Who doesn’t love Italy right? Our family has an ongoing love affair with Italy. It is where my husband and I spent our honeymoon back in the 1990’s. My mum got married in the noughties in Verona (where Romeo and Juliet was set!) and mum and I went back there about 8 years ago to film our episode of A Place in the Sun: Home or Away, when she was considering purchasing a holiday home there!
Last week at half term, my family and I returned to Italy and for the first time, took the children. We could choose from 8 European countries with Canvas Holidays – who provide flexible holiday options for all sizes of party on vacation and all budgets. They have more than 200 campsites in Europe, and all their resorts have been chosen for what the family holidaymaker needs, whether that be: access to beaches, fantastic swimming pools, unique surroundings, a stunning restaurant or all of the above!
We got all of the above at our choice: Camping Bella Italia.
This resort is HUGE! It accommodates about 2000 guests from all nationalities as it is easy to drive from neighbouring European countries, so as well as the Canvas offerings of Moda accommodation or mobile home, other holidaymakers can take their touring caravans and motorhomes onto the site and many do! We stayed in a Moda which is the best choice for ‘glamping’ in that it provided comfortable and private accommodation for my family whilst also providing extras like a corkscrew and a BBQ and even a Bluetooth speaker system so we could hook up our music and play it through the speakers whilst in the apartment!
The holiday was on a self catering basis, but Canvas do provide towel and bed linen hire if you don’t want to take your own. If you are holidaying in your car you may bring along your own sheets to save money but as we were travelling by air and needed to keep baggage weight down, we opted for the hire which meant that it was all waiting for us to make up our beds on arrival.
Let me share some more photos of how smart this accommodation is inside. It is compact, but there is certainly everything you need and I loved how my husband and I had our own bedroom and the kids were together in their own room, so everyone got privacy and an area they could go to chill out when they needed it. All my family are big readers and we all find ourselves retreating to our rooms to curl up with a book at one stage or another on a family vacation.
This bedroom shot is the master bedroom.
This shot shows the ‘streets’ within the campsite and our living room!
There is a reasonably priced supermarket on site and then a Lidl and a supermarket called Simply both of which are 5 minutes drive down the road, so it’s easy to get stocked up! The Simply also has a petrol station if you hire a car. Also on the Bella Italia site are a fresh fruit store and another store to buy holiday essentials like lilos and beach balls, flip-flops and kaftans! If you forgot to pack something, it’ll be here – we had to buy our son a pair of Crocs classic clogs as we realised the ones we’d brought for him were too small – kids just grow so quick!
There is a large swimming pool complex on site with baby paddling area and water slides. The brochure says ‘swimming caps and trunks compulsory’ and whilst we wouldn’t try to go trunk-less(!) we didn’t use a swim cap and many other families didn’t either and we were ok! There is a lane swimming pool where they insist upon a swim cap but not in the family / kiddie area.
Other notable things that we made use of onsite: Diego’s bar where you can get a cold beer, watch the sports on a big screen TV whilst making use of the wifi (1 Euro per hour) – my kids were always asking to go to Diego’s just for the wifi! Trampolines: At Bella Italia they had a few kids entertainment areas, including a small fairground for the young children and a park with a swing, but my older kids enjoyed the elastic trampolines! These were both extra-springy trampolines where they could bounce much higher than they can manage on our domestic trampoline at home, but also bungee trampolines for high wire flips! Both are chargeable – about €2.50 for 10 minutes on the elastic trampolines and €3 for 7 minutes on the bungees.
We also ate at the on site restaurants (there was a very nice pizza restaurant overlooking Lake Garda where you can sit on the balcony and watch the world go by) as well as having a BBQ at our Moda. We had to purchase some charcoal at the local supermarket as it wasn’t a gas powered one but it made for a nice change one day when we didn’t want to venture far so we could enjoy a drink!
You could quite easily get to Camping Bella Italia and stay there for a whole week as there are so many facilities on the doorstep, but we also like to explore. The resort is in the pretty town of Peschiera-del-Garda, the gateway to the whole of Lake Garda as you can catch a ferry to other parts of the lake from there, and Peschiera itself is a 15 minute walk along the lakeside if you want to stretch your legs.
In my next post I’ll share with you some of the things you can do around the area, but let me leave you with a photo we took on our first full day of the holiday when the sun was shining and we were glad to be out of the rain we’d left behind in the UK.
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With 50 years experience, Canvas Holidays are specialists in providing quality family camping holidays in France, Italy, Spain & throughout Europe. Learn more at their website.