Two days on (the west coast of) Lake Garda
I have a friend on Lake Garda and when she told me that it was an astonishing place, I thought she was just biased.
Truth is she was right: Lake Garda is truly beautiful.
We spent two days in Salò at the beginning of September. Summer was not over yet and you could tell by the amount of tourists that would still walk in the town centre, play around the beaches or swim in the lake.
As usual, here are some tips from our experience and from what our friend Martina tells us about her beautiful hometown.
In the morning of Saturday, we drove from Salò to Manerba del Garda, and more precisely to Pisenze beach. Here’s where my first tip of the day comes in: if you don’t know yet, most beaches on Lake Garda have stones and not sand, so if you have very sensitive feet, make sure to bring appropriate shoes or flip-flops!
From Pisenze we went on a short adventure canoeing to Isola dei Conigli (literally, Rabbits Island), a small island on the left of Pisenze Bay. It was quite a short way to get there (roughly 15 minutes), and it was totally worth it. Isola dei Conigli takes its name from its first inhabitants: rabbits! Now you cannot find rabbits anymore, but this is a beautiful spot where to spend a summer afternoon, relax, swim and drink an aperitivo at the nice kiosk of the island.
You are not up for a kayak ride? No problems! You can reach Isola dei Conigli with a shuttle boat from Porto Torchio, always in Manerba del Garda.
If, on the contrary, you are an adventurer, you can always rent a stand up paddle in Pisenze and explore the area: we definitely recommend it!
If you are in Salò, you cannot miss lunch or dinner at Locanda del Benaco, a family-run hotel and restaurant on the beautiful promenade of the town centre. You can enjoy a relaxed meal looking at the lake just a few steps away from you. The dishes are a mix of tradition and innovation that Gianni, the chef and owner, prepares with great care for the ingredients and attention to details.
Everything is spiced up by Federico, who will suggest you the best wine pairings!
A must have here is torta di rose (a buttery, fluffy cake in the shape of roses) with mascarpone cream, so make sure you leave some space for dessert – you won’t regret it!
When to go
If you want to really enjoy a weekend on the shores of Lake Garda, avoid summer: June, July and August are very crowded months. We were told that the best times to visit the old towns and the countryside are September, October, April and May. In these months, you will still find some “local” tourists but it will definitely be a more relaxed experience.
In fact, we will be back soon before winter begins: we left with the promise of coming back. There are too many places we’d love to visit, starting from the charming Vittoriale degli Italiani. This beautiful park with an open air theatre and many other attractions was home to Gabriele D’Annunzio, one of the most famous and influential Italian voices of the early 20th century.
So make sure to keep on following our tips for more info about Lake Garda!
Andrea (a male name in Lake Garda too)
If you are planning a trip to central Italy, don’t miss our very own special guide to Le Marche