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Bella Italia, Lake Garda - anyone been?

(20 Posts)
onedev Sun 24-Aug-14 18:17:17

As title says, has anyone been to Bella Italia campsite on Lake Garda? Considering it for next year but reading mixed reviews on Trip Advisor so not sure!

onedev Sun 24-Aug-14 18:18:10

Should add, it's for a family of 5 - 3 boys who will be ages 8, 6 & 4.

Happy36 Sun 24-Aug-14 18:25:57

Not been to the campsite but do know the Lake Garda area well. The area of the campsite is nice, although you might prefer the slightly more pleasant areas of "Garda" and "Lazise" which are both close by, also at the southern end of the lake, but on the eastern banks. One of the main benefits of the south eastern banks is that you can get into the lake anywhere to swim or paddle whereas down at Pescheria there are only a few designated swimming areas as there are many boats around. (To me the water can - occasionally - look or smell a bit polluted by boat fuel too. The same is true of super expensive Gardone although I expect the fashionistas who hang out there don´t go for the swimming!)

Do let me know any other Qs. Pescheria IS nice so I expect you would enjoy staying there. The whole region is delightful.

onedev Sun 24-Aug-14 19:00:08

Thanks for responding - where do you normally stay? Is it suitable for families with children aged 4-8?

Where do you fly into?

I adore Italy but have never been to the Lake Garda area & really want to go!!

OneLittleToddleTerror Sun 24-Aug-14 21:22:10

I want to know the answer too! I have seen really mixed review of the campsite on trip advisor which makes me worry a bit.

Bunbaker Sun 24-Aug-14 22:24:47

I love Lake Garda and have been twice. The nearest airport is Verona and it is a short transfer to the southern end of the lake. We don't do camping so I can't comment on the camp sites. I would say that in high summer the nights are very hot and you need aircon to be able to sleep. DD is 14 so I can't comment on what facilities are like for under 10s, except at both the hotels we stayed in the swimming pools were very definitely not for non swimmers.

We have stayed in Garda and Sirmione and loved them both

Happy36 Sun 24-Aug-14 23:01:58

We´ve stayed twice at Le Terrazze (hotel) which is in Garda. It´s a nice hotel. Otherwise in that area we´ve stayed in villas.

A bit further up the eastern banks of the lake at Malcesine we stayed in the Casa Barca (Wellness Hotel chain) which was fantastic although personally for location we prefer Garda to Malcesine.

Our kids are 3 and 6, they loved both hotels. Both hotels have swimming pools but we adore swimming in the lake.

We´ve passed the various campsites on the eastern banks between Garda and Lazise many times and they look very nice, the location is perfect, right on the banks of the lake, so ideal for swimming, plus cycling and walking beside the lake (which you can do for miles), as well as taking boat trips (there is a terminal for the ferry in Garda. Also from Garda you can take buses to Verona and other historical or interesting sites nearby). There´s also the quite hilarious film-based theme park "Gardaland" - we have been but without the kids.

onedev Sun 24-Aug-14 23:53:21

Thank you!

3catsandcounting Mon 25-Aug-14 14:36:50

We're in Lake Garda now! Don't know Bella Italia, but we're staying at Camping del Garda (in Thomson Alfresco mobile) in Peschiera (2 adults, and DD17 and DS15.)
This site is smaller and quieter than Bella Italia, which, I believe is very full-on. Would recommend ours for any age, particularly under-10s. Lots to do, tennis, play area, table tennis, small games arcade, bike hire, bar, 2 restaurants, shop, etc. 15 mins walk into town, it's really lovely! The best thing though is the easy access to the lake, just a few mins walk from the mobile home, plenty of shade and very safe.

heather1 Mon 25-Aug-14 14:44:45

Him yes. We went a 2 years ago with Eurocamp. My Ds were 7 and 5. We stayed in one of the brick chalets.
My boys loved it, particularly the pool. It is a very big campsite though and can be a bit noisy.
Shop is very good, but often long queues for bread. Pizzeria also good quality. Boys like the entertainment. It's walking distance into local town and also near Garda land which is like Chessington/Alton towers.
If you want a quiet campsite it's definitely not for you but if you want one with ones on things to do, it is near the lake then you will like it. Feel free to Pm me with specific questions.

onedev Tue 26-Aug-14 20:02:13

Thanks again all! Heather, what's the Eurocamp accommodation like? How big is it? How close together is the accommodation? Is there a decent size balcony ?

Any views on Thompson Al Fresco there or other operators you'd recommend?

Most of the negative reviews on Trip Advisor seem to focus on how busy the pools are - does that make them unusable with 3 children under 8? Im not big into sunbathing so don't mind not getting a sunbed at all as long as there's room to play in the pool & the kids can play freely.

Were the other guests friendly? Some other trip advisor reviews were really negative about the German tourists and their hostility towards them (presumably English) & made it sound a bit scary & rough (but then other reviews raved about the place!) We do like for the boys to have a bit of freedom on holiday, so nothing that feels dangerous (obviously aware of danger but hopefully you know what I mean).

Is there plenty to keep families occupied for 2 weeks or would we go a bit stir crazy if we didn't go off site? (We will potentially do day trips to Milan, Verona & Venice though).

Have you been to Union Lido? If so, how does it compare to there?

Thanks so much for responding!

onedev Tue 26-Aug-14 20:08:24

3Cats, what's Thompson AlFresco like? Would you recommend them? Any other operators you'd recommend? How close together is the accommodation? Is there a decent size balcony?

Is there enough on your campsite for 2 weeks without going off site or just how quiet is it?

Does it feel safe? Would the kids be ok with a bit of freedom?

What are the pools like? One of the big negatives about Bella Italia according to Trip Advisor is the rush to get a sunbed in the mornings, however that doesn't bother me really as long as there's enough room to play in the pool - thoughts?

Thanks so much!

3catsandcounting Tue 26-Aug-14 21:21:23

Onedev - Alfresco mobiles are great - not crammed in - avenue style - plenty of space on decking - we've got the Deluxe version, which is good as it has a proper canopy (as opposed to umbrella) as its pissing down at the moment and you can still sit out grin Not used the pools as DCs are teens and refuse to wear silly hats - much more fun jumping off the lake jetty!! Pools great for little ones though, and the site feels so safe; loads of tiny ones hurtling past our mobile on their bikes!
PM me at weekend if you need any extra info (we'll be home then with better wifi!) We're off to Venice tomorrow! gringrin

onedev Tue 26-Aug-14 21:23:44

So jealous 3Cats - I've spent the past 2 Tuesdays in Venice & yet today I was back at work!! Enjoy tomorrow!

flagnogbagnog Tue 26-Aug-14 21:32:06

Yes we went there as a family of four about four years ago. We stayed with euro camp in one of there caravan type accommodations.
I have to say I hated it. Kids were fairly happy though.
I felt like everyone was on top of each other and you could literally hear your neighbour opening a can of pop as if they were next to you. The site is ram packed with caravans and tents and tourers and chalets. So busy. We also did a stupid thing of catching the train from Milan to the local town. I wouldn't recommend it, it was knackering. And not many options for returning times to the airport.
We also found it very, very expensive. We were trying to do the holiday on a shoe string budget and we still ended up spending a small fortune and wished we'd done a package holiday.

From memory there was another campsite just a short walk away called butterfly something or another. I looked lovely! Lots of space between the accomodation and more secluded.

The location is lovely though, wouldn't want to put you off that. I certainly would not go back to bella Italia though

onedev Tue 26-Aug-14 22:37:54

Thanks for that Flag - that fits with a lot of the reviews on Trip Advisor too (although then other reviews completely raved about the place, hence my confusion!)

flagnogbagnog Wed 27-Aug-14 10:13:35

Yes I know, it's obviously a marmite type of place. I was confused too as I couldn't understand how anyone could be happy with it! I suppose it depends on your expectations. We've done quite a few of this type of holiday before and Bella Italia was by far the largest site we've been on but also the amount of accommodations they've crammed on there is far more than anywhere else. The outside space you are allocated is minimal so if you have a car you take up everything you have. To me it felt more like being in prison than on holiday! confused

onedev Wed 27-Aug-14 13:39:58

Have you ever stayed at Union Lido? What did you think of it?

Lovewhereilive Thu 28-Aug-14 10:02:27

We stayed at camping del Garda last year, booked it independently rather than through Thomson al fresco etc and it was half the price, the caravan was the same standard and very near to the al fresco ones. Think it was called Gardaturista online (check the pics are the same). I have 3 boys and they loved it, jumping into the lake everyday, hiring pedalos, lots of pizza. We didn't really use the campsite facilities so if I did it again I would find a cheaper smaller site, just make sure it's lakeside. South end of the lake is good for trips to Verona, Venice and all the other little towns dotted around the lake.

MCFran Fri 03-Feb-17 22:19:41

Just reading this thread. We've booked for Bella Italia this year. We're looking at trips to Venice & possibly Milan (boys likely wanting to visit the San Siro). Has anyone experienced these trips? Have you taken public transport or hired a car?

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