We’ve been soaking up the Italian sun for over six weeks now. Easing ourselves into the heat of Italy in summer, we started our trip in the Dolomites. We hiked, saw the most incredible views, were out from sunrise to sunset and felt fully at home back in the mountains. The days were warm and then the temperatures cooled as the night hit, making it the perfect place for vanlife travel. We had a hiccup and ended up stuck at a mechanic in Bressanone(just outside of the Dolomites), for five days before getting the van towed to a ford dealer in Merano, where thankfully they fixed the turbo issue, with little delay, under warranty!
Onwards we drove, as our adventures continued, we started lake hopping in the north of Italy. The temperatures soared and these little Aussies realised we lived in the arctic in Norway, for way too long! Europe entered a heatwave and wow living in the van was hot! 38 degrees in the day, with 28 degrees overnight! You can imagine the sauna that was happening in the van! Thankfully, before leaving our friends place in the Austrian Alps, we installed an extra solar panel, which has been a real life saver, allowing us to keep the fans cranking all day and all night! Before long (Lockie will say otherwise), we got used to the warmth and it became the new normal. Poor Tommy has seen it all, surviving living in -25 degrees and now at +38 degrees. He’s a trooper and we are so happy with him!
We weaved our way back to the coast, were we got some relief and the soaring temperatures lowered enough to make life more comfortable. We’ve stayed at numerous campsites, area sosta campers and even a tone of free camps! The safe free camps, which are mostly inland, were a total surprise for us, with some even giving you free electricity! So generous and such a huge saving. Italy is not the place to wild camp, it is illegal, but most of all its not safe, generally. For us, the risk of getting broken into is not worth the saving of 20 euros a night. We have wild camped a few nights inland, were it is tolerated and we were purely there to sleep and not leave the van alone.
Our vanlife Italy trip is definitely taking longer than we initially expected it to. We were set back a week with car troubles, but really we just have so so much we want to see! The beauty of vanlife and having nothing set in stone, means we can go with the flow and change our plans.
One thing about wanting to see it all is that life is so busy! We are usually leaving tommy parked in safety outside a city or town and using public transport, our bikes or our legs to get us places. I said to Lockie yesterday, in the midst of a chaotic day island hopping, some days it feels like we are back packers, just using the van as our home base, apposed to the relaxed, slower vanlife being parked on a remote beach or in the mountains. As much as we do love being tourist, we do miss the slower van days and will definitely be heading back into that mode once we have finished our Italian road trip.
So for now, I leave you and get back to planning what we are up to over the next few days zipping around the Amalfi coast on a rental scooter!