It was blissful, eye candy was everywhere; I couldn't stop myself from taking pictures.
We took a side trip to Castel di Drena but it was closed though it didn't stop me taking a wander around and, with the lovely panorama both sides it was well worth the effort.
As you can see in pic three the roads were dramatic, exciting even.
Built during the twelfth century, the castle of Drena was sold in 1175 by the first owners, the family of Sejanus, to D'Arco that made it a crucial instrument of control of the route between Trent and the Lake. Because of its strategic position until the end of the fourteenth century it was the center of ongoing disputes.
Today the ruins of Drena, recently restored, dominated by the upper 25 meters, is presented to the visitor as exemplary model of a medieval fortress.
Of course, if you weren't in the mountains you would be by the lake enjoying the lapping waters of Italy's largest. (pic 4)
I looked across the lake. It was like a magnet. Sheer cliffs rising from the lake shore crested by villages perched in improbable positions above. I yearned to go there. The first visit I had not the time or the maps.
The next time I made a beeline for it. I'm so glad I did. Just after coming through Limone from the north I turned up a small side road. It was one of the great drives of my life. The road, so called, switched back up the cliff, providing views that really took your breath away. At one point the road had a warning that it was only 3 metres wide......and it was two lanes!
Luckily no one was coming the other way because the cliffs towered over the bitumen and there was nothing on the other side except fresh air.
Soon after it turned inland and went through a tunnel. Not your fully lit well painted tunnel of the autostrada; no, this was a hand carved affair that can't handle buses, narrow and dark.
We negotiated that and soon after there was another and beside it a narrow sheer sided canyon about 8 metres wide. On the other side a madonna with accompanying candles and flowers was set beside the stream. We determined that this must be for those going down to pray that they made it. Heaven knows, we were glad to get that far up!
Although there were some stunning views from the tower of Castello Scaligero of the Lake and mountains, I was fascinated by the rooftops of the houses below.
A patchwork quilt of closely fitted buildings, each topped with an angular roof made of pantiles laid in rows of many different hues of beiges, terracotta and browns, stretched towards the Lakes shoreline.
Found this place by chance on a random drive into the mountains. Its only 3km from Riva and our daughter LOVED it. she actually said it was a sgood as GardaLand!! Its only €5 each adult to go in, kids free. Its a waterfall formed inside a cave over millions of years. Well worth a visit, you will get wet from the mist. Made me laugh to see the stupid people putting on raincoats to go into the cave on a blisteringly hot day :) There is also some fantastic fauna & flora as with the constant water/spray and the hot temperature its plant heaven.
If you are at any of the resorts in the north of Lake Garda and have a car its only a short drive to Lago di Tenno. From Riva its about a 20 minute drive. The mountain drive has fantastic views and this little lake is secluded peaceful rest from the hustle & bustle of Lake Garda. As you can see from the photo there is just one house, a beautiful swiss style chalet on the lake. How I wish it was mine!!