verona and Lake Garda, possible?

Old Jan 18th, 2011, 04:09 PM
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verona and Lake Garda, possible?

hi everyone, i´m going to italy in August, and i´m going to spend 2 nights in Verona, but i´d realy like to visit lake garda.
is it possible to visit the main atractions of verona in one day and visit the lake garda in the other?
is lake garda worth the visit?
What can we do and see there ?
thanks again guys
sorry about the english!
karencorreia is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2011, 04:16 PM
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Yes and yes !
Train to Desenzano on the lake and take the lake ferry from there.
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Old Jan 18th, 2011, 06:24 PM
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No and no. Verona is a lovely, midsized city with attractions that require at least two days, especially if you go during the Opera Festival, which is a must do even if you don't like opera. And Lake Garda is beautiful, but the main towns on the shores of the lake are very touristy -- the areas that you would want to see require a car, unless you just want to take a boat ride on the lake.
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Old Jan 18th, 2011, 07:35 PM
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Without a car, using the ferry on Lago di Garda is problematic. It is a huge lake and the best scenery is far north. Even the hydrofoils take a long time to travel the lake, and the other ferries are very slow. You certainly will see only a very small portion of the lake in a day, and the part you see will be its least amazing areas.

As pgoodpasture points out, the shores of the lake are very touristy -- and covered with modern condominiums.

If you don't care about any of those things, then follow bobthenavigator's advice. Just be sure you know that the boats you want to take dock in Desenzano. Another dock is in Peschiera del Garda.

I suggest you not view your trip to Italy in terms of "main sights." It is pointless for you to go to the art museum in Verona or the opera if you don't care. Many people consider "Juliet's balcony" a must-see in Verona -- but it has no authenticity and is a tourist trap.

The fact that people you don't know shout at you that something is "worth it" doesn't mean much.

In August, Italy is hot and humid everywhere, and many "cool" destinations are packed to the gills.

Think about what kind of experience you want in Italy in August. It can be fun to follow the pack. But it can also be a disappointment and an irritation. Depends on who YOU are. There are many places to go that are beautiful but less touristed if you don't want to follow the pack.
zeppole is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2011, 11:20 PM
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ok...i´m cofused now!!!
i´ve seen pictures of the lake, and it is beautiful, but at the same time i´d love to see verona for real...
i have to consider that i´ll be on a buget....
what should i do??? i´m going with my boyfriend...we will visit: milano, verona, venice, firenze, bologna, pisa and roma...2 days to each city and 3 for rome...verona seems beautiful, but at the same time smal...
what if i speen, the day in the lake and the night in verona, and then visit the verona in the other...
the ferry is that complicated?
realy...what should i do????
karencorreia is offline  
Old Jan 19th, 2011, 02:31 AM
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Verona has a lovely and well preserved colliseum right in the main square of the town. Then there are some nice churches and the rest isn't worth a full day.

Lake Garda has excellent scenery in the North at Riviera del Garda and Malcesine and busy but scenic places like Sirmione in the South. You have to accept that you don't have enough time to do that much with two nights but Verona and the Lake are only 45 mins apart.

I'd stay at the lake, do a day trip to Verona by hire car and use that car to do a Lake tour. It's much quicker than the ferries and you get the choice of where to stop.

August will however, be very busy however you do it.
Lifeman is offline  
Old Jan 19th, 2011, 03:44 AM
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Yes, you can do both.

In Verona, I'd visit the arena, stroll the streets to enjoy the beautiful buildings and riverside views, do a bit of shopping, and find a decent restaurant for a good meal in the evening.

For Lake Garda, I'd hire a car (if poss) and tour the middle and upper sections, which I think have the nicer scenery. It is very doable in a day. You could also potentially drive up into the mountains on the east side of Lake Garda - the views are breath-taking and there are various small villages where you can enjoy lunch or an ice cream on terraces overlooking the Lake far below.
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Old Jan 19th, 2011, 07:12 AM
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With only two days, if you want to see the lake I would just take the train from Verona to Desenzano-Sirmione, and then visit Sirmione. It's a small, lovely town, also with some roman ruins. This is the southern part of the lake, which is not the most scenic, but the scenic northern part is too far away for such a short time.
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Old Jan 19th, 2011, 08:24 AM
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Sorry Lifeman but I must disagree. Verona is "worth" several days. Other than the sites you mention there are excellent museums, street life, a Roman ampitheatre, architecture, etc. etc.
Excerpts from my Verona TR:

Verona is a nice place. A really nice place, and I don't think the common half to one day run through does it or the traveler justice. We had intended to do a day trip to Mantova during our Verona stay, but after losing a day because of the airline snafu and all of things to do in Verona, we skipped that. My earlier thead describes our arrival, the Hotel Torcolo and the wonderful restaurant directly across the small square from the hotel.

We bought the Verona card and used it over the next few days to see: The Arena; Torre dei Lamberti; Casa di Giulietta; Tomba di Giulietta; Teatro Romano; Museo Lapidario; Museo di Castelvecchio; and, various Chiesi.

A little more about the Hotel Torcolo. The rooms are basic, clean and nice. The heart of the hotel however are the two sweet old ladies, Sylvia and Diana who own the hotel and Caterina, who is usually on in the afternoon. They will knock themselves out to suggest things to see and do as well as places to eat. They seem to get joy and pleasure in assuring a good stay for their guests. Sylvia said that when she retires, she will just sit in Piazza Bra and give advice to tourists. I can believe that.

Our first day was cloudy, and cold. Verona had a recent snow and there was still some on the ground. There was an ice skating rink set up in the Piazza Bra and together with the festive lights, it made for a lively atmosphere. The recent snow made our visit to the arena a slippery adventure.

Verona is a wonderful walking town. We took the first of what were many walks down the upscale Via Mazzini to the Piazza Erbe. Piazza Erbe appears to be the heart of the city and is filled with stalls selling all sorts of things, from food stuffs to tacky things for tourists. We shared a cone of hot chestnuts as we walked. Adjacent to the Piazza Erbe is the Piazza dei Signori AKA Piazza Dante, for the statue of same located there.

As would become our pattern, we spent a lot of time just walking around and taking pictures of what is a very photogenic city.

Dinner on the evening of our first full day was at a restaurant just off the Piazza dei Signori called Giulietta and Romeo. We chose that place since we wanted to sample some typical Veronese dishes that we cant get at home. Sylvia said the restaurant would be good for that sort of thing, but was not necessarily her favorite place. Arriving at the restaurant, we could see that it was quite popular and there was little English to be heard. Keeping to food theme of things that we can't get at home, my primi piatti was a pasta with a sauce made with donkey meat and my secondi was horse meat with polenta. Mi Chica, who doesn't eat meat, thought I was crazy, and ordered a polenta with gorgonzola. Both of my dishes were ok but not things I would order again. Mi Chica's dish was something else. The polenta was fine, but was overwhelmed with two huge slabs of warm gorganzola. One has to be a real gorganola fan to enjoy that dish.

About some of the sites we visited: We much enjoyed Castelvecchio and the walk there. On the way we stopped at a little Chinese restaurant (G-d forgive us) and had a very decent and inexpensive lunch. The walk from Piazza Bra to Castelvecchio passes some interesting stalls along the street. Castelvecchio in addition to the structure itself, has a very interesting mixture of antiquities and paintings making for a most pleasant few hours. The bridge views make for some great photo ops as do the distant snow capped mountains.

The Teatro Romano is as would be expected, a Roman theater with wonderful city views. Attached is the archeological museum - a must see.

The Museo Lapidario was also interesting and located at the city gates - Piazza Bra.

The Torre dei Lamberti is the tower at the Piazza Erbe and gives a commanding city view. Although the Verona card includes admission to the tower, use of the elevator is extra. Be advised though that the elevator only goes about 2/3 of the way up. Mi Chica was standing next to the bell when it was chimed. I think that she is still vibrating but her hearing has recovered.

What can you say about the Casa and Tomba di Giulietta other than they make good tourist attractions. The Casa of course has THE balcony where young ladies (and not so young) can reach out their arms to their Romeos taking photos below. We saw the museum since it was included in the card. It is nothing I would pay the full entrance fee for but had some items of interest. The "Tomb" is a good walk across town and the attached museum is more of the archeological variety and has some interest. At the Tomb itself in a sufficiently spooky room one can watch would be Giuliettas climbing into the sarcophagus to be photographed in full tragic pose. This can be amusing if you arrive in the right frame of mind.

Some more on restaurants. As you can see, our taste runs to where locals frequent and we usually find good food at decent prices. One restaurant that should be on your list in addition to the the one across from the Torcolo is the Pere D'Oro, a family run place not far from the Teatro Romano. They specialize in Pasta that Mom makes while Dad manages and the kids wait tables. You may need reservations since they were turning people away while we were there.

Our last day and night in Verona was a good one, our luggage having finally arrived. We had a late last dinner at the restaurant across from the Torcolo and spent some time talking to our waiter - who is also the manager- Paulo, after all of the other guests had left. He is a most interesting fellow and we learned more about the city and about the restaurant business.
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Old Jan 19th, 2011, 11:12 AM
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karen, yes, it can be confusing. Especially with so many places you want to see and so little time to see them in.

When you say "...we will visit: milano, verona, venice, firenze, bologna, pisa and roma...2 days to each city and 3 for rome..." do you actually mean two nights in each of these places, with one day between, or do you mean three nights in each place with two days between?

I ask because travel between each of your chosen cities, and checking in and out of hotels, trundling luggage, including timing your travels around the train and bus schedules, etc, will eat up a good bit of your time and energy. So if you actually plan two nights at each stop, you will have nowhere near two days in each.

You will see itineraries like this on some coach tours. They can do it and make it work (though arguably not very well in many cases) because they have a tried-and-true system which takes you from place to place on a coach dedicated for your use that runs on their schedule. They get you up and out early in the morning, bustle your luggage onto the coach for you, and they're off - to a rest-stop 2 hours down the motorway, with perhaps a drive-by of Bergamo, lunch in Vicenza, an afternoon stop at Lake Garda, and then on to Venice for two nights. Where you will have one day, before starting the cycle again the morning of your "day 2 in Venice."

I recommend you sit down with a piece of paper, a calendar, and plan out each of the days of your trip, including a generous allowance for travel time between cities. If you arrive in Verona from Milan one afternoon, stay the night (night 1 in Verona), see Verona the next day, stay that night (night 2 in Verona), and intend to move on to Venice the next day, where are you going to put Lake Garda? As a quick drive-by on the way to Venice? Do you see what I'm getting at?

I'm not trying to discourage you from one plan or another. I love Lake Garda, and Verona too. But the way you have it now, you're likely to miss the best of both, and what's the point in being there if you do that?

If it were me, I'd leave off some of your cities and save them for another trip at another time. I'd concentrate on seeing the northern area well, and perhaps add in "firenze, bologna, pisa". Or I'd concentrate on Rome, and perhaps add in the south of Tuscany. If I had a flight out of Rome that can't be changed, I might do "milano, verona, venice", if my heart was set on those three, then take a fast train to Rome for at least three days. If the Rome flight can be changed, I'd save Rome for another time.
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Old Jan 19th, 2011, 11:27 AM
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what julia said.

we spent a week's holiday in Garda [the town] a few years ago, co-incidentally in august. It was VERY hot. our routine was to get an early boat to somewhere we wanted to see, do our sightseeing in the morning, have a nice lunch, get the boat back, and have a long dip in the hotel pool.

if you stay somewhere like Garda, you can easily get to both ends of the lake as Garda is in the middle, and all the boats, including the fast ones, stop there. if you stay at either end, it is really difficult to see the other end in a day trip.

in 14 days/nights, you could do a very nice trip by flying into Venice [or Verona, there's a airport there too], then getting the train/bus to Garda, spending a week or so there, then going back to Venice [or onto Bologna] via Verona.

in august, i would not try to combine milan, venice, verona, rome, bologna, pisa and Florence in one trip, unless I had 6 week, not 2.
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