In case you haven’t noticed by now, I kinda have a little love affair with Italy. In my recent trip to Verona (click here if you didn’t see my Verona blog post), we decided a day trip to Lake Garda was a must, seeing as we were in the nearby vicinity.
From Verona station, we got the train (costing just 11 Euros) to Desenzano del Garda. The journey took only 25 minutes, and it was certainly worth the extra 1 Euro to upgrade to first class!! Being just a day trip we picked Desenzano del Garda as it was one of the nearest lake towns to Verona – on the southwestern shore of Lake Garda.
On arrival to Desenzano del Garda, seeing as we had no idea where we were – no maps, no idea of where to go or what to see – thankfully there is a little pop up tourist office at the station, ready with all sorts of map and guides to hand out for free and with staff more than willing to help you in the right direction. #iheartitaly
Anyway, about 10-15 minute walk down to the town’s centre we were graced with the beautiful presence of Desenzano del Garda…
The buildings are similar to Verona’s Venetian style exteriors, of true authentic Italian style…
A short walk through the main square you can see the vast lake ahead, taking in the pretty sites of the setting around you… #wanderlust
As you get to the waterfront, there’s a fairly big and impressive port full of privately owned boats…
Getting our bearings, we decided to take a nice long stroll, first to the right…
Such a beautiful view of the lake! The water glistened being a sunny day and you can see across the lake for miles. Pretty pretty!
Me like Lake Garda!
Here’s me ready for the beach, sporting a “vintage” (aka old) playsuit from Primark and my new (ever-so-necessary) big sun hat from New Look – adding a hint of lake-worthy glamour with my favourite Prada sunglasses…
When we found ourselves at a natural dead end, about two miles down the coastline (and passing some fancy looking hotels) so we decided to head back to the town centre.
There’s a mini pier taking you a short way out in to the lake for great views back to Desenzano del Garda…
I managed to sneak a “candid” photo of my Instagram husband…I think he was doing the maths in his mind about owning a boat in Lake Garda one day! Either that, or eyeing up the town’s coastline looking for a drink station… it was definitely beer o’clock by now!
We then walked a mile or so in the other direction, and found a perfectly acceptable cafe right on the beach, serving easy Italian cuisine such as salads, pizzas and pastas.
After lunch, we hired a couple of sunbeds to enjoy some fabulous views and rays (wearing my factor 30 of course!). I decided to go for a paddle, to which was slightly painful on the soles of my feet due to the stones – inevitably resulting in a struggle of balance! But at least my feet got a good exfoliation!
After a couple of hours of sunbathing, we headed back to the town centre, enjoying a stroll in the main square, exploring the beautiful boutique shops on offer. If you like cute dogs, there’s certainly plenty of dog watching to do, as well as people watching of course! It’s all very glamorous and rather aspirational!
We stopped for a glass of Chianti on our way back to the station, and conveniently the restaurant we stopped in sold these rather yummy treats, so we bought a few for our journey home… It would have been rude not too, right? 😉
There’s certainly a lot more to do in Desenzano del Garda than what we had explored. You can head up to the castle for greater views of the lake and local surroundings.
Another recommendation is to take the boat from the port to Sirmione – a picturesque peninsula town of ruins that stretches about 2.5km in to the lake.
If ever you do go to Verona, it’s definitely worth adding a day to your trip for this change of scenery, to enjoy some beach time and to catch a glimpse in to the life of the famous Italian lakes!