Saturday, July 21, 2018

Italy - day 2

Next day, after a big breakfast, we started our tour around the lake. We wanted to see the Strada della Forra first, the scenic road that is literally carved through the rocks. We drove through the hills on the West side of the lake, and everywhere were pretty views.

As we neared the gorge, along with several bikers, we saw the sign that said that the road is closed because of the roadworks for the whole week. What a luck! We still drove to the roadblock ...

... and then walked into the gorge to at least make some photos. What we saw was really wild and spectacular, so we will definitely have to come back.

This road is the only way to get back to the coastal road and since it was closed, we had to drive back all the way to Limone. We stopped a couple of times to enjoy the views.

Then we drove along the coastal road towards South, through many pretty small villages and towns. Our next stop was historic town of Sirmione. It must be the most touristy place at the lake, we couldn't believe the number of cars and buses parked outside of the old town. And it took us half of an hour to find a free parking space, even though it was 2 EUR per hour. We were a bit annoyed by it all, but I was determined to see the old town. It is built on a half-island, that is connected with mainland by a very narrow strip of land. On our walk to the old town we saw the remains of old wooden pier, that the nature started to claim back.

The entrance to the old town is well protected and very pretty.

It was getting really hot and the best way to fight the heat in Italy is a big ice cream. We ate it in a small park, sitting on a shady bench. Then we walked through the old town, and it was very beautiful.

We didn't walk to the remains of the fortress at the end of the peninsula, it was just too hot for it. We returned to our car and drove to the next place I wanted to see - Pesciera del Garda. We only walked around very little, it was still so hot. This is the view towards South, where the river Mincio is flowing out of the lake...

... also under this embankment ...

... with the town at the other side.

The town is built on the river and there is many canals and small islands and embankments. Here is the beginning of Muncio river once more with heron watching over it.

We drove on along the East bank of the lake towards North and our next stop was Torri del Benaco. It is again a small historic town with lots of pretty buildings. The green climbing plant with white blooms on the right in the photo is jasmine, it was smelling unbelievably sweet. We would even smell it from our car just driving by.

The town has a nice small harbour...

... and a castle, of course.

I'm not sure who these statues represent, looks like some older man reading to a young boy. And the captain.

This is how the castle looks like from the southern side...

... and there are many lemon trees there. I assume the construction above the trees can be used to protect the lemons from the frost.

We drove a bit further and made a stop at the lake for a small picnic. It was not easy to find a place where there was access to the water and where we could park without having to pay for it.

Before returning to Limone we made a detour to Lago di Ledro. It's much smaller lake, but it lays higher among the mountains. It is very pretty and up there it was much cooler than near lake Garda.

After all this driving and sightseeing we were starving. We managed to get to the restaurant nearest to our hotel and got some delicious pizza (again) and lasagna and couple of beers. A great ending to a great day.