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Mantua (Mantova) or Lake Garda for a Day Trip from Verona

Mantua (Mantova) or Lake Garda for a Day Trip from Verona

Feb 6th, 2001, 06:22 PM
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Mantua (Mantova) or Lake Garda for a Day Trip from Verona

Hello Fodorites! We want to do a day trip from Verona, preferably by train or bus in March. We enjoy medieval towns and historical sites. We were originally drawn to visiting Mantua because of the Palazzo Ducale and because it doesn't seem too touristy. However, from my reading of guidebooks Lake Garda sounds good too. So now we are undecided about whether to go to Mantua or Sirmione.

Which one is more charming - Mantua or Sirmione? Do you recommend going somewhere else besides Mantua or Sirmione for a day-trip? We are already going to Ferrara (a whole day), Ravenna (a whole day), and Bologna (1 morning)....is Mantua going to be too similar to the other places in our itinerary?

Thanks in advance for your feedback!
Feb 6th, 2001, 08:43 PM
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I spent a night in Mantova a couple of years ago, but left early in the a.m. and didn't visit any attractions other than walking around the town before hitting the sack. An interesting little old town, but can't say either way whether you'd really be missing anything if you passed it by for Sirmione. I spent 2 nights in Sirmione in April that same year, and it was actually too long, as the weather was bad and I wished I had moved on a day sooner. Chances are you'll hit the same weather in March, but for a daytrip, it would be fun even if it's rainy and cold. You didn't say if you're driving or taking trains. If you're taking trains, I would recommend going to Desenzano and taking the boat up the lake from there. I would think the boats will be running on at least a limited schedule in March. If it's a clear and sunny day, it will be unforgetable! Eat at Ristorante Grifone, right on the water. And great food.
Feb 6th, 2001, 10:27 PM
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I was in Mantova for a day about four years ago and I think it is quite well worth seeing. I happened to be there on Sunday so very little was open--however--the "old" section is quite extensive to walk around in, the basilica is a fine church, there are a number of crumbling yet charming palazzos (or maybe they are only casas, I don't know), the Palazzo Ducale is said to have some good art, I didn't go inside, but strolled around the grounds. I would also recommend going down to the Palazzo Virgilio, this is a park dedicated to the native epic poet, with some nice monuments depicting the poet and scenes from the Aeneid. This would be a good spot for a picnic, also there are some cafes and pizzerias on the streets around the park. Very peaceful. There is also a very pleasant pizza restaurant near the train station which I ate in twice because everything else was closed. On the whole it seems to be a wealthy Lombardian city, not very touristed at all, and very unchaotic with the Vespas, etc, in comparison to other similar cities. So I don't think you would be disappointed by it. Also the train from Verona is great, through the Po Valley I guess, still farmland, treeless and very ancient-feeling, up to this very day.
Feb 7th, 2001, 09:50 AM
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Thanks Holly and Michael! - from your responses I am leaning to sticking with the plan to visit Mantua.

Anyone else can comment on Mantua or Sirmione as a day trip by train from Verona? Thanks!
Feb 7th, 2001, 11:05 AM
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Hi Mariarosa, both places are very nice, however for a change of pace taking into account the rest of your trip,I would go to Sirmione, providing it is a nice day, ..it is like getting inside beautiful lake Garda on foot..
do not miss the Grotte di Catullo, these
are Roman ruins at the tip of Sirmione,fantastic view...
It is not easy to give you good advise because you will be lacking an important commodity and that is TIMe, however
since you are visiting several other cities I would leave beautiful Mantova for next trip. Have a great time.
Feb 9th, 2001, 11:25 AM
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Thank you all! You have convinced me to go to Sirmione, unless it is an awful day weather-wise!
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