Lago di Garda and Limone sul Garda – Lake Garda and Limone, Northern Italy

Although Lago di Garda (Lake Garda, Italy) was our last stop on our vacation I’m posting it first. Not exactly sure why maybe it had the most impact on me or maybe it’s just because I like to flip through a book backwards.

Lake Garda is one of the most picturesque places I’ve ever visited. We learned that during the war it was a popular spot for German high-ranking officers to stay. Today there are a lot of German visitors each year and from all over the world, and everyone in the hospitality industry speaks fluent German, English, Italian of course, and even Russian.

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We stayed at a beautiful boutique hotel which was once the living house for priests. It is still owned by the church today. dragonfruit_photography_garda-26

Hotel Bella Riva, Gardone Riviera.

dragonfruit_photography_gardaWe had a wonderful room with a terrace and an amazing view of the lake.

dragonfruit_photography_garda-2With a restaurant on site and all local ingredients, the chefs were fantastic. dragonfruit_photography_garda-18

You could easily just order dessert all night, all freshly made and created by the head chef. The above is chocolate mouse in a tiny mason jar, hazelnut truffles, dessert cheese and orange custard.

We only stayed there 2 nights, sadly, as the lake has so many wonderful and historic places to visit one could easily stay there a week and have more than enough to do. We decided to go to Limone sul Garda, as that’s where the lemon houses are and I just had to see for myself these amazing, historic places.

dragonfruit_photography_garda-3Surrounded by mountains, Limone sul Garda is the perfect area to grow lemons as the rock shields the trees from harsh weather.

Though there are 7 lemon houses, we visited Limonaia Del Castél in the heart of Limone sul Garda which dates back to the 10th century.

dragonfruit_photography_garda-14 dragonfruit_photography_garda-15dragonfruit_photography_garda-11The lemon trees in these houses grow in single rows, each row on its own level, each level recedes back and up towards the mountain. dragonfruit_photography_garda-13

The wooden beams and concrete pillars were used, few hundred years ago, as removable walls and roof. When the winter came the workers would slide in glass panels to protect the trees from the elements. dragonfruit_photography_garda-7 dragonfruit_photography_garda-10

Today there is no more need for these walls as the climate has changed so much that this area rarely sees frost anymore and temperatures average around 8°C in December.

Limonaia Del Castél is quite large with many layers housing several varieties of lemons and other citrus fruit trees such as oranges and clementines. dragonfruit_photography_garda-6 dragonfruit_photography_garda-8 dragonfruit_photography_garda-9

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Limonaia Del Castél also makes its own lemon Liqueur (Liquore Limoncino).  dragonfruit_photography_garda-28

There are 2 varieties. The cream one (left) is 17% with a strong lemon flavour and a creamy smoothness. The non-cream one (right) is 30% and very strong lemon flavour and packs a bit of a punch and has a lot of sweetness.

Just outside of Limonaia Del Castél are great little historic streets filled with shops, restaurants and places to stay the night, or a week. dragonfruit_photography_garda-23 dragonfruit_photography_garda-24We like to get lost in these little streets and see the more residential parts. All nestles between the mountain and the lake.

dragonfruit_photography_garda-16 dragonfruit_photography_garda-22dragonfruit_photography_garda-17Check out my photos on Intagram at DragonFruitFoto for more candids from Limone Italy. Stay tuned for more from from our travels to Italy, Monaco and Côte d’Azur

I’ll leave you with this mouth-watering image from Limone… OK must go eat now… dragonfruit_photography_garda-21

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