Motorcaravan Sites Review
By BRIAN DAUNCEY
Italy has a wide choice of motorcaravan stopovers - there's a good selection in the French Guide Officiel des Etapes, and I was also given a good booklet called Portolano '99 while we were parked in Turin (the local club's chairman knocked the door while we were having lunch and gave us a copy. We thought we were parking incorrectly!). The booklet is produced by Pleinair, who also have a web site (click here).
Campsites are numerous in Italy, but we didn't find them cheap, particularly in the Dolomites, and pitch sizes are quite often smaller than the UK.
ARONA - Camp Rose, DORMELETTO (0322 497083). One of several sites situated at south end of Lake Maggiore. Good access, reasonable value (though cheaper next door!). No English spoken. Nice situation right on the lake. Modern Toilet block - some English toilets, but several closed late in the season. 28000L, inc. shaver point, showers 500L (Sept, 1999).
BASSANO DEL GRAPPA (VENETO/VICENZA) - Free parking in walled carpark with security gates. (No problem with being locked in!) Very quiet. No facilities. Lovely old town by river, covered wooden bridge. (June 2004). Index
BAVENO - Camping Stresa - LAKE MAGGIORE - situated within the town - difficult entrance for larger vans, enclosed by buildings (reminded me of Steptoes yard). Small plots (usual for Italy). Sanitary facilities old but clean (English toilets). Small bar/restaurant on site. Lady manager spoke English, but could be temperamental. Well situated as base for Lake Maggiore. 23000L, Showers 1800L, Hot water 100L (Sept 1999).
BORGO SAN DALMAZZO (PIEMONTE/CUNEO) - Via Giovanni XXIII - free parking next to sportsfield. local signposting. Free services. Next to railway line, so we didn't stay overnight, but the town looked quite nice. (May 2004). Index
CALCERINICA (TRENTINO/TRENTO) - Free parking by church, slight sloping, no facilities. Lovely town by Lake Caldonazzo. Nice lakeside walks. Very hot. (June 2004). Index
CAMPITELLO - Camp Miravale - TRENTO (0462 62002). Situated within town, easy access, beautiful view of the Dolomites. Very clean facilities, reasonable size plots. 39500L inc. showers and electricity (2A only!) (Sept 1999).
CASALE MONFERRATO (PIEMONTE/ALESSANDRIA) - free parking in square beside castle walls. Water/waste disposal free. Illuminated. No signposting. Lovely town with historic centre. Avoid on weekends (boy racers into the early hours, though not threatening), also Tues and Fri markets. (May 2004). Index
CHERASCO (PIEMONTE/CUNEO) - Free parking at entrance to the town. Pretty Bastide type town on plateau. Free water and chem. disposal. Good walk around perimeter walls. Noisy road at night. Local signposting. (May 2004). Index
CORTINA (VENETO/BELLUNO) - Free parking at Fiames, just outside Cortina. Illuminated, water/waste, hardstandings. Sited on old airfield (still used by helicopters!). Free now, but looked as though it is charged at some time (possibly in winter?). (June 2004). Index
FENESTRELLE (PIEMONTE/TORINO) - Aree Sosta - Free motorcaravan parking above village, next to cemetery. Buses park at bottom end, but not a problem. Free water, chem disposal. 8 places, illuminated, signposted, good views. Pretty village, shops, restaurants. (May 2004). Index
ISEO (LOMBARDIA/BRESCIA) - Free parking in square by the port. No facilities. Lovely views of Lake Iseo, nice walks. Quiet at night. Good Friday market. (June 2004). Index
LOVERE (LOMBARDIA/BERGAMO) - Free parking by lakeside (not dedicated). Crowded by day, but OK at night. Free water only. Beautiful town, with lovely views of Lake Iseo. Very hot and humid in May. (May 2004). Index
LUCCA (TUSCANY) - Viale Luporini Sant'Anna - free motorcaravan park on the outskirts of Lucca (10 min walk to the walled city) which will accommodate 20 - 30 vehicles. free services. A nice location with some shading. Lucca is a beautiful city with plenty to see- well worth the visit. The park was quite busy and is very popular with all nationalities (no British while we were there!). I found this site in the Pleinair booklet. (May 2001).
LURISIA (PIEMONTE/CUNEO) - Free reserved motorcaravan park with space for 10 vans. Free water/waste disposal. A bit overgrown when we arrived, but three workmen came and proceeded to cut the grass (perhaps we were the first of the season!). A lovely spa town, where I believe Madame Curie originated. Nice walks, very quiet, and well signposted. (May 2004) Index
MOLVENO - Camping Spiaggia - TRENTO (0461 586978) - signposted from SS421. Beautiful setting on the edge of the Lake Molveno. Well run, clean modern sanitary facilities, reasonable size plots and easy access. Water outlets spaced out regularly. English spoken. Lovely town, good walks, worth staying several days. 35000L inc. showers and electricity. (Sept 1999).
MONDOVI (PIEMONTE/CUNEO) - Piazza Repubblica, near old railway station. Free motorcaravan parking, with free water, waste disposal, quiet at night. Good stopover, very popular. Beautiful town by river, in two parts - Piazza (old), on the hill, and Breo (new), below. Good shops, cafes etc. Very well signposted. (May 2004). Index
MONTEBELLO VICENTINO (VENETO/VICENZA) - Piazza del Redentore, at start of town near sports field. Free parking and water/chem disposal. We were there on a Saturday, and it looked as though it may be noisy, so we parked in the adjoining cemetery carpark for the night - probably OK on weekdays. (June 2004) Index
MONZAMBANO (LOMBARDIA/MANTOVA) - Via Degli Alpini - Dedicated Motorcaravan site, run by local M/van club. Well signposted, gravel, level, services, quiet (even on Friday!). Illuminated. Electricity (although ours went off at midnight). 5E weekdays, 10E/day weekends - well worth it. (June 2004). Index
PAESANA (PIEMONTE/CUNEO) - Free parking by river Po. No services, but pretty location. Quiet, but the river seemed quite loud during the night, when everything else was silent. Nice town with facilities. (May 2004). Index
PASSO di COSTALUNGA (TRENTINO/TRENTO) - Free parking at pass. Beautiful scenery and walks. No facilities, but drinking water fountain nearby. Illuminated. Lots of traffic in day (motorbikes!), but very quiet at night. (June 2004). Index
PASSO FALZAREGO (VENETO/BELLUNO) - free parking by cable car. No facilities. Great walks, good base for climbing. Beautiful views. (June 2004). Index
PASSO PORDOI (TRENTINO/BOLZANO) - Free parking at cablecar carpark. No facilities. Beautiful surroundings, walks. (Good walk to German war cemetery). No illumination. Very quiet. (June 2004). Index
PINEROLO (PIEMONTE/TORINO) - Via Vecchia di Buriasco - free chem. disposal, but only one water tap, so drinking water doubtful. Well signposted. Parking possible, but I wouldn't recommend it. (May 2004). Index
PISOGNE (LOMBARDIA/BRESCIA) - Free parking outside Camping Eden, on edge of town. No facilities, but water available in supermarket carpark nearby. Hardstanding, no signposting. Lovely town with lakeside setting on north end of Lake Iseo. Railway line opposite, but not a problem (no expresses, no running at night). Nice walks by lake and behind town. (June 2004). Index
SAN DAMIANO MACRA (PIEMONTE/CUNEO) - Free parking in the police piazza. Drinking water by the side of the church. Lovely location in the Maira valley, up from Dronero, where there are motorcaravan facilities, though not quiet enough for overnight parking. (May 2004). Index
S.MICHELE DADIGE - Hotel Moser Carmela - small campsite at rear of hotel on main Trento road (noise from road and adjacent railway). Meals available at hotel. Clean toilet block , but showers cold!). Overnight stop only. 25000L inc. showers and electricity. (Sept 1999).
SOAVE (VENETO/VERONA) - Porto Bassano. Free parking by castle wall, with free water/chem disp. Shaded, local signposting. Nice town overlooked by castle, but road was noisy, so we didn't stay overnight. (June 2004). Index
STEZZANO (LOMBARDIA/BERGAMO) - Free motorcaravan parking in Via Mascagni. Easy to miss signpost for street, only local signpost for parking. Free water/chem disposal. Quiet, apart from being under Bergamo airport flight path! Pretty sanctuary just outside town. (May 2004). Index
VIPITENO - (TRENTINO ALTO ADIGE) - "Autocamp Sidobre" (0472 721791). Overnight park for both motorcaravans and caravans. Adjacent to "Top Stop" restaurant which has showers, laundry etc. Fresh water, waste facilities and electricity included in price. Ideal stopover before entering Austria. ET/Pleinair. 20000L/night. (May 2001).
ZIANO DI FIEMME (TRENTINO/TRENTO) - Free parking behind church, next to supermarket. No facilities, but village fountain just around corner. Very quiet, illuminated. Small town by the river Avisio. (June 2004). Index