Camping in Tuscany
Considered by many to be Heaven on earth, Tuscany needs little introduction. Just mentioning the name of what is undoubtedly one of Italy’s most beautiful regions conjures up images of a sun-blessed landscape with seemingly endless Chianti vineyards, gently rolling hillsides, majestic rows of slender cypress trees and medieval towns.
Plus, if all that wasn’t enough, Tuscany has a spectacularly rugged coastline, simply glorious sandy beaches and Renaissance cities boasting wonderful art and architecture.
A birthplace of Renaissance thinking, and perhaps home to the greatest collection of art treasures, frescoes, sculptures and paintings in the world, Tuscany manages to provide holidaymakers with what could be easily described as the true essence of Italy.
A peaceful setting for a relaxing family holiday, Tuscany is also ideal for couples who love walking, wine, art, history, exploring and bags of sightseeing.
The inspiration behind countless cookery books, Tuscany is a region of delicious, if not sometimes simple, cuisine. Hearty soups are popular on Tuscan menus – as is the spicy seafood soup, cacciucco. Antipasti reflect the region’s rural heritage. Meat dishes are most often grilled. And local cannellini beans feature in salads and pasta dishes. Tuscan wines are world-famous and include numerous Chianti varieties.
Visit Tuscany and enjoy stunning scenery, outstanding sights of Italy, as well as wonderful regional food and wines.
Camping in Rome
As Rome wasn’t built in a day, it would be near impossible for us to include the many attractions of this richly historical city in such a brief guide. Instead, we’ve listed some of the most popular sights, as well as one or two suggestions for alternative days out during your holiday to one of Europe’s top tourist destinations.
The superb Keycamp parc, Camping Village Fabulous, is ideally placed to allow you easy access into ‘The Eternal City’, while offering a wonderfully relaxing location amongst 70 acres of beautiful alpine trees.
Rome is only a short bus ride from the parc (buses normally depart every half hour or so). Alternatively, there is a regular rail link into Rome; the local train station, Laurentina, is just 2km from the parc and a bus from outside the parc will take you directly there.
And when in Rome, do as the Romans do… make use of the inexpensive public transport system that runs throughout the city.
There’s so much more to Pisa than the Campanile (Leaning Tower) that has given the city its worldwide acclaim. That said, this weirdly wonderful building just has to be seen especially as it has now been re-opened for visitors to climb. The Leaning Tower is, for many, the centrepiece of Pisa’s spectacular Field of Miracles where you can also see the amazing Duomo (the Leaning Tower is its bell tower), the three-storey Baptistry with its impressive arcades, the Camposanta cemetery and the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo.
Modern at heart, pretty Siena was once one of Europe’s most important cities. Here you will find a well-preserved medieval walled-city with narrow streets lined with tall Gothic mansions descending to the main square. Twice a year, in the Piazza il Campo, the famous bareback Palio horserace takes place. If you adore Italian architecture, make sure you visit the majestic Duomo (cathedral), the white-marbled Baptistry in Piazza San Giovanni and the Palazzo Publico with its wonderful Gothic architecture. If art’s your thing, explore the Museo Civico, with its near 100-metre tall bell tower and the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo.
Sitting on the banks of the River Arno, Florence truly is a beautiful Renaissance city that will delight art lovers with its breathtaking architecture. The Uffizi Gallery and Gallery Academia house some magnificent pieces. The Duomo – with its momentous dome by Filippo Brunelleschi - is the sixth largest in the world and has a wonderful painted ceiling. And the richly marbled Baptistry will take your breath away. Other highlights include the massive Romanesque Palazzo Vecchio town hall; the medieval Ponte Vecchio, a bridge lined with shops selling gold; the beautiful San Miniato al Monte church, and the church at Santa Croce. The views from the Piazza Michelangelo over the city’s roofs are magnificent. You’ll struggle to fully appreciate Florence in a single day, so why not plan at least a couple of visits during your Keycamp holiday?
About ten miles from Pisa, Lucca just has to be one of the most elegant cities in Tuscany. Once a major place for the silk trade, and a supplier of fine olive oil, it is also one of the most prosperous places in the region. Lucca proudly sits behind grand 16th Century Renaissance walls that are approached by elegant gardens. Once a Roman colony, Lucca retains a typically Roman street layout in its old town. With a rich heritage, Lucca tends to attract more discerning tourists. The many churches, palaces and squares give the town a charming, particularly unspoilt feel. Highlights of your visit should include the cathedral, Roman amphitheatre and old town. Plus take a stroll around the ramparts. With its stylish shops, antique markets, and various music festivals, Lucca really is a fascinating place to explore.
The Vatican City
The smallest nation in the world, the Vatican is the burial place of St Peter, home to around 1,000 people, and headed by the Pope. ‘Must sees’ of any trip to the Vatican include the Sistine Chapel. The Chapel’s interior has been decorated by some of the finest artists of the Renaissance period, including Michelangelo, who famously painted nine different scenes from the Old Testament.
Remember this is a religious place and you should dress conservatively to ensure you are not refused entry – no shorts or short skirts for example. If possible try to time your visit for the afternoon to avoid the worst crowds, but last entry is usually just after 3pm.
A perfectly preserved ancient temple, The Pantheon boasts a spectacular open dome, an imposing portico and huge bronze doors.
The very heart of the Roman Catholic faith, the star attraction of this vast basilica has to be Michelangelo’s massive dome. Take the elevator (almost) to the top of the dome for spectacular views across the city.
Angels and Demons Tour
If you’re a fan of Dan Brown, why not take this alternative tour of Rome? It provides a refreshingly different way to see the sights featured in the book and film, Angels and Demons. At the end of the tour, you will discover the secrets of the Illuminati. Find out more at www.angelsanddemons.it
In the Vatican Museums you can explore what is possibly the greatest collection of art from the Renaissance and Classical periods.
Still incredibly majestic, the vast Roman Forum was a glorious symbol of the power and strength of Rome for more than a millennium.
Completed in 80AD, this vast amphitheatre is one of the most stunning examples of the Roman Empire’s architectural engineering. Soak up the atmosphere, close your eyes, and let yourself be transported back to the time of gladiatorial battles.
The sea god, Neptune, rides a chariot made of shells in the centre of Italy’s most famous and spectacular fountain. Remember to throw a coin into the water to make sure you make another visit to Rome.
Easily Rome’s most picturesque square, Piazza Navona is the ideal spot to relax over a coffee and watch the street artists, as well as the tourists and locals bustling by.
Villa Borghese Park
If the kids are tiring of history, give them a fantastic history lesson outdoors. Hire bikes at the superb Villa Borghese Park and cycle around the attractions of this 17th Century wonder, with its elegant statues, temples, museums, galleries and zoo.
Visiting Pompeii really is like stepping back in time to the days of the Ancient Romans, as the volcanic ash that engulfed the city following an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD preserved much of the city at that moment in time. A daytrip to Pompeii and Naples can be booked on your holiday parc Camping Village Fabulous.
Walking is a good way to discover the very best of the Tuscan countryside and explore the many rural villages. Keycamp provides those staying at the parc near Florence with detailed walking notes.
You can hire windsurf boards from many of the beaches near Cecina Mare.
Many of the parcs in this region offer guided excursions to the top tourist areas of the region. It can be a good way to discover the best each place has to offer, or if you just feel like letting someone else do the driving.
Once Napoleon’s place of exile (and what a wonderful place to be exiled to), Elba boasts sparkling clear waters, sun-kissed peaks, unspoilt white sandy beaches and a wooded hinterland that is popular with walkers. Elba is also home to vineyards, olive groves and picturesque villages that remain blissfully peaceful even in mid-summer. The capital, Portoferraio, has an attractive old walled town and a pretty port that guides visitors into a fascinating maze of twisting alleyways. Other towns worth visiting include Capoliveri, Marciana and Porto Azzurro.
Once the harbour city of Ancient Rome, Ostia Antica is a rich archaeological site that includes the Baths of Neptune, the Casi di Diana, a wonderfully preserved house, an Ancient Roman café and a fascinating museum.
Sitting on a hilltop, the ancient town of Tivoli offers spectacular views over the surrounding countryside. Once a retreat for the great city’s elders, Tivoli is at the heart of the travertine industry and sells this precious stone around the world.
This wonderfully preserved small village first makes its presence known to visitors through an amazing skyline of tall medieval towers. Just possibly one of the most explored small villages in Italy, San Gimignano has hardly changed since the 14th Century and the old streets and squares are both charming and picturesque. If you’re holidaying in the height of summer, try to plan your visit to San Gimignano for later in the day when many of the day-trippers will have departed. A spectacular ballet, opera and chamber music festival takes place towards the end of July.
So much to see in this beautiful, historic and religious capital city. An absolute must-visit when in this region of Italy.
Le Capanne is situated amidst fragrant eucalyptus, olive and pine trees, just two miles from gorgeous sandy beaches and a short drive from the rolling Tuscan countryside.
Set amidst the olive, pine and cypress trees of the stunning Tuscan countryside; the coves and forests of the Etruscan coast are within easy reach, as is delightful Pisa.
Le Pianacce's superb hillside setting gives guests beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding Tuscan countryside, and you're within easy reach of some amazing Tuscan cities.
A beautiful parc in a beautiful location, Barco Reale is perfect for discovering some of Tuscany's must-see places such as classical Florence and Siena.
A first class holiday village with a fabulous pool complex that includes a lazy river. Its spectacular hillside setting also ensures lovely views of the Arno Valley.
A magnificent parc, ideal for sightseeing or relaxing, in the heart of the gorgeous Tuscan countryside.
Located next to a small, lovely beach and within easy reach of some truly beautiful places, this stunning parc offers lots to do and is ideal for a relaxing or active holiday.
Beach lovers and watersports enthusiasts will love Ville Degli Ulivi, with the stunning Mediterranean sea just a minute away.
Set in a pine forest, this parc offers an amazing pool complex including an Olympic size pool and lagoon pool. It is also close to both Pisa and the Baratti and Populonia Archaeological Park.
Lido Camping Village enjoys a superb location straddling the border of Tuscany and Lazio on the banks of Lake Bolsena, close to the ancient hilltop towns of Orvieto and Viterbo.
Thanks to this exciting parc's location within the Monti Sibillini National Park, you can enjoy scenic walks, donkey treks and have a go at canyoning too. Off parc, visits to Perugia, Norica and Spoleto are a must.
With plenty to see and do on and off-parc including organised entertainment and excursions, I Pini is the perfect site for families who like to make the most of their holiday.
Situated within easy reach of both the stunning sights of Rome and some glorious sandy beaches, the parc offers 70 glorious tree-lined acres and a wide range of activities.
Caught between pine forests and a perfect 1200m long beach amidst the Garigliano Natural Park. Baia Domizia offers excellent facilities and lots of shaded pitches.
Book npow and you can still make free amendments to your holiday plans until 23 December 2013
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