Bike Trip Number 1: Pozzolengo - Castellaro Lagusello - Borghetto - Peschiera
Our host at the hotel told us that there was flower festival in the town of Castellaro Lagusello and that it was an easy bike ride there over some rolling hills and then back on a bike path along one of the many canals in the area. We decided to do the route he outlined. The total trip was about 55 KM (34 miles).
Pozzolengo was a small cute town on the top of a not too high hill. It had the usual small town square where lots of men were hanging out in front of the neighborhood bar.
We got there just as a group left the main church and started to march to the cemetery.
For the most part we were on not very crowded country roads. It was a Saturday.
At Castellaro Lagusello we parked our bikes and entered into the small festival.
There were many flowers and colors.
Even the vegetables were colorful.
We decided to have a snack and for the first time we had some fried gnocchi.
They had lemon trees for sale…..
And olive trees.
Local artists and craftspersons had stuff for sale.
There was a part that was enclosed by a large wall and had a tower at the entrance.
The end of the town sat on a lake.
The bike trip from Castellaro Lagusello to Borghetto was along a bike path next to a canal. It reminded us of the C & O Canal. The entire area between Venice and Milan was filled with canals that the Venetians built for transportation of goods and people. The canals are no longer used for that purpose but the Italians have built bike paths along many of them.
Borghetto is located on one of the canals and it was obviously a weekend destination since many people were there.
Peschiera was a large town along Lake Garda and our last stop before returning to Sirmione. It had a castle with and the canal ran into a moat around it.
Trip from Peschiera to Sirmione was along a sidewalk bike path with part of it along the lakefront.
We did pass this sign for a kosher hotel and restaurant here in Sirmione.
There were some low hanging signs along the bike path.
Bike Trip Number 2: Peschiera - Lazise - Bardolino - Garda
The second bike trip recommended by the owner was to bike around the lake on the eastern side. He said there was a bike path almost the entire way to Garda and there we could get on a ferry and come back to Sirmione. This was a much shorter day but the weather was not going to be very nice and we had an out at each town to take the ferry back it we bailed.
We repeated the trip to Pescheira in the reverse direction. We had a little trouble finding the bike path at first and it was very crowded. It was Sunday and there were lots of people out. We found out yesterday that recreational weekend bikers in this area do not have good trail etiquette. We almost immediately ran into a group of young people.
At no point was the path paved. It was all just packed dirt.
We had to cross one area that was a boat dock and had to `shove' our bikes.
At this point of the trail I have no idea how they expected you to go from one part to the other.
Every once in a while, in a stretch with nothing, you would find a small snack bar on the beach.
The first lakeside town we came to was Lazise, a walled city. In the 13th century, the Scaligeri family walled in the city and built a castle. This is the same family that built the fort at Sirmione.
This is the harbor area.
We sat along the water and had a snack.
We watched people feeding the swans. They were huge and very aggressive.
We continued north up the east side of the lake to Bardolino. Bardolino is famous for its wine. We wandered through the town looking for a place to get a sandwich.
We at the sandwich sitting on the waterfront.
There was an antique car show in the town and most of the cars were Fiats.
The next town we stopped at was Garda. This was another pretty town and must get very crowded in the summer months.
The Queen on the lakefront looking north.
The King on the waterfront looking south. That is the direction we biked from.
A typical street in Garda.
We are very close to the German border and you can see it in the signs such as this one for a Gelato place.
We took a ferry back from Garda back to Sirmione. This is the view of Garda from the ferry.
This is the view of Bardolino from the ferry.
This is the harbor at Lazise from the ferry.
We are approaching the harbor at Sirmione.
Bike Trip Number 3: Solferino
Another nice day so we decided to bike again. This time our destination was the hilltop town of Solferino. It is to the south and again along some nice quiet country roads.
There is an arch leading to the entrance of the small hilltop town.
The views from the top of the town were nice - especially since today we had sun.
The small church in the main square had two seven-branch menorahs. Not sure why?
There was a steep but not long climb up to the top of the hill where a famous battle had taken place. This was the battle of Solferino in June of 1859 and was pivotal in the unification of Italy. Fought between the French under Napoleon III and Sardinians under Victor Emanuel II troops and the Austrian troops under Franz Joseph I, many thousands of soldiers died on both sides. It is estimated that over 300,000 troops took part. This was the last major battle where the monarchs of the countries actually personally commanded the troops.
We walked up to the very top of the hill and rested on a nice brick wall.
Built in 1893, this tower was a memorial to Victor Emanuel II. It was not open so we could not go in.
The battle was so intense and there were so many dead and wounded that the Geneva Convention for warfare and the International Red Cross were both established as a result of the fight. The bones of 7,000 troops from both sides were brought to a church constructed to hold them.
The following are several photos of the bones in the church.
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