Lago di Garda & surroundings of the town, Verona
Monte Baldo is the mountain that separates the Garda lake from the river Adige valley.
It's a good and very scenic place to go "off the beaten path".
You can climb it from many roads, and from the cableway starting in Malcesine.
In the picture it's seen in feb 2004 from the south-easterly outskirts of Verona (the mountain is to north west)
The church of San Giorgio di valpolicella dates back to the end of the 12^ century, but the western apse (now the main entrance, that you can see in the picture) is older, from a previus church. Some stone pieces inside date further back to the 8th century, the longobard period of Verona.
So, this church has apses at both sides... how strange, isnt it?
At sunset, the view on the valley is great.
Don't look in your map for "San Giorgio Ingannapoltron".
The official name is "San Giorgio di Valpolicella", about 15 km out of Verona at the beginning of the god blessed ( not only for the wines) Valpolicella valley.
The name Ingannapoltron is a dialectal form in wich we call the place.
Placed atop of an hill facing the country, it seems very near and easy to access, but the road is indeed steep and long... So it "deceives the lazy ones": the road become endless!: that is nearly the exact translations of the term above!
Ok, by car nowadays this is a nonsense, but the name is still here.
The village is well known for his magnificent barbaric-romanesque church, all made of local stone.
Soave - land of wine cultivation - so a lot of
local pubs give you the chance to taste their products !
Three years later i had the opportunity to visit the vineyards of Tenuta Chiccheri, close to this one.
Soave - a little town between Venezia and Verona - but i can assure you - early morning is a great time to wake up the many cats in this town. LOL, it is just nice to stroll around when not that many people are doing their business - like the the parish priest.
Peschiera at the south-eastern corner of the Lake Garda were the river Mincio flow into the lake, has a very strategic location. In the Roman times this place - called Arilica- was allready known as a fortress.
The actual fortress, Fortezza del Quadrilatero is built in the 19th century during the Austrian domination. The impressive complex of fortresses has different architectural styles from different times.
Coming from the north we walked through the Porta Verona, the northern entrance of the fortress. Also cars are allowed to use this rather narrow gate.
At the northern end of the peninsula of Sirmione about 1 KM north of the Rocca Scaligera you can find Grotte di Catullo. This large roman villa originate from the Roman times.
After entering the complex (entrance fee 4 euro) you will find the entrance of the a museum at the right hand side. Here you can have a look at the archaeological artefacts found in this place.
Between the olive trees you can walk into the complex to have a look at the remains of the Roman villa, the baths, but also some workshops.
Sirmione and the peninsula is the most striking and known area at the southern side of Lake Garda. Also the ancient Romans knew not only the strategic importance of the peninsula, but also very well its charms, building a villa on the northern tip of the peninsula.
Approaching the old town of Sirmoine the first striking building you will see is Rocca Scaligera, the castle built in the 14th century by the Scaligera of Verona at this very strategic point. The crenellations of the castle look gorgeous. Before entering the narrow streets of the town, you have to cross the surrounding moat by bridge. Here at the right hand side is the entrance of the castle.
Rocca Scaligera is a very well defended castle. It has even an inner harbour where the ships could hide between the walls of the castle.
Lago di Garda is the largest lake of Italy. The lake lies north of the A4 between Bergamo and Verona. I visited Lake Garda twice, but only the south part around Sirmione and Peschiera. The area south of Lake Garda is a hilly wine growing area.
From the south, especially from the peninsula of Sirmione the views at the surrounding mountains in the north are great. At the northern end of the peninsula you can make a walk at the footpath along the lakeshore to enjoy the views. Except rounding the lake by car, it's also possible to make boattrips at the lake and visit the villages and towns around the lake by boat.
In the museum of the Grotte di Catullo in Sirmione you can find illustrations and explanations how the Lake Garda did originate geologically (see picture 3).
On the right side of the church os San Giorgio di Valpolicella there is a little cloister, too.
You see it in the picture.
Enter the porch, and follow the little door that brings behind the main apse... (you can see it in the middle of the picture) a few steps are going down... follow them and you'll soon discover a Bronze age site that was exactly in the same hill top of the church... There was a pagan temple before christianity too...
We have to say this was a very successfull spot in the last 3/4 thousands years!
This is the nearest town of significance to Verona on the shores of Lago di Garda and the main reason tourists come is to view the splendidly sited Scaligeri castle on the tip of the peninsula jutting out into the lake.
For full details see my Lado di Garda pages.
Personally speaking however, I would rather be caught in Salo or one of the other interesting towns that dot Lago di Garda.
There's picturesque scenery by the lake, plenty of history, nice shopping and lovely laneways to explore, which is what I was doing when I took this shot near the Cafe Bella Vista.
If you have children then you're going to have trouble avoiding this theme park on the eastern shores of Lago di Garda.
Set up with a myriad of all the usual rides, restuarants and assorted attractions it does a roaring trade during summer though, if you're there in winter, as I was, you may find it closed.
One of the many Vineyards in Italy - who doesn't drink a good Italan wine - named
Soave Classico - white or red !!
Getting up early morning is enjoying a peacefull city and watching the sun coming up !
Like many campers say : our basic camp was in Soave - area of wine cultivation but also wellknown as area for Cherish plantation.
Picture is showing you the entrance to the Fort and the castle of Bassano
The time was 6 am - the streetlights were still on - i didn't need a wake up call.