'free' camping as in 'no charge'. There are lots of 'aree di sosta' usually provided by a local authority, as per 'aires' in France or Stellplaetze in Germany that are free of charge. They will only have basic facilities though in most cases. There can be exceptions to this, such as San Gemini in Umbria, which has EHU, or Barga in Tuscany, which has EHU.
You can find 'aree di sosta' on these websites : www.guidacamper.com - this is also in book form from vicarious books www.camperonline.it
However there are also many that make a charge.
'Free camping' as in wild camping? Then in some areas you can get away with it, in others not tolerated at all. You really have to use your own common sense. N.B. that as in France, there is the legal distinction between 'parking' and 'camping' e.g. in the big Bus/Car park at Monteriggioni near Siena in Tuscany you can 'park' for as long as you like, but 'camping' is not allowed. This simply means that you don't open your windows wide (use the sliding kitchen ones for fresh air, or roof lights), you don't open your awning or put out your chairs, and most importantly you don't discharge any liquids.
You will find plenty of spots where you can 'park' discreetly, even overnight.
I agree with eddied's comments but would add that if you go anywhere near the Major attractions (lake Garda for instance) every good spot has a height restriction on it specifically to prevent MH users. Certainly on the East Coast of Garda this was the case last weekend!! Eventually we found a post almost at the top of the Lake but even though this was dedicated to MHs it closed at 2300 hrs. I can appreciate the locals position but it wasn't helpful. You're coming at a quieter time and should find spots easily enough. In the top areas, Campsite websites may tell you that they have no vacancies, this is because they want weekly customers, but they usually reserve a couple of spots for 1 or 2 nighters, don't leave it too late in the day though.
I can highly recommend Lake Varese (VA) and an Aire da Sosta in Gavirate, I can see it from my house!!
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