3 boys, 5 days, and 3.000 kilometers
Roadtrip to Italy with a VW Camper
Author: Matthias Lobbichler
We start our somewhat crazy roadtrip from Munich to Italy at five o’clock in the morning. Including: 3 men and lots of plans. In the next five days, we will drive about 3,000 kilometers and always by my side: My brother and a good friend.
Off to the city of love
Auf in die Stadt der Liebe!
We all want to experience as much as possible. After we have packed the van in Altötting, we are ready and drive via Rosenheim to Austria and continue to Verona, which is our first destination after 430 kilometers.
Romeo and Juliet lure us
We easily find a parking lot with our VW T6 California in the middle of the city – Just right to explore the city quickly. We walk through the narrow streets of the city, enjoy Italian markets and (of course) pass the house of Romeo and Juliet. It’s hard to believe how many people fit under a balcony. Thus, we rather enjoy the great view of the city from the castle of Verona – Well, it can go on like this!
This is how an Audi company trip looks like
In fact, however, the perspective changed quickly: In front of the castle’s own café, Audi drove up with – let’s say – a rather special fleet of vehicles.
Audi made a company trip with some 13 new Audi R8s. Even though it’s a bit ostentatious – It’s awesome! And for me as a car lover is clear: I sniff the machines from the top to the bottom.
Good night from the camper!
We already have an explicit target for the next day. We want to increase the experience frequency by a multiple: Visit more cities, take less breaks – except toilet breaks, of course… In the evening, we have our roadsurfer ready for our first night with a few handles only. Well then: Good night and see you tomorrow!
Roadtrip to Italy - Second stage Florence and Cinque Terre: 400 kilometers
Our first night in the camper was wonderful and we all had a good night’s sleep. That is a good thing as we have a concentrated load of sightseeing action before us. And my brother makes the start of the day even sweeter: He puts a fruit muesli by our bedside.
We enjoy Florence from above!
It’s called: “On the road again!” Florence is right in front of us – our first destination of the day. I’ve been here a few years ago so I’ll take on the role of the travel guide. That always means: Where is the next hill or tower to see the city from above? Up to the Michelangelo Viewpoint where the finest view awaits us: A cloudless blue sky, the sun shining, the birds chirping and in front of you the lively Tuscan city.
Art and jewelry wherever the eye reaches
All three of us are enthusiastic movie fans and the Ponte Vecchio is just around the corner! Exactly: The famous bridge from the movie “Perfume”. My first thought: “Wow – How much is all this worth?” Wherever I look – everything sparkles and glitters! A sight you surely don’t have every day.
Roadtrip to Italy –Visiting the magic villages of Cinque Terre
The villages of Cinque Terre are still a secret tip among tourists. You can reach them by winding serpentines – What is of course no problem for our Bulli. The individual villages are connected with each other by a railway line and the tickets are really cheap. We buy a daily ticket for 4 Euro per person and drive village by village.
Yacht to Yacht to Yacht
Arriving in La Spezia, we have the feeling that this is more a place for rich kids and their parents as one yacht next to the other lands in the harbor. But this proves to be a great ambience to spend the evening and to enjoy the sunset. But attention: The best places in the restaurants are sold out very quickly – The early bird catches the worm.
Our last destination for today is Pisa with its leaning tower. In a side street right at the cathedral place, we find a classic Italian restaurant – even with live music, just great!
Roadtrip to Italy – Third stage Rome: 400 kilometers off to ancient highlights
All roads lead to Rome – this also applies to us. About 400 kilometers lie ahead of us. A declared life goal of my brother and me is to travel to all seven wonders of the modern world – Thus, Rome with the Colosseum is a must see!
The last kilometers to the Camping Village Flaminio run like clockwork. The staff at the camping site is totally friendly and helpful (But it was also warmly recommended to us from several sides). We quickly set up our pitch and plug everything properly as we don’t want to lose any more time: The city calls!
Rome is a city of experiencing and marveling
Being in Rome, what should one see next to the Colosseum? This time my buddy Simon is the tour guide as he was here a few years ago. We first go to the Spanish Steps, then to the Trevi Fountain and finally via the Forum Romanum to the Colosseum. Those who want to avoid large crowds should skip the Trevi Fountain as it’s always totally crowded. You almost have to be happy not to be pushed into the fountain by chance. Despite everything: We are quite enthusiastic!
A rainy roadtrip to Italy? No problem in the VW Camper
Dark clouds and rain come up. Just right to make yourself comfortable in the Bulli. The front seats are turned around and we sit opposite each other playing cards at the camping table. Thus, the rain makes sense for us somehow.
Roadtrip to Italy - The 2nd day of Rome can come
Unfortunately, it rained the whole night – Though, it’s also comfortable in the bus. The next day, we head straight for the center towards the Colosseum without wasting any time. Entrance tickets are available for students up to 25 years with a discount. I am older than 25 and Simon is no student but the shop assistant doesn’t ask long and gives us discounted tickets.
We are fascinated by what the Romans built and explore the area on our own. A guided tour simply would not have fitted with our Bulli feeling of freedom.
The smallest country in the world
We are far from finished with Rome and want to visit the Vatican. The St. Peter’s Square in front of it is really beautiful, but I feel like in a prison. There are guards and guns everywhere – and that in this religious place. Can you imagine that some guests queue up for 4 hours just to get to the St. Peter’s? We do it in another way, drink a cup of holy water and enjoy the sun on a bench!
Roadtrip to Italy – Off to Lake Garda
The last stage of our roadtrip to Italy has already been clear: We want to stop at Lake Garda. Getting there, we have to drive about 1,200 kilometers. So we decide to leave in the evening.
I always find driving at night much more relaxed. And in fact it goes faster without big interruptions. Unfortunately, the next night is already our last one in the VW Camper.
Roadtrip to Italy - Fourth stage Bardolino: 1,200 kilometers to Lake Garda
There is a lot of traffic on the way to Lake Garda and arriving in Bardolino we immediately realized why: The annual wine festival is in its full swing. Dolce Vita – we are happy to take part: We walk along the lakeside and talk about the past days and how quickly the time has passed.
The journey back home gets chewy
We were lucky with the traffic so far, but now: Traffic jam on the Brenner motorway. Well, we just have to get through it! But at the border the same luck comes to us again – the reason: Traffic jam due to border controls.
On Sunday evening, however, we arrive back in Munich, completely satisfied with our roadtrip to Italy: 3,000 kilometers in 5 days were sporty but exactly the right dose of a roadtrip for us! We wanted to see as much as possible – and of course we wanted to enjoy the time. And this was possible with our VW Camper without any problems. And if the weather wasn’t good, we could make ourselves super comfortable in the van. My conclusion: We should start planning our next roadtrip as soon as possible with the same cast!