Just Swanning Around

Swanning around with the new born cygnets.

24th to 30th April

Venice a Jewel

Having fled the bad weather, we really enjoyed the glory that is Venice, we decided as the weather in northern Italy was good we would take advantage. This is to us what gives motorhome life its real edge, the ability to change your mind and just swan about, seeing new places and having new adventures. At the same time realising, as I write this in five weeks we will have finished this adventure. The end is nigh so we intensify the trip!

Now more than ever, every day counts, and we still have so much to see and do before then. We left Venice and

The UNESCO charter for Vicenza

consulting out Camper Contact app found a cheap Aire in the UNESCO city of Vicenza it was approximately a fifteen minute walk to the heart of the town. As you all may know by now Elddis set us a challenge to visit as many UNESCO sites as possible on the route home, in Italy this is not very hard. This town is famous for its Palladian buildings all designed by a local architect called you guessed it Mr Palladio. This style was copied all over the world even our hometown Greenwich has a Palladian building in the ‘Queens House’. So enough UNESCO, the town itself was very accessible and a day or two to see its glories would be enough. We were unlucky in that the Rotunda was closed on the day we decided to go and have a look.

The Rotunda on a closed day Vicenza. UNESCO central

We were lucky enough to meet a fellow traveller who sat and chatted over an Aperol Spritz with us as we watched the locals have their ‘Passeggiata’ an evening walk wearing all their finery. Mary was a wealth of knowledge, and we enjoyed whiling away the time, sharing stories and watching the world go by.

Via di Nani Vicenza
The Walls of Soave

The next day it was back on the road to enjoy one of our major loves, wine tasting! We stopped at a most amazing Aire only €5 a night with electric and Wi-Fi all less then a five minute walk from the centre of charming walled town of Soave. Here the bars serve the locally produced Soave, whites and the luscious Valpolicella reds at great value prices. We were lucky that the young ladies at the two vineyards we visited in the town were enamoured with London so we had a

Walking into Soave they hang books here.

very good tasting session. As we were parked for the night all good. To all of you lovely motorhomers out there the Aire is great the town is lovely stop off. That said get on site early before 2.00 pm as it fills up.

The vines that make the grapes that make the wine in Soave!
Another 2 bottles bought in Soave.
Our home in Verona don’t believe all the reviews.

The next morning with clear heads we set off for Verona of Romeo and Juliet fame and yes another UNESCO world heritage site. We have been asked many times about security and are Aires safe? Verona presented a problem in that the Aire we had picked again a ten to fifteen minute walk to the centre of town had a string of very bad reviews, all of them speaking of break-ins to vans on the site. So we were thinking of giving it a miss, we then noticed one from lovely people we had met in Spain Kath & James, their blog is well worth a read  here Their review was very positive so we reread all

The Arena at Verona, Opera all summer.

the bad ones, they were grouped together over three days. This went to show that yes you can be robbed, but if your luck is out it is out all of the vans were robbed on one day. So with trepidation we set off, the Aire was like most with many cameras covering the site and it was nearly full. We parked up and visited the town,  this we would love to visit during the Opera festival and taking an opera. The town is lovely but was crowded and we were getting museumed out again. More gelato was tried and it is so good here, but time again to get back to nature

Who is this bloke that Karen likes? Verona

and relax a bit. What I am trying to say here is read the reviews, but do not be dominated by them. If you get robbed you will write a bad review on the other hand, if nothing happens, you probably will not. Now we are now attempting to review all the sites we stayed at, not only on the blog but on Camper Contact, Park4night and ACSI. If you like a place, please you too write a review it helps all of us who love to travel.  End of rant!

And what sort of day did I have?
You think you had a tough day in the office.
Cathedral in Verona.
from the tower in Verona
The lovers balcony at Verona
Juliet in Verona
Verona city of love.
Along Lake Garda

We are really getting into the swing of Italy now and love the food and the people, even if the driving is a little mental. We set off again for the lakes and one in particular a favourite of my dad, Lake Garda. We picked an ACSI campsite for its size as well as its ratings we wanted something small near cycle routes, as we have not done much for a while. La Palme fitted the bill to a tee, compact and good ratings. We have been here for four nights and have had two days of rain, Ahhhhh, but we have had two lovely days too for the Bank Holiday weekend. Where did all these people come

Spritz! X 2 heven in the sun.

from?? On Wednesday, the site was virtually empty and tonight as I write this, it is full, and they mostly seem to come from Germany. The lake is idyllic, and there is so much to see and do in the area. From walking, cycling, boating, there are theme parks, it really is great fun. We have cycled north and south in fact managing to clock up over 70kms over the four days plus many lovely walks.  There are so many birds in the area, the cacophony of sound from them at all hours never ceases to give pleasure. We have seen swan chicks in the nest and duck sitting on their eggs the circle of life never stops.

Garda marina.
The town of Garda from the golf club. Aperol Spritz required!

The setting is magic and the gelato is top notch, speaking of which my gelato challenge has been going well. So many flavours tested on your behalf. The coconut and passion fruit today were really lip smacking, but Chocolate seems to always draw me back.

The view during the day of Lake Garda.
Sunset at Camping La Palme

This has however created a new issue for me, In Spain every pharmacy had a weighing scale, we have not seen any in Italy until today. Very, very bad news my gelato challenge has added more weight to my already stocky frame and sadly am now 2 kilos heavier then when we left the UK.  

Can I please keep this boat? Only €300 an hour to hire!

So  the diet starts now, oh dear so that means that as long as we are in Italy it is straight to dessert, gelato first in my view. We hope you guys all had a great Bank Holiday wherever you are.

Our Route This week


  1. Glad she liked Verona. We loved it too. As you are in the lakes, do try get to Largo de iseo- there is a campsite just outside the main town on the south and you can actually pitch your motorhome right on the Lakeside. Take the boat bikes to the island in the middle – a really nice day out. We did a bike ride around the island, stopping every bar.
    I know you are short of time, but if you can, really do get up into the Dolomites. We think they are the most beautiful place we have ever been.

    • I’d have to check the blog, but there was a dearth of wild spots. We did pay for a couple of overnight carparks… one was next to a jeep ride up the mountain: a walk around the top and a via ferrata (not for us!), but you could still see the WW1 trenches and rusty barbed wire … just checked our blog from end Sept … Monte Piano. Think the car park was about EUR12 overnight – no services.

      Oh and Passo Falzarego and the Lagazuoi cable car not far from Cortina are worth doing. Stayed in a free aire S of Cortina … sorry forget where. Enjoy – we’ll be back there this Autumn – if we can bear the cold!

  2. Wow! Souave is the kin of place I’d like to visit….looks fab and very cultural. Glad Italy is starting to work out better for you guys…..

    Take care! Cordiali Saluti e forza Pompey!

  3. Great to read you are so positive about Italy! I am dreading the moment you are going to be back home too, no more blogposts…

    • We will have the joys of writing about getting back to normal life too. We also want to keep the story alive by helping other Gappers!

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