We are always up to discovering a new nature escape, especially if it's a) a lake b) off-the- tourist radar. So when I read a little passage about Lago di Ledro in Lonely Planet Italy guide (I find the most interesting places and experiences in those separated excerpts) I got curious, and when I found a perfect b&b to spend a night in there, I was convinced that we have to go.
The lake is situated in the northern Italian province of Trentino, about half an hour drive from Riva del Garda, a city located on the northern tip of the lake Garda. Given the proximity of the two lakes, Ledro is surprisingly peaceful and "undiscovered" compared to Garda.
After a really long drive along the busy riviera of Lago di Garda (as always, we decided to skip the highway and drive the scenic road by the lake, but, as always it took too long), we were anxious to finally get to the lake.
We were tired from the never-ending drive and not so overwhelmed with the mass tourism of Lago di Garda, but when we caught a first glimpse of Ledro and tucked our feet into its green water, we knew it would be a lovely two days!
Our b&b Enjoy Ledro in Pieve di Ledro was really neat- every room was decorated in different style, and we chose to stay in the Alpine-hut styled room in the attic with sweet wooden details. Our host, Beatrice served a lovely breakfast- raspberry milkshakes, homemade pies, tiny jars of cheesecakes with the background music played on a gramophone. Very cool.
But, the best part of our stay was the fact that she also provided city bikes for her guests, and the two of us made the most of it. :) Cycling tracks connect the nearby villages and there is a route that circles around the lake, but there are parts where the track disappears and you have to drive on the main road, alongside with the cars. Since the traffic around the lake is not that dense, that wasn't a problem.
The cycling/walking path around the lake is beautiful, and so is the lake itself. As you change your point of view, so does the water color- it's dark blue, turquoise, dark green or just crystal clear in the shallows. The water is really clean and the temperature is good for bathing- it reaches 24 degrees Celsius in the summer months, which is pretty high for an Alpine lake.
I liked the fact that the lake is not overcrowded with tourists, and there was just about right amount of swimmers, walkers, yachstman and cyclists to make it a lively but relaxing place.
For some people, the tropical beaches represent the perfect escape, for other the Mediterranean sun, but for me it's the mountains and the lakes. There is nothing more fulfilling then breathing the crisp mountain air with a profound woody scent, soaking up the sparkling greenery of alpine meadows, watching the clouds accumulating over the mountain peaks or the traces of misty fog surrounding the fir trees, and above all, resting my eyes on the changing colors of the lake waters.
I always think about how some people are lucky enough to call those places home, and imagine what it's like to live there, what's their daily routine, do they miss the buzz of the city, or does the nature make up for the things one might miss when living in a small community. I'd like to try it out for myself sometime. :)
Thanks to our host, we discovered a perfect agrotourism called Agritur La Dasa, situated above the nearby village of Bezzecca. They're producing their own dairy and meat products, but also serve hearty local meals for lunch and dinner. We enjoyed the cheese plate (the smoked riccotta is something special), home made spinach gnocchi (so soft and gooey) and delicious pasta al ragu. Few can beat their location- you can enjoy the view of the lake from their terrace or the greenery of nearby meadows and mountains, and if you visit by night, in the silence of the valley, you can hear the cows chewing the grass just below the terrace.
The whole family works on a farm, with father being the head chef, who speaks only the local version of Italian but is more then happy to hang around and explain the menu to his guests. When I asked him if they had Tripadvisor (with intention on writing an excellent review) he didn't understand what was I talking about. Then his wife told us that she heard about it, but they were not using it. It was the middle of the week, and they were full for dinner. Well, that speaks enough about the quality of their products.
Our stay was short, and we spent most of or time by the lake, because it works like a magnet for peace and calm longing visitors, but next time I'd love to explore more of this extraordinary beautiful region. I feel like we just scratched the surface of what Trentino has to offer.