Giro d’Italia: Report of Simon Coene and Marianne Maathuis of their tour
The pleasurable anticipation of a holiday starts with us and specially with Simon, very early. The caravan has not put away for the winter or the ideas rise and rise and rise…. Our first acquaintance with Italy was a naturist holiday at Terra Nera in June 2005.
We enjoyed very much the beautiful surroundings and the many fascinating cities, which we visited. With pleasure we remember the delicious wine and olive oil of Paolo’s agriturismo which we took with us to The Netherlands. It was quite clear to us that we should spent our honeymoon, one year later, in Italy and specially in Toscana and Florence (Firenze).
Because Italy is a big country and we have not visited all over Italy, we made an ambitious plan to make a long tour through Italy with the caravan and visit almost all naturist camping sites.
Club Le Betulle
May 9th we went on holiday with our new caravan.
The first camping which we visit was Le Betulle in La Cassa. This camping was familiar to us, because we stayed here in 2007 for a short holiday, invited by Gianfranco Ribolzi. Unfortunately the weather was not very nice, each day we had showers but also dry periods with sun, so that we could play tennis in the nude, which was very delightful. The sauna and the pleasant delicious meals, together with a group of Swiss, Dutch and Italian people, made us forget the bad weather.
From La Cassa we visited several times the beautiful city of Turin (Torino) and we walked through the National Park Parco Regionale La Mandria.
Club Naturista Il Costalunga
Gianfranco advised us to take the touristic route to Club Naturista Il Costalunga in Sassello and so we did. It was a nice road, sometimes narrow and winding, so that it was difficult for us to avoid the racing cyclist who were riding a cycling tour on that same road! As we experienced earlier our navigation system sometimes let us down in finding the right destination and specially camping sites.
So we were standing on a little narrow road where it was not possible to turn and where you have to take the caravan from the car to go back. Yet this kind of often dangerous situations, have made our trip sometimes frightening.
But on the other hand we experienced that the Italians are very helpful and that they often escort you to the right destination. We even get a piece of warm homemade pizza in our hands! At Costalunga Eugenio en Rosetta and their guests received us with open arms.. We arrived at Sunday and at the end of the afternoon all the guests were leaving so we were the only guests at the camping. The weather became nice and very sunny. Rosetta and Eugenio were working very hard in repairing the damage of the last winter and improving the facilities at the swimming pool.
We enjoyed this lovely camping, the beautiful nature and the sun, the nice village of Sassello and we made a daytrip to Genua (Genova).
Club Naturista Ca’ Le Scope
After Costalunga the trip went to Club Naturista Ca’ Le Scope, high in the Apennines. And again we had problems in finding the right road to our destination.
But most of the Italians, who live in the neighbourhood of a naturistic camping, know how to find the site, even so the driving instructions are of a very poor quality!
So with the help of some Italian road workers we finally find our destination. The owners of the camping are two Dutch couples, Harry & Carla, Wim & Lia, which made the conversation for us very easy. When we arrived at the camping we get a warm welcome from them, Wim showed us around the camping so we could find a place to put our caravan.
Because the roads at the camping are narrow and winding the caravans of the guests are brought to the place and taken away by Harry or Wim. Here we realized that a stay of 3 nights per camping will be very hectic that’s why we decided to change the schedule of the trip and to take more time for each stay. We stayed here longer, we were doing nothing at a lazy way, we read, made some walks and we visited Bologna by train and Modena by car.
The public transport is comfortable and cheap. This camping has a small swimming pool, a camping shop, a restaurant where we had several times delicious diners. Camping Italgest Sant’Archangelo Our next naturistic destination was Pizzo Greco at Isola di Capo Rizzuto.
To get there we have to stay at two not-naturistic camping sites. Because of fascinating places of interest we choose for Camping Italgest at Sant’Archangelo at the Lago di Trasimeno and camping Santa Fortunata in Sorrento. From Lago di Trasimeno we made daytrips to Assisi, Perugia and Orvieto. We think that Assisi with the big Cathedral and the Medieval centre, beautiful situated in the landscape, is a picturesque view. In Perugia we have only looked at the interesting buildings from the outside, because they were all closed.
But by walking around we had a good impression of this city. On the other hand, we looked at the Dom in Orvieto, inside and outside, and especially the face of the Dom impressed us very much. Camping Santa Fortunata From the pleasant, busy and very touristic city of Sorrento we visited the Costiera Amalfitana, Scavi Pompeï, Scavi Ercolano and the city of Napoli. The wish, in real life, to see and to know the excavations from the beginning of time, of which we have learned a lot at school, became finally true.
The many pictures which we took here, will remember us of these beautiful places. In addition to the excavations we went to the Museo Archeologico in the city of Napoli, where the commodities and the fresco’s from Scavi Pompeï and Scavi Ercolano are captured and showed to the public. The city of Napoli we think has less places of interests compared to the other cities we visited, we found the city looks messy and busy.
The Costiera Amalfitana is very beautiful, it looks like a fairy tale . It was almost impossible to stop and to park the car because the narrow and winding coast road did not have the possibility to do so. The fairy-like small villages and the beautiful flowers we have mainly seen out of the car. In Amalfi we were told by a policeman to drive around the roundabout, because we did notice it. We did not see it because the size of the roundabout was about a big flowerpot.
Camping Village Club Pizzo Greco
After Sorrento we drove to our next most southern situated destination, to Camping Village Club Pizzo Greco in Isola di Capo Rizzuto deep down Italy. This camping is situated at the seaside, it has a nice sandy beach for the guests of the camping.
After the hectic of Sorrento we need some rest and we did nothing else but sun bathing and reading.
This big camping with a shop, terrace and restaurant is mainly of interest for the youngsters because of the disco. The nature in this part of Italy is less imposing in our opinion, the landscape was flat and looks sometimes more as a part of The Netherlands.
Naturist Sporting Club Parco Garganico
On the road to Naturist Sporting Club Parco Garganico in Ischitella we have again made a stop to tide over the long distance. Here again called our navigation system right on a junction “destination reached”. Lucky there was again a helpful Italian lady, who accompanied us to the camping, not the one we had chosen, but nevertheless it was only for one night. But it would be worse. To find Parco Garganico was impossible for us.
The reason was an incorrect address and phone number in the European Naturist Guide. After some very dangerous incidents with the caravan, of which we would not be remembered, after some driving around we found the camping and again with the help of a friendly Italian gentleman, who accompanied us for some time.
The camping is situated close to the village of Vico del Gargano. Maria, the female owner, has calmed us down with some delicious snacks and a glass of wine.
The next problem was to place the caravan on the beautiful but rolling surface of the park. Here again the staff of Maria helped us to put the caravan in the right place.
During our stay on this splendid camping, with a high situated swimming pool surrounded by tasteful and comfortable sit-downs, the temperature was so high that we decided to go back home, where it should be less warm and more cool, but we surely will be back on this camping, we promised Maria. We were on the road for juncalmost six weeks. Camping Arizona in Salsomaggiore Terme Again we were not very lucky in choosing a camping. We thought to have chosen an ideal camping in the central situated city park of Parma, where we could buy some souvenirs and delicious Italian specialities in the city centre.
When we entered the park, through a narrow gate, there was a lot to do and many people were walking around but there was no camping at all. The most nearby camping was situated at a distance of 20 km with no shopping centre in the neighbourhood, but the camping seems to be alright. So we drove back home without souvenirs and delicious Italian specialities, we had a stop over in Southern Germany and returned into the Netherlands, where in the meantime a heat wave has broken out.
Conclusion We enjoyed this trip very much, we visited many interesting cities and we had good weather. What we did not understand why a big country like Italy, with a lovely climate and such beautiful cities and villages has so less naturistic campings than e.g. France. We hold Italy in our hearts and minds and we will surely be back.