After a wonderful week in Tuscany, I headed north to Lake Garda to spend three nights in Malcesine. How surreal to pass through so many places I’ve dreamed of visiting – Florence, Bologna, Verona – without stopping. The fates obviously did not want to make me feel bad so responded with pouring rain. Instead of envy, I just felt pity for the poor tourists arriving in Florence who had to venture out of the train station into the streets where rain was falling so hard it was bouncing a foot after hitting the ground.
After a week on my own, I was nice to meet up with my mother (who’d been in the Czech Republic and Germany while I was gallivanting in Tuscany). It was still pouring rain when we arrived in Malcesine mid-afternoon, but that just gave us an excuse to settle in at a bar with a glass of Prosecco and catch up with each other. And when the rain broke, we got to see just what a beautiful place we’d landed in.
The next day the weather was perfect so first thing in the morning we took the cable car up to the top of Monte Baldo. I’d been praying for good weather since we booked our stay in Malcesine but never allowed myself to hope we’d get such a perfect, almost cloudless day. We enjoyed a beautiful morning walking around, enjoying the views in every direction, and relaxing in the sun with our mid-morning coffees. My mother broke her ankle at the beginning of the summer so that ruled out any hiking this trip but I’d love to go back one day and explore the trails. The dusting of snow on the top of the highest mountains made the views all the more beautiful.
From the cable car, we went directly to the castle, the town’s other main tourist attraction. The castle is more impressive from a distance but it did have one great charm: a wedding had just taken place and the lovely (Scottish) bride and groom were still having their photos taken on the castle grounds:
The next day, we took a boat across the river to Limone, where it was market day. Limone wasn’t anything special but a boat ride is always enjoyable. It had picturesque areas but was so overwhelmingly, unrelentingly touristy that I couldn’t stomach it. It was a relief to grab the boat back to Malcesine.
Mostly, we just enjoyed Malcesine. We walked along the lakeside promenade, ate leisurely lunches in sunny squares, and enjoyed practising our German (the majority of tourists here are German-speaking and the entire tourist industry is geared towards them – there is even a Tyrolean bakery). It was a wonderful break before heading into the bustle of crowded Venice.