The Italian Lakes

Italy is famous for a lot of things. You’ve got leather from Florence, glass from Venice, then there’s lace and silk, pizza and pasta, art and the opera, and so much more. But what they’re famous for most is wine. And everybody loves wine.

Lake Garda is just one of the several lakes in Italy and it’s filled with lush hillsides covered with vineyards. The rich soil surrounding it means it’s great for getting deep, fruity flavours.

The majority of the vineyards are family run. They grow and harvest the grapes, ferment them, mature them, and then bottle and label them. As well as selling bottles of wine, they have huge barrels full of it, which the locals can bring their own bottles to fill up for an extra cheap price.

The lake itself is the largest in Italy. So where to stay? Mountains surround the top of the lake making it a grand location. However getting there can be expensive. Hotel Acquaviva is located at the bottom of the lake in between the two towns Desenzano and Sirmione. And what’s more… it’s a spa hotel.

With a sauna, steam room, outdoor and indoor pool, experience showers, spa treatments, hot tubs and a private beach, the hotel is perfect for relaxing. As beautiful as the Italian lakes are they lack in things to do making Hotel Acquaviva an ideal choice.

Whilst a continental breakfast is included in your stay, lunch and dinner generally aren’t and the price of the food is rather expensive. However you can find several restaurants down the road. The smaller ‘trattoria’ family-run restaurants are by far the best giving you quality food for a decent price.

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(Travellers tip: If a restaurant has pictures of the food translated into four different languages it’s a tourist trap, you’ll be better off somewhere else)

And what about the two towns either side? Whilst Desenzano is rather ordinary, Sirmione is unique in that it actually extends into the middle of the lake. For 12 euros you can hire a pedalo and venture quite literally into the centre of the lake getting a panoramic view of the lake and mountains around you.

There’s also Borghetto slightly further down from Sirmione. It’s a tiny town with a huge rive running through it. A perfect pit stop on the way to Ricchi’s – one of the many, many vineyards in Italy.

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