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Regina del Garda

Gardone Riviera, Brescia

Nearest shopping and dining: Location! Location! Location! Around this piazzetta or small pedestrian square are several restaurants and cafes and being in the center of Gardone Riviera, shops of all kinds are within walking distance. A pizzeria is on the ground floor of the building. A Despar market, 600 yards away is open on Saturday until 7:30 pm and on Sunday, in the summer months, from 8:30 am - 1pm. Less than 10 minutes away, Salo has two supermarkets.

Internet Point: "La Pensilina" cafe bar is located 200 yards from the apartment and open until 7 pm. Closed on Sunday.

Not to be missed: In Toscolano-Maderno, a 10 minute drive away, is a museum dedicated to its history in papermaking. Mussolini's Villa Feltrinelli is in Gargnano, a 15 minute drive and is now a luxury hotel.

The summer resort town of Riva del Garda, a 45 minute drive away, features a castle where Dante slept. The castle is surrounded by a moat filled with swans and a courtyard of palm trees.

Desenzano, a popular resort town with a long lakefront promenade of boutique shops, bars, restaurants and an active nightlife is 35 minutes away.

Within a 45 minute drive is Grotte di Sirmione with ruins of a massive Roman villa from the 1st century BC with a 140 foot cistern, once used to feed the Roman baths and heated pool. Reached by electric train or a 15 minute walk from Sirmione.

Public transportation: For those arriving by train, use the Brescia train station and then take a bus to Gardone. Buses run every 30 minutes and the ride is just over an hour. For day trips, a passenger ferry stops 100 yards in front of the apartment and visit towns along the Lake's western shore. In Maderno, a 10 minute drive is the car ferry to cross over to Torri on the eastern shore. Ferry service is seasonal and runs from mid-March to October. The most frequent service is during the months of June to October, and this is the only time a car is not necessary. From mid-March to June, ferry service is available but on a limited schedule.

Within walking distance: The Botanical Garden of Hruska is 500 yards away with over 8,000 exotic flowers. Open from March to October. Villa Vittoriale, the home of Italian author Gabriele D' Annunzio is a 10 minute walk. The villa houses a wide range of furnishings and decor from the 1930s with some very unusual items such as an open air theater designed after Taormina's Greek theatre, the prow of a battleship and a mausoleum modeled after a wedding cake.

Pool: The friendly owner has a hotel two and a half miles away. Guests of Regina del Garda can use this hotel's adult and children's pool at no charge. The pool is open from 8 am to 8 pm from mid-May through mid-October.

Beach: A grassy area with sun chair rental is located at the end of the promenade next door along with a diving school. Within a 10 minute drive is Toscolano-Maderno with the area's best beaches.

For Kids: Gardaland is Italy's largest theme park with Valley of the Kings - a scaled reproduction of an Egyptian temple, Merlin's Castle, African Safari, Dolphin shows and Barbie World. Located an hour's drive in Castelnuovo Garda and open April - October with daily hours from mid-June to mid-Sept and weekends otherwise.

Golf: Gardagolf Country Club, within a 30 minute drive, Open year round. Closed on Mondays from November 1 - March 15.

Horseback riding: Scuderia Castello, within a 20 minute drive. They offer half day and full day riding trips. Must be booked in advance.

Outdoor activities: One of the main attractions of Lake Garda are the multitude of watersports and recreation activities available: windsurfing (with several world championships hosted here); diving; swimming; boat rides; and many more.

Hiking: The Monte Spino mountain features many hiking trails and views. Riva del Garda's Cascata Verone is a 100 yard waterfall with hiking trails to take in the beauty of the natural landscape.

Special events - festivals: Drama and concerts in the open-air theater of Villa Vittoriale take place in July and August.

Open air markets: Mondays in Bergamo and Peschiera; Tuesdays in Desenzano del Garda and Wednesdays in Cremona; the second and the fourth Wednesday in Riva del Garda.

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