Northern Italy Road Trip: Sirmione, Lago di Garda

Sirmione, Lake Garda

After breakfast in Levico, we drove a quick 1.5 hours down to the southern end of Lake Garda to spend two days in Sirmione. While the northern parts of Gardasee are overrun with German tourists, Sirmione is overrun with a healthy mix of nationalities. 

Sirmione: looking down the peninsula towards the mainland

Sirmione is a small medieval town at the tip of a long, skinny peninsula that juts up into the lake. Most cars have to park outside the city walls, but thanks to our hotel’s old town location we were allowed the privilege of driving three blocks through a narrow, winding, cobblestoned, tourist-packs lane. I think walking would have been faster, and less stressful.

pizza and wine

This put us in the mood for pizza and wine, which luckily are easy to find in Italy. La Roccia did the job, offering us a covered outdoor terrace where we could stay dry in the midday rainstorm.

Sirmione: strolling to the end of the peninsula

The sun came out after lunch, perfect weather for a stroll out to the tip of the peninsula to visit the Grotte di Catullo, ruins of a palace intermixed with an olive grove.

Sirmione: you have to admit, these are some lovely ruins

I have to admit, ruins usually don’t do much for me. Perhaps it’s because most ruins lack this view.

ruins with a view

All of a sudden, we realized we had been in Italy for more than 24 hours without eating gelato.

dark chocolate and pistachio gelato

Dark chocolate and pistacchio from Gelateria Mancini (highly recommended) filled this urgent need, leaving us fortified for another half-hour of sightseeing.

I love a good castle

We visited the Rocca Scaligera (the castle guarding the old town), climbing the tower for more sensational views, this time from the other end of town.

the view of the old town from the castle

Next stop: an outdoor table at Bar Moderno for some people watching over aperitivi and stuzzichini (the little snacky things served with aperitivi).

aperitivo time

We tried not to nibble too much, as we had much-anticipated reservations at La Rucola, one of the fancier eateries on our itinerary.

flying mini hamburgers and egg custards

I do love a good dash of haute cuisine now and again. The meal started with greetings from the kitchen such as egg custard served in the shell and flying mini hamburgers.

olive oil droppers, and some fancy butter

Olive oil came pre-loaded into plastic droppers, ingenius little vehicles for getting it onto bread without making a mess. (I think I’m going to require my parents to start traveling with these.)

scallops, all fancy

La Rucola specializes in seafood dishes. Scallops with ginger, mushrooms, lemongrass, and potatoes; seabass ravioli in artichoke puree with clams; shrimp with asparagus, cauliflower puree.

a seriously ridiculous pre-dessert spread

Dessert came accompanied by a jewelry box of delicious things, a ridiculous selection that we felt compelled to sample from extensively. Towering over the scene were handmade lollipops of fudge, licorice marshmallow, and white chocolate. The mini creme brulees were my favorite.

a closer look at the desserty jewel box

All this reminiscing about food is making me hungry; day two in Sirmione is going to have to wait for another post.

the actual dessert I ordered: yummy, but superfluous

Related Posts with Thumbnails

4 thoughts on “Northern Italy Road Trip: Sirmione, Lago di Garda

  1. Food porn is right! Wow, I have never been to any restaurant quite that fancy! We’ll be in the overrun-with-German-tourists part of Lago di Garda next week – but it never bothers me because it’s just so beautiful! I don’t think my kids would appreciate much about haute cuisine, unless it has Pizza Funghi. Will have to wait until they grow up :)
    Saskia recently posted..who are you???

  2. What a spread! Even though I’ve been living in another olive-oil-happy country, Spain, I’ve never seen those oil droppers before.

    This restaurant gets major props for the creativity of jewelry-box chocs!
    Cassandra recently posted..Ode to a street

  3. @Frau Dietz – I know what you mean. Munich has entirely too much land, too.

    @Saskia – Agreed, the German-overrun part isn’t so bad. There’s a good reason why everyone goes there!

    @Cassandra – I’d never seen the droppers before, either. I hope they catch on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Link to my last post with Commentluv