Reminiscing about Lake Garda, Bavaria and beyond
When the opportunity arose of heading to northern Italy for a travel conference, our first thought was, oh yes, this just shouts for a ‘road trip’. Our second thought was this could be similar to our Lakes and Lederhosen road trip in 2015, which we loved.
Though; this return trip enables us to discover even more locations en-route. With the conference being held in the northern Italian city of Trento, it was just a short hop, skip and a jump from Lake Garda. So, that’s one location pencilled in.
Then our minds wandered and we both said we’d like to discover more of Bavaria in southern Germany. Consequently, after some deliberation, the destinations were coming together. Of course, we couldn’t pass through France and not stay for a night. Therefore, Alsace was calling, and we settled on Molsheim.
Limone Sul Garda
Specifically, Limone Sul Garda, the picturesque old fishing village just blew me away. I must admit, we didn’t choose Limone from a recommendation. It was more the fact that the opening car scenes from the James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace were filmed nearby, that sold it to us.
Although, once we strolled around Limone Sul Garda’s attractive little harbour, with the enchanting back backdrop of high reaching mountains and opal waters at their feet, undoubtedly won us over.
If you're hooked like us and want to tour around the beautiful Italian Lakes in northern Italy, then take a look at this DK Eyewitness book.
This Top 10 Pocket Travel Guide is invaluable, I find them extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.
Another delight is that with Trento’s Austro-Hungarian past, you still feel those ancestral influences. Particularly amongst the shiny cobbled streets, and the beautifully coloured architecture on the noble palazzos.
Ohh and don’t get me started on the delicious freshly made pasta, Trento is awash with family-run restaurants.
Dachau Concentration Camp
Touring Lake Garda
When driving around the lakes, make sure you travel clockwise. This will ensure you’ll always be hugging the shores of the lake and experience unhindered views.
Don’t forget those of us who drive on the left, the Italians, like the rest of mainland Europe, drive on the right-hand side of the road.
Nuremberg Nazi Rally Ground
With the striking 13th-century Castello Scaliger, gradually coming into view and the colourful homes perched on the lake’s edge, it looked idyllic. As you stroll along the cobbled lanes, you are greeted by a beautiful harbour and Venetian-style architecture.
I understand why the Italian Lakes are so popular.
Good to know!
Italy often gets a bit of a reputation for expensive food; however, in our experience it wasn’t the case.
We dined in a couple of restaurants right at the water’s edge of Lake Garda and were paying around €8 to €12 for fresh pasta or a pizza. Which considering the incredible views, I thought was fairly reasonable.
Fuggerei at Augsburg
It’s such a charming little place. Full of manicured homes which are so uniformly laid out, in the exact same colour. With Wisteria clinging to the walls and climbing roses clambering over the doorways.
The residents still continue to pay the original annual rent of a Rhine Guilder, (which today is 0.88 Euros).
The Lemon House
Now, as the name would suggest, Limone Sul Garda has a history with lemons, and we wanted to find out a little more.
We’d spotted high across the town, tall wooden frames nestled against the edge of the mountains. So, we went in search.
The renovated 18th century La Limonaia del Castel, was such a pleasure to stroll around.
Terrace after terrace of citrus trees, wooden poles are slotted across the main beams for the lemon branches to stretch out amongst as the fruit dangles in the sunshine.
I love nothing more than planning a trip and so often I use the DK Eyewitness books. I find them extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.
We used a previous version of this book to plan our Germany road trips, now you can grab the revised copy.
Embark on your own Lakes and Lederhosen adventure, you'll be amazed how easy it is to tour around by car. If you’re flying in check out ebookers.com.
Then pick up a car from Rental Cars, they cover all budgets and allow you to pick up and drop off at different destinations.
Bugatti Museum and monastery
Gary kept this one quiet, yep, a car museum.
I didn’t realise that Molsheim was not only famous for its wine, but also the home of the elegant Bugatti.
The museum itself was reasonably small, but that didn’t stop us from popping in and catching up on its fascinating history and its exhibits.
What was also interesting is that included in your ticket price was the entrance to an ancient former monastery named La Chartreuse.
It has now been lovingly restored, and you can enjoy the delightful herb and fruit gardens, as well as the museum within the monastery.
Spend more time around Lake Garda
It’s our fault really
The views across Lake Garda were stunning, but I completely forgot that in Italy you cannot enter their churches if you are wearing shorts. So, unfortunately, we couldn’t enter the sanctuary.
Oh well, one for next time.
Tolls, vignettes and Low Emission Zone (LEZs)
France – In France you pay the tolls as you go, and I recommend using a credit card as it is a lot quicker and simpler passing through.
Austria – If you are going to use the motorways in Austria, you will need a vignette. Annoyingly the shortest duration ticket is 10 days and is costs around €9.
Germany - Be aware that some German towns and cities have Low Emission Zones. Therefore, you will require a sticker for the windscreen of your car, to signify which category your car emissions fall into.
We found the following websites useful; also, you can apply online in advance for the sticker for €6 (2019). The Urban Access Regulations in Europe details all the European emission zones and the Senate Department for Environment is where you can purchase you Germany LEZ sticker.
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Wow, Janis, you really packed a lot into that short trip! Lake Garda is one of my favourite places in the world, spent so many happy moments there since I was a little kid, with my parents, then later with buddies from uni. It is about as cool as lakes get, so big and with all those rocky cliffs alongside it.
Also love the fact you made it to Regensburg, where I used to study for one semester (until I found out that I am useless at learning Latin, so had to move to a university that only required moderate proficiency in that language, rather than the full-blown “Grosses Latinum” required in Bavaria).
It’s bizarre it didn’t really feel rushed and Gary loves driving. He felt like James Bond touring around Lake Garda. We wanted to mix up the trip with a bit of history, culture, and some delightful food and I think we ticked all those boxes.
We really enjoyed Regensburg, although our timing wasn’t great as there quite a few improvements taking place around the old town. But hey it had some beautiful architecture.