Our thought after touring Italy in 2018.
Strengths: Italy was once considered the hub of European civilisation, but today perhaps not so much. Italy is diverse geographically and culturally. Each region has its own culture, variation in local cuisine and traditional architecture. Looking across the rolling hills of Tuscany and Umbria, the vineyards and the olive groves. Exploring the ancient stone villages have been the theme for many a great poet or artist. The Dolomites, Garda and Como are highlights in the north. Sicily, Valle d’Itria and Matera in the south. We had little trouble finding a free park, once away from the coast. Even when the heat forced us onto a powered site it was reasonably priced.
Weaknesses: The Italian roads are a challenge. In the far north near Austria and Germany the toll-roads and A-roads are reasonable. The further south we travelled the worse they get. Our original plan was to travel the back roads as usual, but the road surfaces are generally so poor we tended back to the major roads, rather than shake the Hymer to bits. We thought Greece was bad for rubbish and general litter but Italy is worse. You do get a little tired of the 3Ps, Panini, Pasta and Pizza.
Opportunities: We found exploring the mountain villages provided some relief from the summer heat and a wonderful evening walk. Sicily is a long drive or ferry ride from from Genoa in northern Italy, but more than worth it. You haven’t done Italy if you don’t tour Sicily. The Sicilian food and culture are a highlight. We remain thankful to the Italy fellow we met in Zacarello (our first night in Italy) who suggested we take the ferry to Palermo (Sicily) and drive back.
Threats: Other road users mostly. Italians park with little regard for anyone other than their own convenience. The designated speed limits and unbroken lines on roads appear to serve no real purpose. Traffic lights have been positioned specifically to stop foreign drivers, so the locals can drive around you and continue on their way.