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Travel: Malcesine + Riva del Garda, Lake Garda (Part 2) Italy July 4/2022

Updated: Jul 16, 2022

The segment travel to Venice, Italy starting on June 23rd, and until the 28th, is dedicated to the visit in the 2022 Biennale Arte, (work in progress). This segment is dedicated to a 2nd day in Lake La Garda.


The heat was unbearable, reaching 37 degrees C with no whisk of breeze all along the previous night. during which the AC at the Villa CorteOlivo , we stayed at, didn't function,


On the Road again by the Lake

As we thoroughly "marinated" in the impossible heat, we left the place, early morning. for further drive north, along the lake, basking in the relief of the car's AC and seraching

for a properly equipped hotel, that can accommodate us as early as possible.

We did find a wonderful one by the lake in another quaint town. of Malcesine

Malcesine sul Garda

This small community, of an ancient Medieval origin at the north- east side of the lake

is another picturesque tourist resort with cobbled lanes winding up the slope from the lake and a castle, crammed between the blue lake waters, and the massive mountain ridge behind, Monte Baldo Two of the largest islets of Lake Garda are located in Malcesine: The Isola di sogno and the Isola dell'olivo

The lake is narrower up north so the villages on its West side can be clearly seen from the lake's Eastern side.

The small Island

Wind Surfing on the Lake

The town's ferry connections to other lakeside resorts make it a good base for sightseeing and the cable-car running up to Monte Baldo is a magnet for cyclists, walkers and paragliders

At the Harbour

The main harbour is typical of Lake Garda: small, attractive, filled with boats and lined with cafes. A short distance away is the old port, the Porto Vecchio, a quieter spot with good lake views, curious sculptures and more restaurants.

The first recorded inhabitants of the area were Etruscans dating to around 500 BC. After 15 BC, with Tiberius' victory over the Rhaetians, the area came under the control of the Roman Empire. After the fall of Rome, the area was ruled in turn by Ostrogoths, Alemanni and then the Langobards.

About 4000 inhabitants resides currently in the village living off tourism.

It's old town's center, is clustered around, another Scaliger Castle

Goethe at the Museo Castello Scaligero.

Opened every day with reduced entrance charge, for over-65s and children.

The View from the Castle

The historic Scaliger Castle building takes its name from the della Scala family, who owned it and made alterations in the 13 and 14 c. (1277 to 1387)

It was probably first built by the Longobards around the 100 A.D , then destroyed by the Franks in 590 A.D. and then rebuilt. In 806. and it was occupied by the House of Visconti from 1387 to 1403.

The castle changed hands several times being used, restored and adapted for military purposes up until the 19 c. was owned by the Republic of Venice last from 1516 to 1797, then by the French, followed by the Austrians which accomplished significant strengthening works inside the building and remained as such from 1798 to 1866.

In 1902 the castle was declared a national monument.

A tourist sight, nowadays, the castle is also a wedding venue.

The battlemented fortress is open to the public as a museum, housing 3 small sections as well as temporary exhibitions. One is dedicated to natural history, other to

an old-fashioned exhibition of local bits and pieces: of boats.

And , most interesting to me was a room dedicated to the German writer Goethe, who visited Malcesine in 1786 and was suspected of spying when he sketched the castle, .

Great views from the ramparts , made David also climb up the tower, while I enjoyed taking picture of the bodily relief facilities below.

Palazzo dei Capitani

The 2nd most important building in Malcesine is the close to the harbour. 15th c

Palazzo dei Capitani, which was constructed by the Scala family, on older Roman and Romanesque remains, and which was the headquarters of the Venetian rulers of the area, the Capitani del Lago. .A lion of St. Mark painted on the wall is a fading reminder of the area's Venetian overlords.

Walking through the narrow lanes

The town is a lovely place to stroll through its pretty little squares loaded with stores,(selling handbags, shoes, limoncello and clothes) its cafes, restaurants, but mainly its gelaterie - ice-cream parlors, in every corner.

A good bakery to stop at

Water sports and mountain walks in the lake and the hilly olive groves, splendid lake views, pebbly beaches, lakeside promenade and quint hotels, also persuaded us to stay at this renovated wonderful lakeside small hotel in this quint town

Hotel Vega - Malcensine A newly refurbished, most reasonable modern great hotel,which the rating doesn't do it justice, is located right on the lakeside, just off the "Castello Scaligero", fortress and city center.

Staying there one night revived us from the previous night's disastrous experience

View from the Hotel

View to the West side of the lake

Once the hotel was chosen, and we were promised an earlier check in, into a fantastic Lake-view room on the top floor, we used the early morning hours to drive further north

Driving through Nago Torbolo

Approaching Riva del Garda

A a bustling touristic town located at the northern dramatic end of Lake Garda, enclosed by the southern edge of the Italian Alps near the Dolomites.

Mountains rising on either side, the towns nests against a backdrop of lake, valley and hills is the second-largest town on Lake Garda, (after Desenzano) with a population of about 18,000,

The town was part of Austria until 1918 and there is still something un-italian about its layout and architecture.

The historic center, set just back from the lake and consist of the town's moated lakeshore castle/ fortress/museum, (another Scaligeri (1124) castle) old town gateways, a network of tall buildings and narrow lanes.(more)

The town's main lakeshore area is made up of a harbour, a park and a beach, so there is a variety of promenading one can choose from.

David preferred taking a dip in the freezing water.

As much as Riva is an enchanting, atmospheric and beautifully manicured town, the feel of the smaller lake's villages, was more appealing to us, for an overnight stay.

The Sarca River spilling into the lake

The" Lido Palace" Hotel - Known historic Belle Époque-style structure, by famous architect Alberto Cecchetto

Change in weather

Back to Malcensine

That afternoon threatening grey clouds started gathering over the top of the mountains

and by the time we made it back to the hotel in Malcensine , the sky turned dark.

Gusty winds shook the peaceful lake into rough stormy water, and heavy rain storm showers ,dispersed the the vacationing tourists, off the beaches, pools and streets.

It was still hot-and muggy, but less excruciating, and the cooling effect of the winds

was very welcomed.

All boats moored in the lake were covered to protect from being drowned by the rain.

The planes we had to also visit these communities below had to be shelved :

until another trip to the lake.

San Zeno di Montagna - 680 m above sea level, near the Monte Baldo,

Limone on the north-western side of the lake, known for mild climate and citrus growth.

 Dinner Although the restaurant was only 10 minutes walk from the hotel, the heavy raining compelled us to take a car ride. Restaurant Ristoro - Malcesine Via Navene Vecchia 3 0457400146

This kind of a restaurant- diner is only O.K There are not really great restaurants in this village,and many hotels including the on we stayed at, offer half board which includes breakfast and dinner. Judging by the great breakfast we sampled at the hotel , probably also dinner there could have been better gambling.

And with this wet ending, and not because of the lake's water, our stay at this enchanting lake Garda , concluded, and the trip planned to visit a city continued to Bolognia

To be Continued...


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