There are so many good places in earth, uncounted ones we haven’t seen yet. But this one place seems to lure us every year. This specific place which seems never out of date. It is the Garda lake in Italy.
We’ve been here once a year since we live in Bavaria. We spent our very first time in the eastern coast of the vast lake, mainly in Brenzone sul Garda. It was nice, since we stayed in a hotel which had its own beach. That time we hiked the Monte Baldo and drove up and down the eastern coast for about 5 days. The cities were very nice, some of them more touristy than the others. But we had the urge to try out other areas first.
The second time was spent in the southern part of the lake, which is Sirmione and we also visited the northern part, Limone and Riva del Garda. Sirmione was way too touristy for our taste and the northern part way too windy.
The third time we decided to stay in the south west of the lake, mainly in Saló and Gardone Riviera. Here we found our most favorite part of the beautiful lake. Being near to Milan, we feel very comfortable with the architecture of the houses here and I fell in love with the pretty boutiques in Saló.
And so in Saló we found our ultimate place to stay. Nowhere else have we stayed in such a friendly, familiar yet private, most hospitable apartment. We found this place, called „Luna Lombarda“ last year by accident, as we tried to book a hotel in a rather last-minute fashion. I just spontaneously picked the place as the internet rating was „perfect“ and the prices very reasonable.
This post is actually not meant to be a story about our vacation. But it is about how we grew to prefer staying in places that enable us to mingle with natives to staying in hotels or resorts where we are usually secluded and separated from the rest of the local area..
I was 6 months pregnant with Aurélie as we were staying at Luna Lombarda in the spring of 2017. After a very long and exhausting road trip, we finally arrived at the apartment in the evening. The owners, Jana and Rob were welcoming us in their house so warmheartedly that we felt like we just arrived at home. The suite „Chiara“ was ready and my jaw dropped as we finally got to see it. The terrace was so beautifully decorated, as if we were entering a fairytale. The rooms were spacious, beyond beautiful, „princessy-like“ stylish yet very functional. Everyone who enters this suite will realize that Jana & Rob pour their hearts out for their establishment.
The wonderful surprise didn’t end there just yet. In the next morning (I of course had to sit in the beautiful swing) while the amazing couple busily fixed our breakfast in our porch. I have never had that kind of breakfast in my whole life..I was out of words. Jana prepared everything so fresh..and the breakfast spree got on for about two hours, delightful plate one after the next. Knowing that I was pregnant, Jana was even more thoughtful with the dishes, assuring that the preggo mom got her daily nutrition. Despite this familiar and luxurious treatment, Jana & Rob were very careful as to not disturbing our privacy. As if they have a sixth sense, they know exactly when to come and go. We spent 4 days at their amazing suite and I just knew that we had to come back.
And so here we are again, exactly one year after our first time. Jana and I have been connected through Instagram and Facebook, so that she knew what’s been going on in our new life as parents-newbies. We both were very excited to meet one another again. Just as I was psyched to introduce Aurélie to their heavenly suites, Jana was also very excited to meet our little „baby boss“.
This time we’re staying in the suite „Giulia“, which is a bit more spacious than „Chiara“, differently decorated but just as beautiful in its own style. Again I am so mesmerized about how Jana & Rob decorate and put so much love in these rooms. Our baby boss even got her own bed, specially decorated for her.. I was so speechless by their hospitality and how they would go to great lengths for their guests.
Even if the suites are not directly by the lake, we might just come back there every year.. Just for the bits of friendliness, comfort and the feeling of coming home. And of course for the heavenly breakfast Jana prepares every morning..
As for having our first bigger trip with a baby, I can warmly recommend the Garda lake for vacations with a baby. There are so many beautiful spots to visit, to hike, to swim (in warmer seasons), to kite surf or just to chill by the lake. Mainly armed with our picnic mat, we spent a lot of hours by the lake.. playing with our baby and sipping some Aperol Sprizz (or the non-alcoholic Sanbitter for the nursing mommy ;)).