Motorhome to Italy
photo credit 1

Some time ago on our Italy blog we discussed some alternative ways to go to Italy to travel: by rail, by bus or by plane. What was still missing, of course, was traveling by camper to Italy. If we are to believe the camper travel enthusiasts, this is one of the most relaxed ways to travel. You always have your mobile home with you.

If you are a regular camper traveler, then you already know exactly what to take into account. Have you borrowed or rented a motorhome for the first time this year and are you planning to head south? Then we may have some useful tips for you!

Maximum permitted speed with the caravan and motorhome

With the camper you can drive 130 km/h on the Italian highways, just like by car. With a caravan you are not allowed to go faster than 80 km/h, so that makes a significant difference. On other roads, you must keep to a speed of no more than 90 km/h, unless there are two lanes. Then you can drive with 110 on the counter. Watch your speed, because the fines for speeding are just as bad here (and they also reach the Netherlands and Belgium, believe us).

The ultimate sense of freedom: discovering Italy by motorhome (photo: Pexels)

Requirements for your motorhome

Also make sure that your motorhome meets all the requirements on the route to Italy. You probably knew that in Germany, Austria and France you have to drive with winter tires in the winter. But also in the Italian Alps and the Dolomites you have to conquer the mountain roads in the winter months with winter tires. An accident on summer tires can have unpleasant consequences.

That doesn't mean you don't have to look at anything in the summer, of course. First of all, make sure you drive with summer tires from May 16 to October 14. Not all winter tires are banned in summer, but it is better to choose tires adapted to the season.

Check beforehand whether your summer tires still have enough tread. You don't want the full weight of a loaded camper on the smooth surfaces of your tires. In the autonomous region Aosta Valley do you need snow chains in your motorhome from April 30 to mid-October, just in case. But there are more areas where you need snow chains during this period.

In the event of a breakdown or accident:

  • Outside built-up areas, every occupant must wear a safety vest when they leave the car (so check whether you have this in an easily accessible place in your motorhome).
  • Outside built-up areas you need a warning triangle. Place it on the hard shoulder of the highway about 100 meters behind the camper, in other places about 50 meters.
  • Have you been involved in an accident with injury? Then you are obliged to call the police.

Cycling at the back of the camper?

Do you take bicycles with you on the back of your camper? Then forget the correct marking board. The strange thing is that the different countries within the EU still have their own rules.

For example, in Italy you need a different marking board than in Spain. In Italy you need a 50×50 cm aluminum plate with five diagonal red and white stripes. In Spain you need a marker board of three stripes.

All information about marking signs in the different European countries you read here.

Environmental zones and ZTLs

Like Germany, Italy also has a number of cities with environmental zones. In Rome, Florence, Bologna and Milan, you must have a so-called 'ecopass' to enter the city. But perhaps it is better to just leave the camper at the camping spot in these cities and move around by public transport or your own bicycles. Also note the so-called zone traffic limitato (ZTL), or restricted access areas. These are located in the city centers and are closely monitored with speed cameras. If you drive into such a zone as an unauthorized Dutch or Fleming, you will receive a ticket on the doormat.

Motorhome to Italy
photo credit 2

mountain passes

If you have experience with driving a caravan, you already know that you are not allowed to cross all mountain passes with it. This is usually allowed with the camper, but it is still a good idea to prepare yourself. Be aware that some mountain passes are hard work, depending on the weight and motorization of your motorhome.

The mountain passes should be manageable with a not too heavy camper (photo: Unsplash)

Tip: make sure you have emptied your water tanks before climbing a mountain pass. That already saves a sip on a drink! In addition, some passes may be closed during the winter season. To have alternatives at hand, it is wise to also provide a good map of Italy, next to your navigation device. Then at least you have something to fall back on in case of an emergency. As an ANWB member you often get a discount on map material in the ANWB shop.

Motorhome pitches

You are also not allowed to park your motorhome everywhere in Italy. In general you can camp on campsites, in regular parking spaces (also along highways), on your own property after permission and on special camper pitches. The latter are certainly a good alternative to wild camping.

They are called in Italy rest areas and they are usually free. Sometimes they are guarded and sometimes there are also facilities such as electricity and water, for which you pay a small contribution. It is safer and more pleasant to use these motorhome pitches than to just park somewhere along the road.

Motorhome routes through Italy

You travel the most beautiful motorhome routes in Italy (photo: Unsplash)

At the moment we are still working on a number of beautiful motorhome routes through Italy. As soon as we have these finished, we will publish them here. Have you written a beautiful motorhome route through Italy yourself and do you want to share it with us? Gladly. Then take contact on with the editors.

With the camper to the farmer

For some time now you can stay 'free' with a camper at more than 400 agriturismi in Italy. You don't pay anything for the camper stay, but you do have to be a member of Fattore Amico. The system is similar to the well-known France Passion, where you can spend the night with a motorhome at French winegrowers. As in France, it is not about campsites, but about private areas at agriturismi, at other farms and at private individuals.

For a membership of Fattore Amico you pay € 35 per year. The participating companies are spread over the boot and you will find them in a booklet that comes with your membership. With this initiative, the organization mainly wants to publicize areas off the beaten track and tourist destinations.

Rent a motorhome?

There are plenty of options to rent a nice camper (photo: Unsplash)

If you don't have your own camper, there are also plenty of options to rent a camper. This is of course possible with motorhome rental companies, but renting from private individuals is also becoming increasingly popular. There are now several initiatives that come down to an Airbnb concept for motorhomes. For example goboony en Paul Camper.

These concepts can also be interesting if you have a motorhome of your own, but only use it a few weeks a year. Via one of the platforms above you can easily and safely rent out your motorhome and thus earn back some of the costs.