Gargnano; Life or Something Like it in Italy.

Gargano, Lake Garda, Italy, offbeat

“Experiencing a country through its cities is like judging a book by its cover.” ~yours truly.

Welcome to Gargnano. An unassuming little village on the northern shores of Lake Garda in Italy, away from the touristy towns of Desenzano and Sirmione. Here everyone knows everyone else. Two days is how long it takes for the locals to know me, despite my broken language.

Every second person I walk past is indulging in a gelato (reminding me that this is Italy). I quickly start to love and ease into the slow pace of life, even if for 2 days. I stroll along the small village, now enjoying a chocolate gelato, now getting pampered by the flavors of the local pasta at a cozy restaurant by the lake, now stopping for some local wines. I’m glad I’m not spoilt for choice of food; even in my short stay, I become a regular everywhere I go. In fact, I start to get acquainted with the owners and the chefs, and I discover that the guy who cooks the best pasta I’ve had so far in Italy, is from Pakistan. We chat awhile, and he tells me that Italians are just blessed when it comes to cooking food, that irrespective of what they do in the kitchen, the food always tastes delicious when it’s served. I envy him his intimate access to those pastas…

lake garda, gargnano, village, offbeat, italy

A favorite pastime of both visitors and locals is sitting by the water and feeding the ducks. I’m fascinated watching them swim and hop ashore in crowds of three, presumably a polygamous setting. It is a tranquil place for bird-watching, I see many of what appear to be pink-headed pigeons.

lake garda, gargnano, italy, offbeat village

I can tell the time of day by the color of the lake, and the season by the amount of snow on the mountain peaks. As aperitivo starts (the Italian custom of pre-dinner drinks & snacks), a lot of foreign faces begin to meddle with Gargnano’s isolated existence. The culprit is a tour boat from the southern villages. These ‘tourists’ remind me of Brescia, the city I traveled past to reach this lovely village. It’s just a bus-ride away geographically, but demographically (in lifestyle and in age), probably a few decades.

lake garda, gargnano, italy, offbeat village

With the onset of darkness, the visitors start to disappear into the far shores of the lake and I return to what feels like my own little village. Someday, I must return to live more of this simple, slow and beautiful life.

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    1. Thanks Madeeha 🙂 It’s my amateur sanyo camera, so credit for all the beauty goes to the place itself!

  1. Love the pictures and the description 🙂 How did you zero down to such beautiful and unexplored places? I mean these places are not usually covered in tourist packages I believe….so how and why did you select them?

    1. Thanks Supriya 🙂 I find them by digging deep on Google, though usually they have just a few mentions here & there. It’s really a leap of faith going to an unexplored place, and seeing their untouched beauty is a pleasure like no other. For me, that’s everything in travel! Hope to see you at the Shooting Star often 🙂

  2. Its beautiful. i cant think of anything else to say!

  3. Definitely pining for Italy now. I love how you can find those moments in Italy where you can become a local. I think it must be the Italian spirit to make you feel at home.

  4. It’s absolutely the Italian spirit and I loved it 🙂 Thanks for stopping by Suzy!

  5. Dear Shivya
    How are you?
    Very well written, I really enjoyed…I fondly recall my few trips to lake Garda, Maggiorie and Como ..but Garda is the best .Last year I used to stay in Milano for some time ..and come weekend, and I used to rush to the lakes, Venice and Chinque Tere . Northern Italy is just out of the world…Friends got disappointed that I did not go to Rome, Florence, Pisa etc…but I was not…
    Let me read all your postings one by one..I am far away from Delhi and in the midst of Sahara desert in Algeria , the net is too slow ..and cant open blogs most of the time…very sad..
    My Dec trip to Kumaon will fizzle out as I need to be here until Jan end…
    Have a nice week ahead

    1. Thanks Ushnish and welcome to The Shooting Star 🙂 Wow, you lived in Northern Italy? I’m really very jealous. Been dreaming of living there, hopefully someday I will.

      Algeria sounds exotic! Hope to read about your desert adventures on your blog.

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  7. Hi Shivya,

    I. Am so. Hooked to ur writing and get so excited to read your blogs. I am visiting Europe for he first time in sep this year. I have finalised Austria Prague. Want to do one more place. Do u have any suggestions? Love all kind of places so no preference

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