Italian Lakes: 7 Torrents & taste (lack of)

July 30, 2011

Another day partially frustrated by timing and sat nags (predictive text changed “navs” to “nags” and who am I to dispute the change. The goal was to visit some wine yards to the east of Lake Garda then take the ferry across to Limone thence to the waterfall at Riva and home. Due to various members of the party not returning until 0300 we were late getting off. The village listed in the guidebook for open wine makers was not in the Sat Nav so we set it for a town higher up the valley expecting to see it en route. Unfortunately the Sat Nav was not aware of this strategy and took us onto the autostrasse which had no exits until we were many kilometers north of our target area. At that point the plan changed as we were near Niva and it was now early afternoon we went there for the waterfall and a late lunch.

Now the waterfall was undoubtably the highlight of the day. It’s located in a a massive pot hole worn through the rock and you approach it in two locations via tunnels driven through the rock. Its been a tourist attraction since 1974 and numbers two of my literary heroes in Thomas Mann and Franz Kafka among its visitors. There is no way of seeing this without getting wet and it took two entries to find a location where the camera could be brought out to take the shot which opens this post.

I also was reminded that one of the problems of taking a semi-pro camera into a tourist location is that you become an immediate target for the family who wants a volunteer to take their family show on a point and shoot. I was also reminded that such customers can be very demanding. I had to retake one shot five times (while getting wet) before one family were happy with the result. I had to comply however, getting five children to look at the camera when two are scared out of their lives with the power of the adjacent waterfall was not easy!

After that we found somewhere to park in Riva and headed for a light lunch. Now this was the low light and I have photographic evidence. You take a British first year chemistry undergraduate to Italy and given a free choice he orders a burger (pictured). The rest of the party were on parma ham, fruit etc. but Huw contentedly tucked into that hamburger and to compound the sin, asked for, and then used copious amounts of tomato ketchup.

From Riva it was a long drive back on a crowded lakeshore road so our plans to visit D’Annunzio’s villa in Gardone Riviera fell to time and attempts to find some wine makers around the southern part of the lake again failed. The guidebook simply mentioned names and a nearby town. But there were no local signposts so finally, after too much time in the car we returned to our base. Tomorrow is cheesy tourist day in Verona; Jullet’s balcony and all.

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