Ferrara is a city in Italy. Together with the nearby delta of the Po river, Ferrara has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Although it certainly has a thriving tourism industry, Ferrara is not on the typical foreign tourist’s itinerary, which makes it perfect for those tourists who want to get off the beaten path of Venice-Florence-Rome and soak in some authentic northern Italian culture. It’s characterized by twisting medieval cobblestoned streets, a Duomo (cathedral) with a looming Gothic façade, and—best of all—a historic castle straight out of storybooks, complete with towers, moat, and drawbridges (that you can cross during the day).
Thanks to the d’Este family of astute art patrons, Ferrara contains many beautiful objects de arte, but the genuine masterpiece is the city itself. Half medieval, half Renaissance, the dual cityscape was the vision of oligarch Ercole d’Este, who hired architect Biagio Rossetti to seamlessly meld the newer section to the old. This careful planning earned Ferrara the title of Italy’s first “modern city.” Today, its captivating, anachronistic ambience is best explored on foot or by bicycle.
Touring the sites will occupy a day, but after that the best way to experience Ferrara is to relax at one (or several) of its cafes and enjoy la vita italiana going on around you.
- IAT Ferrara (Tourist Information Office), Largo Castello 1 (Viale Cavour) , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 9:30-17:30.
- 1 Guglielmo Marconi (Bologna) International Airport, Via Triumvirato, 84.
- 2 Marco Polo Airport, Via Galileo Galilei, 30/1, Tessera (Venezia).
Travel by train to Ferrara
The easiest option. Ferrara is on the line that runs from Florence to Bologna to Venice, and thus makes an easy day trip on your travels to the more heavily touristy sites.
- 3 Stazione di Ferrara (Train station), Piazzale della Stazione 2-4. Connections to: Bologna (0.5-1h, €3-€7), Florence (2-3h, €8-€20), Venice (1.5-2.5h, €6-€12), Ravenna.
- Autostazione (Intercity bus station), via del Lavoro (behind the railway station).
- A13 motorway Bologna-Padua, exit Ferrara Nord or Ferrara Sud.
- highway strada statale 16 Adriatica
- highway strada statale 64 Porrettana
Take your cue from the locals and rent a bike (at the train station, near the Duomo or interurban companies). Everyone bikes in Ferrara—old ladies in fur coats, mothers and fathers each with a babyseat on the back, studentessas in skirts and stillettos, even the police officers themselves. It’s really the most convenient way to get around this city made up of a twisting maze of cobblestone streets.
Ferrara is one of a few provincial centres in Italy (along with Lucca, Bergamo and Grosseto) where city walls were remained mostly intact. The most of the attractions of the city are inside its almost 9 km city walls.
- Castello Estense (Este castle). Oct-Feb Tu-Su 09:30-17:30; Mar-May,Sep 09:30-17:30; Jun 09:30-13:30,15:00-19:00;Jul-Aug Tu-Su 09:30-13:30,15:00-19:00. The castle, built in 1385, is the main attraction of the city. It is one of a few moated medieval castles remained in Europe. See painted ceilings, the Golden Room, the duchesses’ Camerino, don’t miss its medieval dungeon. € 8,00.
- Palazzo municipale (Palazzo Ducale), Piazza Municipale, 2. Monday to Friday 9.00-13.00. Free guided tours.
- Cattedrale di San Giorgio Martire, Piazza della Cattedrale. Monday – Saturday 7.30-12.00, 15.30-18.30; Su 7.30-12.30,15.30-19.00. It’s construction begun in the 12th century, so the lower part of the building has characteristic Romanesque appearance.
- Palazzo Costabili (Palazzo di Ludovico il Moro), Via XX settembre, 124. Tu-Su 9:30-17:00. Currently Museo Archeologico Nazionale (National Archaeological Museum) is located there. The collection of the museum mostly consists of various artifacts excavated from Greek and Etruscan tombs. € 5.
- Palazzo dei Diamanti, 21 Corso Ercole d’Este , ✉ email@example.com. Tu, W, F-Su 9.00-14.00, Th 9.00-19.00. Currently at the 1st floor it hosts Pinacoteca Nazionale (National Gallery). The ground floor is dedicated for temporary exhibitions. € 4.
- Palazzo Schifanoia (Museo Schifanoia), Via Scandiana, 23. Closed for restorations. It was the only summer residence of Este family located inside the city walls. Today the main attraction of the palace is Salone dei Mesi (“Hall of the Months”) decorated by pagan cycle frescos representing the months of a year. Unfortunately for a few centuries the frescos were plastered, so only some of them survived. €3,00.
- Monastero di Sant’Antonio in Polesine, Vicolo del Gambone. The convent church is open to the public. There are some 17th century ceiling frescos by Andrea Ferreri, also in the side chapels there are some frescoes of the school of Giotto.
- Casa Romei, Via Savonarola, 28-30. Su-W 8.30-14.00, Th-Sa 14.00-19.30. It is one of the best preserved Renaissance building in Ferrara. € 3,00.
- Palazzina di Marfisa d’Este (Villa Marfisa d’Este), Corso Giovecca 170. Tu-Su 9.30-13.00, 15.00-18.00. It’s an example of Renaissance-style villa. €4.
- Chiesa di San Cristoforo alla Certosa (Certosa di Ferrara), Piazza Borso, 50. This Renaissance church was a part of a Carthusian monastery, which is now a cemetery site.
- Basilica di San Giorgio fuori le mura. A former cathedral of the town.
- Teatro Comunale di Ferrara (Claudio Abbado Theatre), Corso Martiri della Libertà, 5. An opera house, built between 1786 and 1797.
- Museo Ebraico, Via Mazzini, 95. Closed for restorations. The Jewish Museum and the Synagogue are located at the former ghetto (along the street used to be called Via Sabbioni).
What to do in Ferrara
Take a stroll or a bike ride around the walls, either on the path that runs on top, or on the sidewalks in the park that runs around nearly the entire circumference. Good access at the end of Corso Ercole d’Este or of Via Quartieri.
- Via delle Volte (Vaulted street). It used to be a street with various shops and workshops during heydays of the city.
Local events in Ferrara
- 2 Ferrara Buskers Festival, Via Mentessi, 4. Aug. International Street Musicians Festival
- Ferrara is a fairly well-to-do northern Italian city and predictably has a good number of clothing shops, ranging from budget-fashion Zara to small, expensive boutiques. The main shopping districts are Via Mazzini (the street leading from Piazza Trento-Trieste where the campanile and Mel Books is) and Via Garibaldi (the street leading from inside the Palazzo Municipio), as well as the whole center of the city around the Castello.
- Every Saturday morning there is an open-air market set up in Piazza Trento-Trieste with a changing weekly theme—ranging from furniture to antiques to clothes to food and produce. One night a week the same piazza is devoted to an open-air candy market.
- Stop by Ferrara Frutta (the best one is on the very end of Via Garibaldi), a co-op that sells fresh local produce of excellent quality for very low prices.
Panini and Piadine
In Italian, a “piadina” is the type of pressed, flatbread sandwich that is known in the United States as the “panini.” Actual “panini” (singular “panino”) are merely normal sandwiches.
- Mordicchio La Piadina, Piazza Sacrati. M-W 12:00-15:00, 18:45-22:00, Th 12:00-15:00, F-Sa 12:00-15:00, 18:45-22:00. A little on the costly side, but for a quick bite head down Via Garibaldi to the piadina stand across from the Indian restaurant. Don’t forget to try the perfectly cooked French fries.
- Birreria Giori, Piazza Savonarola, 1. It’s the bar that looks a little like a greenhouse set up right against the moat with tables outside. With a “make your own panino” option on the menu, friendly waiters, and an ideal location literally in the shadow of the Castello, it makes a perfect lunch stop.
In Italy it is customary for each person to order a whole pizza for him or herself. The crusts are thin, so one pizza is almost exactly enough for a filling dinner for one person. Generally cheaper than a full-course meal, perfect for students.
- Il Ciclone, Via Saraceno, 36 , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Once located upstairs in an alley just off Via Mazzini, recently moved 100 meters further, this friendly restaurant offers regular meals but its specialty is pizza.
- Al Frattino, Via Carlo Mayr, 155. A small, unremarkable-looking Sicilian pizzeria which serves without a doubt the best pizza in town. Try the “Diablo” and make sure to chat with the friendly owners, even if it’s in sign language.
- Bar Settimo, Via Cortevecchia. Don’t be put off by the dingy bar at the front. At the back is one of the friendliest restaurants in Italy, presided over by the splendid Norberto. The food is simple but excellent and not at all expensive. Pizzas and Salama da Sugo con Pure are particularly good. For years it has been the favorite watering hole for performers at the Teatro Communale and Ferrara Musica. After concerts the place is very lively and, unusually for Ferrara, it closes late.
Do not leave Ferrara without trying its trademark cappellacci di zucca (round pasta stuffed with squash/pumpkin), either “al burro e salvia” (with butter and sage) or “al ragu” (with meat sauce).
- Ariosteria, Via Palestro, 99. Trattoria, Enoteca
- L’Oca Giuliva, Via Boccacanale di S. Stefano, 38/40.
- Al Brindisi, Via Adelardi,11 , ✉ email@example.com. Wooden, atmospheric, and crammed with dusty wine bottles, this charming enoteca has not only of being the oldest winebar in Europe but also as having had Copernicus as a tenant while he was a student in Ferrara. Although most come at night to drink, they also serve exclusively Ferrarese fare such as pasticcio and cappellacci di zucca for dinner (the portions are small, so make sure to eat a real Italian meal and order both a primo and a secondo).
- Il Cucco. Located on a backstreet near Via delle Volte, at Via Voltecasotto 3, this charming and inexpensive trattoria offers a variety of local Ferrarese specialties. Garden seating available in warmer climate.
- Hostaria Savonarola, Piazza Savonarola 18. Located right next to the Savonarola statue, this restaurant offers a good selection of traditional Ferrarese fare.
- Ca’ Vecia, Via Ravenna, 588, Fossanova San Marco. Located in the countryside is is a typical trattoria serving traditional dishes.
- Indian restaurant on Via Garibaldi is in fact quite good, even by non-Italy standards.
- Agapi mou, Via Saraceno, 71. Tu-Su 12:00-14:00,18:30-23:00. A small Greek restaurant with decent Greek food, though a bit pricey for the amount.
- The Piazza – If you’re in Ferrara on a fair Wednesday night, do yourself a favor and go out to the main piazza. There you will find every young person in the city (and some older ones too) out socializing at the piazza in front of the looming Duomo façade with beer in hand (acquired at Settimo or Bar del Duomo for just around €2-4). An experience not to be missed.
- Tsunami, Via Savanarola 2 (just down the street from the University). Very popular with the students, packed most weekend and Wednesday nights, also Tuesday nights which are traditionally “Erasmus Night,” dedicated to the many foreign students who spend the semester or year here.
- Il Clandestino, Via Ragno 35/37. If you can find it in the backstreets, this bar has a lively atmosphere, not to mention the board games and the craft beer from the Biren brewery.
- Al Brindisi. The oldest enoteca in Europe that can boast of having had Copernicus as a tenant when he was a student in Ferrara. Located at Via degli Adelardi, the street just to the left of the Duomo.
- Maracaibo. Located just around the corner from IBS.it Bookstore, this bar is the best place for l’aperitivo in Ferrara, mainly because a single drink will also get you a plateful of fantastic appetizers, out of which cheapskate students know they can make a dinner.
- Il Piccolo Particolare. On Via Boccacanale di Santo Stefano (a cross-street of Via Garibaldi), this intimate cafè/bar offers a good selection of wines, salads, sandwiches, and desserts with friendly service and, at one point in time, free wifi access.
- Pepe Rosa. At Via San Romano 99, this bar offers a generous and delicious buffet at aperitivo hour. Don’t forget to order the spritz, a northern Italian apertif cocktail made up of prosecco and Aperol.
Where to stay in Ferrara
- Torre Del Fondo farm holiday. Holiday apartments in a 3 stars farm holiday just 5 minutes from Ferrara. Excellent point from which to explore all of Emilia Romagna and Veneto. Historical building, completely restructured. Swimming pool, Internet Wi-Fi, Internet point, barbecues corner, large equipped garden, laundry room and internal car parking. Open all year round. Very reasonable prices.
- Casa degli Artisti – Respectable pensione located at Via Della Vittoria 66, a cobblestoned side street just off Via Mazzini. Clean, serviceable rooms at economic rates (around €25-30 per night), but beware of the curfew. No guests allowed upstairs.
- Hotel San Girolamo dei Gesuiti – A renovated monastery at Via Madama 40/a, just around the corner from the main section of the University, a pleasant 5-10 minute walk from the central piazza. Friendly and available service, complimentary breakfast as well as an attached restaurant, and the rooms are simple but lovely and clean. Well worth the price at €42/night for a single, €78/night for a double.
- Il Giardinetto Rooms. A Charming Room & Breakfast in the Historical Centre of Ferrara.
- Hotel De Prati , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Just in front to the Castle, about 15 minutes walk form the train station. Charming Hotel.
- 2 Comacchio. A small town SE Ferrara (56 km), often referred to as a litte Venice.
- Abbazia Santa Maria di Pomposa. 7th century abbey N of the Comacchio, abandoned in the 17th century.
Already eleven Corona Infections at the Pope’s Swiss Guard
In the Vatican, seven other members of the pope’s Swiss Guard tested positive for the corona virus . This increased the number of demonstrably infected guardsmen to eleven, as the Swiss Guard announced on Thursday. All infected people had been isolated, the message said. The brightly uniformed guards protect Pope Francis and his residence.
A major corona outbreak among the guards could therefore also be dangerous for the Pope, 83 years of age belongs to the risk group. The Argentinean pope had part of his right lung removed at the age of 21 due to severe pneumonia but he is considered relatively healthy for his age.
The Catholic media platform “Vatican News” reported in early October that the guardsmen had been asked to “be careful when dealing with the Pope” because of Corona. Face mask and social distancing are required, however a young man who was interviewed about his recruit swearing in (October 4th) said that Francis had already shaken his hand.
Corona measures in Italy – Italy reacts to the 2nd Wave of Covid-19
Italy introduced a nationwide facemask requirement in the open due to the increase in new infections. If you don’t wear a mask when leaving your apartment, you risk a fine of up to one thousand euros, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte recently announced. You do not need to wear a face mask when you are doing sport. The regulations do not apply in private rooms or in places where only one family is staying. Children under six years of age are also exempt from this obligation.
In view of the rising numbers, Italy’s Minister of Health Roberto Speranza also ordered mandatory tests for travelers from Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.
Another measure taken by the government shows how deep the shock of the first wave of more than 30,000 deaths still sits: It passed a law that prohibits the Italian regions from adopting measures that are less restrictive than those taken by Rome. However, you have the option of setting even stricter rules. Some regions, such as Lazio and Campania, had already decided that the public must wear a facemask.
Lombardy Coronavirus Covid-19 Outbreak Italy
Lombardy or Lombardia is a northern region of Italy, and with 10 million people is the most populous one. Producing 1/5th of Italy’s GDP, it is also the mightiest economically. Geographically, Lombardy encompasses both Alps and Prealps in the north, and relatively flat plains in the south along the river Po and its tributaries. Between them there are many scenic lakes, and the alpine backdrop makes even the low-lying cities picturesque and the air rather fresh.
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Lombardy is heavily industrialized, although most of the industry is actually not heavy, but rather mid-sized specialized machinery-building and other assembly and engineering firms, as well as consumer industries such as foodstuffs and apparel. The regional capital, Milan, is Italy’s second-largest city and the foremost centre of commerce and a global fashion capital. Smaller cities also have considerable economic might, and have had so for many centuries, hence Lombardy is the region of Italy with the most UNESCO World Heritage List sites – and simply, a lot of history and scenic views to explore and enjoy.
- Lombardian Alps and Prealps (provinces of Bergamo, Brescia and Sondrio)
- Lake Como (provinces of Como and Lecco)
- Southern Lombardy (provinces of Cremona, Lodi, Mantova and Pavia)
- Grande Milano (provinces of Milan and Monza and Brianza)
- Milan (Milano, the capital of the province) – shares with Paris the title of fashion capital of the world, and is Italy’s second city.
- Bergamo – a fairytale pastel-coloured city perched atop a hillside, and the gate to Bergamo Alps
- Brescia – a major industrial powerhouse since the Ancient Roman times, and a UNESCO World Heritage List
- Como – the city that gave the name to the popular lake
- Cremona – home of Stradivarius violins, but also a wealth of ornate romanesque architecture
- Lecco – a little and charming city situated on Como’s lake.
- Mantua (Italian: Mantova) – the Ducal Palace has a cycle of frescoes by Mantegna that no art lover should miss.
- Sondrio – the northernmost provincial capital situated amidst alpine mountain ranges
- Varese – capital of the namesake province full of lakeside resorts, just 30 minutes from Malpensa airport
- The magnificent lakes of Lake Como – take boat trips in the shadow of the Alps to the picturesque villages of Bellagio, Varenna and Tremezzo – Lake Maggiore, Lake Garda and Lake Lugano.
- The tiny village of Erbusco, home of the award-winning wines of Franciacorta and L’Albereta, the country inn of Gualtiero Marchesi, one of Italy’s premier chefs
- The peninsula of Sirmione, on the south shore of Lake Garda
- The Caves of Catullo, an archaeological site of a former Roman villa situated on the tip of the Sirmione peninsula
- The Sirmione Spa, the largest privately owned thermal treatment centre in Italy
- Val Camonica : UNESCO heritage site, medieval towns, castles, holy art in churches, roman sanctuary and theatre/amphitheatre, ski sports.
- Oltrepò Pavese : Wine region in the utmost southern part of Lombardy, 70km from Milan, part of the Pavia province, medieval towns, castles, stunning views.
The Longobardis occupied the Peninsula in the 6th century, and the territory has been named after them ever since.
Lombardy is a prosperous region with fertile soil and a temperate climate. As in Piedmont, the Po Valley is the site of much heavy industry. High mountains in the north, marking Italy’s frontier with Switzerland, provide excellent skiing and climbing.
Three of Italy’s four busiest airports are in Lombardy:
- Milan Malpensa Airport is an intercontinental airport, and Italy’s second aviation hub after Rome Fiumicino. It has multiple direct connections to Africa, Asia and North America, as well as across Europe, where it is served by both full-service and low-fare carriers.
- Milano Linate is Milan’s city airport, served by business-oriented flights to European major commercial centres, as well as a dense Italian domestic network.
- Bergamo Orio al Serio Airport is served almost exclusively by low-fare carriers, taking advantage of its proximity to both Milan and the Alps.
Despite only Linate being in the city and province of Milan, all three airports are marketed as serving the city. One can easily get to other destinations in the province from them, without necessarily changing in Milan. There is also a small airport in Brescia, which in recent years has seen next to no scheduled traffic.
Travel by train to Lombardy
Road and train links connect the region with Switzerland. As Switzerland is not part of the EU, there is a possibility that you will be delayed by checks at the border, although these are infrequent and usually not rigorous. Remember your passport.
There is a relatively dense railway network connecting cities and towns in Lombardy, although the layout is intricate and getting from one place to another may not be straightforward. You should be able to reach your destination within 1 or 2 hours by train. Otherwise, buses and minibuses link important destinations, especially those popular with tourists. Hubs are usually in regional centres, as well as near major railway stations and airports; you can try to change there if there are no direct connections. Regional train network is entirely managed by Trenord.
Regione Lombardia offers a good travel planner that lets you query the whole public transportation system.
If you plan to travel a lot, it might be worth buying a io viaggio ovunque in Lombardia pass ticket. Those tickets let you travel without limit on the entire public transport system in Lombardy, including regional trains, buses and city public transportation systems, but excluding some ferry boat lines. Although expensive, they can easily be a cheaper option than regular tickets if you travel long distances. Passes are sold at railway stations (at ticket box or automatic vending machines) and at ATM automatic vending machines. You can buy 1, 2, 3 or 7 day passes (16€, 27€, 32.5€, 43€ respectively – February 2020).
The railway company Trenord offers some good travel packages, under the Trenord Free Time name. The package usually includes a ticket to an attraction or a trip proposal and a train ticket to get to the destination. Most of them are really useful only if you depart from Milan. It’s worth to take a look at the offers as they can also suggest you some new or lesser known itinerary that you may like.
As the Autostrada A4 runs across Lombardy, with the road system radiating from its junctions, you can get around by car as well. The A4 frequently gets congested though and traffic jams can be long and excruciating, especially around Milan. Be aware that Italians drive fast and make no allowances for foreigners, so be sure you are OK with keeping up with the traffic and occasional displays of impatience from other drivers.
Milan, Bergamo and Brescia have efficient and extensive public transportation systems.
What to see in
- Milan Fashion Weeks draw crowds of fashionistas to Milan every year.
- La Scala in Milan is a mecca for opera aficionados.
- You can enjoy water sports or more relaxed boating on the lakes.
- The Alps offer opportunities for hiking or skiing.
Lombardy’s most famous culinary inventions are minestrone soup and osso buco (literally “ox knuckles”). To the west of Milan lie miles of rice fields, where the rice for risotto alla milanese is grown. Other typical dishes of the area include salumi (cold cuts) and polenta.
As in many other areas of Northern Italy, the aperitivo (pre-meal drink with appetisers, for which a small supplement might be charged) is very popular.
The wineries in Franciacorta, around Erbusco, produce many excellent wines. The region has been elevated to the status of DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita). Other remarkable zones for wine are Oltrepò Pavese (which is the zone around Pavia on the south banks of Po river) and the countrysides around Garda Lake.
Valtellina also produces excellent wines, famous for their strong taste and flavour.
As every big city in the world, Milan has also many high quality restaurants, wine bars and Enoteche (wine store) where you can find high class wines from all over the world.
Where to stay in Lombardy
Large cities, like Milan, Bergamo or Brescia, are important business centres, so they have sizeable bases of business-oriented hotels. They are local hubs with connections to destinations within their provinces, and getting between them is also reasonably quick via a variety of means of transportation (trains, express buses or cars across the A4). Do note that accommodation in Milan is generally expensive, and prices skyrocket during major events or fairs, such as the Milan Fashion Week.
Destinations along the lines of the lakes, as well as those in the Alps, are popular with tourists, so you will find a variety of accommodation options there, from luxurious resort hotels to simple B&Bs.
While Milan features many of the usual tourist traps and con acts, as well as sizeable number of pickpockets due to the number of tourists there, other destinations are generally safe, and you can feel secure and welcome there. Do note, however, that in case you need to contact the police they can have very limited English skills and also may not be able to help foreigners much.
To the east is Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto, to the south is Emilia-Romagna and Piedmont is to the south and west. Switzerland lies to the north.
Current Covid-19 Infections in Italy, Lombardy
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Timeline of Covid-19 Infections in Italy, Lombardy
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Lake Garda Coronavirus Covid-19 Outbreak Veneto
Lake Garda is a lake in the north of Italy, and the surrounding region. It is a popular holiday location.
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The lake is situated at the border of the Po river plain, with the north part stretching into the mountains.
The north of the lake seems to be more suitable for the people who enjoy a quiet, peaceful holiday, but a bell rings from the Northern most town of Riva Del Garda often early in the morning. The south has a theme park and a few man-made beaches so is for the more outgoing, adventurous person.
Lake Garda map
There is a handful of small towns scattered all around Lake Garda. Some of the towns from the north clockwise to north-west are:
- In Trentino-Alto Adige
- Riva del Garda
- In Veneto
- Malcesine – for Monte Baldo – a ski resort in winter, and trekking site in summer
- Brenzone sul Garda
- Torri del Benaco
- Garda – among its attractions: Villa Albertini – one of the most splendid villas on the lake
- Bardolino – a home for homonymous vines
- Lazise – a small picturesque town with a tiny old harbour and a medieval castle
- Peschiera del Garda – see an old Austrian fortress, and the river Mincio – the main outlet of the lake
- In Lombardy
- Sirmione – located on the peninsula to the south is has a 13th-century castle and the ruins of a Roman villa, attributed by some to the famous Roman poet Catullus
- Desenzano del Garda – the largest town on the lake. It has good ferry connections to other destinations on the lake
- Salò – is a nice lake-side town notoriously known for being a capital of the Republic of Salò at the end of WWII
- Gardone Riviera – a small town known for Vittoriale – an eccentric (like its former owner) estate of Gabriele d’Annunzio with a large park. Giardino André Heller is another place worth a visit.
- Limone sul Garda – gets its name from lemons! Lemon trees grow throughout it, and is a lovely view
NB: Bear in mind that the town of Riva del Garda at the north tip of the lake is different from Garda, which is near the other end of the lake.
All people speak Italian as a first language but basic English is known. Many locals also speak fluent German as this area is a popular tourism destination for Germans and Austrians. As with anywhere in the world, it is good manners to learn some basic phrases in Italian.
Fly to Lake Garda
Verona Airport is the nearest airport, located 15km away to the south. Brescia-Montichiari is 30km to the south-west. Bergamo airport is 80km away. Milan Linate Airport, Milan Malpensa Airport and Venice airports are 100km away. Brescia-Montichiari is served by charter flights, while the others have many regular connections.
Cheap Flights to Verona
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Desenzano del Garda and Peschiera del Garda are the closest railway stations on the South of the lake. The closest station on the North is Rovereto.
- Nothern shore is connected by a number of bus services with Trento and other destinations in Trentino including the railway station of Rovereto. But also some buses from the eastern and western shores arrive to Riva del Garda, Arco, Nago-Torbole.
- Eastern shore is mainly served by ATV Verona. In Verona buses towards destinations on the lake leave from the railway station Porta Nuova or from Corso Porta Nuova (the boulevard just south of Piazza Bra). It takes about 2–3 hours, depending on lakeside traffic (which can be heavy), to reach pretty towns of Malcesine or Torbole. Get a timetable (orario) from the tourist office. Tickets can be bought from a tobacco shop down the road or on the bus.
- Western shore is covered by Trasporti Brescia. In Brescia buses towards the lake depart from Autostazione SAIA. For schedules check Arriva site or use a route planner at the Muoversi in Lombardia.
- A few locations at the south could be also reached by bus from Mantua.
Perhaps this is the most convenient kind of transportation for the locations along the lake shores. Gestione Navigazione Laghi provides regular ferry services in the area. A fast ferry takes about 2½ hours to cross the lake from the South to North. For schedules and tariffs check their online search service or get a schedule from the download page.
A car ferry connects Torri del Benaco at the E shore of the lake with Toscolano-Maderno at its W shore. In summer another car ferry connects Malcesine with Limone sul Garda.
Boat taxis are also available. Perhaps it’s a better option than a regular taxi, as the later one will cost you more money and it will take longer to travel.
See Get in section for connections by bus around the lake.
Rental bike service companies, easy biking itineraries at Garda Lake Region. The northern part of Lake Garda offers Europe’s probably most spectacular offroad trips, mostly on rough military roads from the First World War. Riva del Garda is a fine starting point, with trips ranging from easy to the most demanding and rewarding, like Tremalzo.
At the Isola del Garda
There are many historical places and buildings around the lake. The architectural style is mostly traditional Italian vernacular, which is very picturesque. There are also many classical-style churches, grand houses and castles. There is a large church is located at the northernmost end of the lake.
- Isola del Garda (near S. Felice del Benaco, just a short boat trip from Salò and Gardone Riviera). only by guided tours, see tours schedule. It’s a private island with a villa and a beautiful garden. €27 – €35 (including a boat trip).
Peddle boats or peddlos are available to rent throughout the lake although there are boundaries you must stick to as you are given a certain amount of time and that life guards are regular throughout the water.
In Malcesine take a cableway to Monte Baldo. Beautiful views can be seen from the top, and a small shop/restaurant is there. For those who get a re-instated fear of heights going up at the start, fear not, as there is a halfway stop.
In Bardolino you can visit the Zeni Winery and Wine Museum, to see the museum, and then, of course, buy some wine.
In Sirmione try famous sulphur springs or enjoy its beaches.
On the south of the lake in the vicinity of Peschiera del Garda there is big theme park Gardaland. It is a theme park for everybody, whether it be thrill-seekers, kids at heart, or just stressed out parents.
As per usual, fine Italian cuisine is sold. This consists of pasta, pizza and many other traditional Italian dishes. But other options are available such as German, American and British style foods. Italian ice-cream is fresh and homemade- great for those who have a sweethtooth. Ice-cream shops are common, with some sprouting out of shops and restaurants. Some “gelato” (ice-cream-like treat usually made in the shop) shops have 50+ flavors. Smaller shops with only a half dozen flavors might be more enjoyable. These seem to focus on the flavors they offer, and making the decision on which flavor to choose will take much less time. Breakfast is not the same as English or American breakfasts so be careful when you ask for full board. Breakfast at Le Paul in Sirmione, has English and American style foods. They even offer cereal.
Where to Drink at Lake Garda
Always drink plenty of water or other fluids as weather can be very warm.
One of the most popular summer drinks in the area is the Aperol Spritz. Obtained by mixing Aperol, Prosecco wine and sparkling water. Usually served in a glass with ice cubes, and a straw. Can be garnished with a slice of orange, and served with green olives.
Where to stay at Lake Garda
Many shops have outdoor stands and stalls, even if a shop is indoors, so always carry the receipt with you. Bag theft is not uncommon as in theme parks, lines often have a bag drop off point, which in turn is left unattended. If your bag is stolen it is usually left in the street with just your wallet or camera/phone stolen.
Lake Garda Photo Gallery
Veneto Coronavirus Covid-19 Outbreak Italy
Veneto is a region in north-eastern Italy, with its capital in Venice. It was an independent republic until the invasion of Napoleon in 1797.
- Venice – with St. Mark’s Square, the Great Lagoon, the gondolas on the Grand Canal, Venice’s Carnival together with great architecture, artistic masterpieces, particular narrow streets, the Biennale, the Marine Republic, but Veneto is not only Venice.
- Castelfranco Veneto – is a walled city, with its medieval castle still in nearly-perfect condition.
- Cortina d’Ampezzo – in the province of Belluno, is part of the Veneto as well. A place with spectacular views of the South Tyrol where you can relax and walk in summer and go skiing in winter. The Olympic Wintergames in 1956 helped Cortina d’Ampezzo to become a city known anywhere in the world.
- Padua , the ancient and learned city with its Basilica del Santo that houses the relics of Saint Antonio is one of the major attraction points for millions of pilgrims every year.
- Verona – The city of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. If you plan to go to Verona you should at least try to get one of the rare tickets for the opera in the Arena.
- Lido 10 minutes from Venice, the golden beach
- Bibione – seaside town
- Eraclea – seaside town close to Jesolo
- Jesolo – large seaside town near to Venice
- Quarto d’Altino – situated about 15 minutes, by train, from Venice’s main island
- Valpolicella – world famous wine region north of Verona
- Lake Garda- the largest Italian lake, and a well known tourism destination
Get a map of Venice with the water bus routes. You can see major parts of the city just by getting on and traveling the canals around the major islands.
Just sit in St Marks Square and watch the pigeons, listen to the music, watch the people go by.
The Venetian glass is beautiful.
Be careful about the time of year you go to see Venice. It is under water some times. Planks are put out to walk when the sidewalks are not walkable. If you go the right time of the year, it is a beautiful city and well worth the trip.
Carpi Coronavirus Covid-19 Outbreak Emilia-Romagna Italy
Carpi is a city in Emilia-Romagna. Carpi could be a nice stop in your trip from south to north of Italy on the Modena-Brennero motorway.
- IAT Carpi, via Berengario, 2. M,F-Su 9.30-12.30, Tu-Th 9.30-12.30,16:00-19:00.
Fly to Carpi
The closest airports are in Bologna and in Verona .
Travel by train to Carpi
- Stazione. Carpi railway station is placed along the railway connecting Bologna to Verona.
- Autostazione, Piazzale Allende, 2.
Travel to Carpi by car
Exit for Carpi is located along the A22 Motorway Modena-Brennero.
Distances by car: about 1 hour from Bologna, about 20 minutes from Modena (Major City of Modena District)
Historical center better visited by feet (it is included in a traffic-free zone). Rest of city can be traveled by car. And – why not? – by bicycle!
Sightseeing in Carpi
- Piazza Dei Martiri. The 3rd biggest square in Italy, about 300 mt long and 150 wide. It is flanked by a portico with 52 columns.
- Palazzo dei Pio (Town hall). Initially the castle of the Pio family. There are two museums inside: the City Museum and Second World War Prisoners Museum.
- Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta (Cathedral).
- Santa Maria in Castello (Chiesa della Sagra). The parish church (Pieve) built in Romanesque style, façade (1514) designed by Peruzzi.
What to do in Carpi
Participate in the town marathon (first weekend in June) or in the national marathon (mid October)
Have a walk also during wintertime under the porches, arcades running along main center roads to cover your head from bad weather or hot sun.
Shopping in Carpi
Shopping in the city market (on Thursdays and Saturdays morning) or in the many shops (mostly textile wares). There are many shops around the square that specialize in selling particular goods, many of them clothing, but beware that much of it is pricy, as Carpi is known for its fashion.
Where to eat in Carpi
Lot of good and interesting things! Filled-in pasta (tortellini, tortelloni) with different fillings (meat, pumpkin, cheese, herbs) and sauces (cream, butter and herbs, meat ragù). In winter, foggy weather deserves hot “polenta” (mais flour knead with water) to be eaten with roasted sausages, beans with tomato sauce, mushrooms in sauce. As dessert, you can taste the Zuppa Inglese (literally English Soup), a sort of pudding composed of vanilla pudding, chocolate pudding, soft biscuits (Savoiardi) and a bit of liquour.
Obviously Lambrusco! Three main denominations are available: Grasparossa, Sorbara, Salamino di S. Croce.
Where to stay in Carpi
In town there are 3-4 hotels (Touring, Duomo etc.) but you can find some bed & breakfast facilities on the countryside surrounding the town.
- Fossoli – 5 km West from Carpi, you can visit the remains of the concentration camp during Second World War.
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