Friday, 6 February 2015

Lake Garda, Sirimonie and Grappa

We leave Switzerland behind us and trundle down a very small Italian road, full of busy farmers and tractors. There is no stopping us as we drive into the beautiful walled town of Glorenza Glurns, only minutes from the border. The trouble is we cannot get out! The arched gate way is to small for us, gulp, with a phew! we find the little road that takes us around the town.
Now heading for Merano in the Alto Adige region of Italy, by chance we start to note all the car's are German registered and that the sign posts are written in Italian and German. Well, yes we are in the South Tyrol, incorperated into Italy at the end of the first World War, (Austria seems to have stopped asking for it back). Today it is has autonomy from the central government and one of Italys highest standards of living.
Everywhere we look, are neat apple orchards and the occasional vineyard. Im sorry this really is Germany not Italy. We night stop at, "wait for it" Gretl am See on the Kalterer see. Ok in Italian, Lago di Caldaro.    

The following morning the Dolomites behind us, we enter the area of Grappa as we head towards Lago di Garda.

It takes very little time for us to discover that Grappa is available in many different tastes and colours.

After driving the Western side of Garda, through many tunnels,
we decided to make Sirmione our stop, so that we can visit the old town tomorrow.

Whilst out walking we come across a bar with lovely gardens, adjacent to the hotel Lugana Parco Al Lago, the view is fabulous. Worth a visit for aperitifs and the nibbles!

Garda 52km long and 17km wide, intact so big it effects the local climate, making it sunnier and milder than you would expect.

On a narrow promontory sticking out into the Lago is Sirmione and it's fairytale castle.

Sirmiome and the castle are virtually surrounded by water.

The castle and it's box shaped towers constructed in the thirteenth century by Della Scalla of Verona. (incidenly our next stop).

Narrow lanes full of restaurants and charm.

Bougainvillaea cascades down golden walls.

Linda did not find the latest Sirmione fashion fad to her taste, thank goodness!
Next stop Verona.

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