Weekend on Lake Garda in November

November is a perfect month to enjoy the tranquility of the lake and the most tourist villages without the traffic and hustle and bustle of summer. In autumn, Lake Garda is no less beautiful ( link articolo ), on the contrary, it rediscovers its quietness and a parade of colours and essences that make it always spectacular. With the added advantage that in this season prices are lower and for those who want to enjoy moments of pure relaxation, to “ unplug “ from daily commitments, this is the best time.

Sirmione, Desenzano, Bardolino, Malcesine, Arco, Riva, Gardone Riviera and Salò, just to mention a few of the towns that offer the opportunity to enjoy a two or three day rest, enriched by visits and excursions that can also satisfy cultural interests and the desire for walks or shopping.

In this period the prices of the tourist structures are more convenient and the service is more dedicated, because the presences are reduced and the hotels that prolong the season offer interesting packages. From the lake, you can easily reach the nearby cities of Verona, Trento and Mantua, as an idea for a trip with a more cultural and artistic flavor.

Three lakeside resorts that you could visit in November are Riva del Garda, the Vittoriale di Gardone Riviera and Sirmione with the caves of Catullus and the Scaliger castle. 

Riva del Garda between history and relaxation

In the upper lake of Trentino, Riva del Garda is a town with a very special and historical charm. In this part, the Garda narrows and is set between the rocky walls of Monte Rocchetta, an almost alpine landscape. Here the water of the lake is bluer, but also colder and the frame is reminiscent of that of the Dolomites. Motor navigation is forbidden on the Garda Trentino area, so the waters are calm and silent, and you feel wrapped in true peace.
The town is rich in history, as well as natural beauty, with finds from the Roman era and an interesting medieval past. 

A walk in Piazza Tre Novembre reveals all the Austro-Hungarian charm of Riva. Sitting at one of the tables of the bars, admiring the buildings that overlook the square of the town hall, makes you feel really on holiday. The Baroque church of the Inviolata from 1603, the medieval quarter of Morocco and the beautiful lakeside promenade complete the tour for those who decide to spend a day or afternoon in Riva del Garda, between relaxation and history and maybe a lunch or dinner in a small restaurant in the center.

For lovers of typical cuisine, the first weekend of November at the Palameeting in Riva su organizes “Garda with Taste”, an event of excellent food and wine from Garda and Trentino, which offers tastings, show cooking, exhibitions and food stands.

Vittoriale of Gardone Riviera

If you are looking for a place steeped in history, but also with a breathtaking view of Lake Garda, visit the Vittoriale di Gardone, open every day except Mondays (in autumn).
The Vittoriale degli Italiani is a “citadel of culture, history and art” wanted by the poet Vate Gabriele d'Annunzio, built with the architect Giancarlo Maroni between 1921 and 1938. 

It is the place that best represents the Italian poet, playwright, military, politician, journalist and patriot, and his passions. Here D'Annunzio chose to celebrate his literary, war (in the First World War) and patriotic achievements.

The Vittoriale includes the priory, the immense museum house full of relics, personal items, theme rooms and decorations, a large park with statues, ponds and gardens, an auditorium for two hundred people that hosts exhibitions, conferences and events, plus various spaces used as museums and an amphitheater.

The museum “D'Annunzio Segreto”, set up in the basement of the amphitheatre, is one of the most interesting places in the Vittoriale. It brings together a variety of objects from the daily life of the Vate, including shoes, clothes and robes and collars for his dogs. Other museums are the “D'annunzio hero” and “The female car”. Walking through the park you reach the mausoleum, located on top of the hill, which houses the remains of the poet and the Ship Puglia, whose bow is facing the Adriatic Sea. It was a gift from the Regia Marina to d'Annunzio, in 1923.

You can book a guided tour of the museum house in advance and, in autumn, the visiting hours are from 9 to 17 (closing at 17. 30 on the weekend).

The peninsula of Sirmione

Sirmione is splendid in every season, and yet in autumn its narrow streets are less crowded and more appreciable; the main road that runs along the peninsula and leads to the castle is less busy and allows you to reach more easily the Scaliger village by car or motorbike.

In Sirmione, in addition to strolling along the center among shops, bars and ice cream parlours, you can visit the Scaliger castle, dating back to about 1250, and the Caves of Catullus, an ancient Roman villa among the largest in northern Italy, built in the first century after Christ.

The castle is a fortress with an ancient defensive function, directly overlooking the lake, which is accessed via a drawbridge over the water. In recent years, the darsena has also been restored and is now open to the public. The 146 steps allow you to reach the patrol walkways and admire the entire surrounding area. You enter the center of Sirmione passing right through the walls of the castle, this is it’s charm.

Walking along the center or along the lake, you reach the tip of the peninsula, where in a dominant position, with an exceptional view of Lake Garda and a position that often sees it kissed by the sun, there is the ancient Roman domus whose name is linked, since 1400, to the Latin poet of Veronese origin Valerio Catullo (although it seems that the villa was built after his death). Walking through the park with about 1500 valuable olive trees, which give a unique extra virgin olive oil, you can appreciate the history of the place.

The park covers about two hectares and is one of the most significant archaeological sites in northern Italy. There are the remains of an efficient thermal structure, confirming that the thermal properties of Sirmione water were already known in Roman times.
The Caves of Catullus are open to the public from 8. 30 to 17 in autumn-winter, with closure at 14. 30 on public holidays. The castle can also be visited on public holidays from 8. 30 to 13. 30, during autumn-winter, until March.