Tuesday, November 22, 2022

First Time in Verona: Day One

We spent three wonderful days at City Hotel in Desenzano del Garda before leaving for five days in Verona.  Our Trenitalia,  "Me & You" train ($15/2) trip from Desenzano del Garda to the Verona Porta Nuova train station was only 20 minutes from start to finish. Quick and easy. Our train arrived on time, as is usual for Italian trains, in Verona at 9:28, but we couldn't check in to our apartment until 3:00. Not good planning on my part. I should have coordinated our Desenzano departure as late as possible to coincide with our check-in time in Verona. Live and learn. Sadly, I made this mistake more than once on this trip. It can't always be done due to early check-out times, but I'll do better next time.

After a bit of confusion about where to find the apartment keys (which were hidden in an odd place), we safely left our luggage at the apartment while it was being cleaned which allowed us to begin to explore Verona for the first time. During that time we had a light lunch outside at D3 Restaurant & Bar just off Piazza Bra. 

After lunch, we returned to our apartment, the Boutique Apartment Ca Monastero booked through and settled in for our 5-day stay. The apartment which was close to the center, Piazza Bra and the Arena di Verona, was just right for us and included a small balcony which we were able to use on the sunny days and pleasant evenings we enjoyed in Verona. You can read our apartment reviews at

Went out again and found a cosy osteria, Osteria del Cavaliere near the Arena where we enjoyed pasta suppers and wine. The small family restaurant had run out of several of its menu items (kind of strange, but it was open on Sunday)) so the choice was limited. Our meals were good, but the house wine, not so much. Got back to our apartment early in the evening. Looking forward to Day two in Verona.

The Arena di Verona


Piazza Bra, Verona

Boutique Apartment Ca Monastero, Verona

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

One Hectic Day in Venice, Then Off to Desanzano Del Garda


Sirmione on Lake Garda.

Our Aer Lingus flight landed in Venice from Dublin on time at 11:35 in the morning. From the airport, we found the ATVO bus to Venice proper out front. Before departure, we had already purchased our roundtrip tickets (36 euros/2, a savings of 4 euros) online. In another half hour, we were at Piazzale Roma in Venice, about a 25-minute walk to our apartment (if we didn't get a bit lost on the way). At that point, we were frustrated, tired and hungry trying to find our way. Still, with help from our apartment host, we eventually checked in and relaxed momentarily before going out to have lunch. All was well at that point. We walked around Venice for a couple of hours without getting too lost and went back to our apartment for a rest, before going out to dinner at Due Fratelli Ristorante. 

In the morning, after checkout time, we left our apartment and walked 15 minutes to the Santa Lucia train station to catch our 1:48 Trenitalia Frecciargento fast train to Desenzano Del Garda-Sirmione, which was a one hour and 33-minute trip. Once again, we had purchased our train tickets from Trenitalia online from home. we made the short walk to our hotel from the train station and began our 3 days in Desenzano Del Garda. On our first full day, we took the 20-minute ferry ride to Sirmione (10 euros round trip each). Well worth it for the views alone.


Debbie at Sirmione Scaligero Castle


Our Epic Trip To Italy 2022 - Venice and Desenzano Del Garda

 We're home now, but what a trip we had! Our longest visit to Italy: 27 days was exciting...and tiring. I'll start the story with some photos from the beginning, middle and ending.

Debbie in Venice in the ancient Jewish Ghetto.

Aer Lingus view.
Debbie at Santa Lucia Train Station when we arrived in Venice on September 14th
                                      Desenzano del Garda was the 2nd stop on our itinerary.