Welcome to campers: it takes very little to feel welcome, but also to feel discriminated against

August 6, 2019 – Just a week has passed since we left for the holidays and we wanted to make a first point of the situation, being our first holiday since we are fulltimer. In the last few days we have mainly frequented two areas: the upper Friuli-Venezia Giulia, the Tarvisio area, and the border area between South Tyrol and Carinthia. The first big difference is basic hospitality, feeling (or not feeling) at ease as a camper. Mind you, Italian places are beautiful and spectacular, but always subtly linked to basic discrimination.

Parking lots, for example, are often distinguished with the supplementary panel that specifically identifies the cars. But what left us perplexed was above all our experience in Tarvisio (motorhome area closed in the middle of summer) and at the Fusine lakes (€15 for a parking space from 7.00 to 18.00 – against the €3 requested for cars – without any service to provision: read here). In addition to what has already been written, it must be said that there are no campsites in the valley and there is only one rest area. Here we spent one morning asking for the possibility of loading and unloading before venturing into Austrian territory.

We arrived at a quarter past eight. The area was closed by a bar and to enter there was a mobile phone to call, but not before 9.00. Those who needed to leave the area before that hour had to raise the bar by hand, with the perplexed air of someone who didn’t know what else to do. While waiting for the right time to arrive and since the drainage pit was adjacent to the entrance, we decided to go ahead and emptied the box and refueled with water.

We waited for 9.00 to unload. A quarter of an hour earlier, for the sake of consideration, we called the mobile phone indicated at the entrance, asking if it was possible, and at what price, to unload and load. Answer: it is not foreseen, if you want to do it you have to pay the full daily rate… There we decided to curse those who don’t understand anything about traveling tourism, but want to build a business on it. We left two euros for the disturbance at the entrance and left… A little criminal? Maybe yes, but this is really not the way to manage tourism infrastructures!

In Austria, as in Italy, free camping is not allowed, but the difference between parking and camping is very clear. In general, there is no discrimination between cars and motorhomes: where the former can park, the latter is also welcome, as much as the former pays (as on the beautiful Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse) as much as the latter pays. And the high toll does not expire at 6 pm: once paid you can stop for as long as you want. Today, we are at the second night stop in this splendid area, home to the largest protected area in all the Alps: the National Park of the High Tauern. Having seen the prohibition of camping on the documentation and in the visitor centers, we asked at least three times if it was possible to stay overnight in the various parking lots and/or viewpoints and every time we were told that camping is forbidden, but that overnight parking is allowed. In short, a completely different conception.

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Paolo Galvani

Nato nel 1964, è giornalista professionista dal 1990 e imprenditore dal 2007. Si occupa di tecnologia dalla fine degli Anni '80, prima come giornalista poi come traduttore specializzato, e da circa tre decenni ama girare in camper. Dalla fine di maggio del 2019 è diventato "fulltimer". A luglio 2019 ha lanciato il blog

Born in 1964, he has been a professional journalist since 1990 and an entrepreneur since 2007. He has been involved in technology since the end of the 1980s, first as a journalist and then as a specialized translator, and for about three decades he has loved traveling in a motorhome. Since the end of May 2019 he has become a "fulltimer". In July 2019 he launched the blog