Lago di Garda & surroundings of the town, Verona
Riva di Garda is the town on the very north-end of Lago di Garda / Gardasee and there you will see this great castle Arco built on a perfect place high above the valley, and almost un-accessible and protected by steep rocks. From Riva di Garda on the trafic was quite high and stop-and-go for more than 1 hour, maybe also for the fact that it was sunday of a long weekend including a holiday on Thursday in Austria and Germany.
In Italy this was not a holiday, but these cars were mostly shorttime-tourists from Germany.
Trafic-jams are also a great chance for better pics than from a driving car...
Of course it was great to see Monte Baldo at the other side of the lake, while driving back home along the west-coast of Lago di garda / Gardasee.
This is another picture taken from the road high above the lake, in Tremosine.
On my picture you will also see, what a small area is left on the mountain in order to have a village built there, but since centuries this area was very fertile and had a perfect climate, so the inhabitants started to use even the smallest spots to build a house or plant an olive-tree...
Did you ever see a tunnel or a bridge that was built just for a waterfall to get across a road ??
This was one of the unique places, that we passed by when taking the small road with plenty of windings from Tremosine to the coastroad in Voltino again.
When you enlarge my picture, you will see that the tunnel has absolutely no other purpose than to get the small river across the street without any danger for the drivers. I may also imagine, that in early spring this river will be a lot bigger and more dangerous, when the snow in the mountains is melting...
I may highly recommend not to take the road directely on the foot of the coast, BUT to take some side-steps to the small villages high above the coastline !
Tremosine is one of the best places to do so, BUT it is possible and advisable for drivers with XXX-strong nerves ONLY !
I was really lucky that Lothar was driving, and he knew that area already, so I was able to take these pics out of the car, while he could concentrate upon the trafic in theses narrow and dangerous roads.
This picture was taken on the road down from Tremosine.
The west-coast of Lago di Garda starts rather flat with a lot of great villages along the coast, and when-ever you make a stop you may walk great boulevards and take a rest like the 2 people on my picture. This picture was taken in Salo, a great town on the east-coast of the lake, in a direct distance of about 60 km from Verona (across the lake), but driving there takes a lot more time of course, as you have to take the winding coastroad. Calculate at least 1 hour to get there
On my picture you may see one of the many great places you will pass through on your way to Verona, when you arrive from the north and skip the fast lanes of the highway, and take the much smaller roads along the east-side of Lago di Garda. We still were lucky with the weather and the clouds even added a lot of special dramatic to the scenery.
This picture was taken at the end of the road over the Monte Baldo, where the mountain-road ends in a lot of windings back in the valley again. Only about 50 km are left for Verona from there...
The street over the Monte Baldo is really excellent, BUT it makes sense ONLY, when you have a lot of time to spend.
You will have to share the road with plenty of motorbikers and cyclists and mostly the road is not a lot wider than for just a car, beeing able to pass by a cycler really much too close.
And then just imagine another car coming against you and you have to search for a place to pass by.
When you click on my picture you will see a lot of leaves and heavy stones on the road.
There are a few places, where you will be able to stop and take a perfect panorama-view of Lago di Garda from the hight of Monte Baldo .
In reality you may see a lot more mountains in the distance, but with the strange light-situation there my digital camera made a mistake and so this is the best pic of a series of photos I have taken there.
Monte Baldo is a massive row of mountains and rocks in the east-side of Lago di Garda and it might be a good idea to take the tiny alpine road on top of it in order to get to the city of Verona. I was lucky to arrive by car with a driver, who knows this area very well :
Lothar (Lotharlerch) tried out plenty of roads in that area already and this is one of the best you may get.
We were even lucky with the weather with plenty of dramatic clouds at some places, but also great sunshine at the same time.
The pic was taken out of the window of Lothar's car, so you have some reflections of the glass unfortunately.
These are some typical views of the castle and the water side. People could be horrific in the summer. The whole peninsula brings them to the point and nowhere to turn but go back. The town is not big enough to hold all that show up, let alone parking. WE parked for 1.80 Euro an ora, and that is normal price within 3-4 blocks of entering old town area.
The castle was built in late 1200's by the Scaligeri family, probably directed by Mostino I. It was previously a fortress where the Romans controlled the area for 1,000 years, with interludes of losing the territory to Lombards and other attackers of the empire. The castle held the fleet of warships of the family that controlled the region. The views are great inside and around the castle, although there is not much to see inside. It is a shell with no tourist things to see. YOu can walk 150 steps to the top of the ramparts to take in the views.
Open 9-12 15-17 daily except Monday. Cost is 3 Euro
This peninsula is from the 5th century BC and was a popular resort for wealthy families form Verona in early BC. It became a Roman town and then fortified to protect the southern region of the lake. In the 13th century it was under the rule of the Scaligeri family which built the castle in 1308-29 on the foundations of old Roman castles. It was a military center point until the 16th century, In 1405, Venice took control and held until 1797, when Austria got control of the province. IN 1860 it went under Italy rule with the new democracy.
The castle has tours, and it is a wonderful castle on the outside, well preserved and surrounded by a moat. It is one of the best preserved castles in Europe. The inside does not hold much more than an empty shell, but the views are great. In the rear is a harbor that used to allow boats to enter the castle from water side. Closed Mondays and times are 9-12 and 14-17.
The main plaza is Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, but so many beautiful side streets hold treasures to enjoy. Once past the outerwalls, you can go right or left to enter into the main core of the old town and harbor. In the harbor is SAn Nicolo church, built in the 12th century, it has Giotto frescoes inside. It was enalrged in 12th century, and had many uses until 1953, when it again became a church. The customs house on the harbor is a museum, and it was built in 14th century. it was used as an arsenal. It was renovated in 1973, and is about 120 feet long next to SAn Nicolo.
This is an absolutely lovely town for the solitude of it all. Nearby is GArdaland, which we did not go to; mostly for children & parents. It has only 6,200 residents, and the town holds a lot of peaceful scenes. It was a major trade port on the lake. It was from the time of BC that it originated, and was a key stronghold for defending the area by many rulers. That is why the town is surrounded by walls, It has three port entries. Lazise means "place on the lake". The castle was built in the 9th century to protect against the Hungarian invasions. Later occupied by Germans, and in the 13th century the Scaligeri family put up the city walls. In 1405, the town went under Venizian rule until Napoleon came along, and after that defeat, the town went overt to the Austrians. In 1866, with the new democracy, it went to Italy control.
The castle has 5 towers, but is not for touring. There are outer and inner walls and it is real neat walking into what is finally the main core.
WE did not take any pictures because an unfortunate situation occurred. When driving into the main part of the town, we were detoured around it and had to go back behind the town. They were working on the street through the middle of the town. Needless to say, there was not parking available, and we could not find anywhere to park. So we kept going to the next town. From pictures I saw on VT, it looks like a real nice harbor area, though.