Venice, no longer the same thing :(

Camping on Board
europe_italyI’m not referring to the city of course but to the ferry trip from Greece. For about a year now, the ferry doesn’t dock in Tronchetto but in Fucina. What a pity! Anyway, we’ve got fresh information about the parking possibilities around the “new” Venice port, and a nice spot next to Patras, very convenient for late night arrival.

The last time we got to Italy by sea, we catched the ferry from the port of Igoumenitsa. It was one year ago. This time we chose for our autumn trip the port of Patras. Surprise! The port that we knew was no longer there! It took us some time to digest that we have to go another 5 km on the central coastal road but in the end it was not so bad. On the contrary it seems it was quite valid to transfer the port away from the city’s center [38.22480,21.72089]. The heavy tracks follow the ring road (so we did on our return) bypassing the central districts; the illegal immigrants, most of them young male Afghans in search of escape from their misery trying to stowaway on the ferries, are kept away from the inhabited areas. It is a very sad story and it could be very terrifying too. I still remember our panic when they managed to get into our camper few years ago. Never leave your door unlocked…

The ANEK ferry was supposed to depart at midnight but it arrived almost two hours later! The main reason for this delay was that the authorities in Italy are applying control similar to that of airports; this often result in delayed departures. We had the opportunity to verify the nonsense of the ‘airport’ control on our way back. They obliged the co-drivers or the passengers without vehicle to pass through a metal detector (!) while the don’t bother to check the drivers or the vehicles. Is there any doubt that we are living in an absurd world?

Waiting for the ferry to arrive we had the not-so-lucky chance to watch the police in action chasing the illegal immigrants…

Camping on Board

Once on board what impressed us was how many motorhomes were clustered, although it was late October.

We waited patiently for our turn to connect with electric power and then we went to sleep a little bit disappointed because they have placed us in the middle of the deck without sea view. We noticed that the sea was rough but nothing to worry about. In the morning when we put our head out of the camper we realized how lucky we were (or how proactive the crew was). The floor deck was flooded with sea water (including power sockets!), a sing that the sides of the board were tossed with waves during the night!
Camping on BoardCamping on Board

The day on board passed quickly. The sea was really angry but as we noticed the ship wasn’t shaking at all. We comfort ourselves by reading books and playing cards and of course by visiting the self-service restaurant for a nice meal with a touch of Cretan flavor (ANEK is a Cretan company). Spying truck drivers who were ahead in the queue, we discovered that we can order also plates other than those on display. We savored a great saganaki but there is much more, just ask…

We arrived in Venice next morning and although we knew that the ferry terminal was moved from Tronchetto to Fucina missing the opportunity to sail through Venice, we hoped to see something interesting. But no, it was the absolute greyness that welcomed us…
Camping on Board
Camping on Board

As you can see, the once fairy-tale type entrance to Venice through San Marco was replaced by the desolation of the industrial zone. Instead of the baroque facades, enjoy the chimneys of Porto Marghera. Anyway, it was a right thing to do. The fragile ecosystem of the lagoon was affected by the huge ferries and cruise ships.
Camping on Board

Here is the camping Fusina. Seen from the ferry it doesn’t seem very appealing; it is located in the middle of the industrial, heavily polluted area [45.41943, 12.25625] but it was full!

Camping on Board

The camping is open all year long; it costs around 35 euro per day for a camper and two persons, including current. A few dozen meters from the camp site entrance, there is a vaporetto (waterbus) stop which leads to Venice in 25 minutes (13 € A / R, € 8 one way).
Camping on Board

A little further on lies the parking of the terminal Fusina [45.41969, 12.25567] where you can leave your camper for 12 hours paying 10 euro. It offers the possibility of camper service too. However, it is forbidden to stay overnight.
A little less than five kilometers from the terminal [45.42735, 12.24716], we spotted a parking space in Malcontenta village [45.43851,12.20445] that seems ideal for a stop close to Venice. A few meters from the parking there is a city bus to Venice (€ 1.30).
Camping on Board

Comacchio


The reason for our visit to Italy was to attend a convention in Rimini Fiera. We found a free parking zone [44.07301,12.51421] just around the corner, which means only 500 meters from the west entrance! Our schedule was full, so it left us no time (or the courage) to visit anything but the state of San Marino (see next post). On our way back to Venice, we decided to stop for the night in Commachio. We had read in a forum that there is an nice spot at the Lido di Spina [44.65421,12.25038], near the sea, in the parking lot of the restaurant Bagno Trocadero. We spent the night in the company of two other Italian campers; they informed us that, despite all the prohibition signs that we saw on our drive there, it is possible for the clients of the restaurant to stay overnight even during the summer. It was a nice and very quiet parking, but we were off season. In the morning we wake up amidst the fog …
Comacchio, punto sosta
Comacchio, punto sostaComacchio, punto sosta
Comacchio, punto sosta
Comacchio, punto sosta

Free camper service next to Venice


We left after a nice walk on the beach; just before arriving in Venice we stopped at a very convenient free camper service in Santa Margherita village [45.247896, 12.107377] to empty the cassete and take some water.
At the port I, the “co-driver”, faced the ‘airport’ control mentioned above (while Massimo, the “driver” boarded with no control at all) and we finally embarked on the ferry. We asked the staff about the weather forecast and they told us that the sea would be calm so they put us near the windows. This time the camper vans were few, just fifteen and almost exclusively German. It was time for me to enjoy a cold beer…
Camping on Board

Arrival in Patras


The ferry arrived in Patras at midnight, which is not the most comfortable time. We didn’t want to stay in Patras so we took the road without tolls for Corinth, (the one that runs along the coast), looking for a quiet place. We stopped after about 25km, in a beautiful parking area on the beach of Kato Rodini village [38.32471,21.88965] which also has the great advantage of being in the shade until late in the morning! And it was such a beautiful morning…
Punto sosta vicino a Patrasso

Crete: conclusions
San Marino
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