Imposing monuments, ancient buildings, centuries of history, museums with some of the most valuable pieces of art in the world. Landscapes that vary from gorgeous beaches to the highest peaks of Europe. An incredible mix of culture, tradition, delicious cuisine, friendly people, and a heavenly climate.
It might sound too good to be true, but this European country is very real and it is called Italy. Of all the countries in the world, Italy has the greatest number of UNESCO Heritage sites. And a big camping adventure is one of the best ways to experience everything Italy has to offer.
Parking or Camping?
If you plan on touring Italy with your campervan, it’s important to know the distinction between these two terms. By Italian law, campervans are equal to cars.
If you stumble upon a “No camping allowed” sign somewhere in Italy, chances are you’ll still be able to park and sleep in your campervan. You can park pretty much everywhere as long as you stay within the marked lines. If you fail to do so, you will be fined.
And, as long as you don’t exceed your campervan’s perimeter (for instance, by using the levels to stabilize your van or opening a side window or canopy), you can even sleep right next to a famous tourist attraction.
In some places, you’ll see signs that say campers are not even allowed to park. Luckily, Italy is a camper-friendly country, so there aren’t many places like these.
Where Can I Camp in Italy?
From parking lots with basic camper service to luxurious camping gardens with countless facilities, there is no shortage of camping options in Italy. There is an increasing number of tourists arriving in Italy with their motorhomes, campervans, and caravans. You can camp in:
- Camping Villages
- Camper Stops
There are numerous camping villages in Italy that are specifically built for campervans, caravans, and tents. Like hotels, camping villages are classified with starts from one to five.
Every camping village has facilities such as electricity, communal kitchen, showers, toilets. If your budget allows for it, you can indulge in real luxury in an Italian camping village. Some have sports areas, spa centers, swimming pools, and entertainment for children.
Bigger camping villages have restaurants, bars, and supermarkets within their precincts. When searching for camping villages in Italy, the following websites can be of great help:
Wild Camping and Private Campgrounds
Generally, wild camping is not allowed in Italy. However, it is important to note that the rules regarding camping are regulated at a local level, so they can differ from place to place.
In the Dolomites, you are allowed to camp practically anywhere, although not in a tent. But this doesn’t mean you can’t hang a hammock!
In popular tourist areas, on the other hand, local authorities are always on the lookout for illegally set-up camps. Fines go up to five hundred euros.
There are also primitive campsites all over the country that consist of a meadow and very few amenities, if any. These usually open in spring and close in fall.
You are not out of options if you prefer more independent ways of tent camping. Many farmers in the mountains will allow you to set up a small tent on their property.
For a small fee, you’ll get a safe place to sleep, a chance to enjoy genuine local food, and a base for exploring the surrounding nature. The activities on offer may include horse-riding, kayaking, climbing, trekking, and swimming—it all depends on the location.
On an agricamping farm, you’ll have access to a hot shower, restroom, electricity, and, in some cases, communal kitchens.
Nearly every agricamping farm sells its own produce, locally grown, of course. Some farmers will even let you camp on their property for free, provided that you buy something from them.
Sites that allow you to find agrifarm camping spots include:
There’s also a site where Italian garden owners offer affordable campsites for tents, campervans, and caravans. The website offers you a unique way to meet locals.