|Peschiera del Garda, Italy|
In this case, my clients are a couple who will be disembarking their cruise in Rome (which they have visited before), and then taking the train to St. Moritz in Switzerland, to take the famous Glacier Express train to Zermatt, home of the Matterhorn (from there they will fly to Zurich, then home). Bucketlist stuff.
They want to break up the journey between Rome and St. Moritz with a night or 2 or 3 in an Italian town. They have already visited Florence and Venice, and were not interested in Milan, so asked for a smallish Italian town. I happened to also know that something that had been on their bucketlist, but they had let go of, was to spend a few days in a lakeside setting in Switzerland.
With this in mind, I decided to pick the brain of one of my colleagues, who just happens to be Italan. As travel agents cannot visit everywhere, we collaborate a lot, leaning on each others knowledge and travel experiences. In this case, Marina was my ace in the hole, having lived in Italy, and travelled the country extensively.
The little gem of a town she identified for me is named Peschiera del Garda, located on Lake Garda, near Verona. Population < 10,000. I'm so charmed that. Want to visit there myself.
The following is an excerpt from the blurb I wrote for my clients, to introduce them to Peschiera del Garda.
Lake Garda, Italy
There are small resort towns located all around Lake Garda. The largest lake in Italy the north of the lake is narrow and surrounded by mountains and is well known for its water sports and outdoor activities. The choice is endless, sailing, kite surfing, windsurfing, mountain biking, hiking, climbing etc. The south of the lake is wider and with gentle rolling hills. The south of the lake also has a warmer climate than extreme north end of the lake which is cooled by a strong breeze which rolls off the Dolomite mountain valley above Riva in the early afternoon.
All the resorts around the lake have different flavour and one of the great joys of a Lake Garda holiday is travelling around the by ferry or road to soak in the local ambiance. One thing all the towns share is immense civic pride which is reflected in high standards cleanliness, lack of graffiti and the politeness of the people.
Peschiera del Garda (pop. 9,995)
Peschiera is a small charming town at the south-eastern tip of the lake Garda. Its core is located at the inside of an old Austrian fortress, where the river Mincio – the main outlet of the lake – starts to flow by four branches which form beautiful canals crossing the old town.
Officially, Peschiera del Garda is a town and comune in the province of Verona, in Veneto, Italy. The comune is part of the Associazione Città del vino ("Association of Wine Cities").
The fortress at Peschiera played a prominent part in most military campaigns conducted in northern Italy after 1400, especially during the Italian campaigns of the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars.
Piazza Maestro Giulio Battistoni (at the town's centre). Peschiera is the major ferry harbour on the lake. There are connections from there to virtually all the destinations at the shores of the lake.
Peschiera del Garda railway station, opened in 1854, forms part of the Milan–Venice railway.
Castello Scaligero di Peschiera: the fortress and the external fortifications. Originally it was a 16th century fortress which is now a walled historical centre of the town. It's listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Santuario della Madonna del Frassino (Sanctuary of Madonna del Frassino) (1511). It houses works by Paolo Farinati and Zeno da Verona.
Palazzina del Comando del Presidio (Garrison Headquarters). Palazzina with other buildings of this small island form a military core of the Austrian fortress. There is a relatively quiet atmosphere around there compared to the touristy civic centre of the town.
Scavi Romani (Roman Excavations), Piazza Ferdinando di Savoia, 11-13 (near the Chiesa di San Martino). Remains of Roman buildings (foundations) excavated in 1981. There are not much to see there, but it's free.
Top 5 Hotels in Peschiera del Garda (TripAdvisor)
1. Enjoy Garda Hotel
2. Hotel Dori
3. Hotel Garden
4. Hotel Acquadolce
5. Le Ali del Frassino
Peschiera del Garda Tourist Informatio