Peschiera...the little town that could, and should
"Only an hour away from Padova..."
Peschiera is west of Padova, approximately one hour away by train, on the southern tip of Lake Garda. No transfers are necessary, and since it is such a short trip, Eurostar is not required.
You will know when you arrive at the right station because there is a simulated town site built right on the station platform, painted in bright pastel colours, advertising Gardaland, only a short hop away, which is an amusement park, fun for all ages.
Ma Kettle and I have not gone there as yet, believing that it would be sacriligious to attend without an eight year old child in tow. However, for those of you so encumbered with youngin's, there could be no better place to allow children the opportunity to blow off a little steam. ( I believe that the transportation to Gardaland is free from the station)
Peschiera appears to be smaller than Desenzano, which would be the next stop if you remained on the train. From what we could see, the town centre is surrounded by a high wall on one side, and then an area comprised of most of the town's hotels on the other. In between there are a couple of inland bays acting as harbours for small watercraft.
There is a lot of hustle and bustle, very touristy, and was not as appealing to Ma Kettle and myself as Desenzano was. It felt like a town trying desperately to find its own identity, but failing in the attempt. Lots of traffic, both on foot and automobile, which added to the 'buzz' that we both found annoying.
Shopping was mediocre, nothing really stood out, no compelling reason to make a second round of the shops, however prices did appear to be reasonable, if not desperate...
Restaurants are plentiful, and prices, as displayed on the menus posted outside each establishment, appear to be extremely fair. We had the pleasure of dining at Piatta Tipici and found the meal to be wonderful, and the service satisfactory, but just a bit unorganized.
In the later part of the afternoon, both Ma Kettle and I enjoyed a fantastic ice cream sundae, filled with pieces of fresh fruit and thick whipping cream. A little expensive, both in euros as well as 'lbs.' but we partook of this simple extravagance simply to share our experience with fellow VT readers.
"Just a 'little' tacky..."
We took a stroll along the beach front, and again, disappointment set in. The beach itself is comprised of medium sized pieces of gravel, not fine beach sand as we would expect. The boardwalk is possibly twenty feet from the waters edge, with countless numbers of sunbathers wedged in between. No privacy to speak of, no room to sprawl.
Topless lassies were in abundance, lying face down of course, but mixed with families busy with blown up water toys, and swans who, unconcerned with encroaching kids, just stood, feet firmly planted, preening their feathers. On the other side of the boardwalk, a campground stood on elevated ground overlooking Lake Garda, filled with campers and tents baking in shadeless solitude.
A strong smell of fish permeated the air, mixed with the rich aroma of coconut tanning lotion. All in all, an unpleasant experience, one not to be repeated by the Kettles any too soon
We never did get to visit the hotel side of this little town. Hopefully it would be a little more sedate than the carnival atmosphere endured near the centre.
Please understand these are only 'our' opinions as observed from a tourists point of view. Not having a vehicle with which to explore the 'real' community, we never really had an opportunity to discover the Peschiera that the townspeople know and love.
I am so sorry that we were unable to view the town as seen through their eyes. I'm sure it has so much more to offer.