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Wednesday, June 26, 2024

E-Biking the Ponale Road, Riva del Garda Italy

Riva del Garda is a little town and resort haven on the north end of Lake Garda in northern Italy. I dare you to visit and not fall madly in love with this European lake town that is a haven to bike culture. For starters, I had never even heard of Lake Garda (Lago di Garda), Italy's largest lake. It's relatively long and "sliver shaped" and boasts 25 famous picturesque villages like Riva del Garda and Limone to the north and Sirmione to the south.

The town itself is worth the visit, walking around the shops and restaurants with the sweeping views of Lake Garda, but it feels criminal to not take part in the bike culture. The entire drive in to the town is a relay race with speedy cyclists and the atmosphere downtown is no exception. The restaurants all have bike racks and cyclists are often enjoying a beer or gelato out in the sunshine. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Hiking to the Sanctuary on the Summit of Monte Isola

On our last full day in Italy, we decided to end it with a hike to the sanctuary on the highest point of Monte Isola. If you missed the post all about Monte Isola (Europe's largest lake island), you can read it here. While a relatively easy afternoon hike for Adam and I, the elevation and distance was going to prove to be a hurdle for our three year old. Our original plan was to take the bus most of the way, to the last stop on the island for the shuttle in the town of Cure. From there, it would be about a 20 minute walk along the trail to the sanctuary. 

Our plan started to get a bit muddled when we started to plan out the details. Information on the shuttle schedule is very confusing (remember, not a touristy place) and the sign on the ferry made it seem like the shuttle to Cure was a continuous thing. Turns out, we missed the first shuttle and then found out it would be over an hour for the next one. The real kicker? The next shuttle was also after the sanctuary gates closed at 6pm, defeating the whole point of the hike. The good news was that I had packed my Omnibaby kid carrier and we also had or Cybex Libelle travel stroller and just decided to hike a bit, enjoy the view, and turn around when we felt like it.