When in Rome, or Venice or Naples
Trip Start Jan 01, 2008
45Trip End Sep 29, 2009
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We eventually found a site in Jesolo on the peninsular near Venice, which is also surprisingly touristy, I don't know why but when I thought of Venice I just picture the canals, but along the coast there are great beaches, very laid back and not to snobby people, just basically lots of Italians having thei summer holidays in a resort they only seem to know about.
We stayed for three days on the site in Jesolo, it was nice just to kick back, and as we were near to Venice it wasn't to much hassle to get a unlimited travel ticket and use the buses and ferries to get to the main drag. We had a great day in Venice it had been tempting to miss it out as people had said it was dirty, smelly and a rip off, but with our unlimited travel ticket we got to sail the grand canal all day which was something I had always wanted to do and just soak it all in, this time the hype lived up.
The weather was much better, just the occasional shower, its inspired Dad to stay on a extra week, great more daily camping showers! So the plan was for Dad to fly from Rome in another weeks time and we would head straight for the Naples area and use that for a base for the week.
The drive down to Naples was tough, it seems the Italians only camp near a beach, from the east coast to the west across seven hundred miles we didn't see another camp site, it did get quite stressful looking Dad doesn't like to travel to much as he has a bad leg and it quickly seemed like a bad idea to go so far. We eventually ended up all sleeping in the van that night after giving up looking around 10pm, at a truckers service station near Perugia, I was worried at first as we had never packed three people in the little van, but the upstairs bed area worked well enough and we piled the luggage on the front seats and for one night it seemed to work out fine.
When we got to Naples it felt we seemed destined never to find a camp site again, there seemed to be a basic stop we found in our camperstop book in Pompeii that maybe we could use as a base to explore the area before we found a proper site. As mentioned driving through Italy was hard work with the distance involved but the mountain ranges were stunning and held great promise for Naples, an area thats described as the most beautiful in the world, so we did not expect what was actually around. I guess as with all major tourist spots they have a chance of becoming tacky, but this was tacky mixed with poverty, I've honestly been to third world countries that are cleaner and felt safer, there was rubbish dumped in every available place on the roads, the shops were barred and guarded like small prisons, this was not a fun place to be.
We had actually been warned the ruins at Pompeii weren't up to much and Herculcneum was a much better option anyway, so after a quick look at the camper-stop which was just a heavily guarded car-park we quickly decided to move on.
Naples is a poor area granted, the bay is described as the most beautiful in the world, but with it comes poverty, I don't mind a urban setting, we lived in Manchester for six years so were use to the rough side, we again were warned not to free camp in the area as campers getting robbed was unfortunately common so at least it was good Dad was with us and we would get to camp in safety.
Thats if we could find a site! We drove up the mountains opposite Vesuvius towards the Amalfi coast, the climb gave us great views but it wasn't easy driving the Amalfi coast road was narrow and bendy and so steep there are again still no camp sites in sight. The day was getting on again and the though of two nights all together in the van left the nerves feeling a bit frayed!
The coastal road eventually flattened out near Salerno and there were at last the first set of campsites since the eat coast, Italians do love to sit at the beach at least we could count on that. The site we are on now is great so were just laying low, its cheap and cheerful, much better than most expensive sites we have stayed at which is usually the case if you don't mind it a bit rough round the edges, apart from the dogs its relatively quite. I would say the resort isn't particularly great and again its very local but with more of a run down bargain holiday feel, but its got all we need and will be a good base until we head back north drop Dad off in Rome and hit the sights of the west coast before heading to Switzerland.
Thats the rough plan anyway, these things usually change on route though, but for now were just dropping anchor and relaxing.