2 Weeks in Italy | LIMONE SUL GARDA!
How to Get to Limone
After boarding the train in Venice we traveled 1.5 hours west to the Lake town of Desenzano. It sits on the Southern border of a 32 mile long body of water called, Lake Garda. Our destination was Limone Sul Garda, on the northern end of the lake — which required us to purchase a bus ticket in Desenzano and continue our journey for another hour and a half northward. Our Bed and Breakfast host mentioned that it would have saved us time had we ridden the train to the northern most town on the lake, called Riva Del Garda, and simply taken the bus a few miles south to Limone, so I guess we know what to do next time.
We got off the bus in Limone and made our way down towards the shoreline. Limone translates to the English word “lemon,” and the town really leans into the name by offering a variety of lemon items. Lemon soap, lemon aprons, lemon juice, lemoncello, and well, lemons. The town itself has steep roads and quite a few steps, but is very quaint and quiet as there is hardly any traffic in-town, aside from the occasional scooter of a local resident, or the truck of a deliveryman delivering…. Lemons.
Where We Stayed:
Limone dominates the tourist industry with several hotels — there was no available Airbnb when I was planning this trip in the Spring of 2022. Instead, I found a hotel called Gian Martin which is in the center of town and a stones throw from the lake. I had booked the hotel through Booking.com, it was reasonably priced and had better than expected accommodations. The staff was very kind and went out of their way to ensure that we had everything that we needed — not to mention the breakfast buffet that had the best croissants we had ever tasted in our lives, along with a healthy dose of Nutella.
What to Do:
Explaining Limone and Lake Garda with pictures and video simply doesn’t do this place justice. If we ever returned to Italy — I would allocate 2 full days in Limone again. It must be a popular place for Europeans to holiday, as many locals and tourists had mistaken Andrea and I for Germans instead of Americans…
A fun fact for James Bond fans out there, the opening scene of Quantum of Solace is shot on Lake Garda.
The first night we decided to go to a sit-down restaurant of a local hotel called Hotel Monte Baldo, and we both ordered smoked seafood carbonara. It was so good I convinced Andrea to go a 2nd time. The best part was the shot of lemoncello that they give you with the check.
A few miles from the town-center is a new bike path that hugs the cliffside around the bend to Riva Sul Garda. One evening We made the round trip 5-mile walk until we could see Riva, and then made our way back.
Across the lake is a larger town call Malcesine, which was larger in size with many more tourists. One could argue that there is more to do in Malcesine than Limone, but I’m biased. Regardless, we booked round trip tickets for a morning ferry and enjoyed the 20 minute ride taking in the surrounding beauty. The ferry ride was literally my favorite part of our 2 week trip. This lake is phenomenal. Approaching the coast of Malcesine we were greeted by a castle the was protruding from the coast line. Naturally, that’s the first thing we went to see — the castle’s turret offered great surrounding views of the area.
We got lunch under a giant tree, and then continued our walk around town. Andrea spotted a gondola that was taking groups to the ridgeline of the nearby mountains. We had planned to do some hiking in the area the following day, so we passed on the Gondola. Though, I came to the realization that our tired legs could use some rest, and the gondola ride sounded much more doable. So it gave me an excuse to take the ferry across the lake once again and make our way to the top of the mountain.
We are so glad that we did because the views from the top were unbelievable. It was the Italian alp experience that we were hoping for, but didn’t think that we would get at that point of the year due to snow. There were some paragliders taking off from the top which provided some afternoon entertainment. It was also fun to have a beer at the top near a dining lodge. After adventuring as far as the snow would allow, we returned to Malcesine for the return ferry to Limone.
We took in the sunset with some Gelato and enjoyed our last moments on Lake Garda.
Our train from Desenzano to Florence departed early in the morning, which meant we needed to be packed and up to the bus stop by 5:45am. To learn more about the next leg of our trip in Florence, I’d invite you to read the next blog.