On our last day in Italy, we made sure to explore the city we were staying in – Peschiera del Garda. There are actually many towns and villages around Lake Garda to choose from, but we decided to stay in Peschiera because of its good location – close proximity to the train station (this is Interrailing 101), availability of a lake port where it’s possible to catch speed boats to Malcesine, and of course, the historical and cultural value it has to offer. For instance, the city center is encircled by a massive Venetian defensive systems, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017. So, here’s what we did in Peschiera that warm summer day last year. 😉
08:30 AM Breakfast at Hotel Pilotto; Walk towards the city center
Free breakfast at the hotel was simple but tasty. The owner themselves offered as beverages of coffee and juice. Afterwards, we walked towards the port, which took us about 10 minutes. We walked along a military ground, so we were careful not to take photos. We also passed by a railway bridge where trains from Venice to Milan pass by.
11:00 AM Porta Verona o Porta Querina
To get into the fortified walls, we crossed the entrance bridge which reminded me of Fort Santiago, although Fort Verona was not as elegant, to say the least. In fact, it was severely damaged by the French domination in the 1700s, that the lion of San Marco (which was supposed to be at the center of the Gate) and other symbols were destroyed. The government has provided a virtual reconstruction of the Fort before the French domination though, so visitors could pinpoint what went missing.
We climbed up the Fortress and walked around the fortification, and that gave us amazing views of the city! The moat that surrounded the fort was amazingly blue in color, as most lakes and water bodies in east and southeast Europe. Water in Norway is dark green in color, probably due to the cold, so that amazed me very much! I loved it!
We also came across Museo della Pesca (The Fishing Museum), but it was close, so we didn’t get to see what exhibitions they have.
11:30 AM Walk to Piazza Ferdinando de Savoia
This part of the city looked like Venice, only wider. They have gondolas, and the river/moat was lined with colorful houses. Many visitors and local residents take this route for a jog or a walk. We crossed the bridge and arrived at the Parish of St. Martino Vescovo at Ferdinando de Savoia Square.
11:40 AM Parish of St. Martino Vescovo (Parrocchia di San Martino Vescovo) & Caserma XXX Maggio Barrack
Upon writing this entry, I just realized that there are actually many parishes and churches of the same name in Italy. It is usual to repeat names for churches, it all depends on who the patron saint of the city is. It’s just cool to know how famous St. Martin Vescovo is in Italy, the cradle of the Roman Catholic Church. Legends has it that St Martin tore his big cape into two to give the other half to the poor. That night, in his dream, he saw Jesus with the cape and smiling back at him.
He was born in 315, and joined the military from when he was 15. A short period later, he was baptized and began life as a hermit. He, then, established monasteries, and later, was chosen as bishop of Tours. He said that he was a soldier against his will, a monk by his own will, and a bishop by obligation. He died in 397.
Going back to the church in Peschiera, it is one of the oldest parishes in Verona, and features many great altars. Beside the church was a protected ruins site, and across the street was the Caserma XXX Maggio.
Now, about Caserma XXX Maggio Barrack: it was built in 1866 by the Austrians and was meant to be a military hospital. However, it eventually became a military prison. And guess what: the building was and still is, bombproof!
14:30 PM Late lunch @ Vai mo’ Ristorante Pizzeria
Our eyes feasted on the beautiful sights and the cobbled streets of Peschiera, that it was already 14:30 pm when our tummies began to rumble. So we stopped by at Vai Mo’ ristorante and pipzzeria, which serves authentic Italian dishes. Happy tummy!
15:00 More of the fortification, and back to the port
After lunch, we climbed up Salita Tognon pathway. At the end was a children’s playground and a park suitable for a walk or a jog. It also gave us nice views of the Peschiera port which opens up to Lake Garda.
19:00 PM Dinner @ Trattoria Pizzeria dal Mato
For dinner, we tried delicious Italian thin-crust pizzas at Trattoria Pizzeria dal Mato, one of the best pizzerias in Peschiera. The ambiance in the restaurant was really nice, and it was jampacked that night. So, here’s our last dinner in Italy before we left for France. Yummy goodness!
We had really, really good memories in Italy. When is next summer? 😉 Up next: back in railtracks and off to France!