• 28th February 2016

An Italian Adventure: Lake Garda and Verona

Lake Garda in Italy

I have recently come back from a week long adventure in Italy with one of my best friends, travelling around some of the most beautiful places I have ever visited and eating copious amounts of Pizza, Pasta and Gelato! I’ve never been on holiday at this time of year before but I thoroughly enjoyed it as the weather wasn’t too hot making it a perfect time for a city break. Within the 7 days, we visited Desenzano in Lake Garda, Verona, Florence and Venice. Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to share some of my favourite moments with you. I’ve decided to dedicate a post to each place as they are all so different. So, let’s start with the first places I visited – Lake Garda and Verona.

Wine at Lake Garda

Rain is what we were greeted by when we arrived in Lake Garda! Even in the drizzly weather though, the lake still looked beautiful. We arrived in the evening so it was surrounded by twinkling lights and the water was so calm, it was just the kind of relaxing atmosphere we needed after a day of travel. We discovered a little wine bar just round the corner from our hotel. Sitting down by the lake with two glasses of divine fizzy rose, it was the perfect way to celebrate our first night in Italy. They even gave us snack sized pieces of pizza!

For our first night, we just ate dinner in our hotel which was lovely. I had this gorgeous ravioli dish. If you ever visit Desenzano, I would recommend staying at the Park Hotel. The room was a decent size with a massive bathroom and nice view of all the little streets. It’s right on the waterfront as well so you get greeted by the Lake every morning at breakfast.

Mosaic at a Roman Villa

The weather wasn’t much better the next day so we decided to explore the town and see what we could find that was undercover! We came across La Villa Romana, an ancient Roman Villa that was built at the end of the first century BC. I love looking around ruins such as this one as I find it incredible how pieces of it have been preserved from such a long time ago. The mosaic floors of this villa were beautiful and it’s amazing how much detail has gone into them.

After the villa, we had a wonder around the town’s church which was absolutely magnificent. In my opinion, churches in Italy are a great deal prettier than the cold, stony ones we have in England. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much more to do in Lake Garda at this time of year. We found out that it was quite a seasonal place and a lot of the tourist attractions, including many restaurants, completely shut down over the winter months. With this in mind, we decided to take a train journey to nearby Verona for the afternoon.

I didn’t know much about Verona until we visited other than it’s the city where Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is set. We only had the afternoon there so just had a wonder around its pretty streets and made sure to see the main attractions. We went into the Verona Arena in Piazza Bra. The arena is still in use today but in ancient times, you could fit up to 30,000 people inside. Apparently it’s one of the best preserved ancient structures of its kind and it was great to be able to have a good look around.

Verona ArenaMy favourite part of Verona was getting to visit Juliet’s balcony. Romeo and Juliet is by far my favourite Shakespeare play and in my opinion, one of the best love stories of all time. The courtyard where the balcony is based is so cute and the walls that surround it are covered with messages that couples have left. There’s also a door with hundreds of padlocks on it all bearing lovers initials which I think is such a good idea! It was such a romantic place and I’m so pleased that we had time to visit it.

By Thursday morning, we were preparing to leave Lake Garda to move on to Florence. Thankfully, the sun came out for us and it was the most glorious site I think I have ever seen. The Lake really shone for us and we decided to travel to Florence a little later than planned so we could just enjoy this amazing site for just that little bit longer.

Next week I’ll blog about our time in Florence so keep your eyes peeled. Have you been to Italy? Please share any photos with me by tweeting @SheWhoLives1 !

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