Lake Garda from Sirmione
This is our last stop of three in the very German dominated Lago di Gada. Nothing wrong with that if you like a huge sausage and foaming beer. We had a day on the West of the lake, a day in the North and finally one here on the South. In between the North and South stops we headed to The Dolomites to take advantage of a couple of days of fine weather to see these ‘Rockies of the Alps’ and drive the finest road in said Alps, ‘The Great Dolomite Road’.
The Journey from Modena to Porto Dusano
The journey across The Po valley was largely uneventful apart from Tommy Boy trying to send us across a bridge we were too wide and too heavy for. The valley as you can imagine is pancake flat for mile upon mile and is the bread-basket of Italy producing a lot of high-quality produce. It looks like Cambridgeshire without the disused White Goods littering the roadside.
Porto Dusano 06/04 – 08/04/2016
Every now and again you can find a truly stonking place to park up; flat, great views, a place to get the Barbie out, quiet, WiFi, water and best of all free. Porto Dusano gives you all of that and with the added bonus of a bar and a lakeside restaurant within a couple of hundred yards. Seeing an Italian Lake has always been on Tracy’s must do’s for this trip and she had been looking forward to her first glimpse for a few days, well ever since we left Florence to be fair. And just like Britain, the weather was fantastic until about 1 mile from the coast, or in this case the lake, when a horrible mist descends over everything and the visibility descends to a big fat nothing. It was three days before Tracy did get her full vista. While we waited for the fog to clear we sat in glorious sunshine, went for little walks, wrote some of this drivel, played with our air gun and eat famously from the Barbie.
We could tell we were beginning to leave The Italy we know and love and heading Northwards when we checked-out the restaurant in Porto Dusano. The place had all the comedy aspects of fake Italian restaurants so familiar to us back home; bread sticks, checked table cloths, over-sized and phallic inspired black-pepper mill coupled with dishes that are as alien to an Italian e.g. Bratwurst with Spaghetti. We smirked but we didn’t go in.
Dusano is a pretty place with a ferry to Sirmione and a very handy faucet to fill up the van, as long as ignore the No Motorhome Sign.
On our last night here was a bit of a disaster as Tracy managed to get hold of the guide book and using her finely tuned shopping antennae managed to find out that Lake Garda, due to its Mediterranean based micro-climate produces some of the finest Olive Oil in the world. First stop next day was a trip to buy some and after a mighty long delay with me parked on the pavement Tracy emerged with a bottle of oil large enough to not worry a single lettuce leaf, slightly, and a hole in our budget the size of the Greek National Debt. Here is a picture of a very small bottle that looks very large.
€500 a drop. We bought 3 drops
The Journey from Porto Dusano to Riva
On a map this looks both picturesque and easy to follow. In real-life it is a bit of a mare if I am honest. The road is narrow and at its northern end is an endless stream of tunnels not fit for the weight of traffic even in this time of year, the off-season. Add to the mix a truly toxic concoction of impatient locals and holidaying Germans intent on displaying the power of BMW’s and Porsche’s making appear to be the road to Hell. You are met on every bend to the left with a vehicle in the middle of the road coming your way. This is fine when it is a car but on numerous occasions it was either a Motorhome or a busload of grannies on a Wolfgang Arnold tour of the Italian Lakes in three days. We arrived into Riva in late afternoon with our wing mirror clipped and feeling shell-shocked. A quiet evening was had in a pleasant but touristy town at the head of the lake. It is OK but do not go out of your way to visit it. Life is more important.
The Head of Lake Garda
We are on a Sosta 4Km to the east of Sirmione, the tourist capital of Lake Garda. We arrived here after driving ‘The Great Dolomite Road’ and after completing that we hacked down the motorway to here from Bolzano. We did not like this area at all. It was a purpose built town bolted onto the side like some ugly carbuncle to the otherwise elegant town of Sirmione. We had a Spritz on the lakeside which seemed to lack any fizz or alcohol content and followed this up by having a Pizza geared for non-Italians. It was disgusting, but our holidaying cousins couldn’t get enough with one covered in sauerkraut and accompanied by a Stein of froth. Who said size isn’t everything?
Love to All