Italy ( part 1 )… Rain and Colour

September 1, 2014

Filed Under : Summer

The thing which is very easy to forget when you go on holiday is that there’s a massive amount of pressure on enjoying yourself and it all being amazing…
With the wealth of social media around it generally seems that everybody’s life is always amazing, which then just adds to that pressure that your holiday has to be perfect…
We arrived at our hotel near Salò, by Lake Garda, on Friday evening, and the following morning the view basically looked like a scene from all the Lake District holidays of my childhood…very, very wet!
We love walking and hadn’t hired a car, in favour of the 40 minute walk from the hotel into Salò town…we hadn’t really bargained for massive rain, although thankfully we had packed cagoules
We convinced ourselves that it was actually brilliant, as it meant that there weren’t as many people about…we found a circuitous route into town, which led us into an Italian market where the fruit and veg were impressively and organically mishap-en, and the cured meat and cheese stall looked like something from a travelling fairground…
However by about 3 o’clock, the whole community of cafes and restaurants seemed so downcast and apologetic about the rain; shrugging and pulling sad, confused faces, that the melancholia started to spread…
“We’re in Italy, it can’t rain”…we said from behind waterproof hoods ( which seemed to be leading a lot of water directly into our faces and down our backs…)
We sat in a cafe until we couldn’t quite hear the canopy being pummelled as hard as it had been 20 minutes before, and decided to walk back…
By the time we were walking up the final steep hill, the rain had miraculously stopped, the sun was out, and we arrived back at the hotel…baking and knackered!
And this is basically when we realised how lucky we were to be staying at our hotel; Villa Arcadio. Although, at this point we still hadn’t really worked out how to relax in this complete oasis, and not worry about going on holiday excursions!
The next day was brilliant sunshine…
I desperately wanted to go to the Isola del Garda which apparently had amazing gardens, and as there was only one day of the week when a boat left Salò for the Borghese Cavazza home, we took another excursion… this time in the heat!
The gardens really were beautiful…*
*more photos from the trip to the Isola del Garda will appear in the other ‘Italy’ posts 
and…apart from a rather rude, tall British man who pushed in front of me in the boat queue and then stood with his rucksack in my face as if I wasn’t there…we had a genuinely lovely time.
…and the glass of wine on the balcony at the end of the tour is a brilliantly thought through detail!
As we were out and about, we decided to take the ferry over to Garda town…
We walked around the crowded backstreets, had a large ice cream, and I got told off by a boat man for standing in the wrong line ( although my ruck sack was not in anyone’s face I hasten to add… ).
Returning to Salò, we walked back up the steep hill, which is when and where I collected various plants and wildflowers, and we arrived back at the hotel…baking and knackered!
My table arrangements are always a type of meditation which relax and calm me down, so I started to arrange on our bedroom window sill…
…and then ventured into the hotel corridors…and found this wonderful old table
That evening over beers, and some utterly amazing food at Villa Arcadio, we decided that there would be no more excursions…
The hotel and it’s setting was incredibly beautiful, it was so comfortable and relaxing, the staff were really fantastic…and even the non-English speaking gardener gave me the thumbs up for my table composizione when he saw me with some fig leaves…
This was our holiday; we both needed to stop
and so we started to relax a teeny bit…