September 20, 2011
Leaving Milan was a great feeling. Not that there is anything wrong with it in particular, but we desperately wanted a change of pace and scenery. And that we had! The road from Milan to La Spezia is a fairly long one, and since driving in Italy was still a new skill, and driving a standard transmission even more so, we told our GPS to avoid the Autostrade and take the smaller roads. This also allowed us to stop occasionally to enjoy the landscapes and take more photos.
One of the frequent features of the landscape were hills and mountains (we were going across the Apennines after all) and more often than not these hills were covered in vineyards.
Something resembling a small church near the vineyards along the way.
September 16, 2011
The next morning our breakfast was much less exciting as we had to get out of the hotel and back on the road early. As it turns out, in Italy you pay for your stay upon check out, not upon arrival. Just gotta keep that in mind and not leave without paying by accident. 😉
There was still enough time to give the town a last look around and take some photos. The weather was finally sunny, and the few clouds that were visible only provided for a less boring sky.
The clouds seem to act as an extension to the soft mountain peak.
September 13, 2011
The single most important thing that determines the start of the day is breakfast. So let’s skip the croissants and coffee and eat something real. It was a cloudy Monday morning, the streets were empty and slightly chilly, we stopped by a local enoteca and ordered a bruschetta Margherita with a glass of white.
Breakfast in Sirmione. I'm not really the kind who photographs every meal, but this one just looked way too good to pass up. Note the fogged up glasses of chilled wine.
September 9, 2011
A long footpath runs along the east side of the Sirmio peninsula on which Sirmione is built. The lake is shallow near the shore and inhabited by variety of waterfowl. Somewhat surprisingly, the Italian swans and ducks overall looked very much like their Canadian counterparts we often see on the shore of lake Ontario in downtown Toronto.
After finally having lunch (the first meal since early breakfast we had before leaving Venice in haste), we took a very slow stroll along the lake shore, enjoying the mountains, the water, the birds and other animals, the lush vegetation, the ancient walls and buildings. It really is a beautiful place. It is nothing like Venice, but it’s completely and undeniably gorgeous. In retrospect, all the places we visited in Italy were very different from each other, yet they did seem to have something in common, too. Something subtly, but distinctly Italian.
Swans looking for some attention near the shores in Sirmione.