More winding roads

Northern Italy – the Dolomites & Venice

After our luxurious ski trip in France, it was back to Frosty and time to hit the road again.  You’d think it would be hard squeezing back into the cramped and messy confines of the campervan after a spell out but it’s actually really nice to be back ‘home’.

We set the sat nav for Venice (our next Poste Restante pickup spot) and tunnelled under Mont Blanc to reach Italy in no time at all.   Here we got distracted by the mountains (again) so instead headed north to check out the Dolomites.  Quite different from the Alps- they aren’t as high but consist of much steeper exposed rock faces which makes for some dramatic scenery.

More winding roads
More winding roads

Although we were in Italy, it had a much more of an Austrian feel with the old chocolate box timber houses and the fact that German is the first language in this area.  They’d had a lot of snow this year and although the roads were well cleared it felt at times like we were driving through tunnels! 

We drove pretty high too – the highest pass we climbed topped out at 2,400m. 

We drove pretty high too – the highest pass we climbed topped out at 2,400m.
We drove pretty high too – the highest pass we climbed topped out at 2,400m.

A lovely 4 nights in the mountains staying at a mixture of campsites, aires and this wildcamping spot below which ranks for me as the best yet!

It had been a while in the hills so time to hit the big smoke – Venice!

Note the beard is gone
Note the beard is gone

High expectations didn’t disappoint and we really enjoyed our two days there – a truly special city.

Obviously it’s just gorgeous to look at but it also had a relaxed and friendly vibe too and a great mix of history, architecture, shops (both fancy brands and quaint little artisan-type places) and of course legendary bars, cafes and restaurants.  We had lunch out and splurged on the obligatory gondala ride and made the most of our day in the city.

With all the narrow (car-free, of course) alleyways we were lost for pretty much the whole 8 hours we spent wandering around but we made the boat back to our campsite with seconds to spare so it didn’t matter.

Very much enjoyed our first of three stints in Italy.  Looking forward to the lakes at end of May with the Speedies and then a good few weeks travelling down ‘the boot’ in Oct/Nov.

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