Our honeymoon to Venice, Tuscany, Capri and the Amalfi Coast was the start of what will doubtless be a lifelong love affair with Italy - and, hopefully, with Mr Fluff ;)
Steeped in history, art, architecture and all manner of scenic and culinary delights, this is a country that offers up endless pleasures and possibilities. We’ve since visited Florence, Rome and the island of Elba, but this time we headed north to the gorgeous shores and aqua waters of Lake Garda.
With its medieval history, 13th century castle and pretty port, Malcesine is arguably the loveliest town on the Garda shores – and Hotel Vega one of the loveliest places to stay. This family run hotel is situated right on the edge of the lake – a ladder from the sun-drenched deck leads you directly into its depths.
When our time ran out we regretfully packed up and left Hotel Vega, driving until the green swell of the mountains gave way to the urban landscape, red rooftops and Renaissance towers of Bologna.
|Top: Juliet's balcony, Verona|
We were there for just a day and a night with a mission to explore its culinary delights, particularly the ragu (Bolognese to us outsiders). We also enjoyed the buzzing student quarter and fell head over heels with our accommodation: Antica Residenza d'Azeglio is an ornately decorated gem, run by the charming Roberto with his equally welcoming uncle, Agostino. Each room is exquisitely decorated with frescoes, antiques and murano glass chandeliers, and although technically a B&B, this is in a class of its own.
Finally it was on to Verona (where we flew in and out of with Aer Lingus), and a two night stay in the tasteful, tranquil Corte delle Pigne. Our host Elisabetta couldn’t have been more accommodating and laid on lots of little touches – like a communal fridge stocked with complimentary mineral water – that set this place apart. Verona itself is charming and romantic, with its meandering streets, traditional osterias and of course, Juliet’s balcony to explore.
|Sampling the local Amarone at sunset|
Watching our first opera – Rigoletto – under the stars in a 2,000 year old Roman amphitheatre was also an unforgettable experience and one I would highly recommend.
Have you fallen in love with Italy yet? Where would you suggest we go next?
Check out what beauty bits I brought with me here!