I had never really thought of Lake Garda and Verona as big places on my travel “to do” list, but MB insisted we get out of London one weekend in early November. It’s been about a year since I was last in Italy (S. and I took a trip to Sicily in November 2015), and I was missing it chronically, so I decided to go.
We landed in Verona’s tiny airport about midday on a Thursday, and decided we’d head to Sirmione, a town that juts out into Lake Garda, for a few days before heading back to Verona at the weekend.
We decided to save time and take a taxi rather than the bus. A taxi was about €60 and 30 minutes, and the bus was €10 and 2.5 hours. Since the weekend forecast was rain, we wanted to squeeze every minute we could out of the sunny day.
We arrived at our hotel, the Hotel Sirmione (which also has a spa). I would have blogged about it, but I was in a huge rush to get out and about, so forgot to take photos before we mustled up the room. I would highly recommend it though! More on the hotel in a bit…but here’s a view from our room just to entice you.
We threw our bags down and got out and about as quickly as possible so that the day didn’t pass us by.
We walked through the town, which is quite small, and found a nice little trattoria for lunch and ate leisurely, enjoying a bottle of local red.
We then continued to walk around the lake after lunch. The town itself seems pretty tourist focused, and has lost a bit of its charm, more than likely, because of that. You have tons of tourist oriented shops, and loads of hotels, and not much else. But that’s okay. The views of the lake more than make up for it. They are breathtaking.
Sirmione is pretty small so you can walk the entire town up and down, side to side (it being a peninsula and all) pretty quickly. I’d recommend walking as much as you can! Every place that you can see the water, it looks different. And on a clearer day, I’d imagine the view of the mountains is fantastic.
We walked all over the public trails (there are a lot of private trails for people who are staying at swanky hotels) to the overlook point where there’s an amazing panorama of the lake. There’s an ancient ruins there, which we were too late to enter, but it looked beautiful (if not touristy).
I honestly think November is a great time to go to Lake Garda. There were still a lot of people around, and the weather was chilly (but bearable!). However, it wasn’t rammed as I’ve read it is in the summer. I can’t imagine being able to appreciate this beauty if there were hundreds of people milling around.
One thing that is kind of a bummer about Sirmione is that everything closes very, very early. There were a few restaurants open in the town for dinner, but they were mostly hotel restaurants. We opted for a quick dinner at the hotel, and hit the spa. I’d definitely recommend staying at the Hotel Sirmione if spa-ing is your thing. They have an indoor/outdoor hot pool. We watched the sunset from the pool, and then sat in the sauna. It. Was. Amazing. And very relaxing.
The next day we were blessed with sun, even though rain was in the forecast. We had spa treatments in the morning, and then went to the old fortress. The fortress was built ages and ages ago, and if you climb to the top, you can see the whole town.
I hope you aren’t afraid of heights, though, because you’re pretty high up if you get to the top.
This is SO the place to come watch the sunset, though.
And you get a very good appreciation for how narrow the peninsula is!
Try Lake Garda in November. Remember, the restaurants may all close early, but the thin crowds and amazing views are worth the chilly air and fewer choices for food.