We were out of the hotel by 7.15am this morning to make our way to Lake Garda. We were making the trip using an arranged tour. I made this decision as I think sometimes the Lakes can seem a bit overwhelming, so many places to visit, which are the best, what is the best way to get around them etc. I had booked the tour through Viator but the tour company used was called Veditalia. Both offer the tour for the same price.
We met up at the station, there was some confusion as the instructions were to meet by the ticket barriers. As we had no tickets we assumed this meant before the barriers but then we noticed a woman with a ‘Lake Garda tour’ sign AFTER the barriers. We didn’t know how to get through without a ticket but fortunately we ended up showing our voucher to a member of staff who let us through. It was an intimate tour, in fact there was only 6 of us. There were 2 men from America who were travelling independently, one an agricultural forecaster from Washington and one a psychology professor from Minneapolis. There were also 2 English girls travelling together who were school teachers. The guide was a woman who lived in Milan but had travelled extensively and spoke excellent English.
The guide had already got our train tickets so we hopped on the train, managed to get seats near one another and took the 1.5 hour ride to Desenzano, on the southwestern shore of Garda. When we arrived we walked down to the lake front and we were given half an hour to potter around whilst our guide bought our boat tickets. We grabbed a pizza slice to go from a cafe and then stopped at another one, Bar pasticceria Bosio, for a slice of cake.
We then all collected together again and caught the ferry over to Sirmione, another town on the lake. It was quite an overcast day, about 23 degrees and a bit cloudy. The lake was lovely and calm though and the boat gave us a chance to take some lovely pictures.
Once at Sirmione we caught a little electric train up to the Grottoes of Catullus and the ruins of a Roman villa. The ruins were quite interesting but our attention kept drifting to the beautiful views across the lake that surrounded us. After the ruins we were given a short walking tour of the town, including the Scaliger Castle.
We were then given an hour of free time. As we departed from the group it started to spit with rain so we thought it was an ideal time to duck under somewhere and have lunch. We ended up going to Re Desiderio as it had a well covered outside area meaning we could shelter from the rain whilst still being outside. Adam had a pepperoni pizza whilst I had a lasagne washed down with a carafe of prosecco. Everything was nice and well priced too.
By the time we had to meet up with the group the shower had passed and we got together to catch the boat back. We were then left with an hour of free time in Descenzano. We popped into a few of the shops, I found a sweet shop and bought a shit load of pic n mix and we took the last few pictures of the lake. We then made our way back to Milan and we went straight back to our hotel to chill. Our hectic schedule meant we weren’t up to late nights!