Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Rocca di Garda.

On our second day at Garda after an early morning guided tour around the town which included sampling some ice-cream and alcoholic beverages we purchased our lunch from a local mini market and commenced the climb to the summit of Rocca di Garda that dominates the skyline above the town.

An important castle was founded on this site in the 5th century and became the centre of a large important jurisdiction which developed during the Longoband and Carolingian period. Protected by natural cliffs on three sides and the eastern slope was defended by an imposing town wall, parts of which are still visible amongst the heavy undergrowth. It was ceded by the empire to the town of Verona at the end of the 12th century.

Our steep climb started directly behind the Church of St. Maria Assunta and as we gained altitude, initially up a never ending flight of steps, the vista opened up over the town and the lake.

The very steep ascent was quite arduous but from the summit you can appreciate its commanding location with views in most directions although somewhat hampered by the extensive mixed woodland which now envelopes all but the north-western cliff. We were rewarded with views of Garda Harbour and Punta San Vigilio.

The view northwards towards the Dolomites.

On the summit there were open areas of grassland and an unexpected pleasure was watching a few species of butterflies including Wall, Swallowtail, Red Admiral and several Whites.

 Wall (Lasiommata megera).

Swallowtail (Papilio machaon).

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta).

Our decent southwards off the hill was a little easier on the leg muscles as we enjoyed views of Cuckoo, Hooded Crows and Kestrels flying overhead while wending our way along narrow roads adjoining unspoilt countryside. 

Our route, somewhat extended due to my navigation error, eventually took us to the outskirts of Bardolino and then we returned at a very leisurely pace north along the lakeside promenade back to Garda.

9 comments:

  1. A beautiful place to take a holiday Frank, and the climb was definitely worth it for those stunning views, and the butterflies!...[;o)

    There seems to be a problem with your blog! I don't know if anyone else is experiencing it but every time I log on to it I get music and talking in the background!!!

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  2. How delightful! It is such a gorgeous place. No wonder you had such a good time. Interesting to see the same butterflies that I see here!

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  3. It looks lovely the views are stunning, have a great day.

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  4. What a fantastic trip to take. Your images are beautiful. Looks like you had a great time.

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  5. incredible scenery Frank; what a treat to view this post

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  6. What a beautiful place! Thank you for continuing to share your trip with us.

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  7. Wonderful scenery Frank.....and what a bonus to see the butterflies, especially the swallowtail.
    I saw them in great numbers in Kansas City a few years back, they are beautiful.

    My son and nearly daughter in law are going to a wedding in Lake Garda.....I feel they are going to enjoy it after viewing your post :)

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  8. HI Frank Sorry i don't know if my last comment got sent. This was a wonderful trip to Garda you had and it is lovely to be able to see the place and surroundings. Love the butterflies and wildflowers shots also.

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  9. Hi Frank. What a wonderful visit and walk! I enjoyed the views and butterflies!

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I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.

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