Experience the city life in Venice & Verona along with the tranquillity of Lake Garda. How we squeezed Venice, Verona & Desenzano into one unforgettable weekend break!
Day I: We flew from London Stansted into Milan Bergamo airport. The flight only cost £32pp: http://bit.ly/2jbQZWj.
Find out how, on this link: https://travelthroughlifehannah.wordpress.com/2016/09/10/weekend-escape/
Milan Airport (BGY) is around 80km away from Lake Garda, the train is by far the cheapest option to arrive into the Lakes, costing us 7 Euros each. Generally there is one change either in Breschia or Treviglio if you are heading towards Desenzano Del Garda. We chose to stay in Desenzano due to the transport links, making it really easy to use the trains to travel around Italy.
I booked our train tickets on my mobile using Go Euro (link: http://bit.ly/2en6xl2) The site is so easy to use, really mobile friendly, meaning as soon as you make a booking online you can download your tickets save them to your iBooks which allows the ticket inspector to scan your ticket straight from your phone using the QR code – It is as simple as that! It is much easier and cheaper than paying for your tickets from the kiosk, I can’t recommend it enough! Some of the tickets we booked minutes before the train was due to arrive using the app.
We arrived at the Hotel Bonotto, which is located in Desenzano Del Garda. We booked a lake view room and the view from the balcony was worth every penny. We didnt think we could get a better view, we were in for a big suprise, the real show stopper is when you go for breakfast as there is a panoramic view over the lake, it is such a beautiful peaceful setting!
The hotel was in a perfect location, it’s a 1 minute walk to the lake, 2 minute walk to the town, 2 minute walk to the harbour and 10 minute walk to the train station. (approx. 8.50 Euros in a taxi to the train station if you have heavy bags!)
Hotel Bonotto: http://bit.ly/2elpXFU
We had a little wander into the town and we found the cutest little pizza place called Al Fattore, located in the main town of Desenzano. It was super cheap too, only 28 Euros for 2 pizza’s and a bottle of wine, which was a surprise for a popular tourist town.
Day II: Verona & Venice.
We did some research over dinner & decided to head to Verona in the morning, it is only 20 minutes away on the train also it only cost 3.60 Euros per ticket – Result! We caught the 09:00am train, meaning we arrived into Verona by 09:20. Verona Purto Nouva is the main station in the City, only a 15 – 20 minute walk straight down Corso Porta Nuova into Verona. We walked directly to the Piazza, which is absolutely beautiful, even on a rainy day!
Then we headed into Castelvecchio Castle, which has beauty around every corner. Then we wandered around the Piazza’s including Piazza Bra & Piazza Dei Signori. Then we headed to Torre dei Lamberti, The Basilica, Santa Maria Antica & Arco Dei Gavi – Lovely morning spent wandering around the city!
Day II Afternoon
We walked back to Verona station to head for Venice, again we booked on the Go Euro app for 8 Euros each & is approx. a 1.5 hour train journey and we arrived into Venice for 3pm.
WOW what a STUNNING train journey, Venice station is right on the Grand Canal, pulling into the station was pretty impressive…….
This is our second time visiting Venice, the first time was back in 2014 when my Fiancée proposed in a restaurant called Riviera which is towards the end of the Grand Canal, it is a beautiful peaceful spot, which is sometimes hard to come across in such a busy city. The food in Riviera is unbelievable, the views are even better! More pics and menus can be found here: http://bit.ly/2dFGJC2
Gondola Rides: There is always time for a Gondola Ride! They are around 80 Euros for 40 minutes – Which is completely worth it in my eyes, as you get views like this! You can either prebook them beforehand, or flag down a Gondola man when you are in the City (They are round most corners, in their amazing stripy t-shirts and matching hats!)
Piazza St. Mark’s square is beautiful, BUT super busy. We tend to sprint through to get to the beautiful views over the Grand Canal at the water’s edge! There are plenty of bars and restaurants in the square, but they are really busy and the most expensive in Venice. You are much better walking through the square, towards the canal and take a stroll across the water front to find a much quieter, cheaper and much prettier spot to enjoy a refreshment break!
We love to slowly wander around, finding quiet little spots to admire the view with less people. With that in mind, we started a mission to find another favourite restaurant of ours, which is Luna Sentada. Luna Sentada is pretty hard to locate, as it is in a lovely quiet location, down a narrow side path. Both of our phones had lost signal meaning we couldn’t use google maps we had no choice but to get lost! The exact way how we found it last time!! We very nearly gave up as it was getting later and later, however at 6pm, we turned a corner which we both really recognised…..We both laughed and couldnt believe our eyes, we had been searching for ages, but sure enough when we turned that corner, there it was! Luna Sentada & 5000 wine bar. Two wines please!
If I give you one tip for Venice, it is to purposely get yourself lost, walk off the main streets & down the many side streets, where hidden gems await! ‘Take it all in, explore, adventure, turn corners and appreciate the most beautiful city in the world.’
Day II Evening:We caught the train from Venice back to our hotel in Desenzano del Garda. We caught the last train at 7:30pm from Venice (be sure to check Go Euro’s train timetable for the last train during your trip)
Desenzano: Lake Garda
Day III Morning: We went for breakfast in the Hotel Bonotto at 7:00am to catch the sunrise. (WOW) I would really recommend an early morning rise to catch these stunning views. We took a stroll around the lake as a final goodbye before we needed to leave for our flight at 10am. It didnt take long to find cute little spots along the way!
Have you explored Italy by train? Let me know below! What are your top tips?