Epsom and Ewell Group

2012 Riva del Garda

Jenny Lampin sent us this report of the group's 2012 holiday:

"On 2nd May 2012 a party of 25 of us set off on an early morning flight for walking holiday around Lake Garda. We arrived at Verona in brilliant sunshine convincing us that some of Europe was experiencing summer even if we weren't in England. We were staying in Riva Del Garda at the northern end of the 30 mile long lake, which is the largest in Italy. 

Garda holiday May 2012Having settled into our hotels, Bob Perkins led us on an afternoon walk up Monte Brione, the smallest of the Dolomite mountains. From there we had splendid views not only of the surrounding fells and across the lake but particularly of the small town of Torbole and its bay which is a renowned water sports centre. As usual Bob had put together a programme of interesting and varied walks for the week. The next day we travelled by bus to Largo del Tenno.

Unfortunately at this stage both Daphne and Mike decided separately to test out different aspects of the local health services. Luckily both were sufficiently recovered in a few days to join in the social programmes. We wish them both well.

Largo di Tenno is said to be the clearest freshwater lake in Italy. Surrounded by woods, it is a lovely azure colour and it shores provided one of the most beautiful picnic spots we have had. The walk down the mountain took us on cobbled and stony paths and through the medieval village of Canale where there were few concessions to the twenty first century apart from the occasional power cable looped unobtrusively outside the houses. Our thanks go to Tricia and Muriel who stood in for Bob and very ably led us on the walk (and again later in the week on the walk from Lake Ledro).

Garda hol May 2012 8On day three we walked up the valley to the ancient town of Arco. Not content with having a flat walk we then had a strenuous climb up to the medieval castle, taking in the gardens of the Archduke's arboretum on the way. The castle had a powerful defensive position perched high above the plain and afforded magnificent views of the town and surrounding olive groves. Inside some of the rooms were frescoes of knights and court ladies.

Other highlights of the week included a visit to the small town of Malcesine. Here we had the market to explore, the option of a trip up the fells in the cable car with a winding walk downhill back to the town, or a visit to the castle. Approached by a confusing maze of streets no wider than footpaths, Castello Scaligero di Malcesine was well worth visiting. Standing in a commanding position it provided brilliant views of the lake. It was extensively restored in 2008 in a sensitive way. There was attractive planting of flowers and shrubs and an interesting variety of exhibits presented in a particularly artistic manner. The group even passed a wedding party just leaving this popular venue for civil weddings. 

Garda hol May 2012 3The last day saw us travel by bus up to Largo di Ledro and walk back through attractive countryside, past lakeside houses on stilts and through small hamlets finally picking up the old road to Riva. Everyone agreed that this was a lovely walk.

Whilst in Riva we made the most of the local amenities including cafes serving cappuccinos & delicious ice creams, as only the Italians can make it, and bars serving beer and prosecco. Some people even found time to shop and visit museums. We would like to thank Bob and Daphne Perkins for once again arranging an excellent holiday!"

Photos: S Jarvis

Sunday, April 22, 2018