Planning a motorhome or campervan journey to Italy? Wish to tour among the most stunning countryside in Europe? Right here’s every part you must know to go campervanning or motorhoming in Italy, step-by-step.
Don’t overlook to obtain your FREE Europe motorhome journey guidelines beneath that can assist you plan your Italy driving vacation even simpler.
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Motorhoming in Italy- why you need to go!
If you happen to’re on the lookout for someplace in Europe to go to with a motorhome or camper, and also you need unbelievable surroundings, stunning climate and food-so-good-you’ll-put-on-a-stone-in-a-week, head to Italy.
We’ve explored a number of instances now with our motorhome and we will’t wait to return once more. The final time we went, we spent just a few days exploring the Dolomites; presumably essentially the most breathtaking place we’ve even been in our van and we’ve been touring Europe by motorhome for some time now! (You’ll be able to try our Dolomites itinerary concepts right here)
We’ve additionally loved different street journeys in Italy, like Cinque Terre, the Italian Lakes, Rome, Florence and the jaw-dropping Amalfi coast. We love the historical past, the surroundings and the food- I’m fairly positive I might reside on pizzas, calzones, spaghetti and Italian gelato perpetually extra.
On this publish, we’re going to share with you every part you must know to go motorhoming in Italy, together with attending to Italy and plan your route, the place to remain (motorhome campsites, sostas or wild tenting together with your camper), some street journey itineraries and locations to go to in North and South Italy, driving suggestions and different sensible recommendation that can assist you have an incredible Italian driving vacation.
If that is your first campervanning journey to Italy (or Europe!), don’t overlook to seize your free motorhome journey guidelines which can enable you to plan and organise every part you want.
Planning to take your motorhome to Europe?
Campervanning in Italy- The place to go
When planning a motorhome journey to Italy, the very first thing you must do is resolve the place you’re going (and the way lengthy you’ve got in your Italian journey!)
If you happen to’re driving from the UK to Italy (we’ll cowl that shortly), you must permit not less than a day to get from arriving in France (by both ferry or Eurotunnel) right down to the north of Italy. In fact, should you solely have per week’s vacation, that solely permits just a few days to discover the nation, so we’d recommend staying to the north of the nation.
If in case you have 10-14 days or longer to tour Italy, you will get so much additional south, definitely so far as Naples/ Pompeii and presumably even additional should you’re completely satisfied to drive each day.
The extra you tour round Italy, the extra you’ll realise there’s are some huge variations between North and South. There’s way more wealth within the north. There are additionally extra mountains and extra huge cosmopolitan cities. Southern Italy is way much less developed, with some unbelievable seashores and a number of other islands so that you can discover (or camp up subsequent too should you can!)
When to go motorhome touring in Italy
As with all European street journeys, WHEN is sort of as necessary as WHERE.
On our very first motorhome journey to Italy, we headed straight for the Italian lakes (one of the well-liked areas in Italy) in August.
Funnily sufficient, there have been folks EVERYWHERE. It was so crowded, we might barely discover a Sosta with any room and all of the campsites close to the lakes had been fully-booked for months.
That was our fault- we hadn’t deliberate forward.
On the flip aspect, once we did our tour from Rome to Florence (through Pisa), we went in February. There was snow on the bottom, it was freezing chilly, however the lack of individuals when visiting the sights made up for the nippiness issue. We virtually had among the museums and well-liked websites to ourselves!
For us, our favorite time to discover Italy is both later Spring or early Autumn. We toured the Dolomites in early October and the climate was excellent. Clearly, the additional south you go the hotter it will likely be. Sicily is the place the Italians go to flee the chilly temperatures within the north. In fact, if you wish to go snowboarding together with your motorhome, keep within the Dolomites and luxuriate in among the finest slopes in Europe.
TOP TIP: Many campsites shut in winter (usually at finish of September or center of October) and don’t re-open till Easter. If you happen to’re planning to tour Italy in a camper between these instances, you’ll want to make use of Sostas or public providers to get contemporary water and empty waste.
Planning a driving route from UK to Italy
There are a number of methods to get from the UK to Italy. The primary query to ask your self while you’re planning a motorhome journey in Europe is are you content to pay tolls, or do you wish to take the slower however cheaper again roads?
For us, we’re normally driving to Italy from France and we’re completely satisfied to pay the tolls/ tunnel cost and get there faster, so we head to Mont Blanc at Chamonix (don’t miss the possibility to cease in a single day in your motorhome on the foot of Mont Blanc and get the cable automotive up the Aiguille de Midi– it’s spectacular!) From right here, it’s straightforward to drive via the Mont Blanc tunnel and you then’re in Italy!
Greatest Motorhome Path to Italy By way of France
If you happen to’re planning a street journey via France to Italy, we’ve put collectively among the finest driving routes for motorhomes, campers, caravans and automobiles (full with estimated toll expenses)
One other route we’ve pushed within the motorhome is through the Verdon Gorge, French Riviera once we visited the Menton Lemon Competition in February after which drove alongside the coast to Cinque Terre.
Lastly, on our very first journey, we returned through the Swiss Alps, by leaving the Italian lakes and heading north. From there, we drove via Switzerland, detoured into Liechtenstein, previous Strasbourg, then up into Luxembourg and Belgium the place we paid our respects on the Final Put up Ceremony on the Menin Gate.
Don’t overlook, should you take your campervan into Switzerland, you will want to purchase a vignette on the border.
Different motorhome and campervan routes into Italy
If you happen to’re not driving from the UK, there are a few different choices.
From the west, should you’re already motorhoming in Spain, you will get considered one of 3 ferries from Barcelona to numerous locations in Italy, which saves numerous driving time.
From the East, you will get a ferry from Greece to Italy (or vice versa!) There are a great deal of route choices, so discover one which works for you.
If you happen to don’t wish to do a ferry, do what we did in reverse and go motorhoming via Croatia and Slovenia into Northern Italy- it’s a beautiful journey.
Planning to take your motorhome to Europe?
Hiring a motorhome to tour Italy
In fact, should you’re hiring a motorhome, you’ll produce other components to contemplate. If you happen to’re flying in, you’ll want to select an airport close to the world you wish to discover. Then you definitely’ll must discover a rent firm with a base close to there and plan get from the airport to the campervan.
If you happen to’re driving after which hiring, be certain the rent firm has someplace safe to park your automotive while you’re off touring round Italy in your camper.
READ MORE: 10 important inquiries to ask while you rent a motorhome.
Campervanning in Italy- motorhome in a single day parking
In Italy, there are a number of varieties of motorhome and campervan stopovers you need to use.
- Sostas (which is what the Italians name aires)
- Free accredited motorhome parking locations
- Motorhome Wild tenting
Motorhome Campsites in Italy
Campsites in Italy are very like campsites anyplace else in Europe. Some are rustic and have fundamental amenities, others are all singing, all dancing ones with swimming pools, non-public seashore entry and boat rent.
If you happen to’re travelling out of excessive season and are planning to make use of campsites, we extremely suggest shopping for an ACSI CampingCard membership– you’ll save some huge cash as we discovered the campsites in Italy to be fairly costly.
Count on to want a token for the bathe (sure, at further value) This occurs even on ACSI websites, though chances are you’ll get the token offered totally free. Be warned- the new water within the bathe is on a timer- normally between 3-5 minutes per token.
Sostas/ Aires in Italy
Sostas are what the Italians name Aires- accredited motorhome and campervan in a single day parking locations. They’re typically paid, though you will discover some in additional distant areas that are free to make use of in a single day. Lots of them have providers, though you’ll discover the standard varies dramatically, particularly from north to south.
READ MORE: Uncover how we discover and use Sostas, Aires and in a single day parking locations when motorhoming in Europe
Under Rome, sostas and repair factors are a lot rarer, though free tenting can be simpler in lots of locations. Camperonline.it is an efficient place to look if Park4Night isn’t being useful.
Usually, there’s a one or two day cease restriction- they’re designed so that you can see an space, after which transfer on- not keep for per week in a single place.
We don’t suggest you employ the aires on the motorways- they’re infamous for being unsafe.
It’s all the time value investing in a guide of aires, in addition to a web-based app- simply in case you end up with out web in your motorhome (or and not using a wifi sign). In fact, the draw back with any guide is that it goes old-fashioned, however don’t fear if it’s solely a 12 months or two out- most details about aires received’t change an excessive amount of
Listed below are some we suggest:
Wild tenting in Italy for motorhomes and campers
Are you able to wild camp in Italy with a motorised automobile?
Wild tenting in Italy is technically prohibited, though every area in Italy has their very own rules. It could be attainable to get permission from the native governor should you ask on the city corridor.
Nonetheless, with slightly widespread sense and staying throughout the restrictions, it’s typically attainable to remain off-grid together with your motorhome or campervan.
- Don’t attempt to wild camp on the coast until you’re someplace REALLY distant (extra more likely to be allowed within the South)
- Having stated that, wild tenting within the Nationwide Parks (just like the Dolomites) is strictly managed, though we did handle it at Val di Funes.
- Don’t attempt to wild camp in busy/ well-liked areas- just like the Italian Lakes- until you’re visiting within the lowest of off-season
- Get the permission of the landowner if attainable
- Don’t keep inside 1km of a built-up space, or inside 100m of historic buildings
- Don’t park inside 50m of nationwide routes or inside 150m of the place consuming water is extracted
TOP TIP: You should utilize Park4night or camper contact to search out locations. Discover ways to wild camp with a motorhome right here
We’ve heard of some individuals who have been approached and requested to pay a safety fee- to make sure their motorhome/ camper is ‘left alone and undisturbed’ while wild tenting. This appears to occur largely when motorhome touring in southern Italy and in Sicily. I strongly recommend you pay this or transfer on- saying no isn’t going to finish effectively!
Wish to keep off-grid together with your motorhome?
Seize our FREE wild tenting guidelines and make it straightforward for your self. All the pieces you must do, deliver or bear in mind while you keep off-grid.
Different accredited in a single day motorhome parking schemes in Italy
If you happen to’d wish to keep away from campsites and sostas, however don’t wish to danger staying off-grid, there are two schemes which supply locations to stick with a motorhome or campervan.
The primary is AgriCamper Italia, which has fantastic hosts everywhere in the nation, together with farms, vineyards and artisans. Membership prices 29€ for the 12 months.
The second possibility is In Camper con Gusto, which does the identical factor however focusses on the provinces of Piacenza, Parma and Reggio Emilia. Membership prices 35€/ 12 months.
Motorhome and campervan service factors in Italy
If you happen to’re used to touring in France and Germany, you may be stunned on the poor state of among the motorhome service stations in Italy, particularly within the south of the nation.
Usually, there’s both no black waste emptying point- or it’s blocked. The drains are in ridiculous locations the place it’s unimaginable to get over- having a bucket or pipe will likely be helpful.
Driving suggestions for Italy
The Italians are identified for being… exuberant with their driving. I’m by no means going to remark, however I’ll say that we’ve been very grateful for our motorhome wing-mirror protectors each time we go to!
The scariest factor concerning the Italian driving type is that they typically appear to overhaul, on a blind bend and simply hope that nothing is coming the opposite method. So our recommendation is to take it slowly, anticipate the sudden, and be ready to slam on the brakes at any second.
We routinely simply let folks overtake, particularly if we’re towing a trailer with our motorhome– it’s simpler than worrying about which blind nook they’ll attempt to kill themselves on subsequent! They appear to have little or no idea of how lengthy it takes for a big automobile like a motorhome to sluggish to a cease, so attempt to go away numerous braking room.
Velocity limits in Italy
Velocity Limits are as follows (until in any other case signed!)
- 130 km/h (80 mph) on motorways
- 110km/hr (68mph) on main roads
- 90 km/h (50 mph) on minor roads (out of city)
- 50 km/h (31 mph) in built-up areas
Motorhomes with trailers or caravans:
- motorways 80 km/h (50 mph)
- main out-of-town roads 70 km/h (44 mph)
- minor out-of-town roads 70 km/h (44 mph)
- built-up areas- 50 km/h (31 mph)
Motorhomes and Campervans weighing over 3.5 tonnes and below 12 tonnes:
- motorways 100 km/h (62 mph)
- main out-of-town roads 80 km/h (50 mph)
- minor out-of-town roads 80 km/h (50 mph)
- city areas- 50 km/h (31 mph)
Italians love their horns. They’ll beep to say hello to one another, they’ll beep to inform one another off, they’ll beep to let you understand they’re barrelling round a blind nook in your aspect of the street…! In addition they wish to flash their headlights at you after they’re on YOUR aspect of the road- as should you hadn’t seen them!
Parking in cities and cities
Parking in most built-up areas is hard. You’ll see automobiles, buses and lorries parked in essentially the most ridiculous locations, typically blocking the street totally while they unload or conduct their enterprise.
In case you are parking, white traces appear to indicate free parking locations, blue traces imply you must pay (normally at a meter close by).
I strongly suggest you don’t take your motorhome right into a metropolis, however even a city you may wrestle discovering someplace to park. We regularly discovered an aire or campsite close to a prepare line and used that to visit- like we did at Cinque Terre.
Canines are allowed on public transport- extra on that later.
Most roads within the north of Italy are of first rate quality- much like France or the UK. There’s a noticeable distinction between the roads within the north and south- they get steadily worse as you go down.
There are normally roadworks on the foremost motorways and infrequently crash boundaries and security options are lacking, so drive rigorously.
Gas Stations in Italy
Very first thing to know- Purchase gasoline anyplace aside from on the principle roads- it’ll be cheaper. Gas costs are akin to France. and barely cheaper than the UK.
Secondly, there’s a ‘two-tier’ cost system in Italy. A less expensive possibility should you fill your self, and a costlier fee should you get a forecourt attendant to do it for you. BE CAREFUL WHERE YOU PULL UP- they get very upset should you park at an attended service gasoline pump after which don’t need it. There’s typically an emblem of a person with a pump, however ‘con servicio’ or servizio for service and ‘self’ for self-service.
Many stations shut in a single day and on Sundays. Chiuso means closed in Italian and Aperto means open.
Low Emission Zones and ZTL’s in Italy
Many main cities and cities try to cut back air pollution ranges by limiting automobiles into the centre. This can be a ‘Zone Traffico Limitato’ or ZTL. Most ZTLs are for residents solely, so should you drive your motorhome right into a ZTL you’ll obtain a superb via the publish. Additionally, NO rented automobiles are allowed in a ZTL at any time.
Low Emission Zones have gotten extra widespread all through Europe. If you happen to do resolve to drive your camper or motorhome right into a metropolis with no ZTL, verify if there’s an LEZ or congestion cost to pay. Alternatively, park outdoors town and use public transport to entry the centre.
Planning to take your motorhome to Europe?
Some fast suggestions for driving in Italy:
- Italy drives on the correct, like a lot of Europe
- Motorways are GREEN, twin carriageways are blue (reverse to the UK and far of Europe)
- The utmost velocity for personal automobiles below 3.5t is 130kph (81mph) on motorways however velocity limits are decrease for automobiles towing caravans and for motorhomes over 3.5t in weight.
- When on two-lane motorways, dipped headlights have to be used.
- If driving via cities and villages, solely use the horn in an emergency.
- Buses and trams have proper of method.
- Seatbelts are obligatory
- In-car velocity digital camera detectors and motorhome sat-nav methods warning of the presence of radars are unlawful (whether or not they’re in use or not!)
- Utilizing a cell phone whereas driving is prohibited, however you need to use a hands-free unit.
- Minor site visitors offences can lead to on-the-spot fines.
- UK driving licences are completely acceptable to make use of and also you most likely received’t want an IDP (discover out the adjustments made to driving in Europe after BREXIT)
- You will want a inexperienced card to show you have motorhome insurance coverage cowl when travelling in Italy.
Tolls in Italy
Italy doesn’t have a vignette- it has tolls (pedaggio). You acquire a ticket on the machine as you enter the street system and pay (both an individual or machine) on the finish in money or on a card. Tolls are usually costlier than Spain however cheaper than in France.
You should utilize a tollpass/ telepass (like e-Movis) or you’ll be able to pay-as-you-go by money or card (we all the time suggest carrying some cash- simply in case!) Indicators point out the technique of cost accepted on every lane.
Most motorhomes are calculated for sophistication B, whatever the variety of axles. You’ll be able to calculate the toll value of your supposed route right here
Petrol and diesel for propulsion are discovered at gasoline stations throughout Italy.
Petrol (Unleaded) is Benzina senza piombo/ “Benzina verde”.
It’s additionally known as Normale (95) or Speciale (98) and will likely be inexperienced handles on the pump.
Diesel is Gasolio / Diesel and will likely be black or yellow on the pump.
Costs in Italy are normally barely greater than France or Germany- about equal to the UK.
Getting LPG in Italy
LPG (GPL) may be discovered at chosen petrol stations and at autogas stations. If shopping for from a petroleum station, chances are you’ll want to attend for an attendant to show the system on for you.
Some folks have apparently had bother filling their refillable motorhome fuel bottles. That is right down to alternate tax charges for fuel used for home heating and cooking, and the garages are involved concerning the paperwork. Apparently, issues are worse when you have an inside fill level, which we do, however we’ve not had any troubles.
READ MORE: Be taught how we discover LPG in Europe for our motorhome
Pink/ White striped warning reflective boards in Italy
In case your motorhome has something overhanging on the rear, (like bicycles or a tow bar field) you must have a reflective plate fitted, warning different drivers of the hazard. If you happen to solely have a bicycle rack however no bicycles, you don’t want a board- so long as the rack is completely fitted. A non-permanent bike rack wants a board always.
These boards are diagonal purple and white striped, reflective, and measure 50 x 50cm. In Italy, they MUST have a metallic backing (not plastic).
The stripes should level into the centre of the street, like this:
Driving in Italy- what to do within the occasion of a street site visitors accident
You must have a European Declare Type offered by your insurer earlier than you permit. Within the occasion of an accident, all events full and signal the shape on the scene after which ship a replica to your insurer for evaluation.
What to do on the scene:
- Cease your automobile instantly however safely- out of the stream of site visitors if attainable.
- If a automobile is obstructing the street, use hazard lights and put the purple warning triangle 30 metres from the scene to warn approaching site visitors
- Change your particulars with the opposite concerned events. Make sure to get:
- Identify and deal with of all of the folks concerned within the accident
- Car registration numbers of all events
- Insurance coverage firm particulars of all events
- Take photographs of harm utilizing a digital camera, GoPro or telephone
For extra particulars, learn our step-by-step information on coping with a street site visitors accident in Europe
Different important issues to hold whereas campervanning in Italy
In Italy, as with all international locations in Europe, there are specific belongings you MUST carry with you in your motorhome or campervan, equivalent to a reflective vest (one per individual) and a warning triangle.
Italy asks for much less equipment than France, however don’t overlook, in case you are driving down via France, you want all of the equipment for there as effectively.
In case you are motorcycling in Italy, crash helmets are obligatory.
Get a full checklist of the important equipment and paperwork wanted for motorhome touring in Italy and Europe
In case you are travelling between 15 October and 15 April, you will want to have winter tyres and/ or snow chains fitted as situations dictate.
Ensure you carry the next paperwork:
- Passport/ accredited ID card
- Legitimate Drivers licence (sure, your UK driving licence is allowed for use)
- Proof of Car insurance coverage (inexperienced card)
- Car registration doc (authentic)
Motorhoming in Italy- Itinerary concepts and locations to go to
Clearly, it’s unimaginable for us to understand how lengthy you’ve got, the place you’re arriving from and the types of belongings you wish to do throughout your campervanning tour of Italy.
So listed here are a few itinerary recommendations for you, which offers you start line to construct on. Don’t overlook to seize our FREE street journey planner, which can enable you to create a route and itinerary primarily based on what YOU wish to see.
Recommended Driving itinerary for Northern Italy
If you happen to like nationwide parks and unbelievable surroundings, that is for you. You’ll be able to squeeze it into per week, or add in some additional bits when you have longer.
Gran Paradiso Nationwide Park
Begin your journey at Gran Paradiso Nationwide Park. You might simply spend just a few days right here. If in case you have time, pop right down to Cinque Terre– we stayed at a close-by campsite known as Tenting Valdeiva, which was pretty and open out-of-season (we visited in February)
Then (so long as it’s not excessive season) head to the Italian Lakes. They’re all fairly, however our favourites are Maggiore and Garda. If in case you have one other automobile with you (like a motorcycle or automotive, or a pushbike should you’re REALLY match), don’t miss the Gorge street close to Garda– it’s spectacular. Sirmione can be effectively value a go to.
Additionally, should you like heights, there’s a zipwire close to Lake Maggiore which has been on my bucket checklist for some time!
Motorhome campsite/ sostas at Lake Garda
We parked our motorhome at Densenzano del Garda, a sosta which prices 17.50€/ night time (not together with electrical). It was good sufficient, however there are a few nicer campsites round. You may want to get one with a pool, as there are sturdy rumours that swimming within the Italian lakes is dangerous in your well being!
A few of the different well-liked motorhome campsites at Lake Garda embrace:
- Tenting Il Faro- full with 25m swimming pool. Might be blissfully quiet out of season
- Tenting Baia Verde- very fashionable and infrequently very noisy!
- Tenting Cappuccini- with unbelievable lake views should you’re fortunate
From right here, you’ve got a selection North, East or South.
North takes you to the Dolomites together with your motorhome and you may get pleasure from get pleasure from unbelievable locations just like the Nice Dolomites Street and Tre Cime di Lavaredo
See our full Dolomites street journey itinerary
Verona and Venice (east)
Verona is legendary for the Romeo and Juliet balcony and the previous city has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Website.
Venice is among the most well-known cities on the planet and effectively value a few days of your itinerary. Keep away from in excessive summer- it’s simply too crowded to see something. If you happen to’re exploring Europe in February, don’t miss the Venice Carnival – it will likely be loopy busy however spectacular!
Greatest Motorhome campsite close to Venice
Tenting Fusina is the solely camp web site within the area that overlooks the Venetian Lagoon and offers a view of Venice from its jap edge. There’s a passenger ferry which can take you throughout the water to Venice and again.
Deal with – By way of Moranzini, 93, 30176, Venezia
GPS co-ordinates of campground: 45˚ 25’ 9” N, 12˚ 15’ 21” E
Florence and Rome (south)
Florence– I like this metropolis. There are such a lot of unbelievable issues to do right here. Keep at Tenting Firenze, which is simple strolling distance to town, however avoids the ZTL No-Driving Zone.
Rome– It’s uncommon we return to a spot twice, however we’ve with Rome. Keep at Village Flaminio- 11km north of town centre. It’s an amazing campground for campervan and motorhome house owners who wish to go away their automobile someplace safe whereas they go to town.
You could find extra particulars of all of the finest motorhome campsites in Northern Italy right here
In fact, when you have the time, prolong your motorhome journey in Italy additional south and luxuriate in unbelievable locations just like the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii and Herculaneum, Sicily and Matera
Campervanning in Italy- safety
We extremely suggest paying additional consideration to your motorhome safety when travelling in Italy. You may even want to match an additional camper habitation door lock and by no means go away your automobile unattended in an unsecure space.
Extra helpful issues to know when campervanning in Italy
Emergency Numbers: 112 will get you every part
Hearth Brigade 115
Language– Italian. English normally spoken in campsites and in vacationer areas, however not typically elsewhere
Foreign money– Euro
Playing cards– most main credit score and debit playing cards are accepted. American Categorical is simply taken in massive shops (not at tolls and infrequently not at gasoline stations)
Timezone– GMT+1 (or one hour forward in BST)
Tipping– Service is normally included in a restaurant, however do verify. It’s widespread to tip different providers, like taxi drivers
Outlets– Many retailers shut on Sundays. Larger supermarkets could also be open, however will shut at lunchtime. If bakeries open on Sundays, they’re typically closed on Mondays as an alternative. Many retailers and companies additionally shut for an extended lunch (between 12-2pm) and a few is not going to open on Wednesday afternoons.
Doing Laundry in Italy whereas touring
We struggled to get our motorhome anyplace close to a laundrette (which are sometimes within the centre of cities and cities). We ended up placing it on the again of our motorbikes, or particularly selecting a campsite with laundry amenities.
Touring Italy with a canine
Italy is fairly dog-friendly and they’re broadly accepted on public transport. Take a muzzle and their pet paperwork, such because the AHC- though we’ve by no means been requested to point out this.
Learn extra: adjustments affecting travelling to Europe with a canine after BREXIT
We additionally discovered canine had been allowed on the seashores besides in excessive season, which is smart and so they’re typically allowed in eating places in the event that they’re well-behaved and on a brief lead.