5 Weeks in Italy

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5 Weeks in Italy

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Posted: 16.05.2022  ·  #1
Hi All,

I'm new here. Myself and my wife are going to drive to Italy via Spain for 5 weeks or so, leaving on 12/08.
Has anyone here toured Italy before? If you have, can you give me any pearls of wisdom. In partiular

- what are the must see spots that you couldn't leave out of a trip? I'm mad to see Lake Como and the Amalfi Coast, visit the country side and spend several evenings relaxing in the sunshine by a vineyard drinking way too much wine and seeing the ruins of Pompei. They are the only definite items I have on my list. Other than that, I'm just going to head wherever recommendations take me.

- do I need to book motorhome sites in advance? It'll be the start on September when I arrive in Italy so I'm hoping I'll have missed the crazy busy period and that I can just drop into sites along the way, or maybe book a day or two in advance. Having to plan out the whole trip and where I stay before I go kind places restrictions on how free I can be at the time. I don't want to be tied into a specific route.

- is it difficult to travel Italy without speaking Italian? Is it a big barrier to when trying to arrange accommodation, get to tourist attractions, eat etc?


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Re: 5 Weeks in Italy

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Posted: 16.05.2022  ·  #2
I meant to include in my original post that any info you can give me will be very much appreciated.

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Waterford Guy


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Re: 5 Weeks in Italy

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Posted: 16.05.2022  ·  #3
Welcome to MHC Eddie , Venice has a motorhome Parking area close to where you'd get the boat to visit Venice, the list of places is endless though, it's really what you want to see and how far you want to drive


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Re: 5 Weeks in Italy

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Posted: 16.05.2022  ·  #4
I plan on doing a god bit of driving, I've got four weeks minimum so I'm going to drive around most of the country. Probably spend three nights per spot and then do four hours driving on the days I'm on the move. That should get me around the vast majority of the country by my estimations. I like driving too, so four hours every couple of days is not excessive to me.


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Re: 5 Weeks in Italy

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Posted: 16.05.2022  ·  #5
Hi, we have been to Italy a good few times in van. Amalfi coast for us was a 'never again' experience...waaaayyyyyy too busy for out tastes. The roads are wide enough, but many coaches and all the aree di sosta were bunged very early. Also I wouldnt take a van anywhere near Naples again either. Literally anywhere in the Appenines or Tuscany would be much more of a holiday for me. Lake wise, Lake como is worth a visit, but the Northern end of Lago di Garda is a great moho destination. We have stayed in Riva del Garda three times...its a favourite of ours. Another favourite area for us is the Dolomites for the sheer beauty of the rugged mountain terrain, the clarity of the air, the food and the tranquility. Im no expert on Italy, but these are a few areas to have a google at. We have skiied in italy twice also in van in dolomites, and in winter too its awesome. If you are driving from Spain along med coast through France, you might consider Sanremo. Good big aree di sosta and a nice town for a night or two. We stayed in a nice campsite with private gravel beach. We took train for the day into Finale Ligure which was fab too. Happy planning!

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Re: 5 Weeks in Italy

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Posted: 17.05.2022  ·  #6
First of all, I'm Italian, I live 30km west of Milan.
Months would not be enough to visit Italy and to describe it a huge book not enough, just think that (with China) it has the largest number of sites classified by Unesco.

North: Lakes, Alps, Dolomites, Venice, Padua, Mantua, etc.
Center: All of Tuscany, the Val d'Orcia (now bought by healthy Brits and Germans), Florence, Siena, Umbria (Assisi, Perugia, Spoleto, etc.). And then Rome which alone takes almost a week.
Center-South: Naples, Amalfi and Sorrento coasts, Paestum, Pompeii, Herculaneum, etc.

Then Apulia and Sicily but they are too far away.

Regarding your travel hypothesis:

Lakes:
I would avoid Lake Como, quite narrow roads and just small villages.
By motorhome much better are Lake Maggiore and the East coast of Lake Garda, Sirmione is worth a visit.

Amalfi coast (SS163):
As someone said, the roads are narrow, moreover, from Km10 to Km50 and from 6.30am to midnight the Amalfi coast road since a while has been forbidden to campers and caravans of any size.
There are many stopovers and sites, I recently spent a few nights in Campercontact area N.49887 - Camperstop Lagomare - 25 €/24h with all services
GPS 40.55329, 14.90600
Website http://www.camperstoplagomare.it/
Tel. +39 082 81733170
In late September there should be no problems but perhaps it is better to book.
At the exit bus to Salerno (tickets at the reception, about 40 minutes).
Get off at the terminus in Via Vinciprova from where the bus to Amalfi leaves.
Tickets to Amalfi can be bought at the tobacconist in Via Domenico Castelluccio (in front of the stop).
In Amalfi, if you want you can continue to Positano.

Pompeii:
In addition to manned Parking lots, there are at least three campsites, two small and one larger.
At Porta Marina (south entrance to the site):
Campercontact N.29855 - Spartacus htps: //www.campingspartacus.it/it/
GPS 40.74683, 14.48393
Campercontact N.28923 - Fortuna Village http://www.fortunavillagepompei.it/
GPS 40.74613, 14.48495
In the direction of the Villa of the Mysteries:
Campercontact N.8025 - camping Zeus
https://www.inpompeii.it/it/dove‐dormire/camping‐zeus.html/
GPS 40.74899, 14.48107
Recommended in the summer season as it is quite shady.
A less than rushed visit takes the whole day.
Inside a snack bar but I recommend to bring sandwiches and, especially in the hot season, especially drinks.
From Pompeii by bus or train (Transvesuviana) you can go to Positano, one of the pearls of the coast.

Two notes:
Overnight stays and visits:
When I travel in Italy I use Campercontact stopover, accuracy of at least 90%.
They have a paid App but the site can also be surfed from the internet.

Equipment:
Italy is full of rest areas but a small number of them have the EHU.
Gas. In September/October it will not be necessary to heat the motorhome, two 10KG cylinders should be sufficient.
As in any trip, available anywhere in Europe, I suggest having a 3Kg Camping Gaz cylinder and its tap/adapter.

Covid:
The Euro Covid Pass is no longer mandatory but things can change quickly.
I recommend having it, I see you come from ROI, it's the European one.
Facial masks. They are about to be abolished but better have some with you.
In December, the FFP2 type was mandatory to get on public transport, enter the Museums, etc.

Fell free to ask questions if you have any.

Max


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Re: 5 Weeks in Italy

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Posted: 17.05.2022  ·  #7
Great bit of advice from mtravel. I drove around Como years ago and said never again as it was too narrow. Sirmione is beautiful

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Re: 5 Weeks in Italy

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Posted: 17.05.2022  ·  #8
Hi Max / Hymer / Tommy

Thanks for all that info, much appreciated. If Lake Garda is better than Como for motorhomes then I'll go there instead. The site is already paying off for the insider tips! At the minute, my route is going to look something like this, but that's all subject to change if I hear of some better spots. I just thought the above gives a pretty nice spread across the country.

Genoa
Lake Garda
Venice
Florence
Pescara
Bari
Salerno
Rome

3 nights in each place. That allows me another week or so to spare and add in towns or stay in some place for longer. If anyone knows of any must see sites in or around those areas, I'd love to hear about them and include them on my trip. For example, I know that around Salerno, there is the Amalfi Coast and Pompei, so that's what I have planned for there.

Where is considered the countryside in Italy? I would like to spend a couple of nights in nice rural areas, maybe find a nice vineyard and just sit around enjoying the scenery and wine for a few days.

How is the weather around the center and north in September? I'm thinking it should be quite nice but not too hot, I hope.


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Re: 5 Weeks in Italy

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Posted: 17.05.2022  ·  #9
Pescara has nothing special.
Bari is a nice town but not on top of my priority list.
If you plan to go as far as Apulia, you could visit Barletta, Trani, Castel del Monte, Lecce (known for its Baroque architecture), Otranto with a long history, the coast of Salento and the nice historic center of Gallipoli.
My daughter bought a house there, I spend at least three weeks there every year.

Going back to the north the Royal Palace of Caserta.

Countryside and vineyards:
Tuscany ( https://www.visittuscany.com/en/ ) between Florence and Siena, San Giminano, Val d'Orcia (Unesco, https://www.visittuscany.com/en/areas/val-dorcia/ ).

Weather:
The hot and humid period is usually from mid-June to August 20th.
Usually September is hot but not too much, let's say that the average temperature is around 24/26°C.
October usually colder but never below 20°C.

Max

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Re: 5 Weeks in Italy

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Posted: 17.05.2022  ·  #10
Thanks Max,

So you think Barletta would be a better place to stop than Bari?
Are there any national parks that you would recommend?
Will it be difficult to get around speaking English?
The Tuscany region looks beautiful, are the roads around there suitable for a large camper, or are they tiny little country roads?

Sorry for all the questions!


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Re: 5 Weeks in Italy

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Posted: 17.05.2022  ·  #11
Have you bicycles/electric bicycles or a scooter. I've found a bit of traffic around the lakes but had a scooter with me and it made it easier

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Re: 5 Weeks in Italy

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Posted: 17.05.2022  ·  #12
Heading over in June from the french side.
Even as I write this I know it probably sounds stupid, but can you cross from France to Italy without going over the alps or through the tunnel.


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Re: 5 Weeks in Italy

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Posted: 17.05.2022  ·  #13
Don't worry, I'm happy to help if I can.

I start from the parks, below some url:
http://www.parks.it/indice/PN/Eindex.php
https://handluparmionly.co.uk/…-to-visit/
https://www.lonelyplanet.com/a…arks-italy

The Dolomites are beautiful, the Stelvio is very beautiful (both on the South Tyrolean and Lombard side, beware that the road climbs up to 2,700 meters and from Merano side there are forty eight hairpin bends).
The Gargano (promontory in the north of Apulia, some narrow roads but nothing to worry about) is beautiful.

Barletta is a nice town (there was the famous Challenge between French and Italian knights) that is worth a half day visit.
Bari is a quite crowdy town, to a nice old town it adds a rather shabby neighborhoods. Up to you.

Large camper. It depends on what you mean by large.
A 9 meter Concorde might sometimes have problems, a 7.5x2.30 Hymer won't.
However, keep in mind that most of the Italian roads, yes, including the Amalfi coast traveled by tourist bus, are wider than many Irish ones.
If you have traveled the Ring of Beara or the Sky Road in a camper, you can drive on 98% of the Italian ones.
Tuscany is not critical.

Language. This could be a problem, English is not widely practiced, young people get by but few are the elderly who speak it.
But I believe that in most of the campsites there is someone who speaks English.
However, I am of the opinion that the language should not be an obstacle, I have traveled all over Europe but I do not speak Romanian, Czech, Polish or even Portuguese.

Max

p.s. I forgot, our return to Ireland is one of the possible options for our 2022 summer holidays.

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Re: 5 Weeks in Italy

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Posted: 17.05.2022  ·  #14
I done the Ring of Beara and Sky Road in my jeep towing a 8M caravan so it can't be too much worse than that. I have sold the caravan and bought a McLouis Nevis camper, I think it's 7.5M long so should be okay according to your previous post.

I speak Spanish well enough to get by also, maybe that will help, it seems quite similar to Italian. I think with just a little practice before I leave I should be able to pick up enough of the Italian essentials to get by and Google Translate will do the rest!

If you are coming to Ireland, feel free to drop me a line for any local advice you need.


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Re: 5 Weeks in Italy

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Posted: 17.05.2022  ·  #15
Quote by ROBANDSUE

Heading over in June from the french side.
Even as I write this I know it probably sounds stupid, but can you cross from France to Italy without going over the alps or through the tunnel.


From France but from where?
Apart from the Menton-Genoa motorway or Switzerland, there are several possibilities.
Easily accessible by motorhome and not particularly high are the Montgenèvre, Maddalena (Col de Larche in French) and Mont Cenis passes.
Non critical and the last two with beautiful alpine landscapes.

Max

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Re: 5 Weeks in Italy

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Posted: 17.05.2022  ·  #16
Quote by Waterford guy


If you are coming to Ireland, feel free to drop me a line for any local advice you need.


Thank you for offering help.

The first time we did a complete tour of the island with departure and arrival in Dublin.
Being almost always on the sea even if the Wicklow Mountains National Park was not missing.
In addition to Dublin, some towns, I remember Cork, Galway, Belfast, Derry (oops Londonderry), etc.
This time we would like to go into the countryside, lakes, channel system, etc.
Two things still haven't made me decide:
- Although not essential, the cost of ferries is increasing every day.
- Crowding of campsites.
During the trip we often change plans and destinations for which we are unable to book and I suspect they can often be found fully booked.

Max


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Re: 5 Weeks in Italy

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Posted: 17.05.2022  ·  #17
@mtravel what's the position about getting lpg in Italy for a built in tank, I've seen it mentioned the it's only legal as engine fuel and not for heating/cooking use.
The last time I toured Italy (2010) I used the two bottles I entered with and ended up using the emergency camping Gaz 907 for the last few days until I got back into France where I was able to exchange my empty Totalgaz bottle. The other empty bottle was a Repsol one which I exchanged when I got to Spain.


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Re: 5 Weeks in Italy

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Posted: 17.05.2022  ·  #18
Quote by mtravel

Quote by ROBANDSUE

Heading over in June from the french side.
Even as I write this I know it probably sounds stupid, but can you cross from France to Italy without going over the alps or through the tunnel.


From France but from where?
Apart from the Menton-Genoa motorway or Switzerland, there are several possibilities.
Easily accessible by motorhome and not particularly high are the Montgenèvre, Maddalena (Col de Larche in French) and Mont Cenis passes.
Non critical and the last two with beautiful alpine landscapes.

Max

Thanks Max, I will check that out.
Heading from cherbourg


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Re: 5 Weeks in Italy

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Posted: 17.05.2022  ·  #19
Quote by baguette

@mtravel what's the position about getting lpg in Italy for a built in tank, I've seen it mentioned the it's only legal as engine fuel and not for heating/cooking use.
The last time I toured Italy (2010) I used the two bottles I entered with and ended up using the emergency camping Gaz 907 for the last few days until I got back into France where I was able to exchange my empty Totalgaz bottle. The other empty bottle was a Repsol one which I exchanged when I got to Spain.


This is a good question, I am no expert (I have never had fixed LPG tanks) but I will try to answer as far as I know.

Let's start from the beginning, in Italy a good percentage of cars use LPG that enjoy important tax benefits.
Until the explosion of the motorhome market, the subject remained confined to cars and (for them) perfectly regulated.
Only recently has the government been involved.
The fixed tank is legal but must be of an approved type and transcribed on the vehicle document.
This transcription can only be done by the equivalent of your DVLA.
Once this is done, theoretically no filling point can refuse you the supply.
True ?
Not always.
In Italy there are autonomous regions (e.g. Trentino Alto Adige) that may apply local laws other than national ones.
Therefore, in their territory it will be almost impossible to fill the tank.

After the parenthesis, I believe that foreign vehicles are exempt from all this, we can say that 80% of distributors will agree to refuel you, 20% citing I don't know what excuses won't.
So far I have talked about fixed tanks.
Quite different in the case of cylinders (aka Gaslow) which at the moment remain illegal.
Although 50% of the filling points will probably agree to fill them.

Two notes:
- Fixed tank or not, self-service filling is forbidden, you must ask the attendant for it.
Which means that there is almost no possibility of 24h filling.
- I don't know if the English nozzle is the same used in Italy.

Max

p.s. I know that in France some brands (definitely Total) have only been supplying cars for a couple of years.

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Re: 5 Weeks in Italy

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Posted: 17.05.2022  ·  #20
Quote by ROBANDSUE


Thanks Max, I will check that out.
Heading from cherbourg


From Cherbourg the possible routes towards Italy open like a palm leaf.
Depending on which direction you choose, there are many possible solutions.

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Re: 5 Weeks in Italy

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Posted: 17.05.2022  ·  #21
Quote by ROBANDSUE

Heading over in June from the french side.
Even as I write this I know it probably sounds stupid, but can you cross from France to Italy without going over the alps or through the tunnel.


coastal road along med has small tunnels...crossing via ventimiglia into sanremo


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Re: 5 Weeks in Italy

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Posted: 18.05.2022  ·  #22
Quote by Hymer544

coastal road along med has small tunnels...crossing via ventimiglia into sanremo


As for the coastal motorway from Ventimiglia to Genoa (A10) and then from Genoa to La Spezia (A12) there are many, indeed very many tunnels.
For us Italians used to driving in heavy vehicle traffic it is not a big problem, I have read that many Brits consider them a nightmare.
Not to mention that the first of the two sections sees countless construction sites for the modernization of the motorway.
Extenuating queues very likely.
A simulation with Google maps estimates the hourly average at just over 60km / h.

I DO NOT recommend it, however I leave the decision to you.

Max

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Re: 5 Weeks in Italy

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Posted: 18.05.2022  ·  #23
Quote by mtravel

Quote by Waterford guy


If you are coming to Ireland, feel free to drop me a line for any local advice you need.


Thank you for offering help.

The first time we did a complete tour of the island with departure and arrival in Dublin.
Being almost always on the sea even if the Wicklow Mountains National Park was not missing.
In addition to Dublin, some towns, I remember Cork, Galway, Belfast, Derry (oops Londonderry), etc.
This time we would like to go into the countryside, lakes, channel system, etc.
Two things still haven't made me decide:
- Although not essential, the cost of ferries is increasing every day.
- Crowding of campsites.
During the trip we often change plans and destinations for which we are unable to book and I suspect they can often be found fully booked.

Max


Hi Max,

If you decide to come make sure to drop me a line, send me a private mail and I'll send you on my phone number. I live just outside Waterford City. I also have a spot you can park up if you ever get stuck for a place to stay at short notice. It's not the countryside but it's a lovely area and I can point you in the right direction for someone of the nicest country side Ireland has to offer. One of the best things about Ireland is that no matter where you are, you are nearly always only two hours away from everyplace! Sometimes being small can be a good thing!


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Re: 5 Weeks in Italy

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Posted: 18.05.2022  ·  #24
Quote by mtravel

Quote by Hymer544

coastal road along med has small tunnels...crossing via ventimiglia into sanremo


As for the coastal motorway from Ventimiglia to Genoa (A10) and then from Genoa to La Spezia (A12) there are many, indeed very many tunnels.
For us Italians used to driving in heavy vehicle traffic it is not a big problem, I have read that many Brits consider them a nightmare.
Not to mention that the first of the two sections sees countless construction sites for the modernization of the motorway.
Extenuating queues very likely.
A simulation with Google maps estimates the hourly average at just over 60km / h.

I DO NOT recommend it, however I leave the decision to you.

Max


Cheers max, looks like it's through the mont blanc tunnel so


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Re: 5 Weeks in Italy

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Posted: 18.05.2022  ·  #25
Quote by Waterford guy


Hi Max,

If you decide to come make sure to drop me a line, send me a private mail and I'll send you on my phone number. I live just outside Waterford City. I also have a spot you can park up if you ever get stuck for a place to stay at short notice. It's not the countryside but it's a lovely area and I can point you in the right direction for someone of the nicest country side Ireland has to offer. One of the best things about Ireland is that no matter where you are, you are nearly always only two hours away from everyplace! Sometimes being small can be a good thing!


Thanks again for your kindness.
Waterford is one of the planned stops, we should come from Wexford via New Ross and towards the Blackwater river region.
We made a short visit during our previous trip (2012),
I remember that we stayed overnight in a campsite in Tramore.
Terrifying wind and impressive waves that hit even the Promenade.

Max


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Re: 5 Weeks in Italy

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Posted: 18.05.2022  ·  #26
Quote by ROBANDSUE


Cheers max, looks like it's through the mont blanc tunnel so


You could spend the night in Courmayeur (I), behind you the Mont Blanc massif.
Just above the village, if desired, the beautiful cable car tour that leads to Punta Helbronner at almost 3,500 meters.
https://www.montebianco.com/mosaic/en/cableways

From Chamonix (F) instead, you can go up to the Aiguille du Midi.

I have no details (the season is not open yet) but the complete tour should also be possible (the opposite route also exists):
Courmayeur - Punta Helbronner - Thrilling crossing (suspended in the air) of the Mère de Glace - Aiguille du Midi - Chamonix.
From there return to Courmayeur by bus.

I guarantee that it is one of the most exciting trips one can experience.
Headache is also guaranteed if you don't stop for at least half an hour between one stage and the next to give your body time to acclimatize.
The landscapes are so incredible that it is the time needed just to admire them and shot a few hundred pics.
Don't forget the UV filter for the lens.

Max

Liked by: ROBANDSUE

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Age: 35
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Re: 5 Weeks in Italy

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Posted: 19.05.2022  ·  #27
Quote by mtravel

Quote by Waterford guy


Hi Max,

If you decide to come make sure to drop me a line, send me a private mail and I'll send you on my phone number. I live just outside Waterford City. I also have a spot you can park up if you ever get stuck for a place to stay at short notice. It's not the countryside but it's a lovely area and I can point you in the right direction for someone of the nicest country side Ireland has to offer. One of the best things about Ireland is that no matter where you are, you are nearly always only two hours away from everyplace! Sometimes being small can be a good thing!


Thanks again for your kindness.
Waterford is one of the planned stops, we should come from Wexford via New Ross and towards the Blackwater river region.
We made a short visit during our previous trip (2012),
I remember that we stayed overnight in a campsite in Tramore.
Terrifying wind and impressive waves that hit even the Promenade.

Max



Ah yes, I live just before Waterford City on the New Ross side. Waterford City is not very well setup for motorhome's to stay but as I said, I have an area you could park up for a bit if you want. Tramore is a nice spot. Happy planning. Give me a shout if you have any questions or queries.

Liked by: ntg

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