If you’re parents tasked with finding family-friendly getaways, then it’s likely that you’ll have come across Bella Italia, one of Europe’s biggest and most popular camping resorts, situated on the southern shores of Lake Garda in Northern Italy.

We first holidayed in Bella Italia in 2013 with an almost three-year-old and an eight-month-old. Hindsight, in its infinite wisdom, would suggest that a lot of what this bustling site has to offer was lost on us, but at the time we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Mornings were spent in the shaded playgrounds and afternoons in the quieter of the pool complexes. Lunches were enjoyed with a snoozing baby under a buggy shade. We took evening strolls along the lakeside to nearby Peschiera for dinner – when we weren’t dining in one of the restaurants on site – and we managed to catch the beginning of the nightly entertainment once or twice. Despite the busyness of the site, our pace was slow.

When friends suggested returning last summer we jumped at the chance, knowing that with slightly older kids, it would probably be an entirely different experience. This time we were two couples with five kids between us, ranging from almost seven to almost two. Our holiday would feature less lounging and strolling and more chasing and entertaining. And that was fine too. We enjoyed the mini-disco nightly as well as the bouncy castle park and small funfair rides on site. The kids partook in some of the kids’ club activities during the day and we spent a LOT more time poolside. We hired a car and visited some stunning lakeside towns and we spent an afternoon on a speed boat on the lake – one of the highlights of our trip.

Bella Italia Review

I think that’s what makes Bella Italia such a winner. There’s something for everyone; for all ages. We’ve discussed going back when the kids are older and when we do, we’ll have yet another different holiday experience. We’ll visit Venice, Verona and the theme parks and we might make it to the top of Monte Baldo for the ultimate lake view.


You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to finding an airport nearby. Bella Italia is accessible from Verona (30km), Milan Bergamo (94km)  and Venice (150km).  The site is a short train ride from Verona Porto Nuova train station. We flew Dublin – Verona the first time around and Knock – Milan Bergamo last year. We booked airport transfers in 2013, since Verona airport was quite near the site. Because Milan Bergamo is a little further from the resort, renting a car for the duration didn’t cost much more than the airport transfers would have.


On both occasions, we opted for mobile homes, though the site offers bungalows, apartments and tents too. Accommodation can be booked directly with the campsite or via an independent tour operator. Tour operators on site include Albatross, Al Fresco Holidays, Canvas Holidays, Human Travel, Eurocamp, Gustocamp, Happy Camp, Rent-a-Tent, Roan Camping, Go4Camp, Selectcamp, Suncamp and Vacansoleil. Irish agents TUI, Sunway, Topflight and Click & Go offer holiday packages to Bella Italia.

In 2013 we stayed in a well-situated, two-bed Sunlodge with Suncamp. It had ample space and we loved the decking area, which, as parents of two sleeping tots, became the basis for our own nightly entertainment – enjoying balmy relaxation, drinking local wine and swatting away mosquitoes. More about those later.

Last year we stayed in a two-bed Classic with Elle Vacanze (now Human Travel) which, although located a bit of a trek from the main hub of activity, was in a quiet area with little or no traffic, so it suited us fine. It was clean and well-equipped, with plenty of storage space and a nice deck. When booking we specified that we were travelling with friends and we were happily located directly opposite their mobile home.


European Campsite Holiday

  • The site has a large supermarket, which is reasonably priced and stocks everything from fresh bakery items to swim nappies. A word to the wise: arrive early for the pastries and baked goods. They sell like, eh, hot cakes. There are a number of supermarkets nearby, including a Lidl – handy if you’ve rented a car.
  • On site you’ll also find a fruit and veg shop, a pizzeria, four restaurants, bars, a gelateria, a shop selling beachwear, inflatables and knick-knacks, bike hire and a hair salon. There’s even a doctor.
  • There are five pool complexes including a small toddler pool. Three of the bigger pools have splash parks and an array of slides including two large flume rides.

European Campsite Holiday

  • There was no shortage of daytime activities on offer, from fitness classes and water sports for adults to archery and crafts for kids. There’s also tennis, basketball, soccer, table tennis, a games’ room and a number of playgrounds and play areas. 
Bella Italia Review
This shaded playground had been renovated since our first visit.
  • Further activities were available at an extra cost such as parasailing and Banana Boating at the Waterski centre on the lake or trampolining, funfair rides and bouncy castles in Bel Park, Sun Park and the trampoline park.
  • The animation team – who seemed to speak a mix of Italian, English and German – delivered nightly entertainment as well as kids’ club and pool activities daily.
  • Once a week the resort hosts a craft market.
Bella Italia Review
Daily kids’ club activities by the animation team
bella italia market
Weekly craft market in Bella Italia
Bella Italia Review
One of three similar splash park features in the pool complexes


  • The site is BUSY. We travelled in June. By all accounts it’s even busier in July and August. The pools can be quite full and it’s hard to get a sun lounger at times, unless you reserve one with a towel early in the morning. Sadly the rule against doing this isn’t enforced by Bella Italia staff.
  • The site is BIG and its size can be a little overwhelming. That being said, it’s easy enough to navigate.
  • The WIFI, or lack thereof, is frustrating. There are internet zones where it’s available at an additional cost but who doesn’t love a digital detox, right?
  • Bear the noise of the night time entertainment in mind if you have young kids. Nightly entertainment goes on until 11pm and can be heard from the accommodation nearest the entertainment tent.
  • There’s a no-noise policy after 11pm, which is strictly enforced by site security. We loved this, but it did mean that we had to whisper on the decking when it got late.
  • If you’re usually mosquito fodder, then arm yourself with ALL of the sprays and lotions. They’re there in abundance, the feckers.
  • While the lake is REALLY beautiful to look at and a lovely temperature for swimming, there isn’t a sandy beach but rather pebbles and shingle. Plenty still sunbathe along the shore and the scenery really is spectacular, but you won’t be building any sandcastles.

Bella Italia Review

  • Like most campsites, you’ll have to wear a brightly-coloured wristband for the duration of your stay. It’s fine though. Style aesthetic is generally not of concern on a campsite holiday. People without a band aren’t permitted on to the premises and there’s security on all entrances. We always felt safe.
  • While most of the site is beautifully landscaped and well maintained, some areas around mobile homes are a little overgrown and stony.
  • Cars are allowed on site. They travel slowly but it’s something to be aware of if you’re traveling with very young kids and have a bolter.
  • The main gate closes at 11pm, after which time cars will have to remain in the reception car park –  something to consider if you’re arriving late.
  • Animals aren’t allowed in Bella Italia.
  • Be prepared for longer-than-usual queues at check-in on Saturdays – the busiest day for arrivals and departures.
  • The food on site is good and there are lots of options. Obviously it’s all Italian fare. The pizzeria and gelateria were big hits with our gang.
  • There’s a tourist train on site that brings guests the 2km to Peschiera – a handy service and our kids loved it.
  • You don’t necessarily need a car. Peschiera is walkable, with lots of cafes and bars along the way and other towns are reachable by both ferry and bus. That being said, if you travel early in the season there’s always a chance of rain and there’s very little to do in bad weather so a car might come in handy. We had one day of rain in early June 2013 and lots of thunder storms last year in mid June, but they were all at night and so had no impact on our holiday at all. Phew.
  • The campsite has its own song. Nope. Not kidding. The song is called Bella Italia and the entertainers sing it a LOT. You will too. And you’ll still be singing well into November. It’s hard to shake.
Bella Italia Garda
Decisions, decisions. Daily gelato fix.


  • Nail your loungers early. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. What else can you do?
  • Check out the smaller pool complex that’s through the courtyard of the Corte Riga restaurant. It doesn’t have any slides but it’s much quieter and less overwhelming than the bigger ones in the centre of the park. We had some of our most enjoyable pool days there.
Bella Italia Review
One of the smaller pools complexes in Bella Italia
  • If you fancy a quiet aperol spritz in the afternoon, grab a table near the entrance of the Corte Riga (our favourite of the on-site restaurants) directly opposite one of the playgrounds, sit back, sip and watch them play. This also works at the first beach bar on the right when you exit on to the lake, where there’s trampolining available. Winning.
  • Enjoy top views of the lake while dining at Le Terrazze restaurant on site.
  • Kids eat free in the Vecchio Mullino Beach restaurant, a really gorgeous hidden gem situated a five-ten minute walk from the campsite.  (Take a left when you exit the site onto the lake.)
  • Ask in reception for a list of market days in the neighbouring towns, to help plan your day trips.
  • If you haven’t brought your own, rent bikes. The pathway along the lake is perfect for cycling.
  • If you’re considering a campsite holiday but you’re not sure where to start, check out these tips for booking a European campsite holiday. 
  • If you’re still not sure if a campsite holiday is for you, take this fun quiz to find out!


  • Swim and snorkle in the warm waters of the lake, enjoy jumping off the many jetties or rent pedalos and enjoy the breathtaking scenery.
  • Walk directly on to the shore of Lake Garda and take a ten minute stroll along a buggy-friendly pathway to reach the picturesque town of Perchiera. Rent a speedboat and spend the afternoon on the lake (we LOVED this) or take a water taxi to the town of your choice.
Bella Italia Review
Speed boats are for hire at the harbour in Peschiera
  • We rented a car last year and visited some stunning medieval towns around the shores of the lake including Sirmione and Bardolino. Our friends visited Malcesine where you can take a cable car up into the Italian Alps to the top of Monte Baldo.

Bella Italia Review Nearby Sirmione

Bella Italia Review

  • Enjoy day trips to Verona, Milan and Venice by bus from the site.
  • Visit Gardaland theme park and and sea life aquarium
  • Visit Canevaworld Movieland theme park and waterpark.
  • Spend an afternoon at the Parco Natura Viva – a natural zoological garden that’s home to 250 wild species.
  • Enjoy a natural spa experience at Via dei Cedri thermal park.
Bella Italia Review

Have you visited Bella Italia? What did you think? Would you return? Do you have a favourite campsite? Drop the details in the comments! I’m always on the look out for campsites to add to my wishlist!

Thanks for reading. If you found this helpful, I’d be delighted if you shared it with someone who might like it! 🙂

Bella Italia Review

Bella Italia, on the southern shores of Lake Garda is one of Italy's most popular family resorts. Find out why in our Bella Italia review... #bellaitalia #familytravel #lakegarda



    • Sinéad Reply

      I think the flight was around 2.5 hours so it wasn’t bad at all. The flights were at ‘normal’ times too which is always a big pull for us. We had some stuff downloaded on to tablets, some colour and snacks and it flew by. Are you thinking of heading off somewhere this summer?

  1. Wow it looks amazing there! As a parent it is really convenient to have a supermarket onsite and especially good that it is affordable too 🙂

    • Sinéad Reply

      Absolutely. It’s nice to be able to make some meals yourself, especially with young kids!

    • Sinéad Reply

      Yeah, I think it definitely offers more for older kids!

  2. This looks like a brilliant place to visit, I love that there are things to do for all different ages as having a large age gap between my two that makes such a big difference.

    • Sinéad Reply

      Oh I can imagine it’s not easy to find somewhere that ticks everyone’s boxes!

  3. oh this looks amazing, we havent been abroad as a family yet but hopefully this year we will. This is the kind of review we look for as it tells us exactly everything we need to know! Thank you!

  4. Looks like a fabulous place for a family holiday! I stayed in Riva del Garda on the north shore of Lake Garda last summer and loved it.

    • Sinéad Reply

      It looks like there are some AMAZING towns dotted around the lake. Such a beautiful area!

  5. Wow, this place looks fab! I have 5 ranging from 12 to 9 months so leaving the UK on holiday isn’t something I’m considering at the moment but I’ll definitely remember this when we do decide to venture further.

  6. I adore Italy and Lake Garda is top of my list to visit. This place looks amazing, I can’t believe how much they have for children. Shame about the wifi!! I’m book marking this for when we decide to go x

    • Sinéad Reply

      It’s a BIG shame about the WIFI. It shouldn’t have bothered me as much as it did but I was totally frustrated with it!

  7. Ohh yes this looks right up our street. We’d love to go and visit Bella Italia, it isn’t a resort I have heard of before but then I haven’t been to Italy so that’s probably why. We are hoping next year we will make it there, we have to save up a bit first! Mich x

  8. This looks like a fantastic place to go for a family holiday. It’s got everything you need. Will look into this for our next holiday

  9. This looks like a great place to stay! Book marking for future adventures. We have only tried mobile home sites in France. But we love Italy and the fact that you don’t necessarily need a car is a big plus. Great review x

    • Sinéad Reply

      We haven’t tried France yet but I think we will next year!

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