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On Top of Old Baldo

Charlotte Berg at lunch in Limone overlooking Lake Garda

Charlotte Berg at lunch in Limone overlooking Lake Garda

Allen and Rhonda hung back for a relaxing day in Sirmione. They explored the third century Roman villa ruins (built upon ruins from the BC period) that overlooked Lake Garda. The home of a very wealthy unknown family, the huge ruin is known for its grotto bathhouse that had heated water by running water over a marble floor with fires built underneath.

The rest of us headed out for a day on the lake. The waters were calm as our “fast” boats, one a hydrofoil, sailed from one beautiful lake town to another. Most had castles and tall steepled churches with wide walking promonades and sail or wooden boats bobbing in the harbors.

Dan and I debarked at Malcesine for our trek up Mt. Baldo. We rode the cable car up. It is the only cable car in the world that rotates as it ascends, giving everyone a wonderful view of the lake and mountains below and beyond. Once at the top, we did some hiking toward the hang-glide departure point. We watched as the riders ran forward until the wind caught their sails and up they swooped and then out over the edge of the mountain and over the lake about 10,000 feet below. Such a wondrous sight as one after another went over the edge sporting brightly colored sails.

While we did our mountain climb day, Charlotte and Kathy went on to Limone, a picturesque lake town that is narrow and long since the cliffs of the mountain behind it left no room but for several streets. Strewn with flowers and fountains, Limone is know for the enormous lemons that grow in orchards on the slopes of the mountains around it. It is especially known for its limoncello liqueur sold in bottles of every shape and size imaginable.

Allen and Rhonda met us at the Sirmione port, and we shared stories of the day over another wonderful meal. We all pronounced our various adventures “just right.” WEG – September 11, 2015

On Lake Garda

On Lake Garda

Scene on Lake Garda, Italy

Scene on Lake Garda, Italy

From atop Mount Baldo overlooking Lake Garda in Italy

From atop Mount Baldo overlooking Lake Garda in Italy


Third century Roman ruins found in Sirmione, Italy

Third century Roman ruins found in Sirmione, Italy

Third century Roman ruins in Sirmione, Italy

Third century Roman ruins in Sirmione, Italy

The Lake

I sit outside in 60 degree Fahrenheit temperature with a light breeze on a balcony outside our hotel room looking out over Lake Garda in Italy’s north lake district. This is Italy’s largest lake, and it stretches from a flat plain to the Italian Alps. The water is light blue and clear. We stayed the day in Sirmione, known as the Pearl of the Italian Lakes. It lies on a narrow peninsula on the southern part of the lake and is surrounded on three sides with water. Entry into the town is through the gates of a medieval castle.

Since Sirmione is a pedestrian zone, we walk the streets easily. They are cobblestoned and narrow. Lining the streets are blue, orange and yellow plaster-coated buildings interspersed with stone buildings. Archways and pergolas abound. Bouganvillas are in bloom and climb walls and arbors. Other flowers fill flower boxes. Marble piazzas break the pattern of the narrow streets and church bell peals bounce from wall to wall. The lake is easily in view from either direction and small boats and sail boats slowly ply the waters. Ducks meander in the streets near the water. It is a refreshing and relaxing day in this cozy beauty as we go from one unique shop to another. Organic and natural are key words here.

Once again, our evening ends with a meal–this time on the piazza looking out at the castle. Food choices include parma ham and melon, salmon and sautéed spinach, pumpkin and sage ravioli, grilled white fish with grilled vegetables and fried calamari, sardines and shrimp. A good red wine from the region added depth and richness. With the sun setting, we “moseyed” home, and I walked out onto the balcony to write this blog. WEG – Thursday, September 10, 2015

Sirmione, Italy

Sirmione, Italy

Sirmione, Italy

Sirmione, Italy

Sirmione, Italy - one of the many store windows

Sirmione, Italy – one of the many store windows

Some of the delectable pastries available in Sirmione, Italy

Some of the delectable pastries available in Sirmione, Italy