Across Italy

Sunday 6th October

We left the campsite and drove across the Alps. We took a windy road tup the mountains to avoid the motorway and the Tunnel de Frejus. You need a mortgage to pay the toll there. The tunnel is 8 miles long. I remember when we took it back in 2014, on our way to Mongolia, we nearly had a heart attack at the cost for two motorbikes! 

So this time we took the small and narrow mountain road and climbed toward the mountain pass along the Mont Cenis. This road ( among few others candidates!) claims to be the pass used by Hannibal and his conquering armies and elephants, back in 218 BC, during the second Punic war. 

We saw several villages with statues of elephants to commemorate this event. At that time the local Gauls tribes, enslaved and defeated by the Romans, would have helped Hannibal through his journey. 

Then at some point, without warning,  we found ourselves down in Italy. The road was still narrow and we were going slowly. Eventually we reached the outskirts of Turin where we found a campsite in the middle of nowhere. 

The campsite was quite busy, mainly with germans and few Swiss or Deutsch. 

Monday 7th October

We had another long day driving. The roads in Italy are in horrendous conditions. In Spain at least the cash from Europe has been well used to build an amazing infrastructure. In Italy, maybe it was siphoned by the mafia! In any case the tarmac is very bad. 

The northern part of Italy is supposed to be the rich industrial one, but the section we saw from our non Toll roads were saying a different story. 

Crossing all the industrials and Activity zones, we saw plenty of abandoned factories and office blocs, decaying and vandalised. Many shops closed and crumbling buildings. The farms and houses did not look much better and all had a sort of unkept scruffy air to it. The economy is certainly not in great shape and outside the big cities and luxury villas, it shows! 

Another sight that surprised me was to see plenty of hookers by the side of the roads in the middle of nowhere in the countryside! I had not seen any since crossing Poland many years ago! 

Eventually we reached our destination, the shore of Lake Garda. 

The first campsite was mobbed, was huge and not looking that great so we settled in a small one, near the village of Peschiera del Garda. The place was also rather busy, with the usual scruffy look but with good facilities. The whole town was overrun by Germans, old or young. Entire German  schools must have had  a program of some sort going on, as flocks of German teenagers were everywhere! 

Once settled, we went for a walk along the lake to the fortified village.

Tuesday 8th of October

We spent the day exploring the old town. It was beautiful. At last the weather was dry and occasionally sunny! 

We decided to try a local the local cuisine at lunchtime. My pizza was ok. My homemade pizza is far superior! 

Weds. 9th October

We packed camp and drove to a campsite in mainland Venice. The campsite was well located to take a bus to Venice. Most importantly the buses accept dogs! Result! 

Thurs. 10th Oct.

We took the bus in the morning and spent the day exploring Venice. It was as still completely mobbed! It must horrendous during summer time!

We had a walk, we could not get into museums, churches or palaces with the dog. Not that I was tempted! We have all the museums and art we need in London and entry is free!

To find all the campsites I invested in the ACSI card. I paid less than 12 pounds for it and it provides discounts on many campsites. It also comes with two books listing and describing  thousands of campsites all around Europe involved in this program! Best investment ever, as we pay considerably less than the full price! So those two books and the card have become very useful to plan our next stops. 

Scruffy was not too keen on getting in a gondola!