Saturday, 10 January 2009

Destination Report: Lake Garda / Italy

Enchantments of a summer destination

during winter time

For decades, the Lake Garda in Northern Italy has been a prime tourism destination for German, Austrian and Italian tourists alike. Its attractive natural setting amidst mountain chains, the cultural highlighs along the shores and the beach areas with ideal windsurfing conditions have made it a top spot amongst summer vacationers.

Lake View from above Torbole

During off-season and especially in the winter months, however, the Lake Garda with its tourist attractions takes on a different, albeit enchanting character.: beaches are deserted, promenades are empty, shops are closed and the everyday life slows down.

No Tourist Service in Limone

Deserted Beach at Campione

Chiuso per Ferie - Closed for Holiday

This slightly morbid atmosphere, caught between the frenzy of the past holiday season and the preparations for the upcoming one, appears fascinating in its intensity. Life seems to come to a complete stop, if it wasn't for some undeterred strollers that breath in the beauty of the scenery -- with some seagulls enjoying the winter sun and some ducks contemplating the season's attractions.

Seagulls at the Harbor in Limone

Ducks Hovering over the Unterwater Nativity Scene

Special impressions are provided when the rare snowfalls
cover the vegetation and leave a white sheet on top of the usually green hill sides.

Khakis Covered with Snow

View of the Winter Landscape

And when after a magic winter day with blue skies the sun finally goes down, an almost surreal twilight sets in and bathes the countryside in purple...

Monte Baldo and Lake Garda at Dusk

The summer destination Lake Garda has some true beauty to offer also in winter -- and it is definitely worth enduring the cold nights by the open fire...

Andreas Hauser