How refreshing it would be to find somewhere so naturally beautiful that even the most dramatic of brochure images couldn’t begin to do it justice. Well, I’ll let you into a secret. I think I might have found that place…
Clinging to the edge of an Umbrian hillside at the heart of the Monti Sibilini National Park you’ll find Camping Il Collaccio. It takes a little bit of getting to, 2h30 from Rome, but is more than worth the drive.
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The views are breath-taking and the atmosphere idyllic, but Il Collaccio has an extra special ingredient to set it apart from the rest of our Italian parcs, and that’s the food.
The campsite restaurant Al Porcello Felice (The Happy Pig) offers a real slice of authentic Italian cuisine and is as popular with the locals as it is with the tourists. You can even sign up for a cookery course with the chef to ensure you take a flavour of the place home with you.
Top Tip: Request a table with a view on the outside terrace
The restaurant at the foot of the hill (Il Castoro – a couple of km from the site) seemed to be packed every time we went and was startlingly good value for money.
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Around and about there’s the local market town of Norcia, famed for its Wild Boar, and the hilltop village of Castellucio (accessed via the wonderful Grand Piano di Castelluccio with its spectacular ‘Fiorita’ in June and July) which is renowned worldwide for its lentils.
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Travelling back along the valley floor you’ll stumble across any number of trout farms where the less squeamish amongst you can pick your own dinner direct from the pool!
We were able to offset some of our over-indulgence by taking part in one of the site organised walks, as well as spending an afternoon rafting along the sparkling rapids of the Nera river.
Mix all these ingredients together, leave to proof under an azure Umbrian sky, grab an Aperol Spritz from the poolside bar and start planning your next visit. That’s what we did.