A drive along the eastern shore of Lake Garda in the Veneto Region of Italy is especially beautiful on a sunny fall day. Stopping in Bardolino during the Cura dell’Uva Wine Festival makes the drive all the more special.
Lake Garda is the largest and probably most famous of the lakes in Italy. It lies in a valley surrounded by mountains just north of Verona and west of Venice. The lake has a Mediterranean feel with olive trees, grape vines, citrus trees, palms and oleander growing along the shoreline. You can tour along the lake by boat or ferry, getting off and on at the lovely summer resort towns.
Bardolino is a picturesque town with a boardwalk along the pretty harbor and pebbly beach.
Pastel buildings line the busy harbor and traffic free pedestrian streets.
We were extremely lucky to find a parking spot in town because of the wine festival that was going on. The streets were bustling with people, and the cafes and bars were all very busy. We enjoyed walking along the boardwalk looking at all the wine and food booths that lined the water. People were walking around with wine glasses inside little bags hung from their necks.
Naturally all the walking made us hungry. After smelling the wonderful aromas filling the streets, we went in search for the perfect restaurant. After going up and down each street at least twice, looking at the menus, staring at other people’s dishes at the outside tables, we finally chose Ristorante San Martino.
We were warmly greeted with an aperitivo of Orange Campari and Soda to sip while we decided what to order.
Naturally being by the water, my husband chose with warm seafood with mussels for a first course.
I chose veal tonnato with capers which was delicious but not photogenic. For our main course my husband had fresh tagliatelline with shrimp, scallops and zucchini.
I had a wonderful pan sautéed sole with a side of sautéed spinach drizzled with local olive oil.
Lake Garda is beautiful. Bardolino is a wonder town to visit for a few hours or a few days. It is a great jumping off point for visiting the Lakes Region of Italy. If you do visit, be sure to try some of their world famous Bardolino red wine.