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Tags  →  italian lakes

(Original post: August 7th, 2011)

I have just updated my Italy web page, which has information and/or links about our favourite places there (which include the Italian Lakes, Tuscany and Umbria).

Sirmione on Lake Garda, Italy, July 2011

Some posts about our recent visit to Sirmione on Lake Garda (with some side trips) appear below.

If you are interested, here are the direct links:

[Verona and an "agriturismo" vineyard]
[Isola di Garda]
[Catullus's villa, Sirmione, and Lausanne]

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[Places to enjoy life... in Italy]

Sirmione on Lake Garda, Italy, July 2011

This year we had a different kind of holiday - a train trip to Sirmione on Lake Garda, spending a week there with a few guided tours (we ducked out of several - too little time and too hot!). French and Swiss trains are great, but train travel in Italy... not recommended! Sirmione was a nice place, though - we'll be back (by air).

Sirmione is on a long, thin peninsula, jutting out into Lake Garda (this is a photo that I took of an information board!) The remains of a huge Roman villa belonging to Catullus are at this end (see Part 4), with Maria Callas's villa (where she lived in the 50's) on the road leading back down to the town. The peninsula is surrounded by a limestone shelf that drops away steeply.

Sirmione castle, seen from the lake (I actually took this on the way back from Isola di Garda, see Part 3)

Bijou residence on a little raft kindly placed in the castle moat

The local lads...

... and the local attraction?

Views of Sirmione from half way up the castle... the town was absolutely hotching with people, especially in the evening, but it absorbed them all quite happily (and is mostly car-free in this part)

Going up to the top...

View from the top of the castle, looking south to the edge of the lake

Looking the other way over the old town. Our hotel was on the lake, in the far distance, about 10 minutes' walk from here

A wonderfully secluded private spot... if it weren't for tourists like me on the castle tower!

Near the castle... People out at a sensible time of day...

Evening on the lake, a short walk from our hotel

[Italy visit continues in Part 2]

[Italy visit continued from Part 2]

Approaching Isola di Garda, which has had a very long and varied history. It is actually 4 long thin rocks, joined together and converted to a lovely park and landscaped villa over many years

The original tower... it leant too far and the top bit had to be removed!

A nice cool place to arrive!

Julia, our lovely and very knowledgeable guide, explaining how olive trees can survive so long (this one is 500+ years old). This local girl speaks several languages almost perfectly, including Japanese, and is currently learning Finnish (because of boyfriend).

Two villas have become one. The section in the foreground is actually quite shallow. The space between it and the higher building is filled in with earth and a terrace laid across the top.

St Francis was here for a while. This place goes back a long way!

Not a cemetery... just a decorative way of using materials left over from past construction!

In the background is a walkway, joining up with a tunnel which leads to caves on the north side of the island, used by monks in the past

The terrace (with skylights) on top of the lower villa section and the earth-fill that joins it to the higher villa, allowing trees to be planted between the two.

Swamp cypresses in the park section. We couldn't visit much of the park this day because of a huge society wedding that was being set up.

Leaving the island after a tour of the inside of the villa (no photos allowed, alas), which is still lived in, followed by wine and olive-oil tasting on a terrace

[Italy visit continues in Part 4]

"Boardwalk Northern Italy"

"Evening stroll, Italy"

Paintings by C T Wicke (no information about the artist found yet!)