Our stay in Lake Garda – the other side – Limone and Sirmione

As I explained in my first post about Lake Garda, we stayed for 2 nights there, being one in Malcesine, and the second in Limone Sul Garda.

After visiting Monte Baldo, it was now time to get into the car and drive to the other side of the lake.

The views along the way were again amazing, it is such a stunning ride, this time with more and longer tunnels, but nonetheless worth it. We stopped briefly in Riva del Garda for lunch, a nice antipasto (again) and a coffee. It was getting late so we did not have much time to see Riva and headed soon after lunch to Limone Sul Garda.

The name of the town, does not derive from the Lemons it is so famous for, but yes from the words “limen” that means border, or “lima”, which means river. It acquired its present name only in 1904. Under the administration of Venice – La Serenissima, the town evolved to be a well known producer of citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges and citrons.

Limone sul Garda is famous today for its lemon groves, its exquisite olive oil, and for the longevity of its inhabitants.
In the 1970s, a pharmacologist from Milan discovered that the residents of Limone have a mutant form of apolipoprotein (called ApoA-1 Milano) in their blood, which causes a healthy form of high-density cholesterol, resulting in a lowered risk of atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases.
This protein, in association with a healthy Mediterranean diet, rich in local fish, olive oil and citrus fruits, and with particular climate conditions,  has given the residents of Limone a longer life span, with a dozen people now over the age of 100, for a total of about 1,000 residents.
It has even been possible to attribute the origin of the mutation to a man who lived in Limone in the mid-17th century. The mutation has been passed down thanks to the isolation the village has experienced for a long time. (https://www.italymagazine.com/dual-language/limone-sul-garda-italian-village-where-residents-live-over-100-years-old)

In Limone I had booked our stay at hotel Mercedes, and it was again spot on. The most beautiful views over the lake and Malcesine on the other side, a great restaurant, beautiful views from the restaurant and swimming pool, large size room, with a balcony, and above all, the kindness and welcoming staff (maybe, apart from the funny and talkative Gioachino in Florence – I will post it later – the best hotel staff so far). It was such a perfect stay, that I will surely be back for more.

“We passed Limone, the mountain-gardens of which, laid out terrace-fashion, and planted with citron-trees, have a neat and rich appearance. The whole garden consists of rows of square white pillars placed at some distance from each other, and rising up the mountain in steps. On these pillars strong beams are laid, that the trees planted between them may be sheltered in the winter. The view of these pleasant objects was favored by a slow passage, and we had already passed Malcesine when the wind suddenly changed, took the direction usual in the day-time, and blew towards the north.”
(Italian Journey, J. Wolfgang Goethe, 1816–17)

Limone Sul Garda belongs to the Brescia Province and is located at the northern end of Lake Garda, with impressive and magnificent cliffs that dominate the landscape. Limone is one of the most popular destinations in Lake Garda, and is a delight to walk around due to the picturesque historical center, narrow streets, shops and restaurants and the cute harbor – which is in fact the heart of the town – Porto Vecchio.

Enough of talking, leaving you now with a collection of photographs.

After a long day and exhausted, we took a taxi to the hotel, had a lovely dinner followed by a glass of wine on the balcony, admiring the quietness and the views, and had a good rest.

Next day, a gorgeous breakfast (the most complete breakfast from all places I stayed in Italy), and time to go back to Verona, stopping at Sirmione to see the beautiful Castle and views.

Sirmione is located on the south side of Lake Garda, in a 4km thin peninsula that divides Desenzano and Peschiera gulfs.
It has a rich historical past, that includes the Scaligero Castle (remember the Scaligeri family I talked about in my post about Verona?). Scaligero Castle is stunning, dates back to the 13th century and you can climb the tower for a beautiful view of the old town and the 100 shades of blue and green of the lake.

The old town centre, is small, with narrow alleys, and is totally free of cars. It was packed with tourists but still walkable and we took a time to stroll around before getting back to the car (parking is a real challenge) and departing to Verona.

It was now time to leave lake Garda and continue our 21 day Italian holiday. Back to Verona to take the train to Florence. Stay tuned for the next posts

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