy.
Camping Fusina is the only camp site in the region that overlooks the Venetian Lagoon therefore offering visitors views of the skyline of Venice from its eastern edge.
How to get to Camping Fusina
Address – Via Moranzini, 93, 30176, Venezia
GPS co-ordinates of campground: 45˚ 25’ 9” N, 12˚ 15’ 21” E
Located in the north east corner of Italy most motorhome users will arrive via the E70 running east from Padua. From the town of Marghera 8km to the north take the SS309, turn left on to the SP24 and then right on to the SP23 for 5km. Camping Fusina lies at the very end on the left hand side.
Camping Fusina – Facilities
Camping Fusina provides visitors with the use of an on-site store, restaurant, pizzeria and bar between the months of April and October.
The swimming pool is also open between May and September although as we found elsewhere during our Italy tour the use of a swimming cap is mandatory. These can be purchased from reception for just €3.00
Laundry, bathroom facilities and the campsite reception are open all year round. There is also a separate tourist information office housed in a double decker bus just metres from reception at the entrance to the site. Tickets for local tours, the ferry service to Venice and bicycle hire can all be arranged.
Check in any time between 08.00 and 21.00 with check out prior to 14.00.
Camping Fusina – Costs of the campsite
The 350 pitches at Camping Fusina are available in two areas.
The ‘Green Area’ in the central section of the site benefiting from shade from a number of surrounding tall trees or the ‘Fronte Laguna’ pitches on the lagoon.
Price Low Season /High Season
Adult €11.00 /€12.00
Children €5.00 /€6.00
Green Area Pitch €14.00/ €15.00
Fronte Laguna Pitch €17.00 /€19.00
City tax is also payable at a cost of €0.20 and €0.10 per adult per night during high and low seasons respectively.
High season prices apply during July and August.
For our own trip to Venice we stayed 3 nights at Camping Fusina and paid €32.00 per night.
How to get to Venice from the campsite
One of Camping Fusina’s biggest draws is undoubtedly its close proximity to Venice and ease of access to its extraordinary centre.
Fusina ferry point is just a 100m walk from the entrance to the site. From there the boat service to Zattere in the Dorsudoro district of Venice takes just 20 minutes. Saint Mark’s Square is then a further 15 minute walk.
Departing roughly every hour tickets cost from €13.00. The first ferry of the day leaves Fusina at 08.00
Camping Fusina – Pros & Cons
Similar to Village Flaminio in Rome, Camping Fusina offers motorhomes an array of great facilities to provide a relaxing couple of days. The proximity to Venice couldn’t be any closer and the regular ferry service is a breathtaking way of reaching this world-renown city for the very first time.
The swimming pool is a welcome benefit although it does take a while to become accustomed to the swimming cap requirements. Be warned as these are vigorously enforced.
On the negative side Camping Fusina is a popular site even during quieter periods and so motorhome pitches may be rather close to one another than you would like.
Other places to see near Venice
After the popular and busy tourist destinations of Rome and Venice how about enjoying a few days amongst the stunning natural beauty of Lake Garda? Its shimmering deep blue lake waters encircled by lush mountain ranges make for one of the most beautiful regions in all of Italy.
EDITORS NOTE: On our VERY first trip to Europe with a motorhome, we ended up at Lake Garda. In August. With nothing booked.
Do NOT do this.
It was overcrowded, aires/ sostas were really tough to get into and wild camping is pretty much impossible, especially anywhere near the lake.
So, definitely book a campsite in advance, like this one:
Camping Brione, Lake Garda
Camping Brione is located between Riva del Garda and Torbole in the north of Lake Garda and is definitely worthy of its place among the 5 best campsites in Italy for motorhomes.
How to get to Camping Brione
Address – Via Brione, 32, 38066 Riva del Garda TN
GPS co-ordinates: 45˚ 88’ 13” N, 10˚ 86’ 20” E
Located on the northern shore of Lake Garda Camping Brione is easily accessible from central Europe as well as the rest of Italy.
The A22 running from the Austrian border and Bolzano in the north to Verona and Modena in the south passes the east coast of the lake. Taking the exit for Rovereto Sud/Lago di Garda Nord follow signs for Riva del Garda.
Passing through towns of Nago and Torbole turn right after the lakeside tunnel on to Via Brione. Camping Brione is around 400 metres on the right hand side.
Camping Brione – Facilities
Reservations are possible but must be for a minimum of 3 nights. Arrival time is between 15.00 and 19.00 with departure by 11.00.
Camping Brione possesses all the facilities you would expect of a four star camping ground. A swimming pool and bathing area with some of the best views in Italy, children’s play area, mini-golf, table tennis tables, mini market and snack bar.
The bathrooms are modern and well maintained and there is wi-fi coverage to all areas.
Laundry facilities at a cost of €5.00 and a private bathroom available from €7.00. It is also possible to hire a refrigerator for a cost of €5.00 per day.
Camping Brione – Costs
Unusually, Camping Brione operates on the basis of four seasons rather than just two. Costs detailed in the table below are on the basis of 2 adults and one motorhome. There are additional costs for children (4-13) and dogs.
Low 04/05 – 20/05; 28/09 – 25/10
Medium 03/04 – 10/04; 15/06 – 10/07; 07/09 – 28/09
High 10/04 – 04/05 ; 20/05 – 15/06; 24/08 – 07/09
Plus 10/07 – 24/08
There is also an additional city tax cost of €0.70 per adult per night.
How to get to Lake Garda from the campground
The north lakeshore road of Lake Garda is within walking distance and the campsite is directly on the cycle path to Torbole. This question is therefore really how do you explore Lake Garda without using your motorhome?
To start, directly outside the entrance to Camping Brione you’ll find a bus stop for the local route to the centre of Riva del Garda, just 2km to the west.
Walking through its historic centre and attractions such as Torre Apponale and Rocca you’ll come to the ferry terminal in the western part of the town centre. From here you can take a boat throughout the Lake Garda region as well as visiting the neighbouring towns of Limone sul Garda and Malcesine.
Or, bring pushbikes or motorbikes, or rent a scooter for your stay. If you do, we STRONGLY recommend visiting the Gorge Road- Strada della Forra. It's one of the coolest roads in the world.
Want to head to Europe with your motorhome?
Grab your FREE (printable) checklist and discover 25 things you NEED to take with you when you travel in Europe. Make your life easier today.
Camping Brione – Pros & Cons
Boasting a quiet countryside location amongst olive groves and close proximity to Lake Garda the location and relaxation offered by Camping Brione has to be its greatest attraction.
On the flip side, you most definitely pay for the privilege, especially during the high and plus summer seasons. Prices over €40.00 per night for two adults are among the highest anywhere in Europe.
Camping Brione is the ideal site for holidays to Lake Garda, our favourite stop of our entire European tour.
Florence- a campervanning in Italy highlight
Florence, home to the renaissance, medieval architecture, museums and art galleries is one of the world’s great cultural centres. Its UNESCO World Heritage Site understandably attracts millions of tourists each year.
If like us you want to see explore these gems for yourself head for our fourth favourite campsites in Italy for motorhomes, Camping Firenze.
Camping Firenze, Florence
Situated on the banks of the River Arno, the lush space with grass and trees makes for an ideal base to spend a couple of days exploring Florence.
Camping Firenze – Facilities
Reception is open 24 hours per day with check in from 15.00 and check out by 10.00.
There is also a separate information point open 08.00 – 21.00 between April and October for tour reservations, tourist information and reservations for the city shuttle service.
Camping Firenze certainly caters for the active. As well as the large swimming pool and children lagoon facilities include a beach volleyball court and football pitch. There is also a pool table in the restaurant, a children’s playground and common campsite barbecue.
Wi-fi is only guaranteed in common areas but very helpfully there is an ATM outside reception.
Other helpful services include laundry facilities and bed linen and bath towel rental.
Camping Firenze – Costs
For motorhome users 50-60 m2 pitches are available at a cost of €18.00 per night and €28.00 for two adults. The cost for additional adults and children is €14.00 and €10.00 respectively.
Please note though that adults are deemed to be people of 12 years or older. On the plus side there are no additional costs for dogs, awnings or gazebos.
The cost per night for our own two day visit to this magnificent city was therefore €46.00.
How to get to Florence from the campsite
There are two options to reach the centre of Florence.
Firstly, bus route 14 will take you from the camp to Santa Maria Novella train station. The bus stop is just a few metres along Via Generale Dalla Chiesa.
During high season Camping Firenze also operates a shuttle to Piazza Taddeo Gaddi, a 15-20 minute walk to the Ponte Vecchio and rest of central Florence. Return tickets for the shuttle cost €3.00 per person and can be purchased from reception or the info point. However, rather frustratingly single tickets are not available.
Camping Firenze – Pros & Cons
Camping Firenze is a slightly different type of campsite than we experienced in the rest of Europe. It is more modern than most, boasts a city centre location and a large number of facilities.
The shuttle is hugely helpful but still leaves a lengthy walk to reach the historical centre of Florence. It is also a little frustrating that only return tickets may be purchased.
The cost of €46.00 per night is again among the highest we experienced but you cannot expect a city centre location to come cheap.
Genoa- a hidden gem when campervanning in Italy
For many, the addition of Genoa on this list of best places to visit while campervanning in Italy will be something of a surprise. However, Genoa proved to be one of the highlights of our Italian tour.
Genoa is Italy’s sixth biggest city and lies 175 km east of the border with France and 150 km south of Milan.
Nicknamed ‘La Superba’ due to its illustrious history and impressive architecture, Genoa fully deserves to be higher on people’s wish lists. We urge you to see the beautiful Via Garibaldi for yourself.
Camping Villa Doria- best campsite near Genoa
Camping Villa Doria markets itself as the nearest campsite to Genoa. It also boasts a peaceful location in the hills above Pegli, 15km west of the city.
How to get to Camping Villa Doria
Address – Via Al Campeggio Villa Doria, 15, 16156 Genoa
GPS Co-ordinates: 44˚ 43’ 15” N, 8˚ 81’ 34” E
The western suburb of Pegli is just a short 5 km drive from the A10 Autostrada linking this Italian north west coast region to the French A8. The A10 also forms part of the E80 runs south to Pisa and Rome.
To reach Camping Villa Doria exit the A10 at Genoa Pegli and follow the signs to the waterfront. The site is situated in the hills above the town so care is needed to select your route through the narrow streets of Pegli from the coast road.
For vehicles less than 3 metres high drive along the coast road until you reach the Hotel Mediterranée then turn right following the brown road signs.
Should you be higher than 3 metres then an alternative route is required avoiding the railway bridge. Ignore the brown signs after the Hotel Mediterranée and turn right on to Via Ungaretti before the EKOM supermarket. At the end turn right on to Via Salgari and then again at the end left in to Via Martiri Della Liberta and then again in to Via Rovetta. By now you should have picked up the signs to Villa Doria.
We found the route to be a little narrow and fraught at times but eventually you will reach the campsite (hopefully in one piece!)
Campeggio Villa Doria – Facilities
We found the service and facilities at Campeggio Villa Doria to be first class.
Ewa on reception was the most helpful of all camp hosts we encountered across Europe. She provided us with a timetable for the trains, sold us our day rail tickets, gave us a map of Genoa centre and essentially planned out our route and sightseeing hot spots. We couldn't have asked for more.
There are the usual fresh water and disposal facilities for motorhomes, fabulous showers, laundry provisions, a bar and a mini market. There are also indoor games such as billiards, table tennis and table football should the weather turn or you require different entertainment. The wi-fi coverage and speeds were also excellent.
The site is in the hills so whilst the various pitches are flat the roads and site itself are not. This does make for slight difficulties in manoeuvring but nothing too difficult or worrisome.
Campeggio Villa Doria – Costs
As with a number of campsites we stayed at during our European tour Campeggio Villa Doria breaks its costs down to type of vehicle and number of people.
The cost for the motorhome was €14.00 and €9.00 each per adult. With no additional charge for wi-fi, electricity or shower facilities the total per night for us was €32.00.
The costs for children are based on their age. Children under 2 years are free, 3 – 5 year olds are €3.00 each rising to €6.00 for 6 – 12 year olds.
How to get to Genoa from the campground
Staying at Campeggio Villa Doria it is incredibly simple to enjoy one day in Genoa or more.
Pegli train station is no more than a 10 minute walk away and from there it is a 15 minute journey to Genoa Principe Station. This line also serves Genoa airport and Genoa Brignole station in the west of the city.
A return ticket for the frequent services will cost in the region of €4.50. This cost will also include travel on the city metro and bus network and the elevator to Castello D’Albertis offering fabulous views over the city and mediterranean.
5 best campsites and places to visit in Italy with a Motorhome
Italy is a country boasting incredible natural and man-made highlights, from the mountainous lake regions of the north, the stunning landscapes of Tuscany to the ancient centres of Florence, Venice and Rome. All are reason enough alone to visit but combine them and you have the ultimate motorhome itinerary.
Many thanks to Paul for sharing his favourite campsites in Italy and some of his tips for motorhoming/ campervanning in Italy. We can't wait to go back and try some of his recommendations.
If you're heading to Italy with a camper, motorhome or anything else, here are some tips which might help you:
- How to Travel Europe with a Motorhome
- How to find wild camping spots for a motorhome or campervan in Europe
- 15 essential accessories you need in a motorhome in Europe