During early May I was lucky enough to find a late deal to Bardolino in Lake Garda. I had always wanted to visit the lake and seeing as over the past few months I had been spending some time in Italy although mainly skiing, so I wanted to discover more at a lower altitude. As it was a late deal the price was the deciding factor for us.

Italy has been suggested to us for many years, from friends and family to neighbours and co workers, but it has taken a while to visit simply down to finding the time to get out there. After checking online with sites such as TripAdvisor, lastminute.com and social websites, we finally found the best price which included excursions from Thomson Lakes and Mountains.

We spent our stay at the Hotel Caesius Thermae Spa with its four-star rating and spa facilities for five nights. The hotel had a gym and spa which we used and as it was a quiet time we had it to ourselves most of the time. The bar, restaurant and staff were extremely friendly and only ever happy to help. One thing to remember when staying in Italy is the taxes per night which are payable when you leave. We did not know this but it was explained in our arrival pack and is 2 Euros per night per person, regardless of the star rating hotel you stay at.

After arriving on the first day we unpacked relaxed by the pool and had a quick power nap before heading to the lake for some lunch. Quite honestly the photos you see online when booking your holiday don’t do it justice. Those who have previously been or know someone who has will understand the beauty of the lake. We took plenty of images much like the ones below which capture just how clear the lake is and the view of it from Bardolino.

One of the highlights from our holiday was of course the wine tasting at the Museo del Vino (Museum of Wine). We were given a tour around the vineyards with the full history behind it and quite enjoyable to learn that one person doesn’t own the vineyard. About 15-20 wine merchants will buy into a plot together for around 5-10 years and then that wine is distributed locally and worldwide where they have existing or new contracts agreed. It can be quite risky; if there is a long winter and a harsh frost the wine will be produced a lot later and can miss out on sales which can hinder the growth of the vineyard and future investors.

Once we had the grand tour of the vineyard we were welcomed inside to taste the wines produced there through a selection of Prosecco, Champagne, white, rose and red wine. We were taught how to taste wine correctly, enjoy it and pick out the notes within it. They provided us with food that complimented each wine best. The Champagne and Prosecco were served as an appetizer, the White wine with prosciutto, Rose with olive breaded canapés and the Red wine with local Bardolino cheese.  We were given the opportunity to purchase the wine direct from the vineyard which tasted so refreshing and very easy to drink, costing as little as 5 Euros a bottle – be careful, you may like us and many others exceed your baggage allowance and end up having to consume a bottle before you pack.

The holiday was wonderful and every experience was memorable so much so we will be booking Lake Garda again but this time staying in Sirmione which has even more history to be discovered and enjoyed.

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