Way back when .. Well, actually in May 2016 I won a fantastic competition at Blog On Conference in Manchester. It’s one that in fairness took a long time to sink in. After all it’s not everyday you win £1500 to spend on a holiday is it?!
Our previous family holidays has also been packaged deals with the fully inclusive element and Canvas Holidays are an independent agent providing accommodation on camping sites all over France, Italy, Croatia, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Holland.
Each site has differing accommodations on offer from mobile homes to full on tents and with families in mind, many of them are provided with 2-3 bedrooms allowing for plenty of space for kids.
Having taken a few months to get over the shock and let the excitement fully sink in we set about online trying to decide where to go that meant we could fly easily from East Midlands airport as this trip was going to have to be based on ease since Jacob was only going to be 16 months when we flew out to the locations this June)
From the off there was one immensely interesting site that we kept looking at and going back to and that’s was Bella Italia. Located only 14 miles from Verona airport it made for short transfers once we landed.
Bella Italia is located on the sparkling shore of Lake Garda only a 10 minute walk into Peschiera del Garda and its packed with family friendly amenities from the multiple swimming pools and slides to the parks and sports areas.
We arrived on site after pre-booking a super transfer company ( Cheap Taxis ) don’t let the name fool you they were one of the cheapest but yet one of the easiest and most professional transfer pickups I have ever had!
Arriving on the site around mid day meant we were possibly in for a long wait as check in was late afternoon however we headed to the Canvas team office and found a note saying they were out on site but give them a ring so we did and the lovely ‘Tami’ headed back to greet us.
She filled us in on all the amenities, local shops and some of the local areas that were worth visiting. She was honestly like a fountain of knowledge and non of our questions seemed to phase her.
Luckily our caravans were cleaned and ready to go so we headed over to finally meet our new home for the 2 week duration of our stay. And we weren’t disappointed. We had booked into the Moda 2 bedroom with Air Con and it was lovely with its decked front with table and chairs that we practically lived on for the entire holiday.
The unit was super clean and had everything we could need. We did pre-order a highchair and travel cot which were waiting for us when we arrived.
For our holiday when not lounging, eating and chatting on our decking we spent a large chunk of our time at one of the parks numerous pools which open at 9am each day.
The pool area was super clean and in the area we spent most time in there was a lifeguard on duty but it is the adults responsibility to keep their eyes on their own kids.
Joshua invested in an inflatable on day one from the shop on site where they were reasonably priced and masses of choice.
The temperature for our stay (31st May – 14th June) was fantastic in the late 20’s most days but the last few days of holiday Jacob and I took to the decking with a paddling pool in the afternoons in the shade as it did climb to a scorching 32-34 and there is nothing like having your accommodation on tap with air con!
The site has a wonderful supermarket that is open daily that s stocks all the basics. It bakes fresh bread every day all day and even cooks chickens (you will need to book these in advance due to demand) also its worth noting that in the morning when the shop opens there is a massive queue for fresh breads and pastries. If you are just wanting a baguette and milk or anything else from the shop .. Don’t join the queue just walk in. (Ollie learnt that the hard way in the first week)
Having never been on anything other than fully inclusive holidays which have set meals and times and you have to get smartened up to eat it made for an amazingly laid back day holiday, eating when we wanted, wearing what we wanted. It certainly ticked our boxes and the boys seemed to love it too.
The restaurant on site is somewhere we visited twice while there and it has the most beautiful views upstairs of the lake. We did however eat several more times from there as they are offer a takeaway service. Joshua worked his way through numerous pepperoni pizzas!
The Bella Italia camp is fantastically located and being only 10 minutes into Peschiera on foot. From there you can catch buses to most of the other villages around the lake along with jumping on a boat.
We went on one trip to Bardolino by boat and so wish we had done more trips like this it was a wonderful day and such a beautiful place.
We also did a bus trips to Sirmione and Verona too!
I can quite honestly say this was our favourite holiday to date with its laid back feel, great working amenities and plenty of space to do our own thing as a family we are totally hooked on the Canvas Holidays style. We have even been back online to look at booking again next year. Dates for next year however are still not out but I will be keeping my eyes peeled.
Although I won this holiday in a competition I was not expected to write it up but loved it so much I wanted to share.