As the lesser known cousin of Lake Como (but the largest lake in Italy), Lake Garda offers its own unique charm and beauty. Only 40 minutes from fair Verona, our first stop along its long and changing banks was the town of Sirmione. My Roman Uncle said it was one of his absolute favourite places in Italy so we couldn't wait to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Unfortunately, we didn't have the best of luck with the weather. A thick mist had rolled in from the lake and was beginning to tickle the shores edge. Determined not to miss out, we headed into town beyond the medieval stone wall.
Instantly, we could see the appeal of this popular summer escape. The cobbled streets led us to gelato stores on every corner, typically Italian ceramic shops filled from floor to ceiling with brightly coloured crockery and enticing clothing stores stocked with fashion from Milan that any Australian girl could only dream of!
At the very entrance to the town stands the incredible 13th Century castle which was for many years a fortification and a garrison on this pretty peninsula.
We climbed the stairs of the tower to gain a better view over the town and lake as the mist began to scuttle away and the sun shone through.
After a quick stop for lunch (a delicious Capricciosa Pizza and espresso) at l'Accanto in the main square (Piazza Giosue Carducci) we continued walking further north along the peninsula to the ancient archeological site, Grotte di Catullo.
Although we were not in Sirmione for the summertime we could see why many do take up residence on the striped sun chairs set up on the many deck along the shore. The turquoise waters below were so inviting even in the grey weather.
xx The Strawberry Story