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Italian Lakes: 8 laundry, ragù & wine

July 31, 2011

DSC_4651.jpg A lazy day, eight days in to the holiday and time to find a launderette and no desire to spend time in the car after yesterday’s abortive trip. The laundry would normally be a tedious experience, ending up in some grotty hotel basement struggling to find quarters. However this is Italy and the launderettes have style. Firstly it was clean with plenty of space and air conditioning. Secondly all the washing machines and dryers did not look like they had fallen off tieback of a lorry. Thirdly the whole location is controlled from a remote centre. Different coloured flashing lights give warning of last wash/last dry before the doors automatically shut you in for the night. All washing machines are controlled form a single panel on the wall. Put in your machine number, select the was cycle, pay (any notes or coins) and then watch the timers count down. OK this may sound tedious, but if you travel as much as I do its a welcome relief when the basics work.

Chores complete (the male members of the party being assigned to the tasks) we set off to eat following the guide book rather than our noses. Given past experience with the sat nav we did the research online to get the post code etc. and headed up into the hills to the west of Bardolino to the Restorante Costadoro. It looked attractive (pictured), garden shaded by olive trees, vines surrounding and an evening breeze cooling what had been a nightmare day. But we were too early, so down to the lakeshore to waste an hour or so.

This worked out well, the sun was setting with some spectacular effects on the lake. The day was ending so boats were being tied up. Sunday trippers and holiday makers alike packing up and preparing to leave. Bardolino had not been on our visit list but it looked from interesting than Garda. Of course, as throughout the lake the shore line is paved, albeit artistically. There is little natural about Lake Garda other than the water and the mountains. The coast has been settled for too long and its a rich region so its almost swiss in its cleanliness. The church looked interesting but the mass was in progress so we couldn’t play tourist. This was also very clearly a wine town, with a museum for wine, and another for olive oil. Having seen these and some of the small wineries up the hill we resolved that our boat hire tomorrow would be half a day to allow time to return.

By now the Costadoro was open, although we were the first customers. It filled up later so we would have needed a reservation to eat at normal italian time. The lake fish starter and the macaroni with rabbit ragù were outstanding, but the real treasures were the wines. We let the waiter choose local wines for us and ended up buying a bottle of the 2009 Bardolino Classico to take home at the end of the meal. As I was driving this seemed more acceptable than buying a second bottle and allowing others to consume it. Writing this blog and savoring its taste I think we should have bought more than one! However we will return tomorrow.

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