Wednesday, July 10, 2019

One Final Road Trip Starts at the Lake Garda Cities of Salò and Sirmione

Tuesday 9. July, 2019

With time quickly running out on our current stay in Italy, we decided to take one last mini-vacation.

We knew that the usual onslaught of last week social events and having yet to finish the dreaded jobs of sorting our belongings and packing for the trip home to California next week left us no other time to explore.

Last year in May, we met up with friends Susan and Mike D'Antuono and Joe O'Leary who were all vacationing in Italy's Lakes District. They were staying in the city of Desenzano del Garda on Lake Garda.

We enjoyed our visit with them so much that we decided to return there today to re-visit two of beautiful Lake Garda's cities that we enjoyed with them last year.

Our first stop was for lunch in the historic city of Salò, but where?

This sign led the way to . . .

. . . Salò's Ristorante 100 KM

This ristorante is located inside the posh Hotel Bellerive on Salò's lakefront.

The 100 KM name is derived from the fact that all of this ristorante's food and wines are produced within 100 kilometers/62 miles of the ristorante's kitchen.

Including this nice white
wine that Laurie enjoyed

A stress free Laurie just before . . .

. . . her burrata, tomatoes
and anchovy dish was served

It tasted just as rich and creamy as it looked!

Indeed we do!

After lunch we went for a walk
along Salò's lakefront promenade

We believe that these small boats
are used to teach novice's the
basics of sailing

This sailboat looked

Lavender products are always
big hits in the south of Europe

A nice lavender arch

This music school was celebrating
its 200th year of operation in 2019

The Lion of Venice

At one time Salò was part of the vast Venetian City State.

The historic city center of
Salò in the distance

Two brave Italian judges from Palermo
who stood up to the Mafia but paid
for it with their lives

Amazingly, the backlash from the rank and file Italians to these two assassinations greatly curtailed the Mafia's power.

Note that I did not say it ended the Mafia. 

A nice home on Lake Garda

Gasparo de Salò
Inventor of the Violin

San Carlos Borromeo

The two window boxes
were a nice touch I thought

Lemon products are big
on Lake Garda

Had we not eaten a great meal
already, we might have tried this
interesting looking establishment

I looks like most of these men
died fighting for the Italian Unification
or  Risorgimento as it is known led by . . .

. . . this Italian hero of the first order

We continued our stroll around Salò, a city that from 1943 to 1945 was the capitol of Benito Mussolini's Nazi backed puppet state, the Italian Social Republic.

This was Mussolini's and Hitler's last ditch effort to organize Italian Fascism in the face of the advancing Allied forces at the end of WWII.

It failed.

Old murals found in
the archways of . . .

. . . this building on Salò's main piazza

The obligatory WWII Memorial

A look down one of the archways
along Salo's main piazza

What's that in the distance?

Could it possibly be . . .

. . . a church?

In fact, it was Salò's Duomo but this is as close as we got as the Duomo's doors were closed for three and a half hours for lunch.

How our beloved Italians love to enjoy a slow meal with friends and family.

We kept walking but only after enjoying our first gelatos of the day.

A relaxing, shady
lakeside park

The Duomo as seen from the park

Laurie fending off a toothless,
90 year old masher

Actually he was a nice man who started telling us about the Germans occupying the surrounding area during the Italian Social Republic days at the end of WWII.

In reality, from what we heard people saying as we walked, the Germans seemingly still occupy Lake Garda in 2019.

There are lots of Germans on vacation on Lake Garda this July.

A German style beer hall would
be open for business this evening

My guess is that the German tourist invasion of Salò is not a new thing at all.

A random saint I think

The Lion of Venice

Laurie walking down one
of Salò's narrow lanes

Art Deco in Salò

A row of racing sail boat hulls

We enjoyed our latest visit to Salò immensely but it was getting late and we needed to check into our hotel in Sirmione on a peninsula further down the shore of Lake Garda.

Salò was well worth the visit, a fun town.

As for Sirmione, many believe it to be Lake Garda's most picturesque town.

I think of it more for its claim to have more Gelateria's per hectare than any other city in the world!

My necessary research into the world of gelato must continue, no matter the cost . . .

A Vespa owner who dreams BIG!

The Castello Scaligero
greets you as you enter Sirmione's
historic core

Yes, picturesque is indeed a good word to describe this small city by the lake.

This 13th-century Castello was built by Verona's powerful Scaligeri family.

Again with the lemons

This lemonade stand sits just outside of the Castello.

Nice drawbridge

The entrance into the Castello

One of the Castello's
fair maidens, I believe

Fellow vacationers enjoying
the cool Lake Garda waters


Time to reacquaint ourselves
with Sirmione

Surprisingly, we entered a church . . .

Not sure who she is but this
mural dates from 1508 if
I'm not mistaken

San Sebastian
Patron Saint of Pin Cushion Makers

Again, the Lion of Venice

Holy Seal at this
church's entrance

Church archway

Local workers on break

The lady at our Hotel Du Parc
said that this is Sirmione's
best gelateria

I went in while Laurie covered me.

The fragola and banana gelato was indeed fabulous!

Shopping is a MUST
in Sirmione

Great bougainvillea!

Greater gelato!

Laurie got her gelato fix at a different gelateria later in our walk.

Laurie went with her go to
cherry gelato and was pleased

The Castello from a
different angle

This Roman poet was singing
the praises of Sirmione in the
last century before Christ!

Sunset on the Sirmione lakefront

The ristoranti on this piazza
were filling up fast
with hungry tourists

We entered this small chapel
located just before you exit
the historic city core

Sunset as seen from our
hotel room's balcony

Life was really good today for the two of us!

Tomorrow we will explore home of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, the city of Verona.

After that, we will head to the Lake Como village of Varenna and then, in the evening, attend a BBQ for our Skorpions Defensive Line in Bellagio hosted by our legendary Defensive Line Coach Pacio Cranchi.

We think that we will continue to enjoy life again on Wednesday!


David said...

Fun fact: "May you live in interesting times" is actually a Chinese curse.

George said...

And so it is in current American times . . .