If Quantum of Solace had chosen to film elsewhere, I might've never made the effort to visit Lake Garda. Two days and two nights only allowed us to scratch the surface, not nearly enough time to explore the high mountains with the dogs, or check out all of the Slow Food restaurants in this part of the region. Next time it'll have to be 5 days minimun - at least to find the very spot where that photo above was taken!
All of the towns along Lake Garda's western shores are very touristic, appealing greatly to german and dutch visitors. We chose to stay in Gargnano mainly because I was able to find a reasonably-priced hotel that allowed small pets, but also for the fact that Benito Mussolini (Italy's last dictator) spent his final days at Villa Feltrinelli which is located on a private stretch of beach in Gargnano. The luxury hotel is an historical building which has been restored with truly impeccable taste (you have to see the website) commanding upwards of 6265+ dollars a night in high season. I have to admit to being a bit curious, but those people are prepared for snooping paparazzi wannabes. All in all, Gargnano turned out to be a wise choice because of it's in-the-middle location, and because while it does cater to tourists, the layout of the town had a more intimate appeal. Riva del Garda was by far the most hectic, apparently home to a sizeable leisure boat community. The map below demonstrates the towns we visited, all of which are in order from Gavardo to Riva del Garda. The detour off of the main highway is the famous SP 38 that twists and turns up the mountain between Tignale and Tremosine.
- Gardone Riviera
- SP 38 at midpoint
- SP 38 at the bottom of Tremosine
- Limone sul Garda
- Riva del Garda
SP 38's descent toward Tremosine narrows considerably, but only non-italian drivers get themselves in a mess like this.
Lemons and other citrus fruit trees grow abundantly at Lake Garda. A visit to a limonaia (lemon farm) is worth a visit for its cultural aspect.
Limone sul Garda.
Gated entrance to Villa Feltrinelli. Maybe one day...
It's not tiled with plain old cement, but gray-green granite. The towel girl must get paid beaucoup bucks...
The lemon farms are easy to spot, just look for a building like this. Only a few are open to the public.