Italy Roadtrip part 1 – Northern Italy with the camper van
15. May 2020
FIRST STOP: AIRPORT VISITOR PARKING
It’s Friday morning, 8 a.m., and we are in the S-Bahn on our way to the airport. We are surrounded by tourists lugging their large suitcases and panicking at the fact that they might have packed more than 23 kg.
We – Niklas, Sandra and Marietta – are carrying our bags, a picnic blanket and a volleyball… We don’t have to worry about the weight of our bags on our road trip to Italy. Nevertheless, we are slightly nervous as we are new to camping and excited about our first Italy roadtrip.
At the CamperBoys location, our worries about having packed too much or how to set up the bed quickly vanished thanks to Paul’s instructions, the co-founder of CamperBoys. He patiently explains everything we need to know for our road trip, from what fuel to get, cooking, to the extending the awning. We are ready to get on the road, leaving the bad weather behind.
NORTHERN ITALY IN 10 DAYS – OUR ROUTE FOR THE ITALY ROADTRIP:
This is the versatile and recommendable route we came up with for our road trip through northern Italy:
- 1st Stage: From Munich to Lake Garda, Italy (1 night)
- 2nd Stage: Via Verona and Cinque Terre (3 nights)
- 3rd Stage: Continue to Milan (2 nights)
- 4th Stage: To Lake Maggiore (3 nights)
- 5th Stage: Over the Gotthard Pass back to Munich
FROM MUNICH TO LAKE GARDA: APPLE BLOSSOMS, VINEYARDS AND A BREATHTAKING SUNSET
Travel time: 5 hours
Campground: Eurocamping Pacengo in Lazise
Our Italy roadtrip takes us through beautiful South Tyrol, vineyards as far as the eye can see and we could still enjoy the blossoming apple trees at the end of April.
A feeling of hunger arises. This is the right place to sunbathe in the middle of the vineyards and prepare something to eat. Fortunately, our camper van fridge is full, so we simply unpack our chairs and a table and enjoy the beautiful weather.
Homemade sandwiches, cake and the first signs of summer – what a great start to our holiday.
THE FIRST NIGHT IN THE CAMPER VAN
Through valleys, small abandoned villages and along Lake Garda, we approach the first destination of our road trip: Lazise. At the shore of the lake we find a nice spot and are overwhelmed by the breathtaking sunset!
VIA VERONA TO THE CINQUE TERRE: ITALIAN SMALL-TOWN CHARMING AND ADVENTUROUS STREETS
Travel time to Verona: 40 min
Travel time from Verona to Deiva Marina (Cinque Terre): 4 h 30 min country roads
Campground: Valdeiva: Valdeiva Villaggio Camping in Deiva Marina
“In fair Verona where we lay our scene”
Early in the morning, we follow the footsteps of Shakespeare to Verona. Problems finding a parking space? Not with our camper van. Our sightseeing tour can begin! The history of Romeo and Juliet is present in the whole city. We like the Italian flair of this small town.
Our insider tip for tired legs: a stop at the Duchi Café – there you can get inspired by the Italian serenity with cappuccino and aperitif.
Mountains and Sea
Why take the highway when you can experience Italy’s unique landscape and nature? Thanks to hilly pass roads, we are rewarded with breathtaking views of green valleys and raging rivers. The hunger pangs start kicking in again – you will notice that food is important to us. We are flexible in our camper van and enjoy a snack right in the middle of nature. #lunchwithaview
A Campsite with a Certain Something
Following our adventurous journey, we arrived at our campsite in the evening located in plain nature. Definitely a secret tip in the region! With insider tips from the campsite owners, the next three days will be unforgettable in this part of Italy. We are overwhelmed by the hospitality, the clean sanitary facilities and the gravel floor, which saved us from a mud battle after the rain.
A DAY IN CINQUE TERRE: THE CHARM OF THE COASTAL VILLAGES
Strengthened by fresh baguette from our campsite bakery, we start our trip to Cinque Terre – UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today we give our camper van a break and take the train. We recommend that you buy the Cinque Terre Card, which allows you to use the walking paths between the five villages and unlimited train rides between La Spezia and Levanto.
Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore – each village has its own unique way of charming us. Especially the little village Manarola is fascinating with its colorful house facades, Italian charm and the houses on the steep coast.
TIPS AROUND CINQUE TERRE
Enchanting villages, picturesque pictures – but there is one disadvantage: the mass of tourists. If you go to the Cinque Terre, be aware that you won’t be alone. Therefore, our tip is: visit in the low season and continue on a crossroad, away from the famous Instagram motif. Despite mass tourism, one thing is certain: Cinque Terre is an absolute must on a roadtrip through northern Italy!
LIGURIA FROM THE BEST SIDE – BETWEEN PORTOFINO AND LA SPEZIA
Does Liguria sound familiar to you? Don’t worry, we haven’t heard of Liguria until embarking on our Italy roadtrip. The region in the northwest of Italy is captivating with its beautiful coastal villages, hiking trails and relaxed lifestyle – we will definitely come back!
Portofino – Jet-Set Life on the Italian Riviera
Today, we travel by train and bus to Portofino, a small fishing village with jet set character. Here you will find everything – from colorful facades, fishing boats to yachts. After a cappuccino at the main square, which is very expensive for Italian standards, we stroll through the village and enjoy the view on the Mediterranean sea. We have to admit that we expected a bit more from Portofino, so we decided to continue to Santa Margherita Ligure.
Santa Margherita Ligure – The World Can Be So Small
In Santa Margherita, the many small Italian shops, inspired us to do a little shopping. After the successful shopping trip, we visited our friend, Simon, who happened to be in the area, just north of Santa Margherita. Time for an Italian aperitif with a view of the sun setting over the sea – what a day!
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HALF WAY THROUGH OUR TRIP – HOW IT GOES ON...
Deiva Marina and the Cinque Terre were the southernmost points on our Italy Roadtrip. Our thoughts thus far: we love how flexible and spontaneous the camper van allows us to be, the stops in nature, the luxury of a kitchenette, a comfortable bed, and some of the best views. We recommend the Kitchen-Hacks blog for all camping newcomers. You will find tips on what to bring and what to cook on your holiday!
Get excited for the second part of our trip to Milan, beautiful lakes and mountains. To be continued…