RIVA DEL GARDA

June/July is a good time to go as that is when the weather is at its best. May can be cold, August is often rainy and very busy with Italian holidaymakers.  September can be nice but that is usually busy with the older generation as they like to visit when the schools have started back! The main season finishes the last week of September, but as things don't begin to close down until the end of October it is a very nice time to visit the lake.

It is very easy and straightforward to fly to Verona airport. The shuttle bus waits right outside the airport (to the right as you come out) for the flight and takes you to Verona Bus Station which is right opposite the Train Station. Then there are regular (hourly) buses that travel Eastwards up to Riva so you can easily stop at Bardolino/Garda/Torri Del Benaco/Malcesine/Torbole or Riva, which is the last stop. It is very cheap too. The Shuttle bus is 6 euros and a single ticket from Verona to Riva is only 5.80 euros!

Riva is as safe as a place can be. There are always people about and the resort is suitable for singles, couples, families, pensioners etc. It is not a 'Brits Abroad' place so don't expect Burger and chips! It is busy and bustling but with a relaxed continental feel, popular with Dutch, Germans and other Italians. Riva has a lot of International Sailing Competitions on, so around the Yacht Club it is always very buzzy and brilliant for people watching! Nearby Torbole has Windsurfing Competitions on and is very popular with the 18-30 age group, but still a great place to go even if you are not in that age group! The walk along the edge of the Lake from Riva to Torbole is just breathtaking, amazing scenery, takes about 40 minutes at an average pace with plenty of places to stop and have a drink along the way. The only downside are the hundreds of cyclists and you do have to watch out for them, especially older people/families with young children etc.

Around 5pm the main Piazza starts to come alive! The Paseggiatta is a daily ritual! People make an effort to really dress up and stroll in and around the piazzas. In Summer there is Entertainment of some sort on every night, Dancers,  Fire Eaters, Singers, bands, jugglers. If you don't like one type of entertainment wander on to the next Piazza as there will be something else on!

One trip that is really worth doing and is NOT enhanced in the Tour Operators Brochures enough is the trip to Bolzano/Renon. In the Museum at Bolzano is the Ice Man, known as Otzi who is over 5000 years old. (He was found on the Italian/Austrian border by walkers when a Glacier started to melt. If you do the trip with an operator it really is worth the cost. After Bolzano they take you on to Renon which is very Austrian, and to see the Clay Pyramids. Then you are taken on a tram through the Mountains before returning to Riva.

The Tourist Information do some very good trips. Just go in and ask for details! A really good one which costs 10 euros is to the Medieval Villages in the mountains just a few miles away from Riva. You are picked up in the centre of Riva and taken to Pranzo, Canale and Tenno, finishing up at a tiny hamlet where the locals are waiting to share their hospitality with you, having provided a lovely buffet with local hams, cheeses and bread to be washed down with the wines of the region!