WHERE AM I ?  Let yourself be inspired by the following picture series and you will quickly solve the riddle:

IT is the largest lake in Italy and its ancient name is Lacus benacus. It has a length of 51 kilometers and is up to 346 meters deep. Picturesque little villages line its shore. In the middle of the lake there is even a private island, which belongs to the noble family Borghese who resides in a chateau with neo-gothic-venetian style (temporary visits possible).

Its main inflow is the Sarca, its drain, the Mincio, which later flows into the Po. Its banks are mostly rocky; but besides pebbled shores, there are also sandy beaches such as the Spaggia dei Pini.

The entire region is well-known as water sports eldorado, as well as climbing, hiking and cycling paradise. In the area you will find beautiful gardens and on its slopes grow olives, cypresses and even lemons.

On the heights of the Eastern shore, there is even a mysterious extinct village. If you want to reach Campo di Brenzone on food via a former mule track, but you should pay attention to good footwear. The bad gravel-road ends in the middle of nowhere and you are away from any tourist crowds.

At the entrance, directly at a spring – the former washing place – located on about 1,000 meters altitude, an elderly woman occasionally offers some softdrinks. At the end of the village is another small bar.  The exploration of the tiny, almost uninhabited “ghost village” creates a somewhat spooky atmosphere. Well-trodden paths and narrow lanes lead up and downhill. Wild wine and ivy have conquered large parts of the village and invite you to dream. Behind portals and stone arches you may always find a new surprise. For example, the beautiful small late-Romanesque church “San Pietro in vincoli”, which stands picturesquely in the shade of a large cypress tree.

Only two families hold the position. But there is hope again. A foundation has supported the preservation and restoration of the beautifully situated village and has acquired about 60% of the buildings. The renovation of the house for artists, where workshops and exhibitions take place, has already been completed.

If you like it even more solitary and you are looking for silence and a monastic retreat, you will be welcomed in the “Eremo di San Giorgio” high above the lake; however, without TV or cell phone reception.

Have you been there before?  If not, here are some more impressions that may make addictive:

Even in September and October you can usually enjoy a perfect late summer. In case it really rains,  just visit the enchanted garden villa of the poet Gabriele d’Annunzio, which today is an elegant but also curious-looking museum. By the way, D’Annunzio was a classic dandy, so fashionistas get their money’s worth as well.


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