On the northern most tip of the largest lake in Italy, Lake Garda, you will find a town filled with juxtapositions which marry so well together you almost find yourself wondering why the world isn't filled with more towns like Riva del Garda.
J and I quickly discovered this new school of thought when we arrived at one of our favourite hotels (in the world!), the Lido Palace, it is an absolute architectural gem.
Originally it was a villa built in 1899, visited by the rich and famous post WWI including many European Kings and Queens, it was the place to be seen. Sadly this villa's glittering life was not to last and eventually fell into disrepair. But in 2011 the property was restored to what some may say a glory far beyond its origins. The amalgamation of the original features and completely modern design and luxuries make this hotel a true testament to modern architecture and design.
After a warm welcome by the staff, we easily settled in to our beautiful room with its enormous bathroom, bed and sprawling views.
Famished, we headed downstairs to the sun bathed deck. I once read that the perfect measure of a hotel is its club sandwich. Again, the Lido Palace did not let us down.
After a perfect afternoon of people (and bird) watching and wandering around the lakes edge, we relaxed in the pool for an hour or two.
Dinner was another delight, surrounded by lively Italian families and couples just like ourselves. With a live pianist and the never ending aperitivo, how could it not be an amazing evening?
We awoke feeling fully refreshed and rejuvenated so with blue skies above us, it was time to tackle the upward climb past the town and on to the Bastione.
Unfortunately, we weren't quite prepared for the intensity of the trek to the Chapel of Santa Barbara but J and I vowed to return one day.
The true expanse of the lake became obvious as we climbed higher. We finally reached the castle ruins and lookout. It was beautiful to see the town from above and the little slice of heaven that is the Lido Palace.
You couldn't ask for a more perfect place to base yourself on Lake Garda and with so many things to do, we can't wait to return (when the weather is a little warmer!).
xx The Strawberry Story