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Tour d'Italia 2011 (The Dears) PDF Printable Version E-mail


Tour d'Italia 2011

Keith and Jenny Dear
Summer 2011

Travelling in their beloved Autosleeper Symphony, 2.5L diesel-powered, Peugeot Boxer-based Campervan, Keith and Jenny make a grand tour of Italy. This is a break from their usual pattern of travelling in Spain in the winter and Eastern Europe and the |Balkans in the summer. It seems to have been a great success; one likely to be repeated.

Accounts of previous journeys by Keith and Jenny can be found on this website:

To Istanbul via Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece 2006

Travels in the Baltic Republics 2009

Keith and Jenny write:

“Just a fewVD_(25).JPG lines to convey how much we enjoyed our trip to Italy, together with a brief itinerary. We had decided, this year, to make a change from our usual Eastern Europe summer trip.

The whole trip went superbly well and we now hope to return next year. Not least due to the weather (looking through the rainy windows here in England!)

We travelled down through Innsbruck and the Brenner Pass and eventually to Bologna. We could not locate the Sosta, so went on to stay on the motorway before reaching Pisa (good Sosta at 12 Euros). Subsequently we stayed on more motorway service areas, realising by this time how very well Italy is equipped for motorhomers.

After Pisa it was Florence, very over-visited this Sunday: must visit on another day in future! Then the Mediterranean coast for a couple of nights before Rome. Here we stayed on the excellent Camping Tiber as they do ACSI off-season discount, so 15 euros/night at that time. A reliable half-hourly free bus is provided to Prima Porta rail station, which is within the area covered by the 4 euro all-day Rome Pass. Rome was extremely warm but gradually we became acclimatised and in fact chose to return here after our next stop, Pompeii.

On the way down to Pompeii we also took in Monte Cassino, where Keith's brother-in-law foughtVD_(26).JPG during WW2. We stayed at Camping Zeus at Pompeii, which we found good with plenty of shade and other Brits to talk to! Also 15 euros with ACSI discount.

Next we did Naples, Sorrento and the Amalfi coast (superb coastal scenery). After leaving Rome for the second time we headed for Assisi and, like most people, we got hopelessly lost in Perugia at one point en-route. The campsite at Assisi very good, with ACSI discount and lots of Brits and other nationalities on it. Their site bus to Assisi is an awful rip-off though!
Moving on to Ravenna and Camping Classe at Lido di Dante - most enjoyable and again 15 euros with ACSI card.

After this we went along S309 and A4 to, eventually, Trieste (we'd been to Venice previously and didn't fancy it in peak season). We found Trieste fascinating, staying at Camping Obelisco up in the hills. It was a very steep and long climb up to our pitch each night in the heat, but good once we had made it. We had planned to go on to Budapest from here but we were enjoying Italy so much that we decided to stay there and returned west to Lake Garda. We had a thoroughly enjoyable stay on an excellent Sosta at the town of Garda for 12 euros - the dedicated Sosta rather than the car park one. We liked the cooling breeze on the lake amid all the roaring heat of inland Italy in July.

Next was the fashion capital of the world, Milan. Again, we took it all in and enjoyed it for what it is. We also found time for a look at the San Siro football stadium. Stayed at the very adequate Camping Citta di Milano, reasonably placed to get into the city but expensive at 31 euros. There were no alternative sites as far as we were able to ascertain.

After this we went on northwards to Lake Como and Menaggio. Camping Europa was an extremely busy camp site but well positioned and we were lucky with our pitch. Used the ferry twice to get across the lake to Bellagio, etc.

We reluctantly left Italy into Switzerland via Lake Lugano, then used the motorway through the St Gotthard tunnel and another free service area for our overnight halt. All worth the £30 Swiss motorway pass, we thought. We came back via Strasbourg, Saarbrucken and Luxembourg to the Eurotunnel at Calais. We were amused at the hundreds of Dutch caravans and motorhomes using our route through Luxembourg.

Abiding memories of Italy: sun, heat, excellent coffee everywhere and friendly, helpful people. Spent 90 euros on Italian motorway tolls, but well worth it.”