Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Day Trip to Lake Garda from Verona: Walking from Garda to Torri del Benaco (kind of ... )

Our day trip from Verona to Lake Garda was one of the favourite days of our trip. I'd decided to do the walk from Garda to Torri del Benaco via prehistoric rock engravings. A Torri round trip is in Walking the Italian Lakes, but I'd heard rumours that you could also visit them from the Garda side. I emailed the Torri tourist office and obtained maps for both walks.

Our plan was to take the bus from Verona to Garda and start the walk from there, but The Big Girl was getting a cold and was having some trouble with her feet with all the walking so we decided to catch the bus that runs north to from Garda and hop off at Punta San Viglio. This cuts about 50mins off the walk and drops you off directly underneath the part of the walk that diverts into the forest towards the rock engravings.

We caught the 9:05am bus from Piazza Bra which arrived in Garda at 10:02am. Then we had to wait about 20mins for the bus north. The bus stop at Punta San Viglio is on the main road near the car park, which luckily for us was manned so we took our map and got some directions. Following the dirt road to the right into the car park we walked to the end where a gravel path headed off to the right, up the hill and into the forest. There were several paths, which I think merged later up the track. We took the one furthest to the right that looped up and around the headland. It was quite rough in parts and we did wonder whether we were heading in the right direction until we came to the part that was marked with green to match the trail on our map. There are gorgeous views, down to Punta San Viglio and also over the southern section of the lake.

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Lake Garda Panorama 1

We kept going until we came to the junction between the tracks from Torri and the Garda track. From here we took the track to the left up the hill, I think it was marked with both green and red. The track becomes quite steep and was washed out in parts as we neared the engravings. These were signed so you can't miss them. The first large rock had a number of engravings, the second was not as extensive and seemed more weathered. I read somewhere that pouring water on them helps them stand out, but we didn't find that to be the case.

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The track from here travels further up into the forest and through the village of Albisano to Torri. We decided to backtrack to the junction of the red and green tracks and took the furthest right that wound back round down the hill. This track soon joins back roads and country lanes into Torri and was very scenic. The views open out to take in the northern part of the lake which is spectacular.





During the walk we also enjoyed the butterflies, wild flowers and the reptilian wildlife which are a favourite of The Big Girl. There were these stunning butterflies in the forest that looked like the lacy white flowers they were flying around but they never stopped to let us get a closer look.




Torri itself is beautiful.  We arrived on the promenade at 12:30pm, just in time for lunch. A long lunch, a glass of wine, sitting back enjoying the view was a perfect way to renew our energy after our walk. At about 2pm we went for a stroll around town, first along the promenade, with a quick wade to test the waters (warm at this time of year), then back through the narrow streets before checking out the castle with it's Orangerie out back.

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Then we relaxed under a tree, enjoying the view of the lake while we waited for the 3:25pm ferry back to Garda. Torri del Benaco, apart from being beautiful is also less crowded than some of the other towns around the lake which was perfect for us. The ferries are not cheap in comparison with the bus, and much slower, but if you go to Lake Garda you must experience the lake on the water at least once.



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Information:
For maps and detailed descriptions of the walk to the rock engravings from both Torri and Garda you can email the tourist office. They also sent details of a walk to the villages in the hills above and to the north of Torri: iat@torridelbenaco.com.

1 comment:

alexa said...

I feel as I have been walking alongside you! Such glorious photos ... It reminds me of Lake Como which we visited about ten years ago. Glad you had such a memorable trip. And long lunches are a perfect end to s good walk!