Discover the enchantment of Motorhoming in Italian Lakes as we unveil insider tips, hidden areas, and captivating itineraries that will ignite your wanderlust.
How to visit the Italian lakes by motorhome or campervan? Discover our guide to a successful trip to Lombardy!
In our opinion, travelling by motorhome is one of the best ways to explore a destination, and visiting the Italian lakes by motorhome provides an incredible sense of freedom and flexibility. You won’t have to worry about comparing hotel prices in different municipalities surrounding the lakes.
Whether you’re planning a romantic weekend or a family getaway, the northern Italian lakes are a popular destination. These vast basins are nestled between the Alps and the Po Valley, spanning from Milan to Venice. The most well-known lakes include Garda, Maggiore, Como, and Lugano, but there are dozens of others stretching from Lombardy to Umbria and even Puglia.
So, why not plan a road trip through the Italian lakes in a motorhome and experience the beauty of Italy at your own pace?
Visiting the Italian lakes by motorhome offers a unique opportunity to discover the country’s rich cultural and culinary heritage. You’ll experience an idyllic climate, stunning Mediterranean colors, and a diverse array of flavors.
Italy is also home to a wealth of art and history, which has fascinated visitors since Roman antiquity. To help you plan your trip, we’ve put together a mini-guide for the best Motorhoming in Italian Lakes.
Motorhoming in Italian Lakes: Guide of Itineraries and Ranting Campervan
Key Takeaways on Motorhoming in Italian Lakes: - Motorhoming in the Italian Lakes region offers freedom, flexibility, and a sense of adventure while exploring the area. - Popular lakes in the region include Garda, Maggiore, Como, and Lugano, but there are many others to discover. - Renting a motorhome in Italy is possible both on-site and through online platforms like Yescapa, offering a variety of options to choose from. - Itineraries around the Italian lakes can be accessed from different countries, each providing unique and picturesque routes. - When driving in Italy, be cautious as traffic can be dense, especially on major routes like Milan-Venice. - The Italian Highway Code is similar to that of France, and certain equipment such as reflective vests and warning triangles are mandatory in motorhomes. - Motorway tolls exist in the region, and prices vary depending on the distance traveled. - While wild camping is officially prohibited, sleeping inside your motorhome is often tolerated in Italy. - There are various options for parking near the Italian lakes, including campgrounds, motorhome service areas, and free parking spots. - Late spring, summer, and early fall are the best times to visit the Italian lakes by motorhome, with pleasant weather and fewer crowds. - Popular lakes accessible for motorhomes include Garda, Como, and Maggiore, each offering unique attractions and natural beauty. - Overnight stays with a motorhome are possible near the Italian lakes, with options ranging from campsites to wild camping, depending on preferences and budget.
How and Where to Rent a Motorhome in France?
Do you want to discover the Italian Lakes with your motorhome or van for example? It is now easy to rent a motorhome in France. How? By using platforms for connecting tenants and private owners of motorhomes such as Yescapa for example.
How does it work?
- First, you have to choose the motorhome in your city (for example Bordeaux, Nantes, Toulouse, Paris, Montpellier or Marseille).
- Be careful to choose the unlimited mileage, to check the number of beds available and if the trip abroad is possible.
- Make your rental request online and share your trip information (dates, rental options, mileage, etc.) with the landlord.
- If your request is accepted and after payment, you will have access to the owner’s contact details to arrange a first meeting.
- On D-Day, present your driver’s license and pay the deposit.
- An inventory is made and a rental contract is signed between the two parties. On your return, after having scoured the Italian roads, sign the inventory of fixtures back, and voila!
How and where to find motorhome rental in the Lake District?
When I was planning my trip to visit the Italian lakes, I wanted to have the freedom to move around and explore at my own pace. So, I decided to rent a motorhome. I found out that it was possible to rent a motorhome on-site in Italy, but I opted to book online beforehand to ensure I got the exact vehicle I wanted.
The process was simple: I entered my travel dates and the city where I wanted to rent my motorhome on a rental platform. I was then able to search through a variety of options.
When is the best time to Motorhoming the Italian lakes?
While Italy may be known for its warm Mediterranean climate, the lakes are actually located in the northern part of the country, in the Alps. This means that the weather can vary significantly from other parts of Italy. In general, the region has a mountain climate, with long, cold, and wet winters, and cool nights and hot days in the summer.
To make the most of your trip, the best time to visit the Italian lakes by motorhome is in the late spring, summer, or early fall.
Most of Italy’s lakes are located in the northern part of the country, in the Alps. The climate in this region is influenced by the mountains, and winters can be long, cold and wet, while summers are hot during the day and cool at night.
Around Lake Maggiore, the climate is temperate with cold and wet winters, and hot and stormy summers. The average maximum temperature in July is 27°C, while in January it is 6°C. The area experiences frequent frosts in winter and heavy rains from May to October.
So, when is the best time to Motorhoming in Italian Lakes? The best times are late spring, summer, and September. The summer period, on the other hand, experiences a peak in tourist attendance. In addition, prices can rise sharply in summer.
Ideas for itineraries around Italian lakes by motorhome
If you’re not sure where to start your journey, the Italian lakes can be accessed from France, Switzerland, Austria, or Slovenia, with each offering its own unique and picturesque route. When preparing for your trip, take a moment to imagine the breathtaking landscapes and charming atmospheres that await you.
The lakes offer stunning views of snow-capped peaks, which contrast beautifully with the deep blue of the water. You’ll also have the opportunity to admire the lush Mediterranean vegetation on the mountainside, and the picturesque villages planted with olive and lemon trees. Visiting the Italian lakes by motorhome is a true aesthetic pilgrimage that will leave you in awe of the beauty of Italy.
It’s important to plan your itinerary according to the duration of your trip. It’s not possible to visit all the Italian lakes in just three days, so if you’re planning a weekend getaway, it’s best to focus on just one lake. Here are some itinerary ideas based on the length of your trip:
- Lake Garda over 3 days: Sirmione, Bardolino, Riva del Garda and Linfano, Monte Baldo, Gargnano, Peschiera del Garda, Verona.
- Lake Como over 3 days: Lecco, Bellagio, Como, Menaggio, the Greenway del lago di Como from Colonne to Griante.
- Lake Maggiore over 3 days: Suna, Palanza, Intra, Baveno, Stresa, Arona, the Borromean Islands, Laveno,
- Italian lakes in 15 days: Lake Garda, Como and Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano, Lake Orta (Orta, Sacro Monte, Pettenasco), Lake Iseo (Monte Isola, Pisogne, Sarnico), the lakes of southern Italy (Trasimeno, Bolsena, Albano, Bracciano, Varano, Lesina.
Exploring the Italian lakes by motorhome is a wonderful way to discover the natural beauty of Italy. It also allows for a unique and memorable travel experience along the water’s edge. While the following itinerary suggestions are not comprehensive, they do include some of the must-see destinations of the Italian lakes.
Driving around Italian lakes by motorhome: the traffic rules to know
Driving in Italy
The roads of Italy are renowned for being considered racing circuits. Italians like speed and sporty, even reckless, driving. It may seem like the highway code doesn’t apply in Italy, but paradoxically, drivers are generally respectful and courteous.
However, it’s important to remember that priority goes to the one who takes it. Traffic on Italian motorways can be very dense, especially on the Milan-Venice route. The A4 is a major axis in Europe and often congested with trucks heading in all directions. Therefore, it’s important to be extra cautious when visiting the Italian lakes by motorhome.
The Italian Highway Code
In general, the highway code in Italy is the same as in France. The motorhome must be equipped with a reflective vest, a warning triangle, a first aid kit and a spare wheel. Each passenger must of course fasten his seat belt when the vehicle is moving. It is now mandatory to turn on your low beam headlights, day and night. Also, the speed limits in motorhomes are as follows:
- 50 km/h in built-up areas,
- 90-110 km/h on secondary roads,
- 130 km/h on motorways.
What you need to know
When you’re driving in Italy, you need to be careful and follow the traffic rules. The maximum legal blood alcohol level is 0.5 g/l, and speeding checks using automatic radar are common. It’s important to never exceed the speed limits.
Additionally, keep in mind that historic city centers have restricted access to passenger vehicles, which is known as the “zona traffico limitato”. This area is monitored by a radar that scans your license plate at the entrance, and repeat offenses outside of authorized hours can result in cumulative fines. So, take it slow and enjoy the ride!
Motorway tolls around Italian lakes: what price for your category of Motorhome?
The main motorways you’ll likely take are the Turin-Venice axis (A4) and the A9: the motorway of the Lakes, Milan-Como-Chiasso. To pay the toll, you’ll take a ticket at the entrance of the highway and pay based on the distance traveled at the exit. Alternatively, you can use prepaid subscription cards such as ViaCard, available in three different amounts: 25 €, 50 €, and 75 €.
It’s important to note that when traveling in a motorhome, you’ll be subject to Class 2 toll fees, whereas campervans are subject to Class 1 fees. Here are some indicative rates to expect:
- Chiasso to Como: €2.30,
- Chiasso to Milan: €5.60,
- Chiasso-Rome: €47.40 (class 1) and €48.50 (class 2),
- Chiasso-Naples: €62.60 (class 1) and €64.10 (class 2),
- Chiasso-Bari: €69.90 (class 1) and €71.50 (class 2).
Crossing Italy can therefore be expensive depending on where you go!
Motorhome areas around Italian lakes: where to park?
Wild camping is officially prohibited in Italy, just like in France. However, Italy is known to be a popular destination for motorhome owners and campervan travelers. While it is prohibited to settle and sleep on public roads, it is often tolerated to sleep inside your motorhome.
The boundary between these two practices can be unclear, but it is generally easier to park near the coasts. In the vicinity of the Italian lakes, finding a spot to park at night in public spaces can be more challenging.
Where to settle?
Looking for a place to park near the Italian lakes? There are several options available, including campgrounds, motorhome service areas, and free parking. One handy tool to help you find the perfect spot is the Park4night app.
We use it on every trip we take in our converted van. It’s a fantastic resource for sharing information about where to park in a motorhome, van, or camper. No longer do you have to spend hours searching for a suitable spot each day! The app features an interactive map that includes campsites, motorhome service areas, parking lots, and natural areas where other travelers have parked before.
It also includes a comment system so you can compare the quality of different spots. In short, it’s an indispensable tool for anyone planning to visit the Italian lakes in a campervan or motorhome.
Want to sleep at the top of the mountains with a splendid view of the lakes? Look for the best accessible point of view with your vehicle!
What are the popular Italian Lakes that are accessible for motorhomes?
Some popular Italian Lakes that are accessible for motorhomes are:
Lake Garda: the largest and most visited lake in Italy, with stunning views, historic sites and adventure sports.
Lake Como: the third largest and most picturesque lake in Italy, surrounded by Alpine mountains and elegant villas.
Lake Maggiore: the second largest and most peaceful lake in Italy, ideal for nature lovers and relaxing holidays.
These are just some of the many beautiful lakes that you can explore with your motorhome in Italy. Buon viaggio!
Can I park my motorhome near the Italian Lakes for overnight stays?
Yes, you can park your motorhome near the Italian Lakes for overnight stays. There are many options for motorhome parking in this beautiful region, such as campsites, sostas (aires), free-approved parking places, and wild camping.
Depending on your preferences and budget, you can choose the type of stopover that suits you best. Some of the most popular destinations for motorhome travelers are Lake Maggiore, Lake Como, and Lake Garda, where you can enjoy stunning scenery, charming towns, and delicious food. You will love exploring the Italian Lakes with your motorhome!
We sincerely hope that our article, “Motorhoming in Italian Lakes,” has provided you with valuable information and proven to be a helpful resource for your upcoming adventure.