One would think that getting from Cinque Terre to Sirmoine by way of rental car (rented months in-advance) should be relatively simple. Oh not so fast, if that’s the case then clearly the person making the trip did not use Hertz Italy as was our case. In our case, we reserved a sedan, the reservation didn’t matter. No sedan. After arguing my friend was told “me, I am good… you, meh, not so much.” Yup, clearly customer service evades the Hertz in Cinque Terre. I won’t tell the whole story, but will tell you after an argument it ends with 4 people, too many bags making our way via Fiat to Verona. Where we find the Hertz there not open, but a sign that tells us to throw the keys through the roof and a map to a gas station a few blocks away we’re to park the car somewhere around (note: had to circle gas station to finally get the only open spot on the lot). After this chaos would you trust the Hertz to actually record your delivery correctly via thrown car keys through open window??? I’m sorry, correction, for the “gentleman clients” to throw keys through the window. Good thing a women wasn’t driving! Maybe we wouldn’t have been allowed.
So, from rental car to a bit of a trek (lost only once) from the Verona Hertz to the Verona train station, train from Verona to Desenzano del Garda, to taxi to Sirmoine (Lake Garda).
Sirmione: Like Cinque Terre, Sirmione is also a UNESCO Heritage Site. History has it that the first known presence of humans was probably recorded around 500-600BC; by 100 BC had become a retreat for rich families, and throughout the AD moved between hands of various Kingdoms (hence the fortress). Sirmione is a peninsula in Northern Italy, surrounded by Lake Garda, with the Alps and Switzerland to the North. We are here for a friends wedding, set in a nearby Castle with views of Lake Garda below.
The Lake: But before the wedding, it’s time to relax like we’re one of the rich families from 100BC (or so) by relaxing at the hotel, Hotel Flaminia (conveniently located on the lake) eating Gelato (okay, so maybe they didn’t have Gelato… or freezers… in 100BC ;), boating and relaxing more at the hotel.
Wedding: Rehearsal dinner one night, and the wedding the next… an unbelievable site. The wedding takes place along the fort, high above the Lake, the dinner at the castle, the reception and dancing outside in a candlelit tent. Quite difficult a difficult act to follow!
Congratulations to my friends! And what a way to end a fabulous week traveling Rome, Cinque Terre and Lake Garda. Tomorrow, Lake Garda to Milan to catch my flight back home. Viva Italia!