Road trip to Germany, Austria and Italy in 3 days

Part I

My friend Ana and her husband Angelo from New York visited my boyfriend and I in Munich for 10 days. They arrived on a Friday in an early morning flight, forget about jet lag, they were up for adventure from the beginning.

First visit was to the BMW plant in Dingolfing, Germany, which is the largest of all BMW plants and one of the biggest car factories in the world. That night we had a great home-made Bavarian schweinebraten mit knödel (pork roast with dumplings) cooked by my German boyfriend ❤.

In our second day we went to the magnificent Neuschwanstein Castle (New Swanstone Castle), built by one eccentric king of Bavaria, King Ludwig II, also known as the Swan king or the fairy tale king. This castle served as an inspiration for the Disney castles. You can get an amazing view of the Neuschwanstein Castle from the very high Marienbrücke (Marie’s Bridge). It is from this bridge that the king admired his castle. Be prepared for some exercise since the hills can be quiet exhausting but definitely worth it!.

Neuschwanstein Castle

View from Marienbrücke

We also visited the nearby Hohenschwangau Castle, it was the childhood residence of King Ludwig II and his brother Otto.

Hohenschwangau Castle

Then we continued our trip to the beautiful Linderhof Palace also built by King Ludwig II, the palace was inspired by the Versailles in a much smaller version, King Ludwig was an admirer of the French King Louis XIV, the Sun King. The bedrooms are filled with beautiful paintings, chandeliers and gold decorations. The garden in Linderhof is mesmerizing filled with statues, water fountains, colorful flowers and roses. A must see is the Venus Grotto (Venus Cave) an artificial cave where Ludwig liked to be rowed over a lake in his golden swan-boat, and it was inspired by Richard Wagner’s operas.

Linderhof Palace
Venus Grotto

My boyfriend is a fan of the app, great for last minute bookings (all our bookings were done through it). In our third day, we booked a night in Innsbruck, Austria, on top of the mountain, away from the crowd, we enjoyed a big and tasty Schnitzel for dinner and a complete Austrian breakfast the next day. After breakfast, we headed to the Swarovski Crystal World, which is still being managed by the Swarovski descendants. A water-spouting Giant welcomes you with his sparkling eyes and inside the giant you find yourself surrounded by a world of crystals! there is a nice park outside with a labyrinth in the shape of a hand, which we enjoyed visiting.

Swarovski Crystal World

Outside Swarowski Crystal

From there we continued our trip to bella Italia, it took 2.5 hours to Riva del Garda, North of Lago di Garda where we enjoyed a good espresso in a small punk shop, that’s where Ana and I decide to hold on to our toilet break, after we realized the bathroom only had squat toilets :P. Afterwards, we headed to Limone and enjoyed pizza, seafood and pasta by the lake. We continued a nice drive along the west side of Lago di Garda until we hit the very south of the lake, Sirmione, as soon as we arrived my boyfriend decided to jump in the rooftop pool (even though it was cold), our hotel offered bicycles free of charge, we decided to explore the city by bike at night. As a New Yorker, used to the subway and taxi commuting, I must confess I had a hard time riding a bicycle when I moved to Germany. Now that I live here I use it to go everywhere, so I must say I was very proud of Ana riding the bicycle in the narrow, busy streets of Italy when she had not ridden a bicycle for years. We parked our bikes and walked through the city center, filled with shops, restaurants, pubs, gelaterias and we enjoyed a nice view of the Scaliger castle.

Yup he did it…
Scaliger Castle
Gelato Italiano

Next day we headed to Fumane for Italian cuisine, I completely recommend this restaurant, it is the best italian cuisine I have ever had in my entire life. Enoteca della Valpolicella, unfortunately, lost in translation we had misunderstood the reservation and the restaurant was closed on that day. Since they are a family business, they were so nice to offer someone to come over to cook only for us, but we felt bad and continued our day around the area where we visited a beautiful vineyard named Azienda Agricola Giovanni Dindo and we enjoyed wine tasting, purchased a couple of wine bottles and olive oil.

Enoteca della Valpolicella
Azienda Agricola Giovanni Dindo
Vineyards in the area

We left Lago di Garda to go to Venezia, even though my boyfriend and I have been there before, it was our first time together in Venice. It is a different world, I know many people say the channels are stinky but they are fine as long as you don’t swim in the channels. I honestly don’t mind but what I do mind is the second rip off I had paying for a gondola ride, if it’s your first time I recommend doing it but it’s way too much money for a 25 minute ride.

Walking through Venice is alluring

We stayed in Pensione la Calcina, known to be visited by many poets and writers of the twenty century. The rooms were small but comfortable, very traditional and it had a nice terrace on the Giudecca Canal were we enjoyed a nice simple breakfast the next morning.

Angelo is a firefighter and my boyfriend is a volunteer firefighter so when we passed by the Fire Department in the city of Venice, Angelo knocked on the door and asked if he could look inside (we were waiting outside) and guess what? they let us in, a nice guy showed us the place around, he also showed us old time photos of the Rialto Bridge burning plus other important spots in Venice. We were even lucky to see the firefighters getting ready, dressing up and driving off in their boat.

My boyfriend such a gent, always carrying my heavy bag ☺

Was surprise of this sign “Stop mafia Venice is sacred”

Hey! I thought I will be finishing up with our road trips soon on one blog, but I have decided to make a part II of it because we did so much more back at Chris parent’s house in King’s lake, Germany, we also went to the biggest ice cave in the world in Austria, visited Munich where we currently live and we also visited another palace in Chiemsee and more…so
Stay tuned.

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