We’re so excited to feature Ashley Merkel of ashinthewild.com on the blog today! Both Ashley and her husband @grantplace are two of my favorite accounts to follow for the BIG views and inspiration. Her blog is home to incredibly helpful insider adventure info for Wisconsin and beyond, much to our viewing pleasure. Below she talks about a recent trip to Italy’s Lago di Garda and you won’t be disappointed. Thanks, Ashley!
Italy’s travel culture is popular for relaxing, eating, and wandering through historic towns. When traveling through Northern Italy we of course did plenty of that. However, my husband and I had to add in a touch of hiking and lake time as well. While staying in a beautifully charming town called Malcesine on Lago di Garda, northwest of Venice, we were in awe of the mountains and cliffs encompassing the lake. We knew we had to find a way to gain some elevation and take it all in.
One morning we drove along the winding lakeside road that lead us to the northernmost town on the lake, Riva del Garda. As you drive north the cliffs get taller as they encroach on the Dolomites, a mountain range considered to be a section of the Alps. We parked in town and started on the Strada del Ponale. This trail follows a historic road originally built in the 1800’s with old military sites situated along the way.
One of the beautiful aspects of Italy is they take their mornings slow. Walking the streets shortly after sunrise you’ll find them peaceful and quiet. The same holds true for their trails. We were the only people on it for the first half hour and after that only occasionally ran into one or two people. Lake Garda is known for its variety of water sports and active community so it was a only matter of time before it started to become busy. Until then, the sunlight was still stretching across the mountain tops, the water was glistening below us, and we could watch the towns along the lake slowly wake up.