A family road trip in Tuscany – 7 days in our campervan

A family road trip in Tuscany – 7 days in our campervan

Since our last roadtrip in Australia in a campervan (read about it here), we were looking for another chance to do a similar roadtrip. When the lockdown measures were eased last year, we decided to take a week long trip to Tuscany.

Tuscany is one of the most beautiful regions and pretty much the most touristic part in Italy! One can experience beautiful countryside, historical hilltop villages, the vineyards offering rich local wine, scrumptious local food and much more.

Tuscan valley
  • Choosing our campervan

Rather than renting a campervan in Italy, we decided to rent one from Switzerland through this website. We found quite a good one for 4-people for a reasonable price and the owner was really helpful in giving us all the information. Some tips when you rent a campervan:

  • Buy a good guidebook to get all the information about the campsites. We got this one for our roadtrip. There is an app you can download too.
  • Make sure to take child seats (if you have small kids) with you.
  • Check the space available in the van and pack your luggage accordingly.
  • Usually the owners offer a lot of things in the van like utensils, bedsheets, blankets etc. Check before you take these things with you.
  • Make sure to survey the van completely before starting the trip and don’t hesitate to tell the owner if something is broken or not working properly.
  • The rates per night at the campsite may change according to the season, it is best advised to book the space in advance.
  • Some of the facilities like swimming pools or restaurants in certain campsites are usually unavailable during off season, so don`t be disappointed.
Our campervan for the week
  • What to carry for the trip

As we were travelling with two small kids, we made sure to carry enough necessities but at the same time, we tried not to overpack.

  • Clothes: We took enough clothes for all of us.  However, campsites usually have all the utilities including washing machines and we were able to wash and dry our clothes whenever we wanted.
  • Food: We had a kitchenette (Including utensils) in our van and made use of it quite a lot. Eating out with 2 kids is not always easy and fun so we tried to cook atleast one meal in the camper. Some items we took from home, like coffee machine, coffee powder, milk powder (For Nyra), pasta, rösti (hashbrown) and snacks. We bought the rest in Italy.
  • Care kit: Shampoo and soaps, medicines (Especially for the kids), sun-screen lotions for all of us.
  • Others: Proper hiking shoes, diapers & wet wipes (not too many as we could easily buy them in the stores in Italy), garbage bags, Stroller, baby carrier, chargers and my kindle.
  • Planning our route

I had an extensive itinerary planned for the trip. In the end, we skipped some sights as the roads were either too narrow for our campervan or we could not find any parking spots. In the end, our itinerary looked like this. Make sure to reserve the camping spots in advance. It could either be full during peak times or closed during other times.

  1. Places we visited on our road trip
  • Genoa

After a 6h drive from home and a 2h waiting time near the Italian border, we finally reached our first stop, Genoa. We made the mistake of not booking any camping space in advance and we had to search for one for quite sometime. Luckily, we found a spot in Camping Genova est. After a delicious meal at the restaurant inside the campsite for dinner, we rested for the night.

About Campsite: The campsite is a bit outside the city and located on top of the hills. So be careful when you drive with a big motorhome. There is a restaurant offering authentic Italian food. The view of the Italian riviera from here is amazing. It has clean basic facilities like toilets, showers and washing machines.

  • Livorno

From Genoa, we drove towards Livorno. The drive took us through the most beautiful scenic route of Italian riviera filled with colorful houses, turquoise sea and cute little villages all along. We reached our campsite Camping Tripesce by lunchtime. After we got settled in our camping spot, and ate lunch at the camp restaurant, we spent sometime on the beach next to the campsite. In the evening, we took a walk to the city, found a cafe and enjoyed gelato and coffee. We cooked burger for dinner in the kitchenette in our campervan.

About Campsite: The campsite is located right next to the beach and this makes the location quite unique. A bar and a restaurant offers wide variety of foods. The campsite runs a supermarket with fresh vegetables, fruits and all kinds of Tuscan products. A playarea and a mini golf area keep the young guests happy and busy. Clean amenities like toilets, showers and washing sinks are available in plenty.

  • Siena

Next day we drove to Siena. After getting settled in our campsite Camping Siena Colleverde, we took a bus to the city center. Siena is one of the highlights of Tuscany and the historic old town is one of the most beautiful spots in Italy. The old brick houses, the curved medieval alleys and the historic churches attract visitors from all over the world. The centre of the city is dominated by a large, shell-shaped square called the Piazza del Campo. We wandered around, browsing through shops selling local food, wine and other Tuscan products. After having lunch at this local restaurant (one of the best restaurants we found this time), we drove back to our campsite . Dinner was local foccacia bread with olives and cheese we bought in the city center.

About Campsite: The campsite is well located. Buses stop regularly at the bus stop right next to the campsite and you can visit the city center quite easily. Toilets, showers and washing sinks are clean. There is a swimming pool open during summer, a restaurant and a supermarket offering wide range of food. There is also a playground for the kids.

On our second day in Siena, we decided to try out an Agriturismo. These are farms/ camping grounds and are usually privately owned. We chose to stay at Agriturismo Podernuovo. After taking a short hike to a nearby river, we spent the rest of the day exploring the campsite. We cooked pasta for dinner and ordered freshly baked biscuits, rolls and foccacia for breakfast next day from our owners.

About Campsite: Located on the hills amidst green vegetation and fields, the campsite offers the best view of Crete Senesi. On the grounds of the farm there are many quiet spots where you can sit and relax. The farm has clean toilets and washing areas. You can buy local products like jams, wines, cheese, olive oil and breads from the farm owners. Kids can pet the farm animals.

  • Volterra

Fans of the movie series “Twilight” may recognize the place “Volterra”, where the fictitious vampire royalty the Volturi reside. The place inspired much of the movie series, even though the scenes in the movies that were set in Volterra were filmed in a different part of Italy. Volterra is a beautiful hilltop town with history that dates back from before the 8th century BC. We wandered around for few hours just exploring Volterra’s winding cobbled streets filled with Roman, Etruscan and Medieval structures before eating lunch here. We bought lots of local meat (for mike), fresh olives and breads to eat for dinner.

  • Cinque Terra

The next day we drove to Deiva Marina and stopped at our next campsite Camping Valdeiva. After we cooked and ate pasta for lunch, we took a train to Vernazza. Our camp offered shuttle service to train station every half hour. Among the 5 villages of the Cinque Terre, Vernazza is supposed to be the most beautiful, best known and most visited of all. Vernazza is the perfect starting point for hikes along the Blue Trail connecting Vernazza with Monterosso and Corniglia. We spent the rest of the day walking around the cobbled streets of Vernazza.

About Campsite: The campsite is located few minutes away from the famous Cinque Terre. It has quite a lot of facilities like swimming pool, playgrounds and restaurants. Clean toilets, showers and washing sinks are available too.

We drove back towards home the next day, not before stopping one last night at Sonogno in Switzerland. Located in Locarno (canton of Ticino), with plenty of stone houses and typical alleys, Sonogno is the last village of the Verzasca Valley. We parked at the general camper parking area for the night.

Hope our short family trip inspires you and gives you enough information for your next trip in Tuscany.

Cheers!

4 responses to “A family road trip in Tuscany – 7 days in our campervan”

  1. Amazing trip and experience! I wanted to rent out a camper van ever since I saw Swades, though I doubt travelling from UK to Europe in a camper van would be easy 🙂

    Like

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