Want to go wild camping in Italy but unsure of the laws? Want to find the best spots? We’ll cover all of the rules, regulations and any customs that you’ll need to be aware of when going camping throughout the country (including the islands). After this, you’ll be empowered and ready to go!
Where are the best wild camping spots in Italy?
Okay, let’s keep it short and sweet today and dive straight in! Tuscany has to be number one. It’s a popular destination, and not just for camping. With beautiful nature, interesting history and breathtaking vineyards, why wouldn’t it be, right? This part of Italy doesn’t have a firm stance on wild camping, so it’s totally up to you to make a decision from spot to spot. However, you’ll also find campsites here too if it looks like it’ll be difficult to wild camp.
Of course, the famous Venice is worth visiting too. It’s best to travel there in autumn, when it’s less crowded. If you’d like to go wild camping around here though, bad news; there’s an absolute ban on camping outside the designated campsites and pitches.
Lake Garda is also a beautiful part of Italy to go camping… However, it's not easy to wild camp here either! The lake lies across three different regions: Veneto, Lombardy and Trentino Alto Adige. There are a lot of nice campsites and pitches around the lake. As always, make sure to follow the signs, and if in doubt about where you want to set up camp, just ask first.
Bella Isola in Taormina, Sicily.
Can I go camping on the Italian islands?
Good news. Yes you can! Sardinia is actually a popular destination for campers. Although it’s an island, you can easily get here with your campervan - you’ll just need to take the ferry. Once there, you can look forward to beautiful beaches, historic sites and caves. However, you can only camp in campsites or designated areas here. It’s a similar situation in Sicily, though it’s not particularly easy... If there’s no camp in the village you’re at, you can stay in the car park, which is great. However, you can only stay in a spot for a maximum of 24 hours. You can easily reach Sicily by ferry too.
What are the rules for camping in Italy?
There are lots of nice campsites where you can spend your holidays - you can find plenty of them here. If you’d like to try something a little different, there’s still the opportunity to arrange camping in private gardens and farms, or you could try “agritourism”. (This essentially means working on a farm in exchange for free parking, and occasionally food. Check out WWOOF to learn more!). Even national parks have their own designated places for official camping. You can often sleep in car parks, and of course motorway rest areas, but they aren’t particularly comfortable. Good for the short term perhaps, but you won’t want to make it a regular thing unless you have to.
Italy is strict about how campers dispose of their grey and black water tanks. It’s completely forbidden to empty your tanks in fields, or on the road. Stick to campsites instead, where your tanks can be safely emptied.
Here’s what we’d add as a general rule: your trip shouldn’t hurt the environment. Just be nice to nature, and you’ll be fine.
Camping is prohibited in many places.
Where can I wild camp in Italy?
As you’ve probably gathered by now, wild camping is sadly banned in many parts of Italy. Before you go on your trip, we recommend using an app that’ll recommend you the best official spots and campsites. It’s also a good idea to use private land for parking, so don’t be afraid to ask the locals! Wild camping is strictly forbidden in the regions of Veneto, Apulia, Sicily, Sardinia and Abruzzo. In the region of Emilia Romagna, the municipality may grant an exception. So if it’s not one of these areas, you’ve got wiggle room. And of course, if you have the permission from the owner of the land where you’re camping, you’re almost always fine. You can camp for free in Piedmont for a maximum of 48 hours… if there's no camp nearby. And of course, avoid areas where there are clear signs saying it’s banned!
Some areas are more accommodating, though
In Lombardy and Tuscany, it's entirely up to you. There are no laws that explicitly prohibit wild camping. Even in Calabria, camping outside campsites isn’t explicitly banned. However, it’s certainly advisable to follow the basic rules of camping, i.e. camping in reserved places wherever possible, using discretion in certain places, and so on. In Campania, the ban can be decided by individual municipalities. In the Lazio area, camping must be authorised by the mayor of the municipality. It's a similar deal if you'd like to camp freely in the regions of Basilicata and Marche. Trentino Alto Adige has banned wild camping entirely.
Are there camping apps to help me?
In addition to the various apps such as park4night, you may also want to use websites too. They can inform you about camping opportunities in Italy before your trip, especially if you know you want something specific. Camperlife.it is a great site as it focuses just on Italy.
Which vehicle is best to visit Italy?
Before going camping in Italy, you’ll need to get a campervan or motorhome! We’ll happily help you choose the perfect vehicle for your needs. We have a huge variety on our website, from big Class A’s to cute little campervans.
See you on the road!