Carpegna (Le Marche), Italy October 2020

It was getting on in the afternoon by the time we left Sassocorvaro but, using Google, Vanya had identified three camp sites within an hour’s drive. None were ACSI (In Italy, ACSI sites are thin on the ground away from the coast) and none had telephone numbers so it was a matter of just picking them off one by one until we got lucky. I say that because few camp sites remain open in Italy once summer is gone.

It took us almost an hour to reach our preferred site, Campeggio Pian Dei Prati (which overlooked the small village of Frontino and offered splendid views of Mount Carpegna) and Vanya wasn’t at all happy about the drive which was up, over and around a number of steep hills (well, steep by her standards anyway). In fact she chose to hide under a quilt in the back of the Van for much of the journey. Sod’s law the site was closed. In fact it looked as though it had not been open for some while.

I think the name of the second choice site was Campeggio Marecchia and/but I have totally forgotten the name of the third site. It matters not; they were both closed. Of course we spent at least another hour driving around the hills before discovering this and by then Vanya was a terrified wreck. She hates heights

The Satnav in the Van had us going around in circles. On at least two occasions we drove through places we had been not so long before. The worst instance was when we paused in a small mountain village to try and get our bearings (I think it was called Pennabilli over in the Emilia Romagna Region) and I pointed out a tiny cinema to Vanya. It seemed so incongruous there. A half hour later, after driving on what I thought was the road to Carpegna back in Le Marche, the Satnav brought us back to the cinema!! It was a bit like a Stephen King horror story. We were both unsettled at that point and decided decided to give up on a camp site. Vanya would have stayed anywhere so long as no more driving was involved. Me, I just wanted to get away from Pennabilli.

Eventually we found a small car park opposite a lonely pizzeria on the edge of the Sasso Simone e Simoncello Natural Park. The owners were very welcoming; it was warm and; they served an okay pizza with beer. I suspect the Prosecco was good too but Vanya was beyond caring.

We had a good night’s rest (read I had a good night’s rest) and were away early the next morning, heading for Venice, with me totally ignoring the Satnav and following my map until we were a good 50 miles away.

Having said all that, the countryside in the area is beautiful…

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