The last week of May was half term for us, and after months in the planning, we picked the children up from school on Friday, jumped in the car and hotfooted it to the airport to catch an early morning flight to Marco Polo Airport, in Venice, Italy. I was taken to Italy, and in fact to Camping Ca’Savio, when I was six, and I was thrilled to be taking my children – I just hoped I wasn’t remembering the holiday (my first abroad) through rose tinted spectacles!
Leaving a very dreary Edinburgh after a 3.30am wake up, the excitement really set in as the sun began to shine once we rose above the clouds. The children were very well behaved on the flight (to be honest, I’ve been fortunate never to have had a flight from hell because they mis-behaved, even on the 9 hour flights to and from Orlando last year) and before we knew it we were flying over Amsterdam, Germany and Austria, before reaching the Italian Alps and then coming in to land in a gloriously sunny Venice. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… I should have been Mediterranean. I love the lifestyle, the language, the scenery, the food, and, of course, the sun. If I could live anywhere, I think I’d pick Italy.
We had chosen to hire a car and drive ourselves to Camping Ca’Savio, which was to be our home for the week. Thankfully this turned out to be surprisingly easy to find, thanks to my belt and braces approach of combining Google directions with my sat nav, and by lunchtime we’d found the campsite, been to the supermarket and bought some provisions, and were enjoying a late lunch on the beach while we waited to be able to check in.
Never having stayed in a mobile home or on a campsite with the children before (in fact, the last time I did was probably when I was about 7), we were a little apprehensive about the reputation they often hold, but we really needn’t have worried. I couldn’t recommend Camping Ca’Savio enough as a site to stay on. The campsite is lovely – it’s so clean and well kept. The mobile home we were in was very well maintained, and the company we booked through even provided the children with bikes to get around the site more easily (it’s a large site) which was an unexpected bonus. There are several swimming pools, although only one was open as it was still early in the season, and the direct access on to the beach is perfect for when you just want to grab a towel and head out for an hour. The beach is clean and wasn’t busy at all while we were there – I suspect there is plenty of room for everyone even in high season. The campsite holds evening entertainment, if that’s your thing, and J thoroughly enjoyed the kids disco, and was first up on the dancefloor. B, being 9, obviously considered himself a bit above that, but once he got dragged into it to keep J company he soon let himself go a bit.
We had a vague plan for the week, knowing we wanted to hire bikes and take ourselves for an adventure, naturally visit Venice and Murano, and the rest of the time we intended to relax, play and soak up the sun. I’m a plan-ahead kind of girl, so I had printed off timetables for the boats, a route for our bike ride, restaurants that had good reviews and other a few other highlights that I wanted to experience, but more of that later. If you aren’t quite as organised/OCD about being prepared as I am, the staff on reception are only too happy to offer advice as to the best way to get around, and where to go.
One of the things I liked the most about staying at Camping Ca’Savio was how safe the area felt. Our mobile home was a reasonable way from the main centre, where the pool, reception and, most importantly, the shop was. Yet every morning, the boys were able to take some money, grab their rucksack, take the recycling to the correct bins, then ride down to the shop to buy us fresh croissants for breakfast (even asking for them in Italian) then bring them back. In the meantime we had stayed at the caravan, made a brew, got plates ready and sliced up some deliciously juicy watermelon (from the grocer stall up the road – I can highly recommend it). It was fabulous to see them being so responsible, and I loved the fact that they had the opportunity to do that.
During our holiday we ate at local restaurants and also ate in – it’s a shame barbeques aren’t allowed on the campsite, but given the abundance of pine trees, probably just as well. The local salami, cheese, bread and salad provided some fantastic easy meals for us when we chose to eat in, and there are a few restaurants within easy reach. All in all, I think it’s safe to say we had a great holiday, and the only downside was that we had to come home after a week. I could quite happily have stayed indefinitely.
My final tips if you are planning a trip to Ca’Savio are:
- Eat at Villa Gentile – it’s a restaurant not far from Camping Ca’Savio, towards the main road from Lido de Jesolo to Punta Sabbioni. The Frutti de mare pizza is particularly delicious (but you might want to consider sharing – they are huge!)
- Get ice cream from Gelateria de Marche, about 5 minutes walk from the entrance to the campsite – it’s possibly the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted, and my dad still claims it’s the best he’s had, even after 28 years.
- Drink wine, not beer – the house wine is very cheap, and perfectly drinkable. Beer seems to be really quite expensive, and a sure fire way to inflate your restaurant bill.
- If you can, hire bikes and go exploring. Ca’Savio itself isn’t very big, but we throughly enjoyed spending a day cycling around the nearby countryside and seeing the villages nearby. It’s a very flat area, naturally, so the cycling isn’t at all strenuous – our boys managed the fifteen miles that we cycled without any difficulty at all. It was a very peaceful way to spend a day, and see some sights that we might have otherwise missed.