“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. Our 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.
The 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.A 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.
Other 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.
Every meal was memorable. Each glass of wine savored.Arrivederci Lago di Garda! Goodbye Lake Garda! Until we meet again!Stay tuned for our 2017 Ortensia Blu Italian Adventures tour schedule.