ITALY!

Monday, 6 June 2016

Our Inflatable Home - Italy
We have made it to Italy! After extending our stay in the south of France up to 10 days we thought it was about time we moved on to the next part of our adventure. We are now 5 weeks into this trip, wowzers!  
The journey out of the south of France and into Italy was…well…a little underwhelming. Expensive tolls and a small sign saying Welcome to Italy (or similar) and really bad roads - they really don’t spend any money on road maintenance, even on the toll roads! 
There was also some torrential rain to greet us which was a bit of a shock to the system after sunning ourselves for the past week. 
We decided our first stop in Italy would be near the Cinque Terre with the hope of exploring the north west coast a bit and perhaps a visit to Genova, a bit of a touristy area but a good start to explore the country. We pulled up at the planned campsite, a lovely Italian lady checked us in, making jokes about the rain and then told us it was an Italian bank holiday for the next 4 days… yippee. She then started being a bit vague with the pricing, apparently we had timed it that well that high season was starting tomorrow…at the beginning of June…lucky us. But not to worry as its only a couple of euros more a night and that will then take us up to €32 a night (!!). Prior to this we have been paying an average of €18 a night so it was a bit of a shock! We drove round to the pitch to find that it was pretty much flooded due to the amount of rain, had a quick look at the (lack of) facilities, noted that the motorway was running just above the campsite…and hot footed our way out of there. We bombed it down the motorway to a campsite we found on the ACSI app (highly recommend if camping out of season) where it was a little rough round the edges but perfectly fine for what we wanted - and at €17 a night we couldn’t complain! 
The rain still hadn’t stopped and trying to put a tent up in the rain is not much fun for anyone (except maybe the spectators who are nice and dry in their caravans). Things were just on the brink of exploding when a nice Dutch lady from the caravan opposite popped over to offer us a place to dry out, some tea, coffee and coconut macaroons. I could have cried with happiness!
Our Inflatable Home - Italy
Our Inflatable Home - Italy
The next day there was a break in the rain so we headed to see the Cinque Terre, we decided to go by boat to see the views from the sea - and so we didn’t get caught up in tourist train mainia on dry land (no cars allowed). It was nice, the afternoon was perfectly pleasant but I don’t think I’d recommend anyone to go out of their way to visit it (am I allowed to say that about a protected site?!). It’s just all bit too touristy - I know we are tourists too, but it was just a bit much. 
Our Inflatable Home - Italy
And then it rained and rained and rained for the remainder of our stay in this area. It got a little hairy at one point as we were camped on the other side of a ford running through the campsite which then rose so much it resembled more of a river and no one could leave until it went down. The Italian campsite owners were so relaxed about the whole thing though that I thought I might as well get my airbed out and have a trip down the river!
Our Inflatable Home - Italy
Our Inflatable Home - Italy
Sadly we didn’t get to see much more of this area due to the weather but we did make it out of the campsite without sending the car down the river and we have just arrived at our second Italian site not too far from Florence…where the sun is shining! Yippee! 
  

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