The drive to Italy & Locarno on Lake Maggiore

We’ve persuaded our friends, John & Diane, to hire a motorhome and accompany us on this trip to discover the delights of Tuscany, as they are planning to purchase a motorhome themselves and have decided to try before they buy.

We left Dover on Friday morning and planned to drive to Metz for our first overnight stop, however, we continued further towards Strasbourg and when we felt we had put John & Diane through enough driving for one day we stopped overnight in a Camperstop just off the E25 at Phalsbourg, adjacent to a bowling alley, restaurant and night club! That was OK until everyone came spilling out from the nightclub at 4.30 am.  A convenient stop for getting back onto the Motorway but not the best of locations for peace and quiet but it was OK and we had no problems.

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Camperstop next to the Peage at Phalsbourg

On Saturday, we continued our journey through Switzerland, stopping alongside stunning Lake Lucerne for lunch, a particularly favourite rest area for us as we have used this area three or four times before.  We continued south and joined the slow moving queue to enter the 17 kms long Gotthard Tunnel, before coming back out into the open and being overtaken by a car aptly named Astra Martin but it wasn’t much of an Astra Martin as Tony put his foot down so we could catch it up and take a photo.  We did have a little chuckle to ourselves though.

We arrived at Camping Riarena in Cugnasco, still in Switzerland and close to Locarno and Lake Maggiore and coincidently pitching up next to three other motorhomes from Belgium all travelling together that had also stopped at the same rest spot on Lake Lucerne at the same time as us.  We acknowledged this fact with each other and managed to get some good tips from them on visiting the Cinque Terre.

Camping Riarena
Camping Riarena

Today we cycled a return journey of 13 miles from the campsite along the mostly traffic free cycle path that runs through fields full of growing vegetables before reaching the lakeside and continuing along the lake to the town of Locarno.

We stopped for some lunch before meandering through the main town square and the narrow backstreets before getting back on our bikes to the campsite for a swim in the pool.


Useful Info

It’s the first time we have used the Camperstop Europe guide and although our overnight stop was not the best it was sufficient and it was useful to find somewhere where we were able to park up overnight when we had had enough of driving.  It gives you more options as well as the Aires book that we also use.

The rest stop at Lake Lucerne is really beautiful and is just off J34 of the A2.  To use the car parking machine you need to press the button on the machine that relates to the number of the parking space that you have used and then insert your coins for however many hours you need.

Camping Riarena is a good campsite in a good location for either an overnight stop or a longer holiday as it is an easy cycle ride to Locarno on Lake Maggiore. We were only going to stay one night but decided to stay for two and take the opportunity to cycle to Locarno before another long drive the following day to the Cinque Terre.

8 thoughts on “The drive to Italy & Locarno on Lake Maggiore

  1. Tracey September 4, 2016 / 6:16 pm

    What a great start xx


  2. Terry2sheds September 4, 2016 / 6:33 pm

    Rose – You are getting a bit good at this blogging stuff !!! – in eager anticipation – T


    • Rosie Pike September 4, 2016 / 6:42 pm

      Thanks Bro! Have you splashed out? You used to be Terry1shed! x


  3. Linda Sansun September 4, 2016 / 7:48 pm

    Beautiful photos as usual! Have a great time all of you!


  4. penny September 4, 2016 / 9:20 pm

    It all looks great fun and as usual,the photography wonderful. Looking forward to the next blog😊 xx. Penny


  5. john and carol September 5, 2016 / 7:22 pm

    Civilised country switzerland with its clean air and stunning wonder you and theresa may chose to holiday there.
    John &carol


  6. Alan and Gloria September 6, 2016 / 8:06 am

    Still in Luxembourg still waiting for friends who left us there. Keep thinking we see them at the cafe. Still never mind. Still friends Still. X


  7. Alan and Gloria September 7, 2016 / 8:20 am

    Marilyn’s new gardener has turned up, gloria is very impressed as are all the ladies in the street. I’m thinking of calling the police. Not too bad though he hasn’t asked for tea or used our loo. Like the last one. X


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