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  1. #1
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    Lake Garda Italy

    Just a shot in the dark, anyone with any expereince? fly into/out of Vinece? Milan? other airports? How's driving for a redneck who barely speaks intelligible engrish? AirBnB? Hotel? thinking a week but seriously don't know shit. Wait went to Ireland a couple of times, does that count? don't want to spend a ton; generally happy with three-four star hotel level shit.

    hanks Kindly MT
    "Can't you see..."

  2. #2
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    Don't worry about the language. Many people speak English

    GPS and a Translation app is key.

    Don't forget to visit Verona.

  3. #3
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    Fly to Verona or Milan, whatever works. Iíve been to Verona a bunch of times for work, and visited Sirmione on one of my trips. Driving is easy, they do have camera speed devices that work well, and theyíll send you the ticket through your rental car agency, so pay attention. I would visit Verona and Venice on your trip, since both are close and really cool. Venice really does need to be seen in person, itís so weird.
    Also youíll be near a lot of the best wineries, (Amorone), in Italy, if youíre into that. Sirmione castle:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
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  4. #4
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    Almost forgot. If you can fly into Venice do it. Malpensa is northwest of Milan and depending the time you arrive the the added stress of getting to the lake will not be worth it.

  5. #5
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    I've been there a couple of times. I've either flown into Milan directly or connected in Europe and flown into Verona. I have family in Verona so prefer that option, but Milan can be cheaper. The drive isn't really bad as far as I remember. It's mostly highway then pretty nice local roads. Once you pass Lake Garda going north into the mountains (which is a really beautiful area), then things can get twistier. I've never driven it, but I don't think it would really bother me in a small car.

    I don't really know about lodgings as I've stayed with family when I've been there, but there seem to be a ton of really nice hotels. Do you mountain bike? There is great riding around there. I had some really fun evenings on the Lago di Garda party boats celebrating birthdays and the like, but it's most fun in a group so if there is a hotel that focuses on outdoor activities, it might be a good way to make some temporary friends.

    English isn't spoken as widely as in some of the Northern European countries, but as it's a pretty big tourist area I assume you'll be fine. Exploring the mountains on your own will be a bit tougher, but as long as you're willing to point at things on the menu and eat them, you'll again be ok. And since it's italian food, you'll likely know a lot of the items anyway.

    In any case, it's a gorgeous region, one of my favorites in the world, so enjoy it!

  6. #6
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    Isn't Benny a local here?
    "timberridge is terminally vapid" -- a fortune cookie in Yueyang

  7. #7
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    Don't forget to bring this

    "Its good to be prepared"

  8. #8
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    There are a couple of very nice hotels next to Milan airport with excellent restaurants in them or next to them. Sorry I can't give you the names but both of them were enjoyable places to stay in their own right, not just because they were next to the airport. I think we found them either in the Rick Steves or Frommer's guidebook. We stayed in one on our late in the day arrival before driving on to Courmayeur and in the other one the night before our AM flight out.
    We drove a lot in Northern Italy--Milan--Courmayeur--Lake Como--Cinque Terra--Milan. (Not the best way to get to the Cinque Terra.) We don't speak Italian but driving was no problem, except that they have speed cameras. Obey the speed limit or rent a gps that tells you when you're in range of the cameras. Also, we got a ticket for driving someplace we weren't supposed to be, somewhere in the Val d'Aosta but we have no idea where that was.

  9. #9
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    So, why Garda? Lots of cool places all over Europe, and in N. Italy, including all the other lakes.
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by plugboots View Post
    So, why Garda? Lots of cool places all over Europe, and in N. Italy, including all the other lakes.
    Good question. Kinda funny. In our redneck corner of ATL the public school system (used) to have a kick-ass german language program. Really the best academic track available in the area including horrendously expensive private schools. So we told junior if he stuck with the program through high school and made As we'd let him do the german exchange student program. I mean, in 2nd grade what were the chances? Damned if he didn't hold to his end of the deal. So off he went to Nuremburg (Stein) for a month at age 15, living with a host family, then we hosted that family's son for a month. That family vacations at Lake Garda for 2 weeks every year (august) and Mrs. MT is dying to go / meet / hang out w/the parents. Me? I'd druther drink a pina colada on St. John, or ski tahoe, but that lake looks pretty darn cool.

    I suspect some of the trip will be dependent on what they are doing, but all the above helps greatly! thanks!
    "Can't you see..."

  11. #11
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    Ah, so you need a place to stay near them, prolly in the same town. I would just get a hotel on or near the lake. Itís nice to get in a rhythm of staying in the same place for a few days, and most have a restaurant, or a connection with the restaurant nearby, so you donít need to cook. Base yourself there, then drive around and see the sights, so to speak. BTW, there are hot springs along the shore. I didnít expect that. Another thing, I like to shop for ski stuff and sporting goods in Europe, because of the access to brands you donít get here.
    The drive around the lake on the East side is incredible, I drove that and went to Trento for dinner, for example.
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
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  12. #12
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    Is there swimming in lake giardia?
    watch out for snakes

  13. #13
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    Just out of curiosity... any specific reason you're renting a car? IIRC, train access to Garda is pretty good. Car would give you a bit more flexibility, but don't underestimate the reach of the European rail system. Might make the trip a bit more relaxed.

  14. #14
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    ^ sorta my question, is it really necessary? will the train get you up into simoine however you spell it?
    "Can't you see..."

  15. #15
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    I've always driven to Lake Garda, but even if you could get to the lake, I would want a car. The areas around it are so pretty (esp. to the north) that I'd want to explore a bit.

  16. #16
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    Apparently my recollection was *not* so good. Train service seems to be limited to the southern end of the lake. I may be mixing up my trips to Italy...

  17. #17
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    Kind of ski related history at the lake. The 10th Mountain Division was engaged there at the end of WWII.

    https://www.criticalpast.com/video/6...ding-in-tunnel
    A few people feel the rain. Most people just get wet.

  18. #18
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    Garda is cool. Spent four months in Verona doing a study abroad thing and would go up that way when time allowed. Mostly east and north side of the lake. Many drunken adventures were had trying to find our rooms after too many limoncellos.

    Trains sucked / were non existent to the north side of the lake, but there is decent ferry service. Several nice towns around the lake, but Garda / Arco is my favorite. Cool vŪa ferata routes (or climbing if thatís your thing) walking distance from town. Good food. Not quite so touristy (as compared to Cinque Terra, et al). We never had a car, but if I was doing it now Iíd definitely rent one.

    Second the amarone wine tastings. Valpolicella (o?) is another local favorite that I like. Verona is also nice. Check out Castel Vechhio - pretty cool museum. That whole area is filled with lesinia marble, which was favored prior to modern mining techniques due to a strange natural characteristic of splitting into roughly 2Ē sheets, kind of like plywood. You can find mines on the side of the road where they dug into the mountain leaving behind these hourglass shaped columns of marble every so often to hold the roof of the mine up. They use these sheets of marble in just about every piece of architecture they construct, just like we use plywood. Itís a pretty unique area architecturally.

    Agroturismo is pretty popular in the area as well. If youíre looking for a more interesting place to stay, maybe check out a place for a night. You have to be a little picky to find something authentic and comfortable, but think bed and breakfast on a working farm.

    Anyways - I really like the area. Just watch out for the drunken Germans.

  19. #19
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    Cool to see you around here. It's been a bit

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timberridge View Post
    Isn't Benny a local here?
    Why, yes I was, for a month a few years ago. I lived in a nice AirB&B in Verona, right next door. Used that as a base for exploring the Veneto.

    Garda is a pretty big lake. The surrounding land is pretty flat at the southernmost part, and rises to some pretty steep mountains in the north. The town of Peschiera del Garda anchors the southern part, and is on the east/west train line from Milan to Venice. So, if you stay there, Verona, Vicenza , Padua, and Venice are all accessible by train, although Venice is a stretch for a day trip. Milan to the west, although, Milan isn't too exciting unless you have business to attend to. The really big cemetery, or, the Cimitero Monumentale, was my favorite attraction. Big city vibe, though, and really nice airport with cheap flights to the USA. Lake Como is close to the north of Milan, which is a prettier lake than Garda by far, but, you ain't going there.
    If you road bike, there is an excellent bike hotel in Peschiera del Garda: https://www.gardabikehotel.com/en
    It's an Italian thing, a nice hotel with food all day and bikes for rent and guided trips. Pretty much the only place you can rent the highest end Pinarello. Nice place. Didn't use them, but inspected the place, and came away impressed.
    Rent a car, especially if you're staying somewhere north at the lake. That way, you can do a long day trip up into the Dolomites near Arraba, or an overnighter. If you've never seen the Dolomites, you have to. Just drive around and enjoy.
    As far as above mentioned cities on the train line, I'd try to get to Padua first, Vicenza second. If you're interested in art and history. Verona is ok, nice, kinda meh.

    If you're there in the summer there's an amusement park on the southeast part of the lake called Gardaland. It's an Italian take on Disneyland. Get back to us about it, ok? Looks bizarre.

    Let's do some livin'
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshall Tucker View Post
    ^ sorta my question, is it really necessary? will the train get you up into simoine however you spell it?
    No.

    Let's do some livin'
    After, we die

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