Now that the New Year is here, are you already planning your next trip away with your beloved campervan?
What about exploring all the beauty that Northern Italy has to offer?
There’s something about Italy that draws us all to it, but what does it for you?
Whether it’s the fabulous, unpretentious food or the unbeatable rustic scenery or the outstanding art, culture & architecture. Whatever your reason for exploring Italy with your campervan – once you’ve been; you’ll be hooked!
February is a great time of year to discover this beautiful country as the popular tourist areas like the Lakes of Lombardy won’t be anywhere near as busy, but still stunning. Plus, this year’s Venice Carnival commences on the 16th of February through to the 5th of March 2019, which is an experience in it’s own right!
Overnight stops in Italy
Italy has an abundant network of campervan stopovers, known as Aree di Sosta. These dedicated motorhome parking areas are sometimes free to use but mostly involve a small charge (typically between €5 and €10 for 24 hours). Many, but not all, provide essential facilities for emptying waste water and cassette toilets, filling up with fresh water and dumping rubbish. Some of the facilities are operated using a token, available from a nearby shop or tourist office. Most sites are safe and secure, however it’s not recommended to stay overnight at areas within motorway service stations.
The most comprehensive listing of stopovers in Italy is Aree di Sosta Italian Camper Aires which provides details, in Italian, of more than 2700 places to stay.
How to get to Italy
A trip from Dover to Venice will be just short of 1000 miles. Once you have reached Calais (France), either by Ferry or Tunnel the main route to Italy is the A26 to Troyes, A5/ & A31 to Dijon, A39 to Bourg-en-Bress, A40 to Geneva & Sallanches (Switzerland) towards Turin, the Mont-Blanc Tunnel between Chamonix and Courmayeur/Aosta Valley. If Venice is your destination, continue along the A5, A4, E64 and then A4 and A57 all the way to Maghera and finally the SR11 to Venice.
Helpful travel information
If you are travelling in the winter months through France and Italy, it is compulsory to carry snow chains between 1 November and 1 April (In the Val d’Aosta between 15 October and 15 April), and winter tyres are mandatory in many provinces in Italy. You are also required to have a red and white diagonally striped reflecting square panel (50cm by 50cm) attached to the rear of a motorhome/campervan with an overhanging load, such as a bicycle.
All Italian motorways operate tolls, using booths along the route, with the highest tolls paid at the mountain tunnels and passes. You’ll also find low emission zones and congestion charges around various Italian cities. Check online where they are in operation, and whether they affect you.
To avoid on-the-spot fines, make sure that you have all the necessary documents and equipment on board. Passports, driving licence (the minimum age for visitors to drive is 18 years), vehicle registration and insurance documents are all required. It is also compulsory to have a warning triangle and a visibility-warning vest for the driver and all passengers, which must be used in the event of a breakdown or accident at night or in poor visibility. Headlamp converters may also be necessary.