Reading material for those who love the camping life

By: Tone Hasle and Finn Bjurvoll Hansen
Caravan and Caravan magazine, No. 3 June 2020

Around Europe in a motorhome for a whole year - part 11

Tone and Finn Bjurvoll Hansen have spent a whole year in a motorhome. The trip has been all over Europe, and in each issue of Bobil and Caravan Magasinet they tell about their experiences. Here the story continues from Italy and the last leg to Barcelona

On waterways in Venice

After the exciting stay we had in San Marino, we chose to roll on to Venice. Norwegian motorhomes and camping tourists flock here all summer to experience all the exciting things Venice has to offer. Sometimes it can be difficult to move around the city, because it happens that the water level rises so much that rubber boots are a necessity, and on Markusplassen there are "piers" you can walk on to avoid wading in the water.

Luckily it was dry and nice when we visited the city. The weather gods also showed their best side. It was cold but sunny and clear and nice weather.

Camping Venice

We chose to park at Camping Venezia a bit on the outskirts of the city itself. The campsite is centrally located, and is very nice and modern with large nice places, indoor pool, restaurant, etc. The road to Venice is also short. The bus (No. 5 and No. 19) which enters Piazzale Roma runs every 15 minutes, and when you reach this terminus you can walk across the bridge and into Venice itself, or you can take a ferry, so-called Vaporetto to it the ferry station you want. The whole system is very easy to understand, and it is easy to move around using the Vapor Controls. Tickets for both the bus and the ferries can be purchased at the reception at the campsite, which makes it all even easier.

Mantova - the forgotten gem

After walking water and along the streets of Venice for a few days, we had to continue further north. We had already booked a ferry to take us from Genoa to Barcelona. We had a few days at our disposal and we had received a tip that Mantova was worth a visit. The city is located a little southwest of Verona and Lake Garda. In the middle of the flat landscape, Mantova appears as a troll in a box. The city is surrounded by 3 artificial lakes that have protected the city for over 1000 years. Whether it is the lakes that have protected the city from mass tourism is also not known, but the city is called a Florence in miniature. The advantage is that the city seems much more genuine and authentic Italian than the more famous touristized cities.


We parked in a nice motorhome parking just outside the city. 10 minutes walk over the moat on beautiful walk and bike paths led us into the medieval town with castles, churches and fortresses. This day there was a market all over the city. Here it was full of stalls where they sold all sorts of strange things, fruit, food, clothes, laundry items, blankets, etc. etc. Of course, there was also Christmas decorations in the streets and a lot of Christmas items for sale. We were not quite in shopping mode, but wandered around and sniffed at the exciting atmosphere. The city is old, in fact from the year 2000 BC. and so are the streets - here there are not even cobblestones, but cobbled streets. A little looted to walk on, and it is an advantage with slightly thicker soles.

Art, architecture, shopping

We have been to quite a few cathedrals and castles so we contented ourselves with walking along the streets and admiring the architecture, the people and listening to a street musician. The city is definitely worth a visit, here there are opportunities to admire art, architecture, shopping, going to a bar or restaurant, but you avoid souvenir shops and selfie bar sellers. It is a calm and cozy atmosphere here. If you visit the city better on a slightly warmer time of year, there are also opportunities for boat trips on the 3 lakes.

There is always a ferry

After a good month and a half in Italy, it was time to move to the Iberian Peninsula. For the last fourteen days we have been in Northern Italy, and the temperature has naturally gone down the further north we have come. When the night temperature crept below zero and we woke up to frost on the ground in the morning, it was time to get a little south again. A quick and comfortable way to get over to Spain was by ferry from Genoa to Italy. We have also used the ferries that go around the Mediterranean quite often, and it is an affordable, comfortable and fast way to get around. In terms of cost, it will not be much more expensive to take a ferry, and it can be nice to get some variety from driving.

The sea route to Barcelona

We have traveled 750 miles so far on this trip, so taking this ferry to get to Spain was a comfortable option. Driving in Genoa can be a bit problematic, and it is easy to drive wrong when going down to the ferry terminal, and we got a couple of "rounds of honor" before we could finally drive into the ferry terminal. Now it was on to Spain and new adventures.

Thank you very much for the entourage!

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