Camping Villaggio Dei Pini – campsite near Paestum
Forcing ourselves onwards from the bubble of Ugento (we hadn’t left the Riva Di Ugento site once to explore the surroundings, though we know there are caves and grottos to see on fabulous boat trips), we began our journey northwards once more, slowly crossing the bottom of Italy to head up the coast towards Salerno, stopping at Camping Dei Pini, just up the road from Paestum.
We arrived tired, as always, to a reception that spoke no English, didn’t seem to grasp our dodgy Italian, and who had no idea who we were.
We slowly threaded our way into the site, avoiding the overhanging trees (the husband has become surprisingly adept at remembering Margot’s tall stature in confined forest sites) to find a place to stop. The pitches are narrow, and manoeuvring into some of them actually defeated us. But once again we blessed the Autumn season making the site almost empty, meaning the choices were plentiful, and we found a great spot quietly tucked away at the back of the site.
Returning to reception with the powers of a phone equipped with google translate the miscommunication was soon resolved, and we relaxed a little. One of the biggest things we learned on this trip was never to trust your first impressions when they’re made after a long tiring drive. Camping Dei Pini is a peaceful site in October, each pitch is enclosed with tall hedges making it as private as a relatively large site can be, and once again we’re within a minute’s walk of the sea.
Situated within walking distance of the remains at Paestum, that’s the very first essential visit you should make. Head north along the Amalfi Coast with its spectacular rocky cliffs overlooking the sea and in just under an hour’s drive you’re in Salerno, and just over an hour takes you to the heart of Pompeii – both reached along the amazing coast road which simply has to be travelled at sunset.
Head to the south and the length of the wild and multicolored Cilento Coast is all yours.
The fabulous Margot is an Approach Autograph 765, and was provided by Bailey of Bristol for the trip.
All campsites on our road trip were arranged by the magnificent AlanRogers.com. In Paestum we stayed at Camping Villaggio Dei Pini and though first impressions weren’t so favourable it ended up being one of our favourite sites! Pitches for motor homes and caravans are spacious and separated from each other by thick high hedges – providing our best privacy all trip.
On site facilities were standard shower blocks, but the lush pine forest runs straight onto the beach (and faces west for spectacular sunsets). The restaurant was SO good we ate there three times – the hit pizza of the trip was the volcano at Paestum (an entire ball of the local buffalo mozzarella on the centre of the pizza, draped all around with prosciutto to make a ‘volcano’), and it was here the husband’s passion for Tagliata di carne con rucola e grana padano was born. Off peak rates in October were €8 per pitch €5 per person, and the weather was gloriously hot.