Are you looking for a family-friendly place to stay on your trip to Lake Garda?
Do you need a home base for your family’s visit to Gardaland?
Camping Bella Italia could be the perfect place for your family. It’s not for everyone, and if you’d asked me a few years ago if I’d stay there, the answer would’ve been no. But, I’ve visited with my three boys twice in the last two years, and we’ll be back again next year!
Read on to find out more about Camping Bella Italia (hint: I think it’s poorly named) and read about our experiences, which will help you decide if it’s a good fit for your family.
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Camping Bella Italia Basics
Camping Bella Italia is a family resort located on the southeastern shore of Lake Garda.
At just 15-minutes from Gardaland by car, it makes a nice base for families visiting the theme park.
Camping Bella Italia does have campsites, but the majority of the accommodations on the property are bungalows and mini ‘mobile homes’ that fit families and small groups.
Most visitors stay for at least a few days, and some spend a lot of time at the resort, which is easy to do, as it has everything you could need or want:
- Lake access
- Multiple swimming pools with waterslides and kids areas
- Small supermarket
- Entertainment for kids (animation and kids activities throughout the day, bike rentals, trampoline area, mini amusement area, volleyball courts and areas to play soccer, multiple playgrounds)
It’s popular with families from around Europe and Italy – we hear so many languages during our visits!
Things to Love About Camping Bella Italia
- It’s an easy place to visit because it’s so set up for families
- Excellent value for the price you pay
- Convenient location to reach Gardaland and towns on Lake Garda like Sirmione
- You can walk along the lakeside path to Peschiera del Garda (we love to walk in for dinner)
- Kid-friendly facilities (restaurants, swimming pools, etc)
- Evening quiet hours
Why Camping Bella Italia May Not Be the Right Choice for You
- It’s loud
- There are kids everywhere (this can also be a positive for children who want to make friends!)
- Accommodations aren’t luxurious
- There’s no privacy (mobile homes and bungalows are close together)
- Swimming pool area gets very crowded (but we’ve always managed to find open sun loungers)
- WI-FI signal weak in some areas and you have to pay for it
Good To Know: I’m basing this article on stays in the bungalows and mobile homes, not on the camping area. But, the camping facilities (showers, kitchen areas) look clean and well-kept.
Camping Bella Italia – Our Stay
Arrival and Check-In
The official check-in time at Bella Italia is 5:00pm, but you can use the facilities even if your room isn’t ready.
Good To Know: Rooms aren’t guaranteed until 5:00pm, but they’re often ready before then. Both times we’ve visited, our rooms were ready when we arrived after lunch. Also, you’ll find fewer people in line if you check-in before the advertised 5:00pm check-in time.
Drive up and park in the lot next to the reception building. You’ll need your car’s license plate, your group’s IDs, and cash for the security deposit.
Helpful Tip: Keep the deposit receipt in a safe place because you’ll need it at check-out to get your deposit back.
Check-in staff is friendly, patient, and helpful.
You’ll get the resort’s bracelets for each member of your group, and then you either go straight to your room (if you’re staying in a bungalow) or check in with your private mobile home contact.
You may be wondering about the differences between the bungalows and mobile homes*:
|Run by Camping Bella Italia||Run by Outside Company (with on-site staff)|
|Spacious, like an apartment||Tiny (or you could say ‘cozy’)|
|Share a wall with another bungalow||Standalone building, but set close to others|
|Park in main lot (25-100 meters away)||Parking directly in front of mobile home|
|At back of property (furthest from lake)||Closest buildings to lake (campsites are even closer)|
|Less expensive||Tend to be pricier|
|Linens provided||Bring your own or rent linens (sheets and towels)|
|End-of-stay cleaning included||Clean the mobile home when you leave or pay extra for cleaning|
We definitely prefer the bungalows for the extra space (we’re a family of 5), and I like that there aren’t any cars driving close to us (so the kids can play outside without me worrying too much). I also like that the linens and cleaning are provided. However, it’s kind of a pain to unload and load up the car when you have to walk all of your stuff back and forth to the parking lot.
Our Time at Camping Bella Italia
We mostly use the resort as a base for exploring the area. We spend the first afternoon at the pool, using the waterslides, and checking out the lake and the property.
The large swimming pools are a highlight for us, even if they get really crowded.
Helpful Tip: Bring your own water wings and pool toys for the swimming pools (they’re allowed!).
Good To Know: The water slide lines move quickly.
If we’re not out exploring Lake Garda, we like to visit the playgrounds, walk down to the lake (for a swim, to feed the ducks and swans, or to go for a lakeside stroll), and just let the kids play at the bungalow or mobile home.
We mix our dinners up – cooking simple meals at the bungalow/mobile home, and eating some dinners at restaurants on the property and others in nearby towns and villages. I find the restaurants to be great value, and I feel relaxed eating at them with my kids (because everyone else there is just trying to eat a meal with their kids!). My boys gave the pizza a thumbs up, there are gluten-free options (even pizza), and we enjoyed pastas and salads. There’s a gelateria on-site which makes for a nice post-dinner walk.
Check-Out and Departure
You can check-out between 8:00 and 10:00am. If you’re in a bungalow, you just need to return your keys and television remote to reception and get your deposit back. If you’re in a mobile home, you’ll set a time to check-out and staff will check to see if it’s clean and you’ll get your deposit back.
How to Book a Stay at Camping Bella Italia
The easiest way to book a stay at Camping Bella Italia is through Booking.com. It’s what I use for all of our Italy hotel and apartment reservations.
Camping Bella Italia manages the bungalows (apartments), while multiple private companies manage the mobile homes. If you want to book a Camping Bella Italia mobile home, the best thing to do is search your dates on Booking.com in Peschiera del Garda and look at any of the properties with ‘Bella Italia’ in the name. For example:
- Mobilhome Victoria Bella Italia
- Happy Camp Mobile Homes in Camping Bella Italia
- Albatross Mobile Homes on Camping Bella Italia
- Casa Mobile – Camping Bella Italia
Camping Bella Italia Alternatives
If Camping Bella Italia is already booked for your dates, or you want to see some other options in the area, take a look at:
- Sisan Family Resort – a family hotel with apartments near Bardolino; just across the street from the lake
- Gardaland Hotel, Gardaland Aventure Hotel, Gardaland Magic Hotel – themed hotels with easy access to Gardaland
- La Rocca Camping Village – on the lake within walking distance of Garda and Bardolino
Things to See and Do Near Camping Bella Italia
One of the things I liked most about Camping Bella Italia is its convenient location. From the resort, it’s easy to reach:
- Peschiera del Garda – Lovely town to walk through, or have dinner in the evening. You can reach it on foot from Camping Bella Italia by walking on the lakeside path. We did this with kids and our stroller and I loved the evening walk along the lake.
- Gardaland – Italy’s most famous theme park. You can also visit other area theme parks like SEA LIFE Aquarium at Gardaland, LEGOLAND Water Park, Caneva Aquapark, and Movieland.
- Sirmione – Climb the castle and soak up views of Lake Garda, visit the thermal baths or lounge at Jamaica Beach. Read our Guide to Sirmione.
- Other Lakeside Towns and Villages – Nearby Lazise, Bardolino, Torri del Benaco and Malcesine are all worth a stop.
- Lake Garda Beaches – We like Sirmione’s beaches, Lazise’s beaches, and the beach in Torri del Benaco.
- Lakeside Cycling Paths – Don’t miss a bike ride along the lake. There are plenty of bike rental companies around the lake. We used and were impressed with Cisano Bike Rental.
Camping Bella Italia FAQ
Camping Bella Italia would not be my first choice if I wasn’t traveling without kids, but we’ve always seen a few couples (especially older couples) staying at the resort.