If you’re on Facebook, you probably know that I was in Italy for a couple of weeks since I posted a number of photos of my travels. I had a fabulous time with Monica, Cristina and Marisa and visited several beautiful towns in northern Italy while doing some serious research (aka eating and drinking…a lot). With my trusty camera, I took well over 2000 photos of picturesque villages and vistas, interesting people and of course, lots of food. And Deborah and I enjoyed our time together working on a very exciting project which I can’t wait to tell you about! (It involves food, wine and Italy…stay tuned.)
And now for some highlights…
The picturesque town of Bardolino, the center of the same named Bardolino wine region, is on the southeast side of Lake Garda, about 80 miles west of Venice and 15 miles northwest of Verona. And as luck would have it, the 84th Bardolino Grape and Wine Festival was taking place during my visit to Lake Garda and is an event definitely not to be missed. The five-day festival, dedicated to the excellence of the local wine, takes place along the olive tree-lined promenade directly on the lake.For about $4.75, you get a wine glass filled with your choice of one of several Bardolino wines and a cute little pouch to wear around your neck. You go from booth to booth, meeting local wine makers who proudly chat about their wines. For a cost of anywhere from $2 – $4 you can try each of the wines, reusing your nice commemorative wine glass tucked in your pouch. Certainly ecofriendly and if you have good balance, the pocket can hold your filled glass while eating, too.
Music that has everyone rockin’ is playing and in every direction there are people, food and of course more wine. Local civic and sports associations sponsor food booths selling risotto, rice balls, pasta, panini, donkey (yes, donkey) and wurst (lots of German tourists) as well as vendors selling an insane amount of bread, salumi, cheese, truffles, sweets…and wine.Bardolino is an old world charming town with lots of restaurants, outdoor cafés and attractive shops lining the pedestrian walkways. The wine festival brings a fair amount of tourists, but the village still has a quaint, small town feel to it.Relaxed and sedate during the day, at night the festival parties a bit more with live bands, dancing and fireworks. Sounds like a great way to bask in all that wine…maybe next year.