Lago Di Garda: one of Italy’s lovely northern lakes (but obviously less popular than Como or Maggiore because it’s not even mentioned in my guide book). We took a train from San Martino where we’re staying to Peschiera, a small town on the southern tip of the lake and spent the day wandering around, chilling out and enjoying the pleasant fall weather.
We’re getting pretty good at finding our way around here. The train system is great, now that we know a few important words in Italian, like binari (track) – very important when there are 20 different tracks at some of the larger staziones (stations). Biglietti (tickets), Quanto costa (how much) are good words to know as well.
Not knowing the language hasn’t been too much of a hindrance. We’ve managed with my little cheat sheet that I keep in my purse and Ron’s Italian app on his I-phone. We’re learning to recognize words as we see and hear them repeated, but we still manage to trip up sometimes. Bottled water here comes in naturale and frizzante. The bottles look the same and more than once we’ve picked up the fizzy stuff (not bad when it’s cold but dreadful when warm). Kleenex (or any tissues) are not that abundant here. Only one hotel we’ve stayed in had them. So I looked for those small purse-size packets at a store. I finally found a multipack of six and bought them only to realize later that they are menthol (who wants a menthol scented kleenex?)
We bought leather jackets today. Despite what we’d heard about buying leather jackets in Italy (you pay too much; they’re just as cheap at home), we couldn’t resist. We found a little market in Peschiera with nice looking lamb skin jackets and both tried some on. They fit well and the quality is good. Best of all, because it is the end of the season here, all of the merchants who set up at these outdoor markets were selling off their products at really good prices.
Tomorrow morning we head to Nice, France, for our last three days before flying home. So good-bye Italy. We loved your food, your wine, your gelato. We appreciated your friendliness. We liked your time-honored customs: reposo (a three hour break in the afternoon when shops close and people go home to spend time with family and friends – what a good idea!); passaggiata (a ritual evening stroll); and my favorite—il dolce far niente (the sweetness of doing nothing).
Arrivederci bella Italia!