img_9868

Riva del Garda was our first stop in Italy. Somewhat frazzled, we exited the Autostrada, leaving the mayhem of Italian style driving behind us for a few days. We arrived at Riva, which was like a soothing balm. We pulled into a small, tree-lined, family-run campground about twenty paces from the lake. On our first morning, Bradley and I enjoyed our first Italian coffees on the shores of Lago del Garda, while the girls frolicked in the water. Family bliss! (At least for a few minutes!)

img_9877

We had some of our favorite meals of the whole trip in Riva including our first Italian pizza and dinner at a local trattoria that proudly served “NO PIZZA!” and was run by a no nonsene grandmother who was clearly beloved by the locals.

img_1674

img_1662img_1667

One afternoon we climbed up the hillside to the ruins of an the old Bastione. It was another great walking challenge for Vivien, which she mastered beautifully. We were all rewarded with a sweeping view of the town of Riva and Lago del Garda.

img_1695

img_9906

In addition to the beauty of the place, the area is a popular destination for windsurfing, rock climbing and sailing as well as just touring about, taking ferries across the lake to different little towns and eating delicious food along the way. We were just at the beginning of our adventure and only stayed a few days. Next time we will stay much longer!