TinaCortina's Blog

Musings of a Tgirl

Another holiday~ Lake Garda

[I sometimes wonder if I should write a separate blog for my family non Tina outings, especially as I seem to be writing more about that as about being a tgirl.  Note: to Tina, you must get out more.  Hmm, I’ve said that before.  On the other hand, I do hope that if my tags today do attract a few visitors, you will visit my other blogs.  Do please tell if you do!  And if you have a view on whether the blogs should be separate, do please comment].

Anyway back to the holiday.  A-M and myself have just had a week with two good friends at Lake Garda, Italy. Italy’s biggest lake it is set in stunning scenery, 32 miles long and up to 12 miles wide but for large parts you can easily see both sides, with craggy mountains up to about 2,200 metres, over 7,000 feet.

We stayed at a place called Limone (sul Garda), beautiful village, fantastic views of Lake Garda and the surrounding mountains……lots of history……..  lemon tress and citrus fruits (although Limone actually takes its name from the Latin meaning ‘border’ as until the 1st world war it was really close to the Austrian border).  Also famous for the  A-I Milano gene that apparently helps you live longer ~quite a few of its citizens live to over 100 and can trace their family back to the same family back in the 18th century.

We stayed at the All’Azurro which apparently was the first hotel in Limone;  fantastic views over the lake, which we woke up to each morning.  Right next to the Ferry station, 3 or 4 boats an hour from 9:00am till 7pm and very efficient service it was too.

We had day trips to Sermione an interesting peninsular in the south of the lake, taking in the resort of Garda on the way back.  Another day we did Riva the largest town in the North and we also took the ferry to Malcesine or as my friend liked to call it Marscapone!  Each of these places had their attractions, castles, churches, museums; lots of shopping,  cute lanes selling all sorts of paraphernalia, so many pizzerias and gelaterias (ice cream).  To me Italy is famous for Pizza, Pasta, Ice Cream, Leather, Rome and the history of its empire, some good wine, some good football teams, lots of wonderful scenery and then of course you have the bad side, namely its politics…….. eg   Silvio Berlosconi (boo hiss!) and Mussolini…

Actually Mussolini has quite a few associations with the area.  He used to own a holiday place there (which we passed and had to take a photo of!) and was very instrumental in getting the ss45bis road built, completed in 1932.  Up until then, Limone could only be approached by boat or over the mountains.  The road was literally carved out of the mountain cliff-faces with huge numbers of tunnels.  It is now very picturesque and the tourism is built upon it,  but the way to get about once there is definitely by ferry.

Well  A-M got a new handbag, I got a new pair of Italian leather shoes.  We had lots of gorgeous Ice Cream, I really love Vanilla, but Lemon (Limone!) and Biscuit (Biscotto) ran it close.  We had half board at the hotel (food ok but a bit ordinary and no Pizza), so come Friday we just had to got out for one.  I love calzone (folder over pizza) but couldn’t find one with an egg in it, so settled for a standard pizza, wafer thin full of ham, gooey cheese and pepperoni…. delicious.

The Limone tourist board really go all out to attract you.  Free books, promotional discount vouchers (15% off ferries), free museums and what I especially enjoyed escorted FREE 3 hour walks.

We took two.  The first followed the lakeside for 30 minutes, delightfully following narrow lanes, the oleander & bougainvillea still looking good and a great breeze…. then we took to the hills behind.  There were 17 in our first party including a 75yr old.  He did well to follow up some very steep inclines but we did lose 3 as we approached the steepest points at the top.  We saw lime kilns and world war look-out stations and at the top a border station with built-in jail deep into the cliff, but mainly it was the fresh air and fantastic views that attracted.  The second walk followed the coastlines south, worked its way through apartments and then into olive groves.  We paid a quick call to the original house and gardens of a Limone saint, San Daniele Comboni…. a missionary that went to Africa, and an Olive Oil factory, all top stuff, lol.

After the walk I went down and had a quick dip in the lake.  Very refreshing and surprisingly warm once you got used to it.  Anyway I like anything that is free as you can tell!

Weather-wise it was 23-25 degrees (mid seventies) for 7 days, the only exception being it rained all night the day we arrived and all night the day before we left.  Exactly the temperature, I like; incredibly lucky given the fact we returned home to about 7 degrees C!

I tell you what I really liked about the area.  It was quiet and relatively child free (kids at school).  Now I have nothing against kids, I love my own dearly, but the impact on so many middle-aged couples over there was quite dramatic.  I’ve never seen so much kissing and cuddling, holding hands, taking photos of each other.  I enjoyed it too, very romantic!

It was  really great week and one I would thoroughly recommend. One day I would like to go back.

If you have been, thanks for reading!

Hugs TinaCortina x

September 29, 2010 Posted by | other/ family | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments