jeudi, juillet 22, 2010

Bardolino Revisited

Lake Garda (at Bardolino) at 5pm

Hub called when we were bathing among the ducks and fishes in the lake at Bardolino on our 2nd day. He wondered if we would return home to dine with him since we'd abandoned Gardaland much earlier than planned. I was touched that he seemed so eager to see us again, though of course I would discover later that it was probably because he was very very eager to show us his new iPad. Men and their gadgets...

Our bit of the pebble beach with view of the hotels and camping leading to the Old Town

Anyway we decided to stay put after taking a poll among the children. They loved the lake (it was a really hot day) and wanted to dine and eat gelato at Bardolino before we left. We've discovered a nice part of the lake just opposite our hotel in Bardolino. The hotel wasn't in the centre of the town, but you could walk there (along the lake) in less than 10 minutes. Bonus was that parking was free and that our part of the lake was best for swimming in (though make sure you bring rubber shoes as the pebbles hurt). Hotels are very expensive in the Garda area, so I wouldn't stay in the town centre (with its parking restrictions) anyway. As it was I paid 4* prices for a 2*.

The first night, we swam in the lake at 8pm. The sun set around us (lovely) and we just towelled ourselves dry and walked to town for dinner. We ate at Ristorante Biri that had top ratings on Tripadvisor - but then many tourists provided the ratings so I would be careful with them. We had beef for our main courses and the meat was very good. The staff was friendly and at least one of them could speak Dutch, but I'm sure that it couldn't be the "best" restaurant in Bardolino. Prices were normal, the 4 of us ate for less than 100 euros.

The kids using their goggles to watch the fish swimming in the water - there were lots of them!

The second night, the boys wanted to eat pizza (but I didn't) so we compromised and went for a restaurant that would serve both pizza and other food. I went into a side alley thinking that it would be better not to eat facing the lake (too touristic). The food was very good there! The pizzas were among the best that I've eaten (and I've eaten many pizzas) and what was worth mentioning was the Risotto ai Funghi Porcini that Baby Girl had - it was delicious. Creamy, not undercooked and rich in mushrooms. Then, when I asked to pay by card, the waiter led me through the building (it was big!) to the other side was actually Hotel-Ristorante-Bar-Pizzeria "Catullo" - with its main terrace at the port. But I suspect that the menu and prices would be different if we had gone in through the chic main restaurant.

Baby Girl in her new Monsoon swimsuit (minus one tooth)

And when it came to ice cream - we went back again and again to Gelateria Cristallo. The gelato was really good there, the portions very generous for the price - though the service sucked. The girls working there pulled long faces and were abrupt. I hate being served by people who didn't like what they were doing. But the gelato was very good. Try the solero ice tropical. They have plasmas showing you how they made their ice cream.

Trip was very tiring but good. It was an easy drive too (1.5 hours each way) and we were fortunate to have the Lancia Phedra which was comfortable to be and drive in. I complain alot about having to drive everywhere (e.g. for our daily needs), but I do enjoy the opportunities for travelling that being able to drive gave me in a country like Italy. I will miss that when we move to big cities that would be too chaotic to drive safely in.

Ristorante Biri
Via Solferino 13
37011 Bardolino (VR)
Tel : 045 721 0873

Hotel-Ristorante-Bar-Pizzeria "Catullo"
Lungolago Lenotti 8
37011 Bardolino (VR)
Tel : 045 721 0911

Gelateria Cristallo
Piazza Matteotti 1
37011 Bardolino (VR)
Tel : 045 721 0045

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