Summer and winter camping is a wonderful way to explore Italy, irrespective of the weather conditions. For sports enthusiasts, families who want a vacation close to nature and adventurous travelers who prefer to just pitch a tent and explore the local area, Italy’s campsites are undoubtedly among the very best in Europe.
Italy’s leading winter campsites are situated in the Dolomites and the Alps, where you can truly experience the magnificence of nature while still enjoying access to all the on-site conveniences. Remember, that modern campsites have come a long way in recent years, so you will have free wi-fi, bathroom facilities, an on-site restaurant, nearby activities and much besides.
Camping can mean different things. In the United States, many National and State Parks have campsites that you can rent. The campsites in the State Parks can be quite inexpensive. Many of these sites are very basic and will not offer any services or security. You are likely to encounter wild animals during your stay.
I camp once a year with my friends at Stokes State Forest in New Jersey. We have done it for almost 15 years. We typically book a Lean 2 and a few regular camp sites where we pitch our tents. We use the Lean 2 as a storage and a place to crash if it starts raining heavily or snowing. We have encountered bears many times during our stay. Telephone connection can be very spotty.
The campsites that are listed below have many different camping options. Many of them have places where you can park your campervan, or places where you can pitch a tent. They also have motel type rooms with bathrooms for solo travelers or family. All of them have all the facilities that you might have at home including laundry rooms, sauna or game rooms. These campsites are not for the hardcore or experienced campers, but more for the casual or intermediate camper.
The Best Campsites In The Italian Alps.
The following are the best winter campsites in the Italian Alps:
This camping resort is situated in a magnificent Alpine valley that is surrounded by majestic, snow-capped peaks. The family-run camping resort is conveniently located just a few minutes from the center of the nearby town of Gressoney Saint Jean as well as numerous hiking trails and sites of natural beauty. Pets are welcome throughout the camp so if you’re traveling with your furry friend you’ll have no problems!
The campsite has 120 pitches for tents, caravans and RVs, all of which have access to electric charging points. There are also 30 rental bungalows, apartments and mobile homes on site for people who want to enjoy all the comforts of home while out in the Alpine wilderness. If you want to relax on-site, you can visit the pool and wellness center where you’ll find a sauna and thalassotherapy.
The camping ground has an on-site bar, an ice depot, a children’s playground, fridge rental services, a launderette and a bike rental center. You can also play football, table tennis and volleyball on-site. In the surrounding areas, you can take part in kayaking, water skiing, horse riding, golf, fishing, Alpine skiing, snowboarding and even white water rafting.
Situated at over 1000 meters above sea level near the commune of Temu, this beautiful site has 70 pitches for tents, caravans and RVs as well as luxury lodges and private chalets. All of the pitches have 3A electricity connections and you can choose between a shady or a sunny spot. The entire site is accessible for visitors with limited mobility.
The site has internet, modern toilet facilities, a baby changing area, a bar, a restaurant, a snack bar and a convenience store, all of which are heated during the winter months. The site also has fridge rental services, a launderette, a propane depot, a meeting room, a children’s play area, a private pool and a wellness area.
Camping Presanella has a great range of on-site leisure activities that include table football, pool, card games and a television room. For more active pursuits you can take part in horse riding, golf, mini golf, fishing, skiing and snowboarding.
Surrounded by gorgeous valleys and pristine forests that are crisscrossed with hiking and biking trails, Camping Tunnel International is one of the region’s top sites that attracts visitors from all over the world. Just a short trip from the Swiss border, Camping Tunnel International has over 90 pitches that are available for tents, caravans and RVs.
The well-equipped camping site has its own on-site bar, restaurant, snack bar, takeaway meals, ice depot, launderette, toilet facilities and a meeting room. Camping Tunnel International has a private pool, a hydromassage facility, a children’s paddling area as well as table tennis, a library and a video and television room.
There are numerous activities to take part in during your stay at Camping Tunnel International including rock climbing, golf, fishing, kayaking, skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing and mountain biking.
The Best Campsites In The Dolomites.
The following are the best winter campsites in the Italian Dolomites.
This gorgeous campsite is open all year round and is located in the stunning valleys of the Dolomites, near Roncegno Terme in Trentino-South Tyrol. With 15 flat pitches and delightful surroundings, the camp is just 800 meters from a river and a 7 km walk from a lovely mountain lake. Ideal for pitching a tent, the Agritur Montibeller also allows campervans and RVs to book a site.
The site has superb on-site facilities that include an outdoor barbeque area, a top quality restaurant, free wi-fi and a launderette. There is also a pool and wellness center with a private sauna and spa bath. While you’re staying at Agritur Montibeller you can take part in a wide range of activities such as guided horse riding, 10-pin bowling, golf, mini golf, mountain biking as well as fishing or windsurfing in the nearby lake.
Agritur Montibeller has a range of rooms and apartments for those who prefer not to pitch a tent and pets are always welcome on the site. Agritur Montibeller is a wonderful winter retreat that is well suited to families, couples and solo travelers who want to spend some time at the foot of the spectacular Dolomites while still having easy access to many of the comforts of home.
Situated in the upper Val di Zoldo in the very heart of the magical Dolomites, Camping Palafavera sits at a remarkable 1500 meters above sea level at the foot of a huge mountain known locally as the ‘Throne of God’! The region was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009 and offers visitors the chance to ski in the Dolomites, walk on countless hiking trails and experience the pristine pastures and forests that surround the campsite.
Despite the campsite’s remote location it’s easy to access from Venice by catching a train and then a local bus to the site. The camping pitches all have electricity and guests can make use of free showers, laundry facilities, a heated ski boot storage area, a 5 a-side soccer pitch and a volleyball court.
The campsite has a wide range of activities on offer which includes hiking, climbing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, horse riding and mountain biking. There is also an outdoor play area for children as well as an indoor games room, bar, restaurant and a takeaway food hut. The site has more than 200 pitches and can accommodate tents as well as caravans and RVs. Pets are welcome at this campsite which is open all year round.
Hidden away in the wilderness, near the beautiful village of Sesto in South Tyrol, is the incredible Caravan Park Sexton. A genuine slice of heaven, the park contains a 5-star campsite, treehouses, lodges and the Resort Patzenfeld, an on-site hotel with rooms, suites and apartments. The park has over 250 pitches for tents, caravans and RVs, free WiFi everywhere, electric charging points, modern toilet facilities and a separate baby-changing room.
The well-equipped campsite has its own bar, restaurant, children’s playground, a small supermarket and a snack bar that offers takeaway meals. You can also make use of the on-site launderette, rent a fridge or hire a bike to explore the surrounding countryside. If you want to relax, you can swim in the pool or visit the wellness center where you’ll find a sauna, spa, beauty care and thalassotherapy.
For more active guests, Caravan Park Sexton has a great range of activities to try, including table tennis, horse riding, climbing, minigolf, fishing, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking and cross-country skiing. During your quieter moments, you can visit the on-site cinema, practice your painting and join guided trips to different attractions in the area.
The site is open all year round and is fully accessible for people with limited mobility.
Wild Camping With A Campervan In Italy.
Technically speaking, it’s illegal to wild camp, or ‘campeggio libero’, anywhere in Italy. This rule applies to you whether you are camping in a tent or in a campervan. If you are caught wild camping in your campervan or in a tent you could face a fine of between 100 to 500 Euros.
However, these regulations are not uniformly enforced and so it largely depends on where you are stopping off for the night. Police, and local authorities, regularly patrol beaches and coastal areas in search of people who are wild camping in both campervans and tents; so, it’s certainly wise to avoid stopping off in these parts of the country.
On the other hand, if you stay for a night in an inland area then you shouldn’t really have too many problems. In fact, in many inland areas, both the local authorities and inhabitants are fairly tolerant if you just stay for a night or two. But, you shouldn’t rely on this!
There are exceptions to these rules though. For instance, if you’re driving and you break down then you are allowed to spend the night where you’ve broken down to wait until you can get some help to fix up your vehicle.
Similarly, if you’re driving in a rural area and can’t get to a campsite before dark, you are allowed to stop off for the night. This is so that you don’t have to drive through the narrow rural roads at night; something which can obviously be dangerous, particularly in a campervan or RV. If you do have to stop off for the night you should pull off the road and park somewhere safe otherwise you could be fined for illegal parking.
Another option if you’re looking for somewhere to park in your caravan is to ask local farmers or landowners. This is absolutely legal although you may need to pay a modest fee to say thank you. Most farmers are open to this type of request so if you’re stuck and can’t find a nearby camping ground it’s always worth keeping in mind.
Camping Is A Great Way To Discover Rural Italy.
Although most people think of Italy, and camping, as a summer vacation, in Italy you can stay in luxurious sites with all the conveniences you could need to enjoy yourself in summer and winter. In fact, many of the country’s top winter camping sites are just as busy in the winter as they are in the summer, with nearby activities such as skiing and snowboarding to try.
Modern campsites have superb facilities and so even if the weather is cold you’ll still be warm and cozy at night. You can also eat in the on-site restaurant, have a drink in the bar or watch a movie in the cinema room. The sites are also child friendly and have plenty of things to keep your kids busy on vacation, including table tennis, horse riding and heated pools to swim in.
All in all, a winter or summer camping vacation in Italy is a truly unforgettable experience that will allow you to marvel at the spectacular natural beauty while spending quality time with your loved ones.