Barco Reale, Tuscany, Italy

Another ACSI site. Camping Barco Reale. We haven’t booked. We’ve just turned up. Yes they’ve got space, jump on the buggy I’ll show you a few pitches. Zipping round it feels like a rabbit warren. 

We spent ages pulling the caravan up a mountain to get to the site, once there, time to choose a pitch, within the site we continue to climb. Pitches hidden in trees, a truly shaded forest setting on the side of a mountain. We came for the view, it seems more like a New Forest camp site than one at the top of a mountain. We later likened the site to a walnut whip, our pitch was the walnut, right at the top. 

A relatively big site but you wouldn’t know it, with three toilet blocks serving the site. Outdoor washing up and laundry sinks, both with cool water rather than hot and no plug. A children’s toilet/ shower rooms are also located in two of the toilet blocks. Toilets are clean and warm, it’s 30 degrees outside so no heating needed, toilet paper, soap and hand towels are provided. Space is limited within showers for drying and dressing with a couple of hooks but nowhere to put anything down. Showers and coolish water are free. Sinks and hairdryers are provided but are outdoors. 

There is a small mini market behind the main reception building that sells an array of bits and pieces for the caravan and plentiful food and drink. An on site information office is manned daily with help and advice on what to do in the area and for booking excursions. We did a couple of these, Firenze, far too long a day for us and travelling on a bus with no air-conditioning wasn’t much fun. Lucca and Pisa is a trip worth considering if you get chance. Read our blog HERE

There is a play area, table tennis table and a 1.5km fitness trek. 

The site has swimming pools, a shallow one at the far end with spectacular views, with the recommendation that swimming caps are worn at all times. We won’t be swimming here then. I haven’t worn a swimming cap since I was at school and I’ve no intention of wearing one now. 

The site is big and clings to the side of a Tuscan mountain. With plenty of touring pitches, the site also has EuroCamp style frame tents to rent, which are on quite small pitches and shaded by tree cover. There are also safari tents and static style lodges for hire. An onsite restaurant serves meals in the evenings and a small snack bar, poolside, where you can grab a lolly or a drink. 

Wifi is free, although temperamental, and needs to be signed into very regularly. 

Would we pull a big white box up the side of a mountain that cyclists train on and come again? Whilst it is a lovely site, we didn’t get the mountain side views we were hoping for and didn’t really see a pitch that did. What we did get was a beautifully peaceful forest setting with birds and lizards in abundance. We did also wake one morning to find squatters had moved in, ants! In their thousands. They then returned en masse later that evening for invasion number 2. Go armed with ant spray. 

For 5 nights for 2 adults using the ACSI card we paid €102, with free intermittent internet. 

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