Garda Town

Garda Town, Italy

Not only is Garda Town picturesque and charming, but it also give us a double whammy of beauty! Because it is located in a perfect position on Lake Garda, we have beautiful mountains and stunning views across the water. Certainly, there is a photo opportunity everywhere.

Garda Town

Snuggled into a small bay on the lake, Garda is just a short ferry ride from Lazise, Bardolino and Sirmione. We visited for a day, but realized that it would make an excellent home base. From Garda Town you can easily explore the southern or northern lakeside villages. Moreover, please make sure you explore amazing Verona in you are in the lake area! It is only a short 40 minute drive away and absolutely worth the visit.

Garda Town

It is a delight to walk around the narrow cobbled alleys with all the cafe’s, shops and restaurants. You can buy numerous local products and unique clothing at the many shops in Garda Town.

Lake Garda
What a view!

In Garda, you can wander along the long curved promenade and find a beautiful relaxing spot to enjoy some gelato! Honestly, it really is beautiful and you’ll want to have photo shots everywhere!

Garda Town

Although, during the summer season, restaurants and bars along the promenade are a hive of activity, whether it is day or night. Not to mention, this is the place to people watch while enjoying a gorgeous setting.

Equally important, just about every sport can be had in Garda town, both on and near the Lake. Such as sailing, rafting, swimming and other water sports. On the land there is biking, hiking, climbing and horseback riding. In parts of Lake Garda, you can even find hang-gliding. 

Garda Town Pictures

Here are some pictures of our day in Garda Town! All in all, I would say that it is definitely worth a visit. And remember, it is very close to Gardaland, which has rides, shows an aquarium and much more. It is great place for family fun!

Lake Garda
Enjoy the beauty and have fun!

Eze France

Eze, French Riviera

Words are hard to describe the charm!

Eze is perched high up on a mountain top with stunning views of the sea in the French Riviera. It is one of the most beautiful medieval villages I’ve ever visited. There are narrow cobblestone streets that twist and turn among stone houses. The only way to access this village is by foot as there are no roads or cars. You’ll find hot pink bougainvillea, ivy and flowers growing everywhere. Browse or shop in the boutiques, art galleries and jewelry stores along the winding walkways. The twelfth century church dominates one aspect of the unique hilltop village, and is classified as an historical monument. 

Eze French Riviera

In addition, let me say a word about the food here – excellent!!! Really amazing, fresh, delicious French food.  Everything – fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, etc. are all carried up to the restaurants by foot, as  the village is totally pedestrian. Eze is well worth a visit if you are in the French Riviera.

French Riviera

The BEST of EZE……..

Here are some of my favorites in and around Eze.

EZE HOTELS

Chateau de la Chevre d’Or (Castle of the Golden Goat)

Pool and view at Chateau de la Chèvre d'or in Eze, France

Luxury: This is a one of a kind luxury hotel perched on a hilltop in the village of Eze. The views are stunning and the rooms are scattered throughout a portion of the medieval streets. Take in the magnificent scenery as you are in a very special area.
The accommodations, service and staff are amazing, as well as the beauty of the entire property.   In addition, there is a gym and small pool. Please be aware that this is quite an expensive hotel,  however, you will feel like you’re in paradise.

EZE B&B’s

Bastide aux Camelias

B&B Eze Village, Bastide aux Camelias

Village Suite

This B&B owns two properties. The first is a XVI century charming guesthouse in a quiet, relaxing area only a 5 minute drive from Eze Village. It has an amazing sea view, pool and beautiful garden.

 

Next, they have the Village Suite, which is tucked away in Eze Village. I highly recommend the Village Suite for a wonderful experience because you are right in the heart of the medieval village. The rooftop terrace has stunning views of the coast. You really feel like you are walking back in time.
Address: 23 C route de l’Adret,

EZE RESTAURANTS

La Chevre d’Or (The Golden Goat)

Fine Dining: Upscale gourmet restaurant and bar with stunning views and delicious food.  Expensive but worth the splurge. Amazing food that matches the incredible views of the French Riviera. World class food and service. Note – Elegant attire required.
Address:  Rue du Barri, Eze

Le Nid d’Aigle (The Eagles Nest)

Moderately Priced:  Delicious fresh food with a beautiful view set on the top of the mountain. Great salads, pizzas and omelettes. Dining is available on the outdoor terrace and the view from the indoor dining room  is fantastic. A terrific regional wine list.
Address: 1 rue du Chateau, Eze

Deli’ 

Deli, Eze Village, France

Casual Dining: This is a great little place for lunch. The food is absolutely delicious. Deli is a small cozy outdoor space in beautiful surroundings. The freshest ingredients are used. The tomatoes were so perfectly ripe and the  cheeses were amazing!!! The salads and foods are so flavorful!   They bake their own bread and use infused olive oils and balsamic. They also sell items in a little olive oil shop. I wish I could go back to eat again! Very kind and friendly staff/ family. You cannot be disappointed!
Address: 5 rue du Chateau, Eze

EZE BEACHES

La Plage d’Eze

Eze Beaches
Eze has one beach located at the bottom of the mountain in Eze-sur-Mer. It is a great beach for swimming. You will find two beach clubs; posh Papaya and casual Anjuna Bay. Both clubs rent beds and umbrellas for about 20 euros. Access the beach from the Eze-sur-Mer train station’s underpass. Make a right and walk along the beach to reach the restaurants/clubs. Enjoy your day in the French sunshine!

THINGS TO DO IN EZE

Le Jardin Exotique d’Eze

Eze French Riviera

These beautiful gardens have species of plants from all around the world. The garden offers spectacular panoramic views of the Mediterranean as it perched on the highest point of Eze.  Admission is 6 euros.

Tropaeum Alpium (Victory Monument of the Alps)

eve French Riviera

These historical ruins were built in 6 BC in honor of emperor Augustus. It sits at the highest point on the mountain. Take in the breathtaking views of the entire French Riviera and the beauty of the architecture of this amazing historical monument.

Nietzsche Path

Do you like exercise and the great outdoors?  Then this activity is for you! Hike down from Eze Village or up from Eze-sur-Mer (aka Eze-Bord-de-Mer) and enjoy the magnificent scenery.  First of all, get an early start before the sun gets hot. In addition, take water and wear sneakers not flip flops.  Most of the trail is stone and pebbles – you don’t want to slip.  Depending upon your personal pace, this is about a 45-60 minute vertical hike, about 1650 feet, therefore expect a strenuous workout on the way up. Of course, you can always take it slower.

Hiking up the trail, I use the Eze-Bord-de-Mer train station as a landmark. At street level, with your back to the train station, make a right. Continue 5 minutes and on your left you will see a little sign ‘Sentier Nietzsche’. Follow ramp to the left and enjoy a healthy hike up to amazingly beautiful Eze Village.

The hike down from Eze Village gives you full views of the Mediterranean, so have your camera ready!  When you finish the hike down, visit the lovely Eze-sur-Mer beach. Access to the descending trail from Eze village, is located at the bottom of the village (where the car parks are) on the cliffside.  You will see a sign that says ‘EZE/MER – Gare Plage’. Enjoy the amazing scenic beauty on the way down.

Villefranche-sur-Mer

Enjoy a fabulous day of sightseeing, shopping or the beach in this charming French old town.  There is so much to see and do in this fantastic village! Villefranche-sur-Mer  is definitely one of my favorite places on the French Riviera.  Visit my Villefranche-sur-mer blog post to read more about this wonderful, charming town.

Monte Carlo, Monaco 

Casino of Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo, the land of the ultra rich and famous, is a mere 9 minute train ride from Eze. Visit the renowned Casino and if you get lucky, go shopping in the ultra high end stores! If not, enjoy sitting at a cafe in Casino Square and watch the people and exotic cars go by.

NEARBY EVENTS

Monaco Grand Prix

Monaco Grand Prix

The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world. The 2018 Monaco Grand Prix will begin on Thursday, May 24, 2018 and end  on Sunday, May 27, 2018. For tickets and packages, click HERE for the official Formula 1 Monaco site.

Nice Carnival (Carnaval de Nice)

French Riviera

The capital of the French Riviera, Nice, hosts the area’s first winter event. This is  amazing, world famous event attracts millions each year. The weather is mild even in the winter. In 2018, this carnival will be held from  February 17th to March 3rd. Since this carnival spans a two week period, there are numerous festivities. Therefore, join in the fun!

Click HERE to see the Carnival’s official program and prices for grandstand or promenade tickets.

 

Travel Directions

  • Nice to Eze – Take bus 82 about a 30 minute ride.
  • Monte Carlo to Eze – Take bus 112 about a 30 minute ride
  • Villefranche-sur-Mer to Eze – walk to Beaulieu-sur-Mer and take bus 83. About a 15 minute ride. Or you can take the Neitzsche Path and hike up to Eze.

Eze is easily accessible by buses that run regularly.  Most noteworthy, for your return trip, please make sure to check the bus schedules. Once you are in Eze, taxis are hard to find.  Therefore, they  will be an expensive option when you find one.


Bardolino

Bardolino, Italy

One of Lake Garda’s most popular towns is Bardolino. Located on the Verona side of Lake Garda’s southern point, it has easy access to other surrounding towns. Also, it can make a nice home-base for your lake vacation. Not only is it a delightful, lively village, but it is also the center of wine country since it is surrounded by hills covered with vineyards and olive groves.

Bardolino Lake Garda

We had a beautiful day visiting Bardolino. We started by taking the ferry from beautiful, bustling Sirmione, with a stop in enchanting Lazise and then arriving at the picturesque town of Bardolino.

Lake Garda

One of the first things we noticed, was the tranquil marina filled with colorful motor boats. It definitely made me want to take a picture of the vivid part of daily life here. In addition, long lakeshore promenades add to the charm of village. There are many photo opportunities on the promenade, so definitely take a walk with your camera.

Bardolino’s historic center has a beautiful blend of narrow stone alleys and pretty pastel buildings. The town is fairly compact, therefore it is an easy walk from one end to the other. It is certainly lively with numerous shops, cafes and restaurants. The evening comes alive with several bars and clubs.

Restaurants in Bardolino use the local fish and fresh produce from their crops. In addition Bardolino is famous for it’s namesake red wine, Bardolino and for their Rosé, Chiaretto,

Lake Garda

San Severo is a Romanesque church that has beautiful frescos and is worth a visit. Also visit the church “Santa Maria” in Cisano and the Olive Oil Museum which is on Gardesana state road. 

Things to Do in Bardolino

You can find many things to do and keep busy in this town. First of all land sports include golf and tennis and of course hiking trails. You can even horseback ride, and mountain bike. Secondly there are many water sports available along the lake. Let’s not forget to visit some wineries. You will be able taste the area’s unique vintage, Bardolino DOC.

Bardolino Marina

Lazise boats

Lazise, Italy

Lazise is a charming lakeside village on Lake Garda’s southeast shore with an old town dating back to the 12th century. Not only is it a picturesque, pristine village, but it also has an upscale, impressive vibe. In fact, the lakefront promenade was designed in an exceptionally elegant fashion. Furthermore, you will be happy to discover a wide range of shops and restaurants sprinkled in the charming alleys of town. To be sure, I found it to be one of my favorite southern villages on Lake Garda.

Lazise Harbor
The picturesque harbor promenade.

The first thing to stand out when visiting Lazise, is it’s alluring 9th century medieval castle, Castello Scaliger di Lazise. Moreover, at the center of the village lies Lazise’s attractive busy harbor. Here, the ferries and boats glide frequently alongside the shore. In addition, Vittorio Emanuele Square is a delightful grand piazza containing a beautiful Romanesque church.

Lazise Lake Garda
Lazise with a view of Castello Scaligero di Lazise on the left

The lakeside promenade is bustling with people enjoying the wonderful view or enjoying the many bars, restaurants, cafes and gelato shops.

All things considered, yes, it’s worth the visit! In fact, Lazise is only a 30 minute drive from Verona and a short ferry ride from Sirmione.

Lazise Photo Tour

Lovely little areas to discover

Photos always help me with getting to know a destination. Here is a photo tour of my time in Lazise…..

Vittorio Emanuele Square
Lazise Village
A delightful and attractive old town to browse, shop and find a quaint cafe
Such a enchanting harbor and promenade! Just beautiful!
Lazise
Cute little buildings everywhere!

By and large, Lazise is one of the most important villages on Lake Garda. Especially because of its natural beauty, a white sandy beach, and several water and land sport options. In addition, it is in close proximity to Gardaland and Canevaworld parks – both great for families with children.


Taormina Travel

Taormina Italy

Perched upon a cliff above the shimmering sea, adorned with a backdrop of majestic mountains, Taormina Sicily is the sparkling jewel of Sicily. In the first place you will admire fantastic panoramic views of the sea. Secondly, you will also have a stunning view of famous Mount Etna idly smoking in the distance.
Taormina TravelThe natural scenery is a definitely a feast for your eyes as well as the magnificent town center.  Taormina’s main gathering place is Piazza IX April, which has amazing views of the sea.  It is in the center of town and a great place to eat, drink, listen to music and people watch.

Piazza Aprile

The ancient city of Taormina is completely walkable and attractive.  with flowers tumbling down balconies of pretty buildings along with narrow cobblestone streets.  The main pedestrian street, Corso Umberto, is simply charming.  In addition, there are two main gathering places, Piazza Aprile and Piazza Duomo.

Taormina Travel

Piazza Duomo

You will enjoy excellent restaurants and cafes to visit. Soak up the lively atmosphere of magnificent Taormina Italy. It is filled with people strolling along cobblestone streets listening to musicians singing all the Italian classics. You will enjoy browsing and shopping in the numerous luxury and local stores.

Read the Best of Taormina

Taormina Sicily

Views perfect for a picture!

For a bit of history, don’t miss the impressive and famous Greek Amphitheater. Meanwhile, don’t forget to visit the beautiful beaches. Ride the Funicular (cable car) down to the picturesque bay and beaches of Taormina Mare. All the beach clubs have delicious restaurants and also rent beds, towels and umbrellas.
Taormina TravelAll things considered, Taormina Sicily should be on the top of your list when you visit Italy

The Best of Taormina Sicily……..

HOTELS IN TAORMINA
Taormina Hotels

Taormina has fantastic world class hotels, luxury boutique hotels and wonderful B&B’s. Some have pools and most have stunning views.  Go to my TAORMINA HOTEL GUIDE for great hotel suggestions.

RESTAURANTS IN TAORMINA
Taormina Restaurants

Italy is known for its delicious cuisine and the amazing food in Sicily is one of the reasons why!  There are so many regional specialties and delicious fresh ingredients, not to mention the wine. Go to my Taormina Restaurant Guide for some great suggestions.

NIGHTLIFE IN TAORMINA

Taormina Nightlife

The town is energized and alive at night.  You will find a vast choice of things to do and places to go.  Dancing, cocktails, music or just getting gelato.  Check out my guide to Taormina Nightlife.

BEACHES IN TAORMINA
Taormina Beaches

THINGS TO DO

Get ready for an Italian adventure as there are countless things to do and see in Sicily.  Taormina is perfect for history, culture, delicious food and awe inspiring sights.

Greek Theatre

Greek Theatre Taormina

The Ancient Greek Theatre is amazing.  During the day take in a show at the Greek Theatre with Mount Etna as a backdrop. There are concerts and operas as varied as Sting and The Barber of Seville.  For upcoming events and tickets click here.

MOUNT ETNA
Mount Etna Taormina

A visit to Mount Etna give you the incredible experience of seeing lava flows up close.

MT. ETNA WINERY TOUR
Mt. Etna Wine Tour

Visit the vineyards and taste the wines of Mount Etna.  There are wonderful local wineries where you can sample the delicious varieties of wine

CASTELMOLA
Castlemola

Castlemola is a charming little town up the mountain from Taormina.  If you have a few hours, it is worth a visit to this medieval town.

GODFATHER TOUR
Taormina Godfather Tour

Visit some of the iconic film locations of the blockbuster hit The Godfather.

AEOLIAN ISLANDS
Lipari Aolian Islands

If you have an extra time, you may want to take a full day trip to the beautiful Aeolian Islands.


Oia Santorini

Oia Santorini

OIA Santorini is Paradise in the Greek Islands

When you visit the village of Oia Santorini, it seems like you stepped into a fantasy.

First of all, Oia Greece is one of the most spectacular places I’ve ever traveled to. It is known for it’s devastatingly gorgeous views, amazing sunsets and sloping cliffs. A volcanic eruption thousands of years ago gave Santorini its distinctive crescent shape, sheer cliffs and shimmering bay called the Caldera. It has entranced visitors and locals alike ever since. Oia is perched high upon a soaring cliff making views of the infinite blue Aegean sea sensational and endless. Furthermore, the charming, iconic whitewashed homes, labyrinth of narrow streets and blue domes truly magnify its beauty. Oia is beyond doubt, a feast for your eyes!Oia Santorini

Oia Santorini is busy with tourists strolling the streets visiting the multitude of shops, cafes, restaurants, and art galleries. In addition, it is a hot spot for honeymooners and long-time couples alike. Most of all, the beautiful village of Oia has hypnotic vistas, jaw-dropping views and colorful sunsets into the sea that you will remember for a lifetime. When you visit Greece, and the Greek Islands don’t miss out on visiting Oia Greece.

Oia Sunset                   

Oia Santorini Sunset
The magnificent sunset-watching hour is a major event in Oia Santorini.  Crowds gather on the terraces, walls steps and main pedestrian street at the tip of the cliff in order to see this beautiful event!  All the cobblestone streets are clogged!  There is actually a spectator look-out area by the Byzantine Castle, but go early in order to get a good seat!  Better yet, grab a spot in a restaurant or cafe and take in the spectacle with some delicious Greek wine.  Opa!

Nightlife in Oia Santorini

The restaurant and cafe scene is tremendously busy in Oia, but for clubs and dancing, you would have to visit Fira. Using public buses is a convenient and inexpensive way to get around, with many departure times. For schedules, check Santorini Public Buses.
Cost: Oia to Fira is EUR 1.80  (EUR 2.30 after midnight) and takes about 25 minutes.

Things to Do in Oia Santorini

Amoudi Bay

Three hundred steps down from the village of Oia Santorini is the charming, quiet port of Amoudi. Here you will find several traditional tavernas that serve fresh caught fish and octopus.  Looking up, you will see the picturesque whitewashed houses of Oia in the distance with red cliffs all around you.  The water is crystal clear and sparkling blue.  You can walk along the bay on the big rocks or take a refreshing swim. Remember to take your camera because you will get some great shots on the steps and by the water.  Believe it or not, walking down gives your legs a workout because the steps are a few strides deep and slanted downward. Consequently walking up is a vigorous hike.  Wear good shoes/sneakers.  Alternatively, you can take a taxi or bus.
Fun Fact:  The movie, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, was filmed at Amoudi Bay in Oia Santorini Greece.

 Byzantine Castle Ruins

Formerly a 15th-century castle, today you will find ruins of a tower here.  Notably, the best panoramic views of Santorini are seen from these ruins. The view from the citadel boasts picturesque whitewashed buildings, a windmill, and the azure sea beneath spectacular cliffs. A photographers dream!  Also this is the best spot to see Oia’s spectacular sunset.

Catamaran Excursion on the Sunset Oia

Oia Santorini Sunset Oia Catamaran

Sunset Oia 74′ Catamaran

Enjoy a morning or sunset cruise on a 74′ catamaran!  It is a wonderful way to see the beautiful vista of the red cliffs and villages perched above. Included is a delicious BBQ, beer, wine and soft drinks.  You can sun on the catamaran’s trampoline or sit in comfortable lounge seats.  It stops at the Red beach and White beach for swimming and snorkeling. In addition, it stops at the Hot Springs for swimming and a mud bath. The morning cruise time is 9:30-2:30. You can also take an afternoon cruise to see the  spectacular sunset.  A memorable, wonderful day is in store for you!  Departures are from Amoudi Bay in Oia.

The Best of Oia Santorini……….

OIA HOTELS

Note: Check out Santorini Greece Hotels for hotels in other areas of Santorini.

Oia Santorini RESTAURANTS

Jump to Santorini Restaurants  for great food in other villages.

OIA BEACHES

There are several lovely beaches in Oia, some of which are accessible by climbing steps. Although it may be a bit of a strenuous activity, it is definitely worth it. These are the beaches of Armeni, Ammoudi, Baxedes, Katharos and Koloumbos.

Katharos Beach, Oia Santorini

Oia Santorini Katharos Beach

This is a very quiet and beautiful small beach with black sand and pebbles.  From Oia, Katharos Beach is only a 15 minute walk down the cliff steps and on a path.  On the way down, there is a cute cafe where you can get a nice lunch.  There are no facilities, therefore, bring your towels.

Jump to Santorini Beaches for beaches in other villages

Kamari Beach, Santorini
Kamari Beach

A fun suggestion is to rent an ATV or scooter for a 35 minute ride to a very popular beach resort, Kamari Beach.  Karmari Beach is a totally different vibe that Oia.  Kamari’s long  sandy beach is crowded with plenty of sun worshippers.  Oh, did I mention that the sand is black?  Furthermore, the beach is lined with a multitude of cafe’s, restaurants, boutiques, stores and tourists. Public bus to Kamari Beach (Santorini Public Buses) takes about 45 minutes with a change in Fira.

Travel Directions to Oia Santorini

From Athens

By Ferry:  A high speed ferry from Athens to Santorini is about a 5 hour trip. On some ferries you can sit out on the decks and get an awesome view of the cliffs and caldera when entering the port of Fira, Santorini.   The SeaJets Ferries or the Blue Star Ferries leave from the popular Athens port of Piraeus, typically about 7am in the morning arriving about 12 noon.

Once arriving at the Port in Fira, you can get to you destination in Oia Santorini by:

  • Hotel Transfer
  • Private Transfer
  • Taxi
  • Bus:  Take a bus from Fira Port up to Fira town.  Then transfer to a bus from Fira to Oia (30 minutes).  You can pay when you board the bus.
  • Boat:  There are speedboat transfers to Amoudi Port and then take a bus up to Oia village

By Air:  Flights are a much faster option.  From Athens Airport (ATH) into Fira, Santorini (JTR), the flight time is only 45 minutes. Check flights with RyanAir, Olympic/Aegean and Sky Express.

  • Hotel Transfer
  • Private Transfer
  • Rent a Car:  Car rentals are available at the airport.  At the entrance of Oia village is a car park where you can leave your vehicle.
  • Bus:  From Airport to Fira and then a change of bus from Fira to Oia Santorini

SANTORINI FESTIVALS and EVENTS

Santorini Jazz Festival – Kamari

If you love jazz music, the Santorini Jazz Festival will entertain you with famous Greek and international performers.  This three-day summer festival takes place in July,  and attracts a big crowd of jazz music fans.  It is held in the beach town of Kamari.

Aegean Regatta

Aegean Regatta

August 18-26, 2018.  Do you like boats and the gorgeous blue sea?  Did you ever dream of sailing in a regatta? This is the biggest international open sea sailing race in Greece.  The regatta begins in the small, quaint island of Skyros and competitors will make stops at other islands before finishing in Sammos.  This exciting event covers 190 nautical miles.  Check out AegeanRegatta for more information or to register for your experience of a lifetime!

Megaro Gyzi Festival

This annual festival takes place during the month of August and features a series of concerts and art exhibitions.  The iconic Gyzi Mansion in Fira hosts this festival.  For more information, go to gyzimegaron.gr.

Ifestia Festival

The Ifestia Festival (Greek Volcano festival) This festival takes place in August and is all about the history of Santorini’s volcanic eruption.  There are concerts, performances, fireworks and many other happenings at this festival.

International Music Festival – Fira

The International Music Festival welcomes artists from the international music scene to perform at the Nomikos Conference Centre in Fira . This two-week festival takes place during the first few weeks in September. Source: www.greeka.com


Sirmione, Italy

Sirmione Italy

Sirmione Italy is a beautiful, small resort town on Lake Garda’s southern tip. We loved this beautiful, colorful little village and it is definitely worth a visit when you’re in Italy. During the tourist season, it is bustling with people walking the mostly pedestrian cobblestone streets. In fact, I found it to be a perfect home base for visiting other nearby towns of Lake Garda via ferry.

Sirmione Castle Lake Garda Italy

Thing to do in Sirmione Italy

Sirmione is a picturesque, vibrant town filled with things to do. The historical center has no shortage of cafes, restaurants and bars. Of course there are many boutiques and stores for those who love to shop. In addition, you have a choice of two beaches to enjoy fun in the sun. Not to mention, you will find the ferry conveniently located right in the middle of town in Piazza Giosue Carducci.

Rocca Scaligera – Sirmione Castle

Sirmione Castle
Castello Scaligeri or Rocca Scaligera

Sirmione Lake Garda is well known for it’s medieval castle – the Rocca Scaligera. This beautiful Sirmione castle is an imposing structure at the entrance of the historical part of town. Built in the 1400’s, it is one of the most well-preserved and spectacular castles built by the Della Scala family who once ruled Verona during the late 13th and 14th centuries.

Lake Garda

Sirmione Lake Garda

Of course, Lake Garda is one of the beautiful attractions of Sirmione Italy. The water is crystal clear and alive with swans and ducks. The ferry was just a few steps from our hotel which made it so easy to visit other towns. Bardolino, Lazise and Garda were wonderful towns and a short ferry ride from Sirmione.

Sirmione Beaches

Lido delle Bionde

Lido delle Bionde, Sirmione

Only a short 20 minute walk from town on a scenic lakeside path, you will find Lido delle Bionde. This has a real sand beach with rentals available for lounges and umbrellas. In addition, there are also water toys to rent such as paddle boats and kayaks. We loved the outdoor restaurant here with a large terrace overlooking the beach. The menu included a large assortment of pasta, pizza, panini, snacks and drinks. All things considered, Lido delle Bionde was my favorite Sirmione beach!

Jamaica Beach

Sirmione Jamaica Beach
Enjoying the Sirmione Sun!

Jamaica Beach is a pretty 25-30 minute walk from the historical part of town. It has a casual small bar/restaurant area, therefore you can relax with a drink or something to eat. The no-sand beach is mainly limestone formations with a beautiful view of the lake and mountains. Since there are no lounge rentals, bring a towel and enjoy the Sirmione sunshine.

Grotte di Catullo Sirmione Italy

Grotte di Catullo
Grotte di Catullo

Visit the remains of a Roman villa with panoramic views of the lake. Make sure to take your camera for the beautiful views. This villa was built between the 1st century BC and 1st century AD. In addition, the museum has artifacts from this villa and others finds on Lake Garda.

Gallery of Pictures

Waiting for the Ferry
Waiting for the ferry
Sirmione Hotel
Hotel by the Ferry

Venice Rialto Bridge

Venice Italy Attractions

Venice is a treasure trove of wonderful art and architecture. Discover many popular attractions as well as countless things to do in Venice Italy. Your trip will not be complete without seeing the following Venice Italy attractions.Take an informed tour of St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doges Palace. You will be enlightened about the history and culture of this amazing city. Venice Piazza San MarcoEnjoy lively St. Mark’s Square as you sip a cappuccino and watch the parade of people pass by. Taking an informed walking tour of Venice is also a fun way to spend a few hours seeing this spectacular city. Interests as diverse as kayaking the waterways, floating down the Grand Canal in a gondola or taking in an Opera are at your fingertips.
Venice Travel

Tip: To avoid crowds in Venice, visit these popular Venice attractions first thing in the morning, during lunch when other tourists are in restaurants, or right before closing. You can book your tickets online if you are not doing a guided tour.

St. Mark’s Basilica (Basilica di San Marco)

Venice San Marco Basilica

St. Mark’s Basilica is the most popular Venice attraction and one of the world’s most majestic cathedrals. To begin with, St. Mark’s Basilica has so much history, legend, amazing treasure and artifacts. It is a true masterpiece of Byzantine art. With this in mind, I definitely recommend a guided tour to this must-see sight so that you can soak up its history and legend.
Open: 9:45 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. on Sundays and holidays)

    St. Mark’s Tower (Campanile di San Marco)

Venice St. Marks Tower

This beautiful bell tower is 325 feet high and is one of the most recognizable symbols of Venice. Crowned by a spire,  you can see the spectacular views of the entire layout of Venice. Luckily there is an elevator that takes you to the top. Ticket price is 8E per person.
Open: 9:00am – 9:00pm ( Nov-Mar  9:30am – 3:45pm)

Doges Palace (Palazzo Ducale)

This Venetian Gothic style palace was home sweet home to the Ruler of Venice. It is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. The grand scale of the rooms, works of art and ornate furniture are a treasure trove of magnificent wonders. Absorb yourself in history when you walk across the Bridge of Sighs and see the prison dungeons where Casanova was held prisoner. Additionally, many various exhibitions and events are held here. Click here for upcoming events.
Open: 8:30am-7pm April – October.
Tickets: I MUSEI DI PIAZZA SAN MARCO ticket includes admission to four attractions; Palazzo Ducale, Museo Correr, Museo Archeologico Nazionale e Biblioteca Marciana 
Prices: Single E20.50 – Children, Students, 65+ E13.50

FAMOUS LANDMARKS

St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco)

This is the main piazza and central landmark of Venice. A grandiose and famous gathering place, St. Marks Square is alive with worldwide visitors, lovers, photographers and countless pigeons!  Lining the arcade, below the arches, you will find rows of restaurants and shops to keep you busy.  On the other hand, relax at a café and watch the crowds stroll by. During the evening, enjoy the live music that enlivens this tremendous square.

Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto) 

The Rialto Bridge is an iconic landmark of Venice. This pedestrian bridge has impressive views of the Grand Canal, therefore make sure you get some great photos of the gondolas and boats passing by! When you walk up the steps (note that there are no ramps), you will find it crowded with tourists and shops selling souvenirs, fine jewelry and Murano Glass.

Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri)

Venice Bridge of Sighs

Significant in Venetian history, this bridge was a passage-way from the court in the Doges Palace to the prison dungeons or even death. As the convicted walked across they would often sigh as they took their last look at beautiful Venice. Tourists from everywhere in the world photograph this beautiful, iconic bridge. The Rio di Palazzo canal that runs under the bridge is my favorite. It is adorned with little bridges and gondoliers singing in an endless parade.  A feast for the eyes and ears!

These are the main attractions and landmarks of beautiful Venice. There are so many other things to see and places to go for a day trip.  Read about them HERE.

Venice Travel Guide

 


Venice Italy

Venice Travel Guide

Covid-19 Alert: The Italian government has modified its entry regulations to allow exceptions for several categories of visitors, including students, business persons, EU residents, and relatives of Italian citizens.  Please review the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for more specific information in English.  Also please take note of any self-quarantine requirements.

Let me take you on a journey to amazing and romantic Venice. You will discover all that this magical city has to offer . Find top attractions, best hotels, delicious restaurants and much more advice on visiting this amazing city by reading my Venice travel guide.

Bridge of Sighs
Bridge of Sighs

Venice ItalyIn my opinion, this is the most enchanting and unique place in the world, not to mention one of the most visited. It is a city of canals, bridges and beautiful architecture.  Where else can you get serenaded on a gondola, lost in a maze of narrow cobblestone walkways and let your eyes feast on the amazing sights around you? Furthermore, Venice not only boasts spectacular scenery but is abundantly rich in art and history.

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