Camping Ca'Savio, Italy
It’s the first Friday in March and with the promise of spring soon to come (it has to come sometime), why don’t we start thinking about spring travel, and in particular camping!
To help inspire you to try a new campground (or even try camping for the first time), every Friday during the spring months we will feature our favorite campgrounds not only in Switzerland but also throughout Europe.
Camping doesn’t just have to mean tents. It can mean motor homes, caravans, camper vans, bungalows and mobile homes - all on a camping ground. No matter what your preference, camping can work for your family! First up, lets head to Italy.
Last spring when we decided to camp in Italy, we chose Venice. When I told people we were visiting Venice and staying at a campground, I got some funny looks. Venice and camping don’t necessarily go hand and hand, but it is actually possible - there are actually loads of campsites to chose from, all about a 40 minute ferry ride from the centre of Venice. We chose Camping Ca’Savio.
1. Tell us about your campground and the best way to get there.
The campground Ca’Savio (3 stars) is located on the Cavillino pensiula across from the city of Venice.
If you are camping, you will most likely come by car. The campground is just under an hour past the exit for Venice heading towards Jesolo and then on to Ca’Savio. There is only one main road in and out along the peninsula and it can get quite congested. Take the advice of the camping site, and avoid traveling during peak times during the day.
It is also possible to come without a car and rent accommodation on site. The bus from the Metre Venezia train station will take you directly into Ca’Savio. If you arrive at Venice St. Lucia train station you can catch the water shuttle and then an additional boat, before a bus connects you to Ca’Savio. If arriving by plane, there are regular direct buses that run from the middle of May to the middle of September.
Tips for driving from Switzerland:
We left Zug (central Switzerland) at midday on a Wednesday before a long weekend and got stuck in 2km of traffic in front of the Gotthard Tunnel (check out my tips here!), again at the border crossing at Chiasso and then again in and around Milano. We were expecting heavy traffic so planned for enough snacks and entertainment for the kids.
On the way home we left the campground at around 7am and still ran into traffic outside of Milano and again near the Swiss border. By the time we reached Lugano we were glad that we had made arrangements for Z and I to stay the night there while Hubby and the older kids went home on the train. So we were able to avoid the 12km of traffic in front of the Gotthard Tunnel on Sunday afternoon. Z and I were then able to have an easy drive home on Monday morning. I highly recommend that strategy!
2. What types of accommodation are on offer?
Ca’Savio has a variety of accommodation and pitches. There is something for everyone.
We stayed in a fixed mobile home (specifically this one) but they also have bungalows, chalets, airstreams, and glamping tents for rent. I’ve got my eye on the airstreams, which also have the option of an additional tent for the kids to accommodate larger families.
The pitches for caravans/motor homes/vans range in size from 80-100 square meters - standard sizing for European pitches. There are 1500 pitches, so be prepared in high season. We visited in mid-May and it wasn’t even half full.
What’s great is that most accommodations are set under the tall trees which shade you from the midday sun.
3. What facilities does the campsite offer?
We stayed in a fixed Mobile home, so we didn’t use any of the facilities for camping guests. We took a look at the bathrooms which seemed well taken care of.
There is WiFi on site for an additional cost. If your accommodation has air conditioning it is an also at an additional cost.
The camping site is home to a restaurant, cafe, bar and a small supermarket (more expensive than your standard Italian supermarket).
4. What activities does the Campsite offer?
Our kids were impressed with the big fort-style playground located behind the pools and next to the restaurants as well as the pirate ships style water slide with splash bucket into the main pool.
For me, the highlight was the direct access to the beach. Watching a sunrise over the ocean and hearing the waves just makes me happy. I was surprised to find fine sand on the beach and no long lines of sun loungers! The beach wasn’t as tidy as I would expect. There were plenty of rubbish bins for people to use but I ran into trash on the sand. So I spent my morning walks cleaning the rubbish from the day before.
Otherwise on site there are activities, kids’ discos, kids’ clubs run by various companies, as well as bike rentals.
5. Breakfast, lunch and dinner: what are your recommendations?
We ate on site for our first meal, and really enjoyed our pizzas. The kids loved that you could order a “french fry pizza.” For breakfast and lunch we purchased fresh bread from the onsite supermarket, where they even sell wine by the liter. We also stocked up on fresh fruit and vegetables at a small stand just outside the camp site.
We had two REALLY good meals offsite. The first came recommended from the staff on reception when we asked for a fish restaurant. The food at Locanda Zanella Ristorante was really really good and our Tween will always remember it as it was the first time she had spaghetti vongole (spaghetti with clams). She fell in love. At least it was not with the pool guy.
Before we left the restaurant we asked for their pizza recommendation and were directed to visit Pizzeria InBusa a bit down the road. I must admit we were skeptical when we first walked in but we were happy to have misjudged the book by its cover. They were the best pizzas we have ever had. We also enjoyed gelato in the coolest flavors in a place run by a sweet old couple.
We also visited some friends staying at a camping ground down the road and had dinner with them on their site (we had to pay for a day pass to be allowed entry) and the food was amazing!
6. What to see and do outside the camp ground?
We chose this camping ground because we also wanted to be able to visit Venice for the day. We hopped on a ferry (we parked at the ferry terminal for a fee) which that took us directly to Venice and dropped us off near San Marco Piazza. What a way to arrive into the city! We spent the day roaming the water city and enjoyed a child friendly tour of the city in the afternoon. It was nice to get back to the camp ground away from the busy crowds. Other options are to visit Murano and the Burano Islands or Venice Lido.
There are also towns to explore around the camp site as well as a huge water park. But that isn’t really our thing so we stuck to the smaller pools of our camp site and of course, the beach!
7. Any tips of what not to forget?
I was happy that I threw Z’s scooter in at the last minute as she was able to scoot all around the camp site. We also brought along a beach umbrella to use at the beach as well as some sand toys. I made sure i brought along a shopping bag for groceries and a coolbox. Don’t forget mosquito repellant spray and citronella candles (the cheap ones don’t work!). And we never go anywhere without a Swiss army knife.
Even though the cabins are self-contained they have only the basics, so make sure you bring along washing up liquid, tea towels, a brush and something to wipe down the tables. We also like to bring a small container of laundry powder just in case we need to do a wash. And don’t forget a couple of rolls of toilet paper.
If you are camping make sure you bring tent pegs for sand.
8. Best way to book?
We booked directly through the camp site, but there are many different companies who have accommodation on site (such as Europcamp).
9. Anything to watch out for?
The entire Cavallino Peninsula is known for its mosquitos and so come prepared with repellant spray and citronella candles to keep them at bay. The camp site did spray around the site each day, which made me on one hand relieved but on the other hand concerned what type of chemicals they were spraying. Only one person in our group got bitten. As the camp ground is on sandy ground, you may also find ants - so keep your food covered or in the fridge.
10. What sets this camping ground apart from the rest?
I loved the location of this campsite and of course we all appreciated the low cost. Being able to sneak out as the sun rises and watch the sunset over the ocean sold it for me. I also enjoyed that this camping ground was quieter and not as commercial as others - but this has mostly to do with the time of year. I am sure in summer it is a lot busier.
11. What type of camper are you?
We are a family 5 who are willing to try it all. From cabins to caravans, motor homes to roof top tents. All us adults need is a comfortable place to sleep and a clean bathroom to use. The dream is to own a VW Camper but until then we enjoy either renting one, or enjoying other things that campsites have to offer.
All in all we had a fabulous holiday which fit perfectly within our budget. That’s the great thing about campgrounds, they help stretch the family travel budget so we can get out and see more.