Lake Garda was stunning. Agriturismo Cervano was amazing. So they get a blog of their own! (I’ll do a couple of blogs for the 0ther stuff we did while at Lake Garda)
Agriturismo Cervano is on the hillside above and slightly north of Toscolano Maderno, about half way down the West side of Lake Garda. It is a converted farm that has been in the owners family for ~200 years (I think this is what we were told!). On their advice we took the north side, via a golf course, to get there from the main lake road. It was mostly a single track with a few passing places… Apparently the other way in is worse! Despite us being used to driving on narrow Cumbrian roads, we’re glad we took their advice! Once through their gate there was still a few minutes of switchbacks through the olive groves before the view opened out to the charming rustic converted farm buildings.
The outside of the buildings were not ‘polished’ like a posh hotel, but tidied enough to look authentic and keep their character, without being tatty.
We were met by the owner Gino who gave us a very warm welcome and tour of our appartment and some of the grounds. We later met his daughter, Silvia, who was the perfect host throughout or stay. Very helpful and attentive, without being interfering. Inside the appartment the decor was both modern and traditional, keeping the character of the buildings while still being clean, chic and stylish. We got an appartment with three bedrooms, with the dream of children going to sleep more easily and us having our own room… A couple of the nights we both slept the full night in our bed, but mostly one of us was in with the little princess!
Bee’s and our rooms were on the bottom floor along with the lounge/kitchen/diner and main bathroom.
The third bedroom, which we gave to Pip, was on a mezzanine level in the loft space. Not perfect at Bee’s age, but Pip was very good about it. He even got his own bathroom, and there was a little cubby/walk in wardrobe bit which worked perfectly as a little play room/den for them both 🙂
It was absolutely perfect for the ‘holiday’ part of our Europe road trip – luxury inside, rustic and natural outside. The buildings and grounds were superb to chill out in with the kids. They even had some little electric rode on vehicles in one of the courtyards – a wonderful surprise for our two speedy heads!
The main buildings have a wildflower meadow to one side, just a few steps from the door and nestled below the mountain side.
It was literally alive with wildlife! The cicadas were persistent in their song, which was both deafening and peaceful at the same time. Bees and butterflies busied theirselves around the flowers, and if you stepped through the meadow, dozens of grasshoppers and crickets leapt away from your feet with every step. It was all so magical and we loved catching (and releasing) anything we could. This lead to the kids leaping round the meadow in persuit of very evasive grasshoppers! Luckily I’m a bit more skilled at the acquisition of invertebrates, so Bee got to ‘hold’ a few things. Pip just looked closely, he’s a bit squirmish!
There is a lovely viewpoint which opens up into a panorama of the lake. There’s seating and a table and fairy lights in a dome created from the trees.
One of my favourite memories is calling Mike and the Kids in from the window of our appartment for their tea, when they were playing up at the viewpoint. I felt like I lived there! I could get used to that!
Tea on that particular night was a sort of risotto type thing, with a bunch of amazing veg I got at the local supermarket… Which was an experience! You had to wear a plastic glove to choose them and then weigh and label it yourself – not at all what I’m used to in England where we have bare hands and the cashiers weigh and price it.
I also bought a giant watermelon. Just because “I carried a watermelon”! (If you don’t know that quote, shame on you! And watch Dirty Dancing!). We never ate the watermelon, and had to leave it there. But I carried it. (See!)
Anyway, enough of my melon. Where were we…
There’s so much to do around Lake Garda and so varied, there really is something for everyone. We got a good mix of stuff done, I think, with a visit to Verona, a trip across the lake and up the cable car to Monte Baldo and an afternoon of swimming and kayaking at Campione. (All of which I will blog about seperatly). I could have spent all my time at Cervano, either lounging around or exploring. We did a days worth of this at the start and end of our trip. It was so relaxing to chill out at one of the many tables and chairs scattered around.