We set off on an EPIC 2-week Europe RV Trip with Anywhere Campers, starting in Rome, Italy, and ending in Paris, France. And I can say without any doubt that it was the best road trip we’ve ever taken! In this guide, you’ll learn more about the route we took, cities we visited, campsites we stayed at, and hidden gems along the way.
Let’s start by answering a common question: Yes, you can travel Europe in an RV! And not only can you travel Europe in an RV, we highly recommend it!
We chose Anywhere Campers as our go-to RV rental company for this trip, and they were seriously fantastic. Specializing in international clients, they know exactly what you need for your trip – and supply it! The camper is equipped with all you need so you can simply walk off the plane, take the keys, and head out on your trip! From tons of storage for your luggage to linens, kitchen supplies, and even bicycles – they make sure you have the perfect European RV family vacation.
This road trip is for anyone who wants to see Italy and France in a new and exciting way. You will get a chance to experience sights that you wouldn’t normally see on a traditional hotel trip. Including national parks, camping & nature sites, and off-the-grid locations. It’s an adventurous itinerary with many destinations and stops along the way. Whether you’re traveling overseas or within the EU, this road trip is a fantastic way to see Europe and spend quality time with your family.
If you’re looking for an epic route for a Europe RV trip, Rome to Paris is it! We ventured out in Spring, which is a great time to take a Rome to Paris RV road trip. We traveled from April 13 – 28th. And the weather was just starting to warm up without the scorching summer heat. Taking a Spring RV trip means fewer crowds compared to the summer high-season and lower camping costs. Campgrounds can double their prices in the summer, so camping in the low season definitely has its benefits. There are also fewer cars on the road and less tourists to compete with.
Spring Travel Tip: Just be aware that many campgrounds don’t open up in Italy and France until mid-late April. We came across some that weren’t open yet, so keep those dates in mind. And traveling over the Easter holiday will also add more people. One of the reasons we weren’t able to find available campgrounds in the Cinque Terre area was due to Easter weekend. Remember to book in advance if you’re planning a trip over the Easter holidays.
Check out our Europe Campground Guide: How to Find Awesome RV Campgrounds in Europe
We started our family vacation by flying into Rome–Fiumicino International Airport. From there, we drove up the coast of Italy and into France, where we traveled along the French Riveria coast. We then continued the journey north through a few of France’s national parks, beautiful cities, and mountains to our final destination of Paris.
We drove a total of 1560 km and stayed at campgrounds, French Aires, and boondocking sites along the way.
Our flight arrived in Rome early afternoon, so after collecting our luggage, we grabbed an Uber and headed toward the meeting place where our RV was waiting for us. It was about a 15-minute drive from the airport.
We then met Filip, our Anywhere Camper rep, who was ready to hand over the keys. After a thorough tour of the camper and explanations on how to operate everything, we were ready to hit the road.
RV Pickup Tip: Make sure you pay attention to the full tour of the RV. The tour will cover all aspects of the RV, such as driving, gas, emptying the toilet, electric facilities inside the RV, etc. It’s imperative that you have a full understanding of the RV BEFORE you take off. So don’t forget to ask questions if you have them! You can also video parts of the tour that are new to you, so you have a video guide while you’re on the road.
Rome Campground: We stayed at Seven Hills Roma campground, just outside the city to the north (15km from the center of Rome). There’s not a huge amount of campsites close to Rome, and this one was perfect if you want to stay to explore the city. They have a van shuttle that takes you to the train station, and from there, you can take the train into the city for only 1€ per adult/one way.
Because we had previously been to Rome a couple of times before, we decided to only spend a day in the Eternal City. But, if you have never been to Rome, I highly recommend 2-4 days to cover everything. This is especially true if you want to do a few tours or have younger children. It all depends on how many days your RV trip is and the distance you want to cover.
Here’s what we saw in a day with our 5-year old:
Some other noteworthy sites to see are Piazza di Spagna, Capitoline Hill, Roman Forum, The Spanish Steps, and Sistine Chapel…
ROME TIP: It’s a LOT of walking during the day, so if you have a stroller, bring it! Buss metro passes are also a good way to save your feet, and if you have older kids, renting electric scooters is a fun way to see the city!
Drive: 3 ½ – 4 hours drive from Rome to Pisa
Pisa was our 2nd stop on our RV road trip through Italy & France. We had debated going to Florence, but because we had already been there and hadn’t been to Pisa, we went with the big P. And I’m so glad we did!
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the most popular site to see, but there’s also more than just the tower. The city is small, so it’s less walking, which is perfect for younger kids. The old city is surrounded by the fortress wall, which is fun to see. And it’s just a really fun stop with all the fun tower poses and videos you can make.
Pisa Tip: After researching parking options in Pisa, I discovered that Pisa was one of those locations with many break-ins. So we opted to stay at the campground instead of just parking in a general parking lot – it was definitely worth it.
Pisa Campground: We stayed at Pisa Motorhome Camping Area, which is basically a parking lot specifically for campers. The location is convenient, within walking distance to the Tower, and 24/7 security. You can find it on the park4night app and stay for 12€ a night or 5€ for just the day. Because it’s one of the only places to stay right in the city, it fills up FAST, so get there early – no reservations accepted there.
Itinerary Modification Tip: This is where you can add in a stop at Florence. Pisa and Florence are about a 1 ½ hour drive from each other, so you can either be ambitious and try to fit them both in one day or add an extra day to explore Florence.
Drive: 1 hour from Pisa to La Spezia.
Drive: 3 hours from La Spezia to French Aire (La Turbie)
Next on our itinerary was a day to see Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre is one of the most beautiful places in Italy, so of course, we wanted to stop. But Cinque Terre is one of those destinations that requires planning before arriving, so make sure you’ve decided how you want to see the villages before just showing up.
Cinque Terre is made up of 5 towns along the coast of the Ligurian Sea in northwest Italy – Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Each village can either be accessed by train or boat – there is no driving inside Cinque Terre.
The most popular place to start is in La Spezia and stop at each village. We took the train up to Monterroso and worked our way back down. You can buy a day pass to see all the villages or purchase individual village passes. You can also take a boat to each of the villages. But make sure to get there early in the morning because the boat schedule isn’t as flexible as the train.
Cinque Terre Campground: There are many different campground options in the area, but they fill up FAST. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find any available campgrounds in the area, so after our day at Cinque Terre, we drove in the evening to France and stayed at our first French Aire.
French Aire – La Turbie: Another camping option in France is staying at a French Aire. French Aires are rest areas suitable for larger motorhomes and are Free. Many are equipped with restrooms, dump areas, charging stations, and more. Some are simple parking areas to sleep overnight, and others include showers, restaurants, and other camping features. We stayed at a few French Aires and enjoyed each of them. Plus, they’re FREE!
Itinerary Modification Tip: Cinque Terre is also another great place to add in days. If you’d like to spend more time at this gorgeous location, you might want to stay more than just a day.
Drive: 1 ½ hour from La Turbie to Saint Tropez
One of the most beautiful areas to drive along is on the coast of the French Riveria. The French Aire location was just outside Nice and Cannes, which are also fantastic cities to visit. The beaches are gorgeous, and both cities have lots to explore. We drove along the coast of both cities to get those southern France beach vibes on our way to Saint Tropez.
Another stunning location to stop along the way is Antibes. The coastal waters along this beach drive are some of the most beautiful we’ve ever seen. And if you are looking to boondock in Europe, along the French coast is a fantastic option – can you just imagine waking up to these views? This was one of our favorite spontaneous stops along the way.
Itinerary Modification Tip: If you’ve never been to either Nice or Cannes, these cities are great places to stop for an extra day or night.
Saint Tropez Campground: We stayed at Camping Les Tournels Campground – by far our FAVORITE campsite of the entire trip! Located just outside the city of Saint-Tropez, it was more like a 5-star resort than a campground. It included full RV hookups, kids and adult pools + lazy river, a spa, an incredible kids playground, putt-putt golf, tennis, basketball, bikes, a bakery, restaurant, and grocery store. There was also nightly entertainment – and all for only 25€ a night. We stayed 2 nights here and could have easily stayed more.
We took full advantage of the campsite amenities and spent the morning and early afternoon at the pools and spas. And it was glorious! Not your typical camping scenario, but for those who like glamping, you’ll love it.
We decided to explore the city of Saint-Tropez in the later afternoon and early evening. Saint-Tropez is known as the playground for the rich and famous, so you really never know who you might run into walking down the street or sitting at a cafe near a yacht. We took an Uber to the city and explored the Citadel, walked around the cobblestone streets, the port, the coastal trail, and took in the vibes. It’s a smaller city, so in a few hours, we had seen almost everything.
𝗛𝗶𝗱𝗱𝗲𝗻 G𝗲𝗺 𝗼𝗳 𝗦𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁-𝗧𝗿𝗼𝗽𝗲𝘇: There are many cool little cafes and restaurants all throughout the city, but by far, the one place you MUST GO is Barbarac Artisan Glacier. It’s the BEST ice cream we had on the entire trip!
Drive: 2 hours from Saint-Tropez to Verdon National Park
We were now ready to leave the coastal region of France and head up to the heart of France’s nature. Verdon National Park is one of the most beautiful parks in the country. When I was planning our trip, there were a couple of stops that I knew I wanted to make, and Verdon was one of them. From glorious mountains to impressive gorges and stunning lakes, this area is a nature-lovers dream.
Verdon National Park Campground: We camped in the heart of the national park at Les Roches Verdon Municipality campground. The campsites are located right on the lake, with views of those beautiful turquoise waters. There are many other campgrounds available inside the National Park, too.
Drive: 3 hours from Verdon to Gap
We had planned an entire day in the gorges of Verdon, but Mother Nature had other ideas. On the day we were supposed to kayak and paddleboard in the gorges, a major thunderstorm rolled in, and we had to change plans. Instead, we drove up into the mountains to see the gorges from the top. Eventually, the storms calmed a bit, so we were also able to take a short hike down to the waters.
The gorges are most famously known for their turquoise blue waters with many different activities. You can rent kayaks and paddleboards, small boats, or paddle boats. You can also go rock climbing/repelling inside the gorge – there are more than 1,500 courses and many climbing companies to help guide you. Hiking is a popular activity with various levels of hiking trails heading into the gorge. And of course, you can also swim in the gorge lakes.
Flexibility Tip: One of the benefits of traveling in an RV is the ability to change up plans easily. We had originally planned on staying an additional night in the Gorges of Verdon, but because of the heavy storms, we made a last-minute change to our itinerary and headed up north earlier than planned. We stayed at a French Aire near the city of Gap, which gave us extra time to play with at the end of our trip and helped split up a long day of driving.
French Aire (Gap): This was our second stay at a French Aire. We arrived early evening and left again early the next morning.
Drive: 3 hours from Gap to Chamonix
Drive: 1 ½ hours from Chamonix to Annecy
From Gap, we made the early drive northeast to Chamonix for a day of exploring in the French Alps, where we actually went inside France’s largest glacier! Mer de Glace is one of those BUCKET LIST destinations you’ll never forget.
Chamonix is known as one of France’s premier ski towns, and its charm is catching. Spending a day in Chamonix is a fun way to capture the essence of the area. And heading up to Mer de Glace, up in the French Alps, is the icing on top.
You can purchase tickets at the train station in Chamonix for a trip up into the mountains. It’s a train, cable car, and stairs combo to arrive at the glacier, and it’s definitely worth it. This was our ABSOLUTE FAVORITE activity on our RV trip through Italy and France.
Chamonix Parking: There are several RV parking areas to choose from in the city, but the biggest one is located at the very entrance of the city. (You can’t miss it – there are many RVs parked there.) From the parking area, it’s about a 5-minute walk to the train station. You can also park overnight there if you want to stay an extra day, which is an extra bonus.
Annecy is one of those French villages where you’ll feel like you’re walking around in a fairy tale. Surrounded by water and mountains, it’s just the most beautiful place to walk around, sit at a cafe or restaurant, and take in the French culture. Catching a sunset in Annecy is simply magical, so make sure you’re there for the evening hours.
Annecy Campground: We stayed 2 nights at Camping Municipal d’Annecy, and I’m glad we did. The campground is beautifully located on the top of a hill overlooking the lake and the city. It’s perfect for families with full hookups, a playground, putt-putt golf, restrooms, showers, and an entertainment area. And the best aspect is its close location to the city. You can simply walk (15-20 minutes) right to the center of Annecy.
First Section Drive: 1 /12 hours from Annecy to Lyon
Second Section Drive: 3 hours from Lyon to Semur-en-Auxois
Third Section Drive: 2 hours from Semur-en-Auxois to French Aire
We knew that this day was going to be a long driving day up to Paris (6 ½ hours), so we broke it up with stops at various cities along the way. I highly suggest breaking up long drives with small stops – especially with children.
Our first stop was at the city of Lyon, one of France’s largest cities. Originally, we were planning on staying the entire day there and camping in the area. But again, storms played a large factor in deciding to head north where the weather was nicer. Instead, we took a couple of hours to walk and drive around the city to see it in action.
We then continued up north. There are so many wonderful small villages to stop at in the Morvan region along the A6 route north, and we chose Semur-en-Auxois. There is also a national park in the area if you want to stay overnight instead of driving all the way to Paris in one day.
Semur-en-Auxois is a medieval town adorned with cobblestone streets and old houses and restaurants. It’s like taking a walk through time with towers and castles mixed in. It’s a tiny village, so it can be a quick stop to get out, stretch your legs, and see another part of France you wouldn’t normally see. We ate some delicious pizza at one of the local restaurants and enjoyed this stop tremendously.
Semur-en-Auxois Parking: You can park an RV right on the road at the entrance of the city. Parking here is not an issue. There are many larger spots for RVs and vans.
French Aire (just outside of Paris): French Aires are a great option for FREE overnight sleeping spaces for an RV trip. Our final French Aire stay was about an hour outside of Paris. We wanted to stay close enough so we could wake up and drive right to our Paris campground in the morning. There are several Aires to choose from along the A6 to Paris. Just note that if you arrive later in the evening/night, there might not be any available spots. These are also popular areas for semi-trucks to park for the night.
Itinerary Modification Tip: If you don’t want to drive the entire way to Paris in one day, this is a great place to add an overnight stop to help break up the trip.
Drive: 1 hour from French Aire to Paris campground
We woke up and immediately drove to our Paris campground site. We wanted to head into the city and spend the afternoon/early evening exploring Paris. This way, we could break up our time in the city into sections with less walking for our 5-year-old.
We took the metro to the Arc de Triomphe station, and from there, walked down Champs-Élysées to the Eiffel Tower. We hung here out until the evening hours and took the metro back to our campsite.
Paris Campground: We stayed at Camping de Paris, located on the west side of Paris. It’s a beautiful campsite, perfect for RVs, vans, tents, and even cabins. It has hookups on each site, restrooms/showers, a playground, a restaurant, and a small grocery store. They offer shuttle bus rides to the metro, so you can just hop on a bus and then the metro – and you’re in downtown Paris. It’s super easy to spend the day or night in Paris.
Paris Campsite Tip: Although the campground is huge, it fills up fast. So make sure you reserve a spot in advance – especially for high season.
Unlike Rome, we decided to stay an extra day in Paris to see more of the city. We spent a full day and night in Paris to take in the Eiffel Tower lit up at night. On our second day in Paris, we started at the Louvre and headed to Notre Dame via the Square de la Tour Saint-Jacques. Then we spent time in the gorgeous Luxembourg Garden and headed back to the Eiffel Tower to catch it at sunset and then watch the light show.
Eiffel Tower Light Show Tip: The Eiffel Tower lights up at 10 pm (22:00) and only lasts a few minutes, so don’t be late. Even though it’s a short show, it’s quite special to see the tower twinkling.
Drive: 50 minutes from Paris campground to Disneyland Campground
Even though we were still staying in the Paris area, we moved from the west side of the city to the east side to be closer to Disneyland Paris for our last two days on our RV trip. After setting up at the campground, we took the shuttle bus to Disneyland Paris to spend the evening at Disney Village – the Europe equivalent of Disney Springs in Florida with shopping and restaurants.
Although there is no campground right on the Disneyland Paris campus, there is camping nearby. We camped at L’international de Jablines campground.
Disneyland Paris Campground: L’International de Jablines is the best campground to camp at if you want to spend a day at Disneyland Paris. There are buses that go directly to Disneyland Paris from the campground for only 2€/adult one way. It also has lots of activities for those who aren’t planning on visiting Disney. With its own lake on the premise, there are water activities as well as other sports games and fields.
Spending our last full day at Disneyland Paris was the perfect ending to our RV trip. We did a lot of walking around cities and nature areas, so this was our daughter’s time to have her kind of fun. We spent the entire day and night at the park and came home exhausted – yet so happy! If you are taking a trip with kids, we highly recommend adding a day or two at Disneyland Paris.
Drive: 20 minutes to the airport
Our last day had finally come, and it was time to say goodbye and head home. We met our Anywhere Camper rep right at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to return the RV. It was a smooth and easy transition and didn’t take more than 15 minutes.
Quoting my daughter as we were saying goodbye, “I don’t want to leave our camper!” We had such an epic trip and left with memories to last a lifetime!
This trip can easily be modified by staying more or fewer days at each location and adding or subtracting new destinations. As I mentioned inside the guide, we skipped some locations because we had previously been there, so you should plan out your trip according to where you want to go and see.
I highly suggest sitting down and mapping out your trip. Pick 3-4 destinations that you really want to see, and then find places in between to fill it in. We knew we wanted to stop at places like Pisa, Cinque Terre, Gorges of Verdon, and Mer de Glace, so we started with those and planned from there.
When planning for large cities like Rome or Paris, my recommendation is to over-plan rather than under-plan. If you’ve never been to Rome, plan for 2-3 days instead of 1-2. You can always leave a day early and head somewhere else if needed, but you don’t want to leave a location with regrets of not being able to see all that you wanted to.
We received many questions about our RV trip from Rome to Paris, so here are a few of our most commonly asked questions:
Q: When you went to the cities, did you park inside the city or outside and take public transport in?
A: For big cities like Rome and Paris, we parked at campsites outside the city and took public transport in. European city streets are extremely narrow, and there’s not a lot of parking that accompanies RVs. You can either take a bus, train, metro, or an Uber. Ubers are very popular in Europe and cheaper than taxis.
Q: How did you find campgrounds in Europe?
A: Finding campgrounds in Europe isn’t as clear-cut as in the States, but there are some resources that will help you plan out your trip. To find campgrounds for our trip, I pretty much used two apps to find options – Park4night and Campercontact. Both are FREE apps and offer paid upgrades. I used the free versions and then emailed the campgrounds for reservations. Check our out full guide on How to Find Awesome RV Campgrounds here.
Q: Are there dumping stations at the campgrounds for your waste?
A: Waste dumping is quite different in European RVs compared to American ones. First, you don’t use tubes to remove waste like in the US. RVs in Europe have small “waste trolleys” that fit inside the camper, and you simply remove it when it’s full. You can dump it in any restroom toilet or waste area at campgrounds or rest areas. It’s a much easier process in Europe.
Q: How is driving in Europe compared to the US?
A: Much different! Roads in Europe are much narrower than in the US – as well as parking spaces. Everything is smaller, even the RVs. You won’t see many Class A RVs in Europe for this very reason. Most RVs are Class C, converted vans, or travel trailers. And be prepared for lots of tolls! Keep those coins with you because you’ll need them.
Q: Are all the road signs in English?
A: NO! Depending on what country you’re traveling through, you might find signs in English (UK, Switzerland, some in Italy). But in France, for example, all the signs are only in French – no English at all.
Q: How did you navigate while driving the RV?
A: We used either Waze or Google Maps on our phones while driving. I suggest either getting an international internet package (which is what we did) or purchasing a service in Europe. Either way, you can’t rely on Wi-fi while on the road.
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