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Morning all

We are unsure as to whether or not to tour Italy.

The only city we were planning on seeing is Milan, stopping at a campsite near otherwise it would just be small towns and villages on aires/campsites.

We have heard tales from other MHers that on numerous occasions vans have been broken into, and that Italy just isn't safe. One tale was a friend of a friend who had visited Italy 4 times, and each time they had been burgled !
I received the same advice 4 years ago and opted to tour France instead.

What is the consensus ? :confused:

Thanks

DJM
 

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We've been to Italy many times using sostas most of the time and have never had a major problem, I think the risks are pretty much the same wherever you go in Europe, just take sensible precautions, always have a plan b and if a place doesn't feel right then move to the next.


Having said that, we did have an attempted burglary once while wildcamping in Sardinia back in 2007 but our deadlocks foiled them, didn't put us off and we've revisited many times since then.


Some bugger tried to force the cab door open in Calais once as well but we still go to France.


Pete
 

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We toured Italy for about 6 weeks right down to 2 weeks in Sicily with no problems at all. wild camping all the way, everybody was so welcoming especially other motor homers, we just looked as we travelled on to see if there were any other vans parked up and joined them.

We had a wild windy night camped up near the top of the volcano mount Etna in Sicily, at least it was cool enough to sleep!..

Italy brilliant go for it.

ray.
 
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If you are thinking about Italy you are better to go for the maim towns, Rome is fantastic, Venice a little less so, Forence is a great town and Assisi is too. There will always be beggars, mostly women with styrofoam cups, sometimes accompanied by snotty nosed kids, just ignore their pleadings, they won't miss you few euros because they will be collected shortly by a son or husband or other relative in a pretty new BMW or Mercedes to go to a different pitch. Only carry a small amount of cash and small wallet in a front pocket. Do not carry a handbag or manbag, or if you must, have nothing of value in it. Always keep you eyes peeled for for whats going on around you and for likely robbers and avoid anyone asking for directions with a map (a popular cover for their accomplice dipping your pocket/bag.

Stay on recognised sites and use public transport to get into town centres, some sites have frees buses take you in and collect you later. For me sostas in or near large towns are a definite NO but possibly worth chancing in more rural locations.

Having said all that you will be fine as long as you are aware of the risks and take reasonable precautions. Oh, by the way. if you see young (and sometimes not so young) women sitting on white plastic chairs at the roadside in wooded areas, they are not waiting for a bus.
 

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I've spent two winters in Italy and Sicily. After an attempted break in that buggered a lock (screwdriver banged in it looked like) in Verona wilding on a car park. We have adopted the same policies as iandsm, campsites near cities. Wilding fine in small towns and countryside. Also be aware that there are two Italys, North and south that are almost separate countries.

Although not as popular as in France, MHing is very popular in Italy with plenty of service points and sostas (aires) many totally free.

Dick
 

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We've done Italy twice in the van, and many times in villas. It's my favourite country. We've never had a moment's bother, even in the supposedly scary Naples. We've wildcamped loads, and only once had the police knocking on the door, but we were camped next to the village's main water supply building in the snow - which looked a bit of an unlikely place to be!

However, we have a panel van and a dog (now 2 dogs), so I don't know if that makes a difference. We've never camped in a city, but have stayed in some lovely towns. Have a look at our blog entries for 2011 (about 8 entries) and 2016:

http://charliedogcametoo.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/italy-1-salento-peninsula.html (start of 2011 entries)

http://charliedogcametoo.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/a-brief-tour-of-italian-alps.html (start of 2016 entries)

As to beggars - well, to be honest I think I see more on the streets of Cambridge than I recall seeing in Italy.

I don't think you can beat Italy - history, architecture, art, food, scenery - you can beat individual bits in other countries, but for us Italy has it all.

Lesley
 

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Hey Ray we are parked up at Etna at this very moment.........................just waiting for sunset.......................hope it doesn't get too cold..........................the rabbit prefers to bask in the sunshine.

Surely Italy and Sicily are no worse than most other places................................if you're unlucky .......................but surely not worth avoiding what YOU want to do.

We are travelling back through Bulgaria,Romania and Eastern Europe.........................OMG

As an aside most thefts of motorhomes seem to occur from people's drives in the UK.
 
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We are travelling back through Bulgaria,Romania and Eastern Europe.........................OMG.
Have fun. We travelled through those areas too and experienced no problems. When we were in Hungary the police were intent on checking papers so we were stopped about 5 times, and once coming into Poland on a forest track so we looked suspicious!

Also, we wildcamped near the top of Vesuvius if we're name dropping volcanoes!

Lesley
 

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Hey Ray we are parked up at Etna at this very moment.........................just waiting for sunset.......................hope it doesn't get too cold..........................the rabbit prefers to bask in the sunshine.

Surely Italy and Sicily are no worse than most other places................................if you're unlucky .......................but surely not worth avoiding what YOU want to do.

We are travelling back through Bulgaria,Romania and Eastern Europe.........................OMG

As an aside most thefts of motorhomes seem to occur from people's drives in the UK.
Don't worry webby, I'm in Greece at the moment and came down through cz, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Macadonia. Wilded 9 out of 10 nights and felt Absolutely safe in in the Cities. Wilded within a few hundred yards of the centre of Skopje, Bratislava, Brno, Pec etc. The excommunist states seemed extremely law abiding. Only place we were wary was Belgrade.

Dick
 

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Don't worry webby, I'm in Greece at the moment and came down through cz, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Macadonia. Wilded 9 out of 10 nights and felt Absolutely safe in in the Cities. Wilded within a few hundred yards of the centre of Skopje, Bratislava, Brno, Pec etc. The excommunist states seemed extremely law abiding. Only place we were wary was Belgrade.

Dick
We live in Poland and tour parts of Poland and Slowakia.

Never given security a thought - except when we had a banging noise at 0200 - not raiders, or Police, just Truma heater:laugh:
 

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We loved Italy

Spent two months there not a hint of a problem

Now I know we have the hound from hell so safe at night IF any problem arises , but never a muff all night from him

We enjoyed Venice even working around the Hell hound by getting 24 hr tickets , one evening visit one morning one

Rome was great stayed on a campsite that had a shuttle service to the metro, the ticket covered any transport for the day

Assisi we loved again a shuttle bus from the campsite

Piza we stayed free on the carpark, but I'm not sure you can now

We stayed on sostas , wilded , campsites

I really struggle to understand why one van would be targeted so many times

We take Shadow out out and leave the van unoccupied , never a problem

Italy is great

Sandra
 

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Italy is our favourite country too, we've spent 6 months there in 4 trips over the last 4 years. Probably going to the south this October/November as well.

Just found a nice little sosta in Piedmont at Prato Nevoso, you can see the vans just below my head. (ignore the date stamp - new gadget!)

Kev
 

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We've toured extensively in Italy for many years, its our favourite destination and we normally travel before and after the main season now. In the past we had to endure high season, with crowded campsites and very busy attractions. Now in the shoulder seasons campsites and sostas are much quieter and visitor attractions are much quieter.

We've preferred to do the Big Cities on a fly drive w/e in Nov or March when it is really quiet and we can stay in the heart of the city.

We started our touring in the Dolomites and the northern lakes and return regularly to our favourite spots, but they're all getting busier at what ever time of year. Cavallino across the lagoon from Venice can be a relaxing place with the opportunity to spend a couple of days in Venice by boat with all day tickets but a plan is needed for each day.

Touring just south of Venice through Padua, Ravenna, Perugia, Assissi, Montepulciano Siena, and back north to the lakes before heading home is wonderful countryside with marvellous old towns and the birth of the renaissance. Yes there can be too many churches, frescoes and paintings but there's always somewhere to unwind and relax.

We've never felt threatened, just like here or in France if we don't like the look of the place we move on there's always somewhere else and you find find some absolute gems like the town of Sulmona (the home of confetti, almonds covered in sugar paste).

We hope to be back in Sicily in May and June ( depends on hospital appointments).

Yes the roads can be awful but the motorway tolls are cheap cf France, but we're on holiday and not rushing, and just go with the flow with the driving, and don't get get bullied. There are two shocks in Italy, firstly rubbish and dilapidation, which gets worse as you head south and secondly "ladies of the night" (but day here) sat on plastic chairs by the side of roads in the middle of nowhere, but usually on obvious trucking routes.

So Italy is great, noisy, can be busy but great food and wine, enjoy

alan & sue
 

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The plastic chair ladies are also busy in Spain. I thought they were waiting for the bus! Plenty of them in Paris too!

Italy has a totally unique atmosphere. But one hazard to be wary of is the shocking pushy drivers. They don't mind 'modified' vehicles. One ripped his bumper off by challenging the Bumparossa for merging lanes in Rome. Silly man!

On the subject of break-ins, a couple of years ago there was a mass break-in 10 vans at the campsite in Amboise during the June music festival. M. le Flic, said they come through every year and are well gone eastwards before anyone wakes up. Talented bunch.
 

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....On the subject of break-ins, a couple of years ago there was a mass break-in 10 vans at the campsite in Amboise during the June music festival. M. le Flic, said they come through every year and are well gone eastwards before anyone wakes up. Talented bunch.
Yes, and I seem to remember one of the victims lost a top-of-the-range watch and rather a lot of money :wink2:
 

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Yes, and I seem to remember one of the victims lost a top-of-the-range watch and rather a lot of money :wink2:
Jean, I can categorically assure you it was not one of those. I was there, along with several other MHF members who were gathering informally for the music festival. I awoke to hear a commotion going on and it was the flic investigating. One van that was broken into was next to mine. Another victim was a young Korean family in a tent which was slashed and the Dad's rucksack lifted. In it were all their valuables, cash, passports, mobile phone and the keys to the hire car. They didn't have a euro to buy food for the kids nor could they go anywhere or cancel their cards. (Eggs, basket spring to mind, but I can understand their orderliness.) The couple in the van, who 'allegedly' had a watch and cash stolen, and their dog drugged were thoroughly respectable members of this forum. No-one suggested being gassed, btw.

This was one of the genuine ones, and very professionally done too. So the warning stands.
 
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