Thursday, 15 November 2018

Camping and Caravanning Club Escorted Tour Greece. Italy Part 2

We were soon setting off for our next destination and our first visit by camper to Italy. We had plotted a route to take in Pisa, a couple of days amongst olive trees en route to Rome. Four days in Rome and back across Italy to San Marino where we would join the "Escorted Tour" to Greece. We had given ourselves two weeks to travel through France and Italy.

The next morning we set off following a stunning drive through the mountains towards the Frejus Tunnel which would take us into Italy. We had decided to take the toll roads through France for an easier drive, an eye watering 58 euros later we were through the mountains into Italy. The site we were heading for was Camping Le Fonti near Asti, we had booked a one night stop. As it turned out the site was pretty quiet so we could have just rocked up, but at least we had a secure place for the night.

A terraced site but loads of room and easy to get in and out.

A nicely placed swimming pool which seemed warm. Loads of families in the camp chalets. Restaurant and bar. The food was quite nice. It was getting nicely warm with temperatures in the 30's we were pleased we had a bit of shade. We settled down to watch the arrival of a bunch of guys with military style vehicles who were camping opposite us.

Looked like they were enjoying themselves. Our one night stop was rapidly over  and we were off the next morning heading for the Leaning Tower at Pisa and a bit of tourism!

We had actually decided we would use the camper stop at Pisa but decided at the last moment that the campsite would be better if we could get in. Yes, there was room at the inn. We were rather relieved to arrive safely at Pisa as at one point we thought we would spend the rest of our lives driving in circles around Genoa. The road bridge had collapsed and the diversion signs were, entertaining to say the least. 

We were soon tucking up April under the trees and the temperature was rising. In fact it got to 32 C later in the day. Camping Torre Pendante turned out to be an excellent stop. A 15 minute stroll to see the Leaning Tower and village of Pisa. We strolled out, as we rounded the corner into the town we could see and hear the crowds. Holding up the tower via a selfie appeared to be the order of the day. We did manage to snatch a few pictures.

The queue to enter was huge, we decided the outside view was better than the inside hike and gave it a miss. We had a peek into the Cathedral of Santa Marie Assunta

I have to admit that the architecture was fabulous..... it was just so busy. We gave up and went for a beer. We had done Pisa! Not sure if I would like to return but it was an experience!

 We left Pisa fairly early for a longish drive to our next stop Orvieto. We were getting the hang of Italian motorists and feeling more confident. Again, a stunning drive. I had not realised that Italy was so mountainous with tiny villages hanging on to the side of huge hills. We had booked into Il Falcone for 3 nights for a bit of rural isolation before we tackled Roma. We managed to stock up in the very good local supermarket in Orvieto which we also visited on the way out.

In the mountains with views to die for! Looking towards Rome.

The campsite was in the olive groves, up a mountain on a long windy track. There was a swimming pool, snack bar and the people were very friendly. It's really strange that if you have a choice of pitches on an empty site it takes ages to find the ideal pitch. We shuffled around a few times avoiding low branches till we were happily settled in. We had just finally set up when there was a huge storm. Thunder, lightening, the works. At that point the temperature had risen to 35 C so I guess it was inevitable. Great place to view a storm though you could see it across the valley. Even better, it was all over and dried up pretty quickly too.

Washing done, finally.

Awning out. We were fed, watered and happy. Time to try the local brew. The Orvieto white wine was really very nice, we tried a few bottles. Not all at once!

The camp pool was beautiful, although not much shade.

All in all, we thought this was a great place to chill out for a few days,which we did. The terraced mountain climb to the bar provided some exercise!

This site is definitely on the list for a return visit.

A short dash cam leaving the site.

Next stop "The Eternal City".

We had booked Rome. Happy Village Camping. It was really quiet there with loads of empty pitches. The attraction for us was the shuttle bus to the station for Rome.There was a restaurant, where we ate twice and a swimming pool with a good clean toilet block. We pitched on a large space with plenty of shade. It was hot, hot, HOT! Rising to 38 C at one point.

We had bought a Roma Pass in advance which really paid for itself. It gave us free public transport and "queue jumping" at major sites. The camp shuttle bus ran regularily between the campsite and Prima Porta station. From there it was a short trip into Flaminio and all the major sites. We spent three full days "doing Rome", seeing all the major sites and some minor ones too. We made full use of the "Hop On, Hop Off, bus. We walked miles, but Rome was very hot and very busy. A pity the Pope was in Dublin we missed him. Seriously, Rome has to be on the agenda if you visit Italy.

A small selection of our pictures.

We were so pleased the Omni Pass allowed us to queue jump.

Heaving with tourists at the Trevi Fountain. Not a pleasant experience but glad we took the trouble to find it!

The shops on the road leading to the Spanish Steps were fantastic with prices to match.

Guess where? We did actually go in for a look around.

Spot the main attractions! No prizes.

After 4 nights in Rome we were shattered. It was a great experience and I think another time we would go back to explore some of the sites off the main tourist attractions. Time to leave Rome.

We had one more stop on the way to San Marino. Perugia, Il Rocolo. We had plenty of food on board which was just as well, as the campsite was just winding down for the winter and the restaurant was closed. The site was very quiet but well placed. We had a nice flat pitch amongst the trees with beautiful views.It was a very peaceful place.

Beautiful views from this site. 

There was also a lovely pool though not open.
I didn't try the water but enjoyed the sun!

We spent a peaceful night our next stop would be San Marino and we would be meeting the rest of the happy campers, who were being escorted to Greece! Should be entertaining.

1 comment:

  1. What an engaging post for holiday-makers! Italy has been the first choice of travellers who plan their family or romantic vacation. It has a plethora of enchanting destinations to explore and create memories for life. I visited Italy a few years ago with two of my best friends and had an amazing experience. I should thank the agency who helped us get the Italy Visa in a matter of days. That helped us to focus on our trip rather than running here and there.