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Road trip to Italy: Como, Garda Lake, Bergamo and San Pelegrino

We left from Neuchâtel (Switzerland) quite early in the morning and drove all the way down to Ticino. The main idea was to go up Fiore di Pietra and have a look at that particular architecture. However, the weather was soo bad that we end up at IKEA. Nevertheless, I recommend to check that place out (not ikea ^^’)

We then pursued our road to Como where we strolled around the city and the lake. We drove to the city outskirts and spent the night there. We did not visit Milano because of corona and also because we already had been a few times there.

After a good night’s rest we drove to Sirmione. There we strolled through the old city, visited the castle and its museum and had an apero with lake view at the   Bar della Torre.

Sirmione is a beautiful place! The castle is quite fun to visit as it looks like an old sinking castle. It was actually built that way to have ships entering and protecting them from attacks. An original architecture for that time!

The rest of the village is nice and full of small shops.

It is worth walking all the way up to Jamaica beach. In fact, Sirmione has hot water springs that flow out from the island into the lake. Jamaica beach has its names from the hot springs that come out there and let you enjoy boiling hot water ;D

After Having enjoyed that place, we hit the road and stopped in Limone Sul Garda. The road to Limone is really scenic and alternates between beautiful landscapes and tunnels through high mountains.

Limone itself is very nice (and touristy). We walked around, visited the local (tourist) shops, enjoyed a glass of Limoncello and went on to Riva del Garda where we spent the night.

 In Riva del garda we spent the night in the Grand Hotel Liberty. Thanks to Covid, we could benefit from an awesome deal. This hotel is quite nice, the buffet is good and it has a really cool spa you can enjoy!

For dinner, I can strongly recommend you to visit the restaurant “Ristorante Pizzeria Leon D’oro Riva”. Not the cheapest in the area but definitely a gustative experience! We tried the smoked burger (that comes with a dome filled with smoke (definitely awesome) and the Truffle Risotto (mouth-blowing ;D)

After a good night’s rest we left Riva del garda and drove back to Maderno.

 In Maderno we went for a hike along a river. This place is very famous as it was a famous area for the paper production and industry. For this reason, the Lake garda is also know as the “Via Valle delle Cartiere Toscolano” (valley of the Paper of Toscolano). Along the river you will walk by multiple ruins of ancient paper mills and learn how they worked and were operated! Very interesting!

You can learn more here!

After that hike, we took the car and drove all the way back to Bergamo.

Bergamo is a fascinating city! Split in two: an Old town on top of a mountain and the more modern part, surrounding it, you definitely will find something that catches your interest.

I would also recommend buying the 24h ticket a you will use it the day after (it is only 3€70 something). A cool thing to stroll through the new city is to rent these trottinettes that you will find all over the place! You win quite some time and are as flexible as it could be!

 Early morning we ate a dense and rich breakfast and walked to the funicular to reach the old city.

There we made our way to the museum and the tower which gives a beautiful 360• view over the old city and Bergamo in general.

Make a stop for a glass of wine and some ham at the restaurant “Lalimentari”. This was definitely a culinary experience!

Some other restaurants that have been suggested in Bergamo were:

La Marianna (for the gelato Stracciatella – as it was invented here, the original shop is in the Citta Alta). La Colombina – for lunch or dinner.

We were also recommended  Circolino Citta Alta for dinner , Ristorante Baretto I Sa Vigilio for apero and Osteria

 After our visit of the old city, we took the car and drove all the way to San Pelegrino. The road from Bergamo is only 30 min long and quite beautiful.

We arrived there at 15 and took the 5h entry pass at QC terms. This break is quite relaxing-! The spa is huge and has around 35 different rooms! The price is 46€/pp and includes an Italian apéro !

After having cooked for 5 hours and coming out of the terms like a freshly boiled stew, we took the car to Milano (1h trip) where we spent the night. The next day we drove all the way back home as the weather was rainy.

However, you could also use that day to stroll around Milano or explore another part of lac como!

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