Best known for its Shakespeare associations, Verona attracts a multinational gaggle of tourists to its pretty piazzas and knot of lanes, most in search of Romeo, Juliet and all that. But beyond the heart-shaped kitsch and Renaissance romance, Verona is a bustling centre, its heart dominated by a mammoth, remarkably well-preserved 1st-century amphitheatre, the venue for the city's annual summer opera festival. Add to that countless churches, a couple of architecturally fascinating bridges over the Adige, regional wine and food from the Veneto hinterland and some impressive art, and Verona shapes up as one of northern Italy's most attractive cities. And all this just a short hop from the shores of stunning Lake Garda.
Torbole, a historic village with houses facing Lake Garda, impresses with its particular beauty. A walk through the beautiful ancient village centre with the narrow alleys should really not be missed! The little harbour with the typical buildings of the Vecchia Dogana (15th century), the Casa Breust, the main square and the tollhouse (Casetta del Dazio) are passed in this walk.
Even Goethe while his tour of Italy between September 1786 and May 1788 was really smitten with the charm of Torbole. Here one of the most beautiful walking tours of the area starts, it leads from the small Santa Lucia valley towards Nago until the feet of the Penede rock.
Sirmione is a small historic town (only 10.5 miles away from Solferino) located on the tip of a long peninsula protruding from the southern shore of the largest lake in Italy....Lake Garda. Sirmione has thermal springs and was a spa destination even in Roman times! Situated between Desenzano del Garda and Peschiera, Sirmione is picturesque throughout, but its two main tourist attractions are the 13th century Scaliger Castle which is still defended by a moat patrolled by swans and ducks and the Roman ruins. A panoramic walk leads out around the promontory, and on a clear day you can enjoy great views over the lake and towards the mountains in the north.
The ruined Roman villa - Villa Romana - out at the end of the headland is large and impressive. The poet Catullus had a family home in the Sirmione area, so historically this site has been associated with him, and known as the Grotte di Catullo ('caves of Catullus')
The Scaliger Castle is considered one of the finest examples of a medieval fortifications, including a very rare fortified port. There are 150 steps which lead up to the ramparts and the tower is open to public for viewing!