Another Italian destination that is somewhat off the tourist radar of international visitors: Lake Garda. Here’s what you can expect from a stop at Italy’s largest lake and why it’s worth a visit!
While it is possible to get a boat trip around the whole lake, I opted for the southern parts to make it worth the while. I got a train to Desenzano (20 minutes from Verona) and was surprised by its charm and beauty. The lake is a short walk down from the station- no maps necessary. You’ll find quaint stores and cafes, alongside many rows of boats, awaiting their passengers.
To begin my journey around the lake, I bought my ticket from the Navigazione Lago Di Garda ticket offices by the water for €23.40. There is a timetable of all for the boats and where they go, which is useful and gives you a lot of flexibility. The boat was the first of the new spring schedule (1 April – 31 May) and departed at 9:15am.
The lake water is bright green and home to some ducks. Looking down into the water, it is crystal clear with rocks peeking out from the bottom. The towns along the river shore are similar in nature, with many restaurants and tourist shops. That being said, they each have their own unique elements. For example:
Sirmione, the fairest of them all. With parks, a castle and scenic viewpoints, it was my favourite. Bardolino for its incredible tulips growing along the water. Garda for its mountains, dock’s and cafes.
When I wasn’t wondering through the streets, taking photos are admiring the view, I was having lunch (a takeaway mushroom risotto on a bench under the trees) and sitting in the sunshine, reading (currently reading Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray). All in all, it was a wonderful day trip and one I’m very glad to have taken.
If you plan to go, lookout for the thermal spa’s and panoramic cable car ride in the north). Some other towns by the lake that I’d suggest visiting are Salo’, Lazise and Limone.