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A holiday in Desenzano.

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Last month I spent some days in Desenzano del Garda.

Desenzano del Garda is the largest town on the southwestern shore of lake Garda. It is the in the region of Lombardy and not far from Brescia.

It was not the first time I visited this town. I think I went there four times.

Desenzano is a good base to visit lots of places on the lake Garda.

There is a castle, a Roman villa and some museums to visit here. Moreover; this town has an interesting old core and some beaches.

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One of the nicest spots in Desenzano is the old harbour. It was built for commercial needs around the XV century.

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At the old harbour there is a bridge; the ponte "alla veneziana" (the Venetian style bridge) It was erected around 1930.

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I like this street. I don' t remember its name. You can find it beside the duomo (cathedral); on its right side.

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I am not sure, but it seems to me that fishermen had their houses on this street long ago.

It' s like a street you can see in various Italian sea villages.

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Desenzano has an old center worth to explore. It is partly on a hill.

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In this picture you can see one of the streets that takes to the castle.

The castle was originally built around the X century and enlarged at the end of the 15th century.

In the 19th century it was used as a barrack (Precisely until 1943).

It is opened to visitors, but I was told there is not much to see inside. Some expositions and other public events are held into the castle.

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You can enjoy a very beautiful landscape from the castle area.

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Another picture taken from the castle area.

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Bar - Ristorante Castellani is a good place to have a large and good pizza. They also serve first courses, as pasta, soups, meats and fish.

This restaurant is hidden in vicolo del Moro; a narrow alley near piazza Matteotti.

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Hotel Giardinetto is a small hotel where I booked my room in Desenzano. It is not far from the main square in the town.

The rooms at hotel Giardinetto are modern furnished and the personnel are kind and helpful.

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At this hotel they only serve breakfast; a buffet breakfast with lot of food. Cheese, cold cuts, pastries, bread, youghurt and fruits.

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Moniga del Garda is a small village; not far from Desenzano. Its name should come from the name of a goddes; Diana Munichia.

There are some beaches in Moniga, but I only explored its old core. I only took some pics that day I was there. I wasn' t in the mood to take pictures.

The main sight in Moniga is the castle. It dates to the X century. It was modified between the XIV and the XV centuries.

The castle was used as a shelter against the enemies for the inhabitants of Moniga.

During the summer the castle hosts several events, as shows, concerts and fairs.

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There are some streets with several houses into the castle area.

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Another picture taken into the castle precinct.

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Sirmione is a nice village situated some kilometers from Desenzano del Garda.

The old center of Sirmione stands on a narrow pensinula.

One of the sight in Sirmione is the castle. It was owned by the Scaligeri family; from Verona. This castle was built around the XIII century in order to protect the village and the harbour.

Another highlight in this village are the Grottoes of Catullus. These are ruins of a large Roman villa. It occupies two hectares at Sirmione' s northern tip.

This construction was associated to Catullus, because the poet Gaius Valerius Catullus had a house in the Sirmione area.

Sirmione also has some thermal springs. The water from these springs is even sold in the whole Italy and maybe abroad.

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Across from the castle there is a tiny church; it is saint Anne della Rocca church. It was built in the second half of the 1300 for the garrison of the castle.

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As in many old villages one of the things to do is to explore the narrow streets.

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The old center is Sirmione is not large.

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Saint Mary the major or saint Mary of the snow is Sirmione parish church.

It was built at the end of the XV century on the site of a 8th century Lombard church..

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Inside this church you can see a good number of frescoes dated from the XIV to the XVI centuries.

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The entrance of the church.

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Just outside the church, on its left there is a nice small well.

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This is my favourite spot in Sirmione. A private garden with some statues.

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Another church worth a visit in Sirmione is the church of san Pietro in Mavino. It is the oldest church in Sirmione.

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It was built in the VIII century and finished in the XI century. Inside there are some frescoes dated from the XII to the XVI centuries.

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This church is situated on the highest point of the peninsula of Sirmione. It is a bit of a trek to get there.

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The only downside of Sirmione is that it can be very crowded at times.

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While going back home I spent less than two hours in Torri del Benaco. This lakeside village is some 20 kilometers far from Malcesine.

Even Torri del Benaco has a castle. It houses a museum. It dates to the late 1300. I didn' t visit, but I will do next time I visit this village.

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There are also some narrow streets in this village and some nice spots.

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There was a party in this street the day I visited Torri del Benaco.

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Torri del Benaco has a good choice of shops, cafes and restaurants.

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This clock tower served as a meeting place for the politician of Torri; long ago. I suppose they gathered inside it.

Posted by Maurizioagos 19:27 Archived in Italy Tagged lake del garda italy. sirmione desenzano Comments (7)

Riva del Garda.

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Riva del Garda is a nice town situated at the northern tip of the lake Garda. It is around one hour by car from my village.

In the spring and summer it is a very touristic town.

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There are lots of colorful houses in this town.

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Via Piave is one of the nicest streets in this town.

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Contrada Marocco is a neighbourhood in Riva del Garda that has nothing to do with Morocco. This area that takes its name from landslides; practically these are big stones where several houses where built here. Marocche is the name of big stones in the local dialect.

Here you can see various old houses, a square with a washing trough and an ancient palace; Palazzo del Vescovo (the bishop' s palace).

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I suppose this is one of the oldest areas in Riva del Garda.

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Palazzo del Vescovo; the bishop' s palace.

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Piazza III novembre is the main square in Riva del Garda.

Here you can see the town hall built in the XV century joined to Palazzo Pretorio (XIV century). Opposite this palace there is a very ancient tower; the Apponale tower. It was built towards 1200 and raised in 1552.

On its ground level there were warehouses for salt and wheat and other stores. It was also used as a prison. During the WWI the tower was an observation post. You can enjoy a beautiful landscape over the main square of the town and other areas from its top.

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Piazza III Novembre is partly surrounded by XIV century porticoes. There are some shops and a good restaurant - pizzeria (see restaurant hotel Centrale) under these.

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Here you see the small square joined to piazza III Novembre.

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Sometimes when I visit Riva del Garda I have lunch at the restaurant of hotel Centrale. This is a large three star hotel located at the main square of Riva del Garda.

I don' know how many dinner rooms there are at this hotel. One of these is under the old arcades. It is closed by glass, so that people could eat there even in the winter.

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There are various dishes on the menu at this restaurants. There are even several fish dishes and a good choice of pizzas. Pizzas at restaurant Centrale are very large.

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You can do several boat trips to various villages or towns from Riva del Garda. There are ferries, hydrofoils and motorised catamarans that opearate all year.

For instance you can go to Limone and Malcesine.

Limone lies on the north-western shore of the lake. Its name comes from the latin word "limen", which means border. It is a small town with cobbled streets, some churches, various shops, cafes and restaurants.

Malcesine is located almost opposite Limone. Its main sight is the castle which was probably built in the first millenium a. C. by the Longobards and modified through the centuries. Today it houses a couple of museums.

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There is a fortress in Riva del Garda. La Rocca. It was built in 1124 and altered through the centuries. Today it houses a museums with paintings,pictures and archaeological finds.

Posted by Maurizioagos 09:30 Archived in Italy Tagged lake del garda riva trentino alto garda. adige. Comments (2)

Malcesine.

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Malcesine is a beautiful lake side resort situated on the eastern shore of Lake Garda. It is some 60 kilometers far from Verona.

It has a beautiful old core made of a maze of narrow cobbled lanes and stone houses.

Malcesine has a good choice of accomodations, restaurants, cafes and shops. It is a very popular summer holiday resort.

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I suppose this should be one of the narrowest street in the world. Vicolo Picalof.

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Here you see another picture of this narrow lane.

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A stone house with a balcony. I like this spot.

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Close up of the balcony.

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A house with a coat of arms on its facade.

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The castle is the main sight in Malcesine. Its name is Castello Scaligero. It was probably built by the Lombards around 500 A. C. on a previous fortress. In 590 it was destroyed by the Franks. They rebuilt it in 806.

It was occupied by the della Scala family from 1277 to 1378. Later, the Visconti family from Milan and the Republic of Venice hold it. Then it was in the hands of the French and the Austrians. During the period of the Austrian rule, which ended in 1866 major renovations work took place inside.

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Today the castle houses a museum of natural history; a room dedicated to the German writer Goethe and his visit to Malcesine in 1786. Some areas of the castle are used for various entertainments and for temporary exibitions.

The castle has a tower. You can climb it to its top and enjoy a beautiful landscape over the town.

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Part of the castle from afar.

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In this picture you see part of the harbour. It is surrounded by a good number of cafes and restaurants. From the harbour you can take a boat to other resort on the lake as Limone or Riva del Garda.

Posted by Maurizioagos 10:55 Archived in Italy Tagged lake italy garda malcesine garda. Comments (2)

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