I’d wanted to visit Lake Garda for such a long time, and I was beyond excited that the cheap flights I’d found for our Verona city break would present me with the chance to finally get there. Unfortunately, as I stepped off the plane at the airport, the rain was relentless in its hammering of the tarmac. It seemed to taunt me; hinting at how it wanted to play havoc with my holiday plans.
|The view the weather nearly kept from me at Lake Garda|
It was like my departure city of Manchester in the UK was sniggering at me. Did I really think I could escape the weather by jumping on a plane? After all, it was October in Italy too. And as I pulled my coat tight in defiance against the grey clouds, I wondered if I’d make it to Lake Garda. Was it even worth the effort of trying when the rain seemed like it would never stop?
So you can imagine how I felt when I woke up the following morning and found that the clutches of home’s dreary autumn, could not keep their grip of me in Italy.
This was a new day. The rain had stopped and a bus trip to Sirmione and Lake Garda was back on the cards…
I’ve always been a fan of public transport; I grew up taking countless days out on trains and buses. To get to Sirmione we hopped on a bus headed to Brescia from Verona Porta Nuova station and a journey of about an hour and 15 minutes took us to our destination, for only 7 euros each, return. On the way we saw acres upon acres of vineyards and watched the lush, green Italian countryside open up against the impressive backdrop of the sugar tipped mountains. I could feel myself falling in love with the region.
|Hotel Sirmione, bathed in Autumn afternoon sunlight|
There’s no doubt that Sirmione is a hub for tourists and I suspect a visit in summer would see a bombardment of bodies pulsating through the narrow streets. The shoulder season meant an easy stroll however, and despite a plethora of shops geared up for visitors, you couldn’t deny that this place was unbelievably pretty. There’s plenty to see, including the 12th century Scaliger Castle.
|The prettiest window I’ve ever seen|
And speaking of shops…
|There were Biscotteria…|
|Cute souvenir shops…|
|Shops filled with quirky ornaments…|
|…and a few more cute souvenirs|
More than enough to get me spending!
After we explored (and I shopped), it was time for a drink. We weren’t expecting such an appetising display of tasty bites to go with our Prosecco and beer, but this little complimentary addition, when we’d walked and talked and shopped and seen, was welcome refreshment indeed. So what did we do? Well, we stopped for a while and had another round (obviously). We weren’t expecting another plate of goodies, but we got them and they were enjoyably devoured.
|Tasty (and free) treats to go with our drinks!|
Lago di Garda itself was almost swimming pool green in the Autumn light. And one of the best bits about Sirmione was that in being a peninsula, you could see the lake whether you looked East or West. Few things in life mesmerise me, or make me happier and more peaceful than looking out across sparkling water, no matter where I might be.
|Though skies may have threatened; they didn’t spoil Lake Garda for me|
But watching the sunset over Lake Garda at Sirmione was something else entirely, especially with the pleasing warm Prosecco buzz to wrap me up against the October chill.
|An unbelievable sunset sky over Sirmione|
We gazed out the lake and snapped like mad, talking little bits of tipsy rubbish and grinning like Cheshire cats. Here, we were a million miles away from Autumn blues, and although this visit was brief, I had finally made it to Lake Garda and I knew I’d be back.
Have you been to Lake Garda? Where did you go? Let me know in the comments!