France/Italy Part 9: The Final Chapter

Bluebell the motorhome is safely parked up outside our house again, having done a 3094 mile journey across France and Italy in the space of 3 weeks and 1 day. She has had a pamper and is looking clean and tidy again, and is looking forward to a little rest!

We arrived back at lunchtime yesterday after a really pleasant last day in Calais stocking up on wine, beer and cider, and then a lovely evening on the aire at Wissant soaking up the sunshine!

Our return journey on the Euro Tunnel was smooth, and once again, we’ve come away massively impressed by the service- the smoothness of travelling with the pooch in tow is brilliant and we can’t praise their system enough.

I wanted to do a last post sort of thing to round off our amazing trip. On the way home we did some number crunching, and we are stunned to discover that we spent just over £1000 – which we think is brilliant for a 3 week holiday, and especially one where we saw so many places, and travelled so many places.

Fuel
Obviously the main expense was fuel- driving a diesel was much more economical on the continent than petrol (especially compared to our first trip abroad when we went in our petrol Talbot!). Diesel in France was cheaper than the UK- on average we paid €1.32 pl ish for Diesel in France topping up when we could at supermarkets rather than petrol stations on the motorways. Diesel in Italy is much dearer- on average we paid 1.60 pl ish there.

Tolls
Another large proportion of our spend was toll charges. I know you can easily travel through both countries quite easily without using the toll roads, however as we were covering a large area in a short amount of time, we made the choice to take tolls when we could. In France the tolls tended to be much more expensive than in Italy. On average we paid around €20 to travel around 100 miles in France (it did depend on the area) whereas in Italy the same distance tended to be between €5 and €10.

Eating out
Eating out in Italy was much cheaper than we thought it may be. We managed to grab lunches for under €10 a dish, the main expense was the accompanying beer, but if you drank wine by the carafe it was much much cheaper!

Accommodation
In both countries we found it was easy to find free stopovers, and in fact the first 10 nights we paid nothing for our stopovers. In France it is especially easy, as the signage to the motorhome points tends to be very good. In Italy, the areas are there, however the signs are much more sparse. We found that the paid sostas tended to be signposted more readily than the free ones. In most major towns in both Italy and France you can easily find water and emptying facilities and often this is free or included in the cost of your stop.

Our bible was the Camperstop Europe book which we relied on daily to find where to head to. What was invaluable to us was the GPS coordinates that we were able to input into our Garmin Sat Nav. They were 100% accurate everytime, and we cannot praise it enough.

Highlights
Wilding camping here- Rome De Tarn – a stones throw from a beautiful river, and completely away from it.

Staying in the alps here- La Breole and stumbling across the most beautiful Alpine lake

Lake Orta, Italy free sosta here

Venice

Florence

Pisa

Monaco/Monte Carlo – underground motorhome parking follow signs for Fontvielle €8 for 4 hrs

St Tropez aire here

We had the most amazing time, and can’t wait to get out again! Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions please get in touch!

Until next time
Lx

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