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Traveling by Camper

For camping enthusiasts, the camper has became a lifestyle – a travel approach that, in Italy, regards approximately 5.6 million tourists (annually), including Italians and foreigners both.
A camper vacation invites travelers to escape from the usual, well-trodden itineraries of mass tourism, and instead to discover the magic of undiscovered Italy: its borgoes, pristine nature, evocative landscapes and ancient traditions (all without, however, denying one’s desire for both convenience and creature comforts). 

Camper on Lake Garda

The practice of a traveling in a motor home creates a flexibility without parallel, allowing the planning of customized itineraries that can also be modified at any time; those in campers can organize a “slow” and easy vacation, or depart at the last minute, in any season, completely independent of the traditional rules on when, where, and how to go on vacation. 

From the peaks of the Dolomites in Trentino-Alto Adige to magnificent Sicilian beaches, Italy is ideal for those who want to go on a “camper” vacation with family or friends (including those with four paws). With all this flexibility, and all the wonders of the Bel Paese – 7,458 kilometers (4,634 miles) of gorgeous coastline, art cities, marvelous mountain localities, 24 national parks and 47 UNESCO World Heritage Sites – a camping vacation is a possibility 365 days a year. 

For those looking for direct contact with nature, Italy’s national parks and their well-equipped camping facilities make for an unmissable destination and  excellent occasion to explore the incredible biodiversity that characterizes the entire Peninsula. Furthermore, it is sometimes possible to combine a journey by camper with a stay in an agritourism. 

The only preparation necessary is to pack your bags and go off in search the colors, perfumes, and tastes of the countless fascinating traditions that only Italy can offer.

The Camper’s Vade Mecum

Rest stops and parking grounds for campers and trailers number at about 1,870 throughout the country. They are located just outside campsites, and are divided between “equipped,” “camper services,” “parking lots (not equipped),” and integrated areas.

Circulation and Stops
In Italy, campers are equal to other vehicles. The governing regulations can change according to the zoning type (historic centers, hospital areas) or according to particular road conditions or structures, but generally they apply to all drivers.

Free Stops: Campers that inhabit rest stops – on the autostrada or other roads - are not allowed to pose anything on the ground besides their own wheels, and cannot occupy any space other than that required for the camper itself. Stepping-stools, awnings, tables or chairs are not permitted. As long as these rules are followed, stays as long as one night are allowed. 
Individual Communes or municipalities also have the right to issue further specific ordinances for campers (including bans on entry) given particular needs. It is advised that campers consult local authorities on rules and regulations in order to avoid fines, penalties and other sanctions. 

In Autostrada: In service areas and parking lots on the Autostrada, it is advised to stay for one night, but not for an entire camping trip. In fact, the maximum time allowed per motor home is 24 hours. 

Discharge of Water Waste: The law explicitly forbids the discharge of organic residues in streets, fields or manholes. Rather, all discharge goes in the appropriate disposal installations; otherwise, any violation will be followed by sanctions. 

Useful Information

Useful Information

Categories of Camper Zones

Pit-Stops: in these zones only brief stops or stops overnight are allowed. No services. 

Camper Services: this is just a service area and is not equipped for any other kind of stop. It is outfitted with drinking water, drainage facilities, water nozzles and electrical outlets. 

Equipped Zones: this type of stop is best for longer stays and offers a series of services, including water loading and unloading, picnic areas, showers, toilets, electrical outlets, touristic information, and a range of other provisions to render a more practical and pleasant stay. 

Integrated Zones: Stop zones for campers will sometimes come in a form that is integrated into other types of structures, such as hotels, campsites, agritourisms and even shopping centers.