Alta Val Trebbia, Italy – unexpected beauty in our first stop

This is the first from a series of posts covering our family trip in Italy, France, Switzerland and Austria mountains. Read my intro overview of the trip

Italy had not been one of our destinations since we have already been through much of it earlier. We had planned an overnight there though, and we were happy we did. One of the few campsites that had a free place for us was Campeggio Fontanelle – a small village in what turned to be an amazing area – the Alta val Trebbia.

Where is Val Trebbia? It’s very close to Genoa, just southwest of Piacenza. ‘Val’ means ‘valley’ and Trebbia is the name of the wide though seemingly shallow river.

I can’t describe how amazing it was to drive at the top of the valley, along Trebbia waters where people enjoyed the riverside or even had a must-be-cold bath in the awful heat (some great photos at this Val Trebbia blog). We drove at the top of the hills, through lovely forests, passed through tiny picturesque villages, gazed at the amazing views throughout the whole journey.

Our camp turned to be a hidden gem in the cool forest – a place covered with flowers, trees, wonderful villas, and cared for by great hosts. Just a few meters up the road there was a band playing in a small park, and a local fest going on. And the village just a kilometer away felt like it was the same as a hundreds of years ago – small streets, people sitting and talking on the small main square, one shop for food and one for everything else (where I had to use my Italian to its best, noone spoke English at all!), everyone knowing each other and looking curiously at me…as if the time had stopped! Wished I could see, at least for a day, what the life of those people looked secluded from the busy life in the nearby ‘Italian riviera’, so peaceful and calm.

Now for those interested in great campsites – Campeggio Fontanelle is definitely one I would recommend. Amidst a forest, covered in flowers everywhere, tent places and bungalows of all types, hot water (though limited to 10 free showers – enough for a night’s stay :), open space inside or just outside to play anything you like, even a kids area (though looking a bit unmaintained). Convenient parking just outside, very affordable pricing. But maybe the biggest advantage of this camp is its location – so much Val Trebbia sightseeing to do! Will definitely come back again.

Next we headed to – Saint Tropez and a quick tour around the French riviera, read my impressions from this famous resort in my next post. Meanwhile, enjoy some pics from Val Trebbia campsite and the area!


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