A couple of weeks ago (time flies!) I was in Italy for a family celebration. We had a great time and made day trips to Lago di Garda and Venice. I love coming back to Vicenza: the smell of fresh grass under the sun, the lilting accent, the delicious food, the stunning architecture… This time all the family got together, so it was even more special. Here you have lots of pictures of my Italian getaway (and some travelling tips) if you’d like to see!
The region of Vicenza has a stunning countryside. The landscape is beautiful: vibrant green shades that keep changing from the fields to the mountains. Lots of farm houses have been restored and turned into wonderful condos, small hotels and restaurants. Like this one….
For our family gathering, we chose this incredibly beautiful trattoria: Da Beppino. I can’t recommend it enough. If you happen to visit this region, you should stop here. Located a short drive away from Vicenza, it’s the perfect place to taste the best local products and cuisine and enjoy the warm Italian hospitality. It has a lovely rustic yet elegant decor and I can imagine it would be a wonderful venue for a destination wedding! (See our tips about destination weddings here and here).
Risi e bisi, sopressa vicentina, baccalà mantecato or a la vicentina… many are the local specialities that will make your taste buds jump for joy. But their signature dish is the goose cooked at low temperature during 40 hours. Tender, tasty and delicate.
One day we decided to drive to Lago di Garda and spent the loveliest day in Sirmione. This village is located in the province of Brescia and it has one of the best views of the lake because it is placed in a tiny peninsula, so you will have lake to your left, lake to your right, lake dapertutto! You will enter the city center through the castle. Other main sights are the small churches of Sant’Anna della Rocca, Santa Maria Maggiore and S. Pietro in Marvino.
We spent the day wandering through the little alleys, eating the best Gorgonzola ever and enjoying the lake views. I wanted to make a little cruise around the lake… but you know, nine family members together… coming to an agreement is certainly difficult! But if you visit the area, I totally recommend it. Besides, they can pick you up in your restaurant if you eat by the lake. How cool is that?
Sirmione is famous for its termal baths, so it’s a fantastic destination for a spa weekend. We didn’t stay there, but the Palace Hotel Villa Cortine would be a great option for a forget-about-the-world-and-just-relax getaway. It has the most famous garden in Sirmione overlooking the lake, an impressive historical background and a luxurious atmosphere. My last tip about Sirmione: eat some ice cream! there are thousands of ice cream shops in the city center. So indulge in a nice cone of your favourite flavour!
Of course, I couldn’t leave Italy without visiting my beloved Venice. I share my passion about this magical city with my great aunt, so we spent my last day in Italy enjoying our favourite place in the world.
We stopped at this fruit stand in Campo San Barnaba. This boat has been selling fruit here for ages. It’s a nice alternative to the fruit stands at Rialto market, much quieter and with a local clientele. In fact, you can see lots of mums buying fruits for their kids before they come out of a nearby school. We bought strawberries, salad and fondi di carciofo that we ate that night at home.
We crossed the Grand Canal with the traghetto. I managed to take that picture above while trying not to fall into the water, arguing with the gondolier, and helping my great aunt who was having the time of her life. She loves this unsteady public transport. You had to see her face, she was enjoying every second of the short ride.
Sunshine and Venice… I couldn’t ask for more.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this super long post. Have you ever visited the the countriside in Vicenza or Lago di Garda? If you have some tips about this areas, please leave them in the comment section!!