Tag Archive: castle


Château de Chenonceau

It looks like Andy is standing in front of a painted set!

We went to this lovely castle when we were staying in the Loire Valley when our daughter, Samantha, joined us in France in the summer of 2012. The Loire Valley is dotted with beautiful castles, but this was my favorite!

The town of Sirmione, Lake Garda.

Scaliger Castle in the town of Sirmione, Lake Garda.

Friends in Prague highly recommended that we visit Lake Garda, and now I know why! It has a very Mediterranean vibe to it, even though it is in northern Italy.

We are very laid back travelers…we like sleeping late, having brunch and pottering around the flat.  We rarely get out before noon; and our host recommended that we get out in the mornings and evenings to avoid the midday heat. So we’ve been setting out mid-afternoon and coming home late…it suits our family of night owls!

First, we stopped for an evening picnic...it was about 5:30pm.

First, we stopped for an evening picnic.

No picnic is complete in Italy without wine! Classy coffee cups:)

No picnic is complete in Italy without wine! Although I doubt Italians would use coffee cups:)

After our picnic we went on to the old city area.

After our picnic we went on to the old city area.

This is what you see as you are walking up to the historic town on a peninsula.

This is what you see as you are walking up to the historic town on the end of the peninsula.

Lake Garda, including what is now Sirmione, was a favourite resort area for rich families from Verona since the 1st century BC! At that time Verona (where we are now staying) was the main Roman city in north-eastern Italy.

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This lovely spot was the scene of several invasions following the fall of the Roman Empire.

Entering the old town.

Entering the old town: Scaliger Castle…built in the 13th century.

The noble family of the Scaliger, also know as Scaligeri, were the rulers of Verona in the 13th and 14th centuries.

You can read about their turbulent family history here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scaliger

Look for the close up in the next photo.

Look for the close up in the next photo.

Everything was so colorful!

Everything was so colorful! Notice that the pizzeria is named for the Scaligeri family.

It was fun walking through the streets... mostly all pedestrian area.

It was fun walking through the streets… mostly all pedestrian areas.

The lake is lovely in the evening.

The lake is lovely in the evening.

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Scaliger Castle was part of a defensive network surrounding Verona.

I learned that Sirmione has had a very turbulent history because of its strategic location in northern Italy. The town has witnessed the struggles in the Middle Ages between the Ghibellines (emperor supporters) and Guelphs (Pope supporters). You can learn more about it here:

http://carneycastle.com/Sirmione/index.htm

Ok, I'm exercising extreme self control to limit the number of photos in this post!

This picturesque town has seen some gruesome things take place in its history.

Cathars (considered heretics by the Catholic Church) took refuge here in the mid-1200’s. However, the last 166 Cathars were captured in 1276 and taken to the Arena of Verona and burned at the stake. You can read about their story here:

http://grantouritaly.blogspot.it/2012/09/sirmione-sanctuary-for-heretics.html

Nice place to share a bottle of wine...

Nice place to share a bottle of wine…

I'm displaying my weakness for taking photos of cute balconies:)

I’m displaying my weakness for taking photos of cute balconies:)

Nate hates posing for photos so we bribed him with ice cream!

Nate hates posing for photos so we bribed him with ice cream!

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It’s amazing the smiles that can be obtained with the incentive of ice cream!

Now he was suggesting photo ops...

Now he was suggesting photo ops…

No day is complete without a visit to the gelateria!

No day is complete without a visit to the gelateria!

Enjoying the sunset and the aftermath of a sugar high from the ice cream)

Enjoying the sunset and the aftermath of a sugar high from the ice cream)

The sun sets on a perfect day on Lake Garda!

The sun sets on a perfect day at Lake Garda!

We loved Lake Garda and would love to go back to explore other places around the lake! For anyone who has been there, are there any other locations on Lake Garda that you’d like to recommend?