The west side of Lago di Garda is done, it’s time for the east side. Is it better/more interesting/cooler? Spoiler alert: it is.
The landscape is totally different. The road goes next to the beach and water, not high in the mountains. It feels more like a seaside. Of course if you ignore the mountains on the other shore. And the ones behind you.
Unfortunately the weather forces us to change our plans and we haven’t seen much of the east side. But the things we saw… Well, I have to go back!
Peschiera del Garda
Our “Italian Lakes” guidebook ignores Peschiera. Really, Lonely Planet? We went there only because it was close to our camping. The first day we walked through the charming streets, saw fortifications and a moat with the most amazing turquoise water, a canal just like in Venice, a gate dating back to the Venetian Republic and we climbed a hill with pretty views of the lake. Seriously, Lonely Planet? Not even a word?
Btw, in Pescheira we had the best pizza, Aperol Spritz with the best size to price ratio and we found a great free parking lot next to Campo Sportivo.
Madonna della Corona
This place has its’ own story. Months ago I saw a picture of a churched “glued” to a mountain. And I thought “wow”. One google search later I knew that this place is in the area of the Lake Garda and I just had to see it. So we went there. To a town somewhere high in the mountains where we met only alpacas and a group from Poland. I was expecting a wow and it was a wow. Or, as Błażej said: well, Italians were a bit too lazy to build all four walls, so they built a church next to the mountain and put only three walls. Nevermind, it’s one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.
Torri del Benaco
A road down from Santa Madonna della Corona was a good example why Italians don’t drive japanese sedans. All these turns reminded driver (me) why Italian city cars are the only reasonable choice. The weather was not the best, it was windy, but Torri del Benaco is so charming, that we didn’t want to leave. How can you leave a place like this:
If you’d like to take a cable car to Monte Baldo, firstly walk around Malcesine. Ok, you can do the other way round. Two things are sure: you’ll find a cable car in Malcesine and it’s a really pretty town. We didn’t have enough time (and a few days later the weather wasn’t good enough) to go up to Monte Baldo, so I have to go back there! And to Malcesine, which is a bit similar to other towns by Garda, but at the same time is totally different. Maybe it’s because of the streets cobbled with small stones, maybe a huge castle or maybe something else…
Zona Traffico Limitato
We drove along the east side of the lake twice. The first time, when we wanted to go around the lake. The second time, when we went to the Madonna della Corona church. We skipped sightseeing in popular towns of Garda and Bardolino, we only drove through them, but we’ll remember Bardolino for at least a few months… Apparently there is Zona Traffico Limitato (a limited traffic zone) and we almost drove through it. We just wanted to drive along the lake, but our GPS was forcing us to drive inland, next to Olive Oil Museum. Seriously, it exists. But Zona Traffico Limitato scared us so much that we took a turn and drove through the fields again.
What is Zona Traffico Limitato? It’s a tiny sign which, if ignored, will cost you over 100 euros. We are not sure if this sign in Bardolino was in the right place. Maybe it was turned a bit? Right behind it there was another sign, leading to highway, so probably we could continue that way. But we liked our 100 euros. So beware. It’s so tiny and unexpected, that it’s easy to miss it.