RV Roadtrip From Cannes to Venice
After Monaco we were headed into Italy for a couple of days before going into Croatia. We had planned on doing a pretty long day heading from Cannes to just a bit outside of Verona, a little over 450 km and probably 6 or 7 hours of driving, one of our biggest driving days of the tour so far.
As both of us had been to Rome on previous trips we were only heading across the top of Italy. Neither Sebastian nor I had been to Venice so that seemed like a good place to visit. But we would need a stop before there and so we pointed the Hymer towards Camping Bella Italia.
The drive was pretty uneventful and went by quickly. I was a bit worried about the drivers in Italy, imagining the worst case scenario but all in all they were pretty good. The roads were in good shape and fairly empty as we headed north. We had planned a waypoint to stop at if the going went slowly but we didn’t see any point in stopping once we were underway.
We did start to notice that all of the truck stops were incredibly full and then we started to realize that there were no trucks on the road at all. Curious. As it turns out, we had the roads to ourselves because of a national holiday. A nice bit of luck and all the more reason to press on to Camping Bella Italia!
After a long day on the road we took the exit towards the campsite. Or at least that’s what we thought we were doing. Our wrong turn resulted in a several kilometer detour before we could find a spot to turn around. With the rig headed in the right direction our luck was beginning to peter out. The public holiday had the Italians out in force in the village and it was bumper to bumper on some narrow roads.
Fortunately we didn’t have too far to go until we pulled into the gates at the massive camping village. Unfortunately we had somehow missed the fact that dogs were not allowed! We hoped and pleaded our case but reception was not moved and they recommended another camp site just down the road. Frustrated, we pulled into the stream of traffic to try our luck again.
Gabby, our unhelpful GPS kept squawking about part of the road ahead being restricted due to our vehicle size. Ignoring her has been part of the game so far and so we kept our course. Google showed the road ahead as not a problem. It was getting dark, the traffic was insufferable and Gabby was annoying us. But then we realized the errors of our ways and we were headed into an impossibly small road through the old city walls. Our fat camping car was never going to make it!
I was able to block some traffic and get the rig turned around and join the stream of traffic headed back out of town. Here we somehow managed to make the same mistake and traveled down the country road for a few kms before we could turn around again.
Finally back on the proper road we headed towards Butterfly Camping Village. Here we were informed that they only had 3 spaces left that would accommodate a vehicle of our size and there was a camper van ahead of us and one that pulled in as we were getting this information. Armed with the map of spaces Shani donned her track shoes and sprinted down the road! Of the spots that were left, we got the largest one and pitched up for the night.
Our next destination was Venice and Camping Venezia Village which is an incredibly convenient site for visiting the city. We somehow managed to drive past the correct turn off and did another few kilometers so that put us two for two in Italy. While the immediate area around the camping is a bit industrial, the camping site was quite nice with very good facilities and an indoor pool. There is also a bus stop nearly adjacent and a quick 10 minute ride gets you into the old city. Plus, Sebastian was allowed on the bus! There is also a Lidl and a camping/RV store just a short walk up the road as well.
What can I say about Venice? It completely exceeded my expectations, such an incredible place to visit! It really is such a unique city like no other.
After our bus ride we got our tickets for the water taxi and cruised down to the San Marco stop and from there we planned to wander our way around the city and canal network. The stop is very near the legendary 1930s bar Harry’s but they weren’t open when we got there.
Of course the water taxi ride itself was full of amazing sites, our first real landmark was Piazza San Marco and Saint Mark’s Basilica, all very awe inspiring to be sure. From there we continued our wander from small street to canal bridge weaving in and out of the city, enjoying getting lost amongst all of the amazing buildings and waterways. It really defies the whole notion of a city, these buildings built right to the edge of the water in every direction.
Eventually we were ready for some lunch. We were surprised to find so many of the restaurants offering gluten free pasta and pizza, even the gelato shop had gluten free cones and a notice about food allergies and the staff was knowledgeable about which ones Shani could eat.
We settled on a hole in the wall pizza/shawarma shop run by an incredibly friendly guy who was half Indian and half Bangladeshi who had migrated to Italy 8 years ago. I’m pretty sure the place is called Aurora Pizza & Kebab Halal. This guy knew all about gluten free and made sure to clean everything very well before prepping our meal. The food was inexpensive and really tasty, we were quite pleased to have stumbled on this joint.
From there we continued our wandering from amazing plaza to amazing plaza, thoroughly enjoying our day just walking around. Eventually we found our way back to the bus terminal and hopped a ride back to the camping. In case you are wondering, no we did not take a gondola tour. Our brief bit of research turned up outrageous prices for a 40 minute tour (like 80 Euros) and I’m not sure Sebastian would have been allowed.
That was our day in Venice, a city to visit again for sure. Next time maybe a hotel in the San Marco district and evening drinks at Harry’s. We’ll see. Stay tuned as we head into Croatia and explore the Istrian Peninsula and work our way south.