Italy, France, Belgium and back - sites and aires we used

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by magicsurfbus, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    Day 1: Late ferry, Calais Marina aire (7 Euros)
    Day 2: Seurre aire (free), SE of Dijon, next to River Saone. Limited marked bays down a small lane but with 'overflow' parking in lay-by opposite with grassy area in front. Worth a quick walk round the town, and a short trot up to the lock where huuuuge barges pass through from time to time.
    Day 3: Montgenevre aire (10 euros, pay on exit) on the border with Italy - at 1850 metres the lowest of the Alpine passes, but involves traversing the Col de Lauteret at 2000m. Don't do it if you don't like hairpin bends, driving in low gear, and sheer roadside drops. Do do it if you like impressive scenery and challenging driving. Aire has 220 places, we were one of four MHs parked there. The service point is fully winterised to avoid freezing. This aire is clearly aimed at winter sports enthusiasts.
    Day 4: Lucca area da sosta 'Il Serchio' (25 Euros) - tried two others with no luck, one was marked out as a car park and full of cars, and the other had a fun fair on it. For the price this spot wasn't up to much but we had no alternative. Tiny hedged pitches too short for MHs to fit, and the so-called '15 minute walk' to the town centre is pure fantasy. Basic campsite features - we made do.
    Day 5 - 9: Camping Nube d'Argento, Sorrento (30 euros a night) - like most places in the area, it clings to a steep slope and the access is very tight. Fully-featured shady campsite within easy reach of town centre. Fairly noisy from traffic on coast road above, but Sorrento is noisy. Never more so than when the Naples Chapter of the Harley Davidson owner's club are holding a weekend meet in the area(!)Shorter walk downhill to the older fishing village part of the town, for eateries. Liked it, would use it again. In our time there we visited Positano (bus in, ferry out), Capri (ferries), and Herculaneum (train).
    Day 10 - 12: Camping Village Flaminio, NE Rome (31 Euros a night) - a real gem, and hardly any other Brits there (probably because it's not in the CCC's Holy Book). Long thin site well set back from the main road into Rome, shady pitches, shuttle service to the entrance and back, nearby supermarket, bus stop outside, station a short walk away, tickets available on site, excellent facilities including piped classical music in the bogs (I kid you not) and very convenient for day trips into the City. Spot on - for a campsite.
    Day 13: Parking area on the Via del Province, Siena (free) - featured on the CCI website, basically a car park shared by cars and MHs that tolerates overnight stopovers. No service point, bus stop nearby, but you can't buy tickets on the bus, and have to get them from a nearby Tabachi in advance. Personally I thought Siena was a bit overrated as a town, but the Duomo has to be seen to be believed.
    Day 14: Area di Sosta Santa Chiara, San Gimignano (22 Euros) - situated outside the town but with shuttle bus included in the price, Basic campsite style facilities, friendly welcome, lively bus drivers, good value for money. On the way to San G we visited Monteriggioni, which is a small hilltop village with a medieval wall all round it - a sort of mini Carcassonne. You can stop overnight in their car park for no more than 6 Euros and it's a lot quieter and pleasanter than the Siena parking area. Quite a few MH owners use this spot overnight then commute back into Siena the next morning.
    Day 15: Back to Montgenevre aire (see above) - this time we were the only MH up there - makes you feel a bit isolated at night.
    Day 16 - 17: Camping du Lac, Dijon - there's an aire at the entrance to the site for 10 Euros with EHU thrown in, but for only five more euros you can have a grassy pitch away from the busy road bridge and with showers thrown in, so we went for that. Used to be the Municipal site but it flooded last Spring and may be under new ownership. Dijon is a lovely city, with shops galore, a huge market on Tuesdays, and easy bike access from the campsite - don't just pass it by.
    Day 18 - 20: Camping Jeugstadion, Ypres (Ieper) (12 Euros a night) - basic municipal site about a mile from the Menin Gate but your pitch is your own so you can use it as a base for visiting other places. If you're on the WWI trail, definitely visit the Cloth Hall's 'In Flanders Fields' Museum. A Remembrance ceremony is held every night at 8pm at the Menin Gate. We also went to Tyne Cot Cemetery, the Passchendaele 1917 Memorial Centre in Zonnebeke, then drove back into France to The Canadian Memorial Centre at Vimy. A very moving two days all told, but everyone should do it.
    Day 21: Calais Port Aire (7 Euros) travelling via La Coupole at Wizernes, which is a museum based in an underground V2 launching facility, and a unique site.
    Day 22: Home, and another 3300 mile on the MH mileometer. An excellent trip all round - thanks again to those Funsters who offered tips and advice on some of the stopovers when we were planning it all.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
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  2. Rapide561

    Rapide561 Read Only Funster

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    Tour

    Thanks for the listings. We avoid Italian sostas as they are often more expensive than sites!

    The Siena one might be useful though although last time we went there we stayed on an ACSI site and got a bus to Siena

    Russell
     
  3. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    In hindsight I wish we'd stopped overnight at Monteriggioni then got up early enough to drive the short distance to Siena, find a free day parking spot at Via del Province, then caught the bus into the centre.
     
  4. lorger

    lorger Funster

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    Thanks for the report we actually stay at the Aire in Dijon a couple of years back and loved the town, they also had quite a few boats up near the campsite don't know what there called but was nice to watch folk out on them.
     
  5. kglblue

    kglblue Funster

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    Aires

    Loved your Aire today and gone tomorrow on YouTube. A great little film.
    Regards
    Kenneth
     
  6. JOHNSTEY

    JOHNSTEY Read Only Funster

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    We did your days 18-20 exactly the same in May this year! Very moving.
     
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