Today we drive from Lake Garda to Lido di Josolo in Italy.
Camping in Europe is totally different to my experience of camping in Canada. In Canada, the more remote and leafy the better. The farther away from other campers you are the better. If you are by a lake or the ocean, great!
In European camping you don't have the luxury of wilderness. The number one thing that I have surmised the Europeans to like is a well equipped and clean toilet block. This isn't a simple Canadian camping toilet. This should have hot showers (and each of these should have its own changing area that doesn't get wet when the shower is on). Secondly, it should be immaculately cleaned regularly. A campsite often advertises based on its toilets and it is a real draw. There should also be a dishes area with hot water, sinks, draining board area, and if it is a really nice site there are usually cloths for wiping up after you are done. The bigger and newer the toilet facility the better. Bidets are an extra plus. Foot washing sinks are also something we have seen at several sites. And of course, washing machines (and dryers if you are really lucky).
Shade is a nice plus, but space doesn't seem as a premium as it does in Canada. Everyone is parked up near each other and there is a banter that goes on between everyone (usually based on the European country your number plates are from). We really fool people with our Netherlands plates when we are obviously not from there. The countries we are seeing camping the most: the Dutch and the Germans, but also Spanish, Swiss, English and some Italians. Each campsite usually has huts you can rent instead of camping and there are people who rent spaces permanently and have their camper always parked. These are a dead giveaway as they usually have planters, lawn ornaments, Christmas lights and more.
Nigel said to me after watching everyone for awhile. "I can see what the experienced campers do. They bring their bathrobe, wear it to the washroom, shower and then change back at their camper. I am going to bring mine next time then nothing gets wet."
It is common to have fresh bread delivered to the campsite in the mornings. A smaller campsite will require you to order what you want the night before but the bigger ones have a shop that you can go to in the early hours to buy it.