My Story of Lake Garda
We’ve now reached the middle of our latest trip to Italy, a day spent in an area that can easily qualify for a fairytale setting – Lake Garda.
Of course, I didn’t get to see everything but instead planned a few stops in what I considered to be key locations.
As I was saying in My Story of Verona and My Story of Venice, our accommodation was near Verona Porta Nuova, the main train station in Verona. There is also a bus terminal here, with both urban and regional busses. For Lake Garda, there are several buses you can take and connections to make to get the most of your visit. From this particular bus terminal, there are 3 buses. We decided on the yellow line (185) which was the shortest way to the town called Garda, from where we could take buses 484 or 483 further north to Malcesine.
TIP TIME: The tickets can be bought at vending machines found at this bus terminal. We bought 2 x 10 euro tickets, valid for a full day on all lines. You can also see some timetables here.
The bus was a few minutes late, but nothing too worrisome, and it took a bit over one hour to get to Garda, as there was a bit of traffic. But we blamed it on being Sunday. As we had 1 hour to spare before taking the 483 (red line) to Malcesine, we took a walk on the waterfront and got a better glimpse of Garda. Garda is one of the many beautiful towns around the eponymous lake. Imagine narrow streets leading to the waterfront walkway, lined with palm trees. Fancy terraces, seagull cries, and water shining in the sunlight. Need I say more?
The second bus ride to Malcesine took another 50 minutes. After getting there, we went to the Funivia Malcesine-Monte Baldo (cable car) and got tickets. However, again, we had an hour to kill before going up, so we spent it winding down the streets of Malcesine. This town had a sort of older vibe to it. More cobbled streets, stone houses… The main attraction was a castle right on the shore. We weren’t sure how much time we had to visit so instead, we went around and took plenty of pictures of the gorgeous lake. We then made our way back to the funivia, queued to get in, and up-up we went!
TIP TIME: Here’s how the Malcesine Monte Baldo Funivia operates: a limited number of people are allowed to go up in a timeframe of 30 minutes. There is a half-hour break between groups. The person at the ticket office will let you know what time you can go up. So, for example, if you get there at 12 (as we did), you’ll buy tickets for the 13:00-13:00 group. You can find out more here.
The way up offers some great views of the lake and mountains. You can get down halfway up, or go all the way to 1760m altitude. Which is where we went. After the scorching heat on the lakeshore, the refreshing temperatures of Monte Baldo were invigorating. We relaxed at the SkyWalk Monte Baldo, a very nice place, with lounge chairs, umbrellas, and of course a bar. This is also where we had lunch – two delicious grilled sandwiches and coffee. I want to mention the spectacular view, but really, you just have to go there. After spending about an hour here and again, taking lots of pictures, we headed back down, as we still had one town to visit.
We took the 483 bus back south to Bardolino. This town, although slightly similar to Garda, especially in terms of the waterfront walkway, seemed to be a bit less crowded and also quieter. If it hadn’t been for the heat, I would have stayed a lot longer, just relaxing on a bench by the lake, watching swans on the glittery water.
Lake Garda is a wonderful place to relax and I made a mental note to return someday for at least a full week (or month) and go town-hopping, sun-bathing, and just relax and enjoy the bliss.
Before leaving Bardolino, we stacked up on snacks and beer at a supermarket, in preparation for the Euro 2020 (football) final that night. So, that evening, we watched the final between Italy and England, from our hotel room in Verona, drinking Birra Moretti and munching on “pistacchio” and enjoying the fireworks from our window, as Italy won.
Next time we go to Lake Como for part 4 of “Another Italian Trip”. Stay tuned.