Starting to plot a trip to Northen Italy in late May. I just found out we will coincide with one stage of the Giro d'Italia if we choose these dates. It is the stage starting in Limone, heading through Riva, and then onwards... This is a first trip to Lake Garda.
I had read many good things about Malcesine and was considering a base there before moving on to Lake Como. (Venice before Lake Garda).
It would be nice to see the riders go through. My Mom and I really enjoyed watching two stages of the Tour de France in 2009.
If we stay in Malcesine, we definitely won't see the start in Limone. The ferries don't start that early. I am not even sure we'd see them go through Riva because it would probably be pretty early as they pass through there, too. We are likely to have a car but not certain - and driving from Malcesine to Riva to find a place to park and watch could be an issue on the fly. Meaning: would we get up very early to drive and park only to find out we just missed them.
A long winded way of saying: how doable would it be to go from Malcesine to Riva, early morning, with certain unknown roads closed for this ride? Depending on timing of riders, how early are the ferries running? I have no problems with doing a dry run the night before the race to get our driving bearings. For the Tour, the roads that were closed the day of the race were marked leading up to it so you knew ahead of time.
Finally, would Riva be a better and prettier place to stay than Malcesine? Malcesine looks fairly central/more convenient, but is it as pretty as Riva? Less, more?
Seeing the Giro is a "very nice to do" but not a "must do at all costs". I'll go out of my way to see it but not at the expense of a three day base that will leave the other 2.5 days inconvenient. If that makes sense. This will be the third time we were "kind of close" to the ending of the Giro and we haven't made it yet. This year we will be VERY close, if we go as planned.
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Malcesine, Riva del Garda, or Limone del Garda (3 night base)