When planning for this trip, we wanted to see as much of Italy as we could, but were obviously limited by time. My colleague studied abroad in Italy and recommended Verona as a neat place to go. Joe’s manager in the UK office also recommended Verona / Lake Garda. We decided to work it into our itinerary, and I’m really glad we did! It really was one of my favourite places we visited. We took the train from Florence to Verona. When we first arrived it was rainy, which made being touristy kind of unmotivating. The town of Verona is smaller and quieter than the larger cities we’d been going to. Our hotel was right near the golden mile which has all these designer stores and what not. After getting settled in, we walked around to the Castelvecchio and the surrounding area. The weather had cleared up by that point so it was quite pleasant to explore the area. We had dinner at a restaurant that our hotel recommended, which turned out very nicely. We chatted with an older couple from Minnesota who were on their way to Milan after Verona.
After exploring Verona for the day, we decided to take a day trip to Lago di Garda (where George Clooney apparently keeps a house). From Verona we took a train to Desenzano. A 20-minute walk later, we were at the lake. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and it really highlighted the blue of the lake and the snow capped mountains. We got in a ferry (only 7.60 euros for 2 of us) to Sirmione and 30 minutes later, we were there. The lake itself is massive and you could honestly spend a good week there visiting the different towns dotting the lake. We decided to stay in Sirmione since we only had a day there. The area was so quaint and picturesque. We got some gelato, ate lunch and went along the beach area, just enjoying the sunshine and the water. After spending the first 2 stops of the Italy in cities and venturing out when it had stopped raining, Lago di Gardo felt even more nature-y and enjoyable.
Next up…our final stop: Venice