In March this year, my husband and I drove down to Italy in our camper van (the van is affectionately known as The Red Pig). We saw bits of France and Belgium on the way there and back. As you can see, the weather was pleasant most of the time, and lots of places were completely deserted.
Going out of season was great, as it cut out queues at nearly all the museums. It also allowed us to pull up and snooze in the van more or less wherever we liked. Below are some iPhone snaps I took en route.
The city walls at Boulogne Sur Mer
The banks of the Saone, Burgundy at sunrise
The Ardeche gorge, central France
The picturesque Provencale village of Gordes
Lavender fields in Provence
The Verdon Gorge
Lac de Saine Croix, Verdon Gorge, France
A bit of the old vin rouge
The Verdon Gorge
It was a bit chilly at that altitude
Alpine villages in the Alpes Maritimes
Overlooking Antibes in the French Riviera
If you can’t afford a yacht, you can always walk around the port in a stripy jumper instead!
Villefranche Sur Mer from above
The aptly named Beaulieu (trans = beautiful place)
The benefits of travelling out of season – Beachside sleeping spot in Cinque Terra
One of the ports of the Cinque Terra, Italy
The pretty streets of Cinque Terra
Some flowers and me!
The Etruscan tombs of Tarquinia
The Pantheon – Europe’s oldest church
Beautiful Piazza Navona
Inside the Vatican
Inside the Vatican again
Monte Cassino – another WW2 battlefield
The view from Monte Cassino
The deserted beaches around Baia Domizia, near Naples
The Redpig sees Capri, but mercifully doesn’t die
The Amalfi coast
The Ancient Greek colony of Paestum, Campania
The beaches at Salerno. WW2 happened here, apparently
The Redpig chillin on the beach
Yet more deserted beaches. Italians don’t favour beaches in winter, it seems
Yet more beautiful deserted beaches
Assisi, home to St Francis and St Clare
The view from Assisi
Kids play football in the square outside the church of Santa Chiara, Assisi
Chasing the route of Hannibal’s Elephants at Lake Trasimeno
Chianti, formaggio and focaccia in Tuscany. Basically, heaven.
Florence by night
Lake Annecy. When I retire, just drop me here, please
The town of Annecy. Check out how clear the water is
The fort at Verdun, a site of WW1 stuff
Trenches at Vimy Ridge
If you’ve seen the film, Bienvenue Chez Les Ch’tis, you’ll know why this is pure comedy gold.
Yet more proof that Nord Pas De Calais has at least some refinement