Group at San Rocco“You’re going where?”, one of our guests was asked by a friend. “Lake Como? Say hi to George for me (chuckle, chuckle)”. “No”, he replied. “We’re going to Lake Garda.” “Where’s that?”, responded the friend. Well, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you already know that Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy and that George Clooney doesn’t live there.

To share this beautiful part of Italy, our group spent six spectacular days touring the Lake Garda region. Crystal clear blue skies and crystal and glorious sunshine were on the menu every day. So was awesome regional food and local wines. Traveling around stunning Lake Garda, we were on our own special adventure.

We saw everything from a small, soon to be organic vineyard in the country to an urban vineyard outside the walls of a castle. Grapes at La TorreOur day in the UNESCO World Heritage city of Brescia included visiting a medieval fortress, spectacular churches and later popping in to say hi to Mayor Emilio del Bono at the historical 16th century city hall. Nice photo op – notice the Winged Victory statue? It’s a great copy – we had just inspected the original at the Museum of Santa Giulia.Steps at Brescia Castle

Visiting the mayor in Brescia

Winged VictoryThe ancient Roman ruins of Catullo in Sirmione were fascinating and the perfect prelude to soaking in the thermal waters of Aquaria Spa. Immersing oneself in warm, soothing water with an exquisite view of the Lake Garda sunset is sensational – ah yes, life is good.Grotto of CatulloA glimpse behind the scenes at a 30 year family owned gelato shop was a sweet treat. Did we try four flavors each or was it five?  At Frantoio Manestrini, we learned about the fine points of producing and tasting extra virgin olive oil. In our cooking class, we tried our hand at making filled pasta and amazing tiramisu with crunchy chocolate.

GelatoCooking Class

Cooking ClassOther exploits included tasting lots of wine and spritz at the 87th Bardolino Grape and Wine Festival and a vintage boat ride to Isola del Garda for a tour and lunch on the terrace overlooking the lake. Of course the next day, everyone had to try sbrisolona in Salò from Vassalli Pasticceria.

Chiaretto Spritz at Bardolino

Boat to Isola del Garda on Lake Garda

Isola del Garda on Lake GardaEvery meal was memorable. Each glass of wine savored.Cooking Class lunch at San RoccoWhite Wine in GlassesArrivederci Lago di Garda! Goodbye Lake Garda! Until we meet again!Lake Garda SunsetStay tuned for our 2017 Ortensia Blu Italian Adventures tour schedule.









  1. Monica Busatto

    Monica Busatto


    What a wonderful experience! So well organised and so many exciting things to do. A great off-the beaten track tour.

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