A week at Lake Garda
Flying to Verona
Flying over the snow-capped Swiss Alps, before catching a glimpse of Lake Garda as we came into land at Verona airport was one of the most incredible sights I’ve ever seen. The massive lake stretched out beneath us and the view was so clear you could see the walls of Peschiera-del-Garda and the campsite we were headed to – Bella Italia.
Verona airport to Bella Italia
We had decided not to hire a car for our holiday so at Verona airport we hopped straight on the Aerobus which took us to the main station in Verona. During the summer months you can hop on an Aerobus that takes you straight to the lake. We planned to get on a train straight away but the next available one was in a couple of hours. To pass the time we walked into the centre of Verona which took around 20 minutes to get to Piazza Bra – the largest Piazza in the city. It was so beautiful! The colourful buildings, all housing gorgeous looking pavement café’s and the incredible backdrop of the Roman amphitheatre was pretty breath-taking. After the early start and the overwhelming beauty of the city, we took a seat at one of the restaurants overlooking the Amphitheatre and decided to get right into the Italian culture with our first authentic pizza.
Feeling full, we headed back to the station and got on the train to Peschiera-del-Garda. It’s the next stop on the line and took around 15 minutes. The walk from the train station took us a little longer than anticipated. If you’ve got luggage, I’d recommend hopping in a taxi or knowing exactly where you’re going. We got a little lost, but it was lovely to see the area! A 40 minute walk later (word of advice, make sure you have water on you, we arrived during the afternoon when a lot of places close and it was unseasonably hot) we finally got to the campsite and headed straight to the main reception to check in. Once we had our snazzy campsite bands on we popped over to the Canvas reception where we were met by the lovely and friendly courier, Bronte.
We were extremely excited to be staying in a Moda and it didn’t disappoint! I have to admit, my favourite part was the decking and lovely comfy outdoor furniture. We ate every meal outside and then sat next to our citronella candle in the evenings to read. It was so relaxing! Travelling as a couple, there was plenty of space inside for all of our stuff. We cooked a couple of nights and there was everything we needed.
The Modas are situated in two avenues just off the main through-way of the campsite but it never felt overly noisy. There was just a lovely buzz as people moved and chattered their way around the site or sat outside at their accommodation.
The campsite – Bella Italia
As a Canvas newbie, this was my first Canvas Holidays experience and I have to admit, I loved it. I was so sad to leave after a week. Bella Italia is a fantastic campsite, in a great location and with everything you need on site! The site itself is beautifully kept, it’s really green and there are beautiful flowers everywhere. The pool complexes are amazing! Because of great weather, the site had decided to keep the pool complexes open as long as the weather continued. While the water was freezing, the poolside was perfect for soaking up the sun and reading a great book. We spent an entire day by the pool reading and it was bliss. The two complexes are so big that I can’t imagine it getting incredibly busy, even in high season. The facilities for kids were amazing, I was slightly jealous of the two massive aqua-play areas. The fresh bread from the onsite shop needs a mention – every morning and evening there was fresh bread which was so delicious. I always thought only France could do amazing baguettes but turns out I was wrong. I think over our 7 days we ate our way through 11 baguettes… The shop itself was perfect for everything we needed – I was surprised how cheap it was (especially the Milka chocolate!) and we never had to venture to an offsite shop which was great.
The pretty town of Peschiera was a 20 minute walk along the lake from the campsite. The back of Bella Italia backs on to the lake with the most incredible views. I say it takes 20 minutes to walk but that depends on how often you want to stop and get your camera out! The town itself is set within walls with a historic centre. The narrow alleyways lined with lovely shops, restaurants and gelaterias are perfect for wandering around, particularly as night falls and all the lights come on. We ate in the town a couple of times and it was really reasonable and delicious!
Bella Italia was a perfect base for exploring Lake Garda but also venturing further afield. We took daytrips on the train to Venice and Milan:
- €21 each way although I think it may be cheaper to book in advance. Trainline-Europe advertises it from €9.
- Takes around 1hr 15mins.
There are two trains that leave from Peschiera to Milan – a high speed, expensive one and the slower, much cheaper one. We took the slower one. The journey for the most part was lovely – you get great views of Lake Garda and Sirmione and then the Italian countryside.
- €10 each way for the slow train, €20-30 each way for the fast train.
- Takes around 1hr 40mins.
Due to timings, we took the bus to Verona and it was well worth the extra journey time (took 45 minutes instead of the 15 minutes on the train).The bus takes you through the stunning countryside, through little villages and past lots of vineyards. On your way there, sit on the left hand side (behind the driver) you get amazing views over all of the mountains surrounding the lake. You can buy bus tickets from any little newsagent-type shops. You can also buy them on the bus but I believe that they charge a little bit more for this.
I would thoroughly recommend Lake Garda and Bella Italia to anyone looking for a relaxing holiday in absolutely gorgeous surroundings. There’s so much to do in the surrounding area too that to use the great travel cliché, there really is something for everyone. One week was nowhere near long enough to experience everything so we’ll definitely be heading back, hopefully sometime soon!