Sunday, June 24, 2007

The wine Trail of Lake Garda – Wines, Food, Entertainment, and Agriturismo

Getting off the beaten tourist path and knowing what to do, where to go and what to eat is difficult. Most of us will use the Michelin Guide, the Gambero Rosso, or some other well known published book to identify a restaurant or a hotel in an area we do not know. Because the places are published they are usually not the best deals or most interesting solutions. I have found that when living in an area for about six months the locals have their secret places. For one reason or another these places never made it on the numerous publications that can give us insight into an area.

Chatting with one of my buddies this week he mentioned that he had recently joined an association made up of small producers in the area of lake Garda. The association is made up of 80 members. Their businesses include: vineyards, olive oil, agriturismo, hotels, restaurants, artisans, cultural associations, and museums. Through the members you can find local foods and wine including: Olive oil with low acidity, cheeses, fresh water fish, dried meats, and Garda wines. Looking at the Strada dei Vini e Sapori website, I realized this is the perfect guide to find those out of the way, little known, family run places that just are not big enough to make it into the national scene but are usually the best solution for a vacation that delves into Italian life and culture.

The site is entirely in Italian but do not be put off. Navigate around the site and take note of the phone/fax numbers indicated. The association can be contacted by email and the location and contact information for each establishment is right next to a small photograph. Some places also have a write-up about the history of the location or the establishment. Getting your trip together may take a little more work, contacting individually each place but the end result will be well worth the time.

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