For a while, W. and I wanted to take a very long road trip around Italy, from North to South and back. It was also on our wishes, to visit the so famous island of Sardinia. The plan wasn’t to do both on the same trip, but it ended up this way. The trip also gained a special meaning for us, because it was Enzzo’s last trip (for those new here, Enzzo was our Golden Retriever who was an old man at the time, our beloved traveling dog).
Before I tell you the details of our 14-day Italy road trip itinerary, I must say that it wasn’t the easiest trip I’ve ever taken. We faced different challenges with a baby and an extra needy elderly Golden Retriever in tow, but it certainly will be one I won’t ever forget. As always, it was a trip that taught us a lot as parents, and changed our lives for the better.
Our 14-day Italy road trip itinerary
When: September 2018
Who: Me, W., Baby M (who was 11 months at the time) and Enzzo (our 11 year-old Golden Retriever)
How: by car and ferry
Where: Verona, Pisa, Sardinia, Tuscany and Lake Garda
Starting point: Munich, Germany (home)
Kilometers traveled by car: over 2,200km
Day 1: Munich to Verona
It would normally take us 4 to 5 hours to complete this trip, though with a baby hating being stuck in a car seat and with 3 to 4 stops on the way, it ended up taking us nearly 7 hours. Of course, this prevented us from arriving early and enjoying the rest of the day exploring the old town. As W. and I had been there before, we didn’t mind much, but it would have been nice to have stayed longer.
Day 2: Verona to Pisa
Faster and closer than expected. We arrived in Pisa with enough time to visit its so famous landmark with Baby M and Enzzo. I had been there before, and this time I was very disappointed to see how the Leaning Tower is surrounded by a huge amount of people trying to make you buy something. Annoying to say the least. In any case, we managed to take a family photo in front of the tower as a souvenir. We didn’t climb the tower giving the circumstances: Enzzo couldn’t walk much, let alone climb stairs, not to mention dogs are not allowed on the tower, and the line was long.
Day 3: Pisa – Livorno Harbor – Oristano, Sardinia
We woke up when it was still dark so we could reach Livorno’s harbour early to catch our ferry to Sardinia. I must say that Pisa was a great location to do that. Most hotels in Livorno were pretty expensive and not worth it quality wise, whereas Pisa is only half an hour away with better accommodation options.
The Ferry: getting early to the harbor is the best thing to do. It takes 6 hours from Livorno to Olbia with Corsica Ferries, quite a long trip with a Baby and a dog that can’t walk long distances. The best decision ever: to get a private cabin. We all got some rest, and Enzzo didn’t have to walk around the ferry, instead he stayed in the cabin resting most of the time.
Day 4 to 9: Sardinia
6 days of beach and swimming in the sea. We had a mobile home all to ourselves for 7 nights at the Bella Sardinia Campsite with Eurocamp, right next to the beach. The camp was our base for visiting other nearby beaches, such as the famous Putzu Idu, Is Arutas and Mari Ermi. We were even crazy enough to drive all the way up to the North to visit the famous La Pelosa beach, but once we got there it was so packed we decided to go to a nearby beach.
We made the most of our time on the island. We took Enzzo to swim every day, Baby M learned lots of new things, such as clap her hands, and W. and I had time to relax (reading, listening to music and trying the local wines).
Our tip for Sardinia: know that the island is huge, basically a country itself, and having a car is the best way to visit it. I’d also advise you to pick one side of the island to focus on and explore, rather than adventure yourself to visit it all (impossible in only one week).
Day 10: Sardinia to Casole D’Elsa, Tuscany
Back on mainland we headed to one of our favorite places: Tuscany. There we stayed in a cozy and lovely hotel to where we’d love to go back someday, Hotel Terre di Casole, in the village of Casole D’Elsa. We took some time to finish the day swimming in the hotel’s heated pool, then having dinner at a nearby restaurant where we watched the sunset.
Day 11: Casole D’Elsa and Monteriggioni
While in Casole D’Elsa, we saw the sunrise and sunset, drank the local wine (one of our favorites) and Apérol Spritz, stuffed ourselves with pasta and risotto, drove on the scenic roads of the countryside, stopped by a winery just to get a box of the wine we tried at a restaurant and we loved, and visited the walled village of Monteriggioni.
Day 12: Casole D’Elsa to Lake Garda
It was time to say goodbye to Tuscany once again, but the trip wasn’t over yet. Though not far from Munich (in fact, a great option for a weekend away) we had never been to Lake Garda before, and I must say: we loved it! The breathtaking views from our accommodation Hotel Isola Verde certainly helped. The local food, the lake itself, and the scenery were just incredible.
Day 13: Lake Garda
If you look for Lake Garda on a map you will see how huge it is. Picking where to stay is a difficult task, there are some amazing options. We decided to stay on the North part, as it was on our way back to Munich. We stayed at Nargo-Torbole and loved it. To be able to explore better we recommend a car or also maybe a Vespa. We enjoyed our day driving through the town and nearby towns, enjoying some great pizza and risotto, and strolling around the lake under an amazing blue sky.
Day 14: Lake Garda to Munich
It was time to go home. I was sad to be leaving, but this time for a very special reason: it was Enzzo’s last trip. I knew that I would never put him on a car and take a road trip with him again. It was hard, and I had lots of mixed feelings about it. On the bright side, I knew we were lucky to be able to provide him with one more trip, one more swim in the ocean, one more adventure. We had an amazing time with him, and we are sure he did too, he came back home so happy and different, renewed somehow. We were also lucky to be able to say goodbye. (Enzzo died on April 8th 2019, and you can read my farewell post for him here).
What would I change on the itinerary?
There are two things I would change on our itinerary, but they weren’t possible for us given the amount of days we had reserved for this trip. In any case, if you do have more time, here are the changes we would make to have a more relaxed time:
♦ Stay one more night in Verona
♦ Stay one or two more nights in Tuscany (you can never stay too long in this beautiful Italian region).
I want to know…
Have you ever drove this much around Italy at once? Or anywhere else?
Have you ever taken such a long road trip with a baby/dog?
Pin it up!
**Eurocamp provided us a 7-night stay with them in a location of our choosing.**