The power of writing can be transformative, enabling us to articulate our dreams and manifest them into reality. This was the case for me when I wrote down my wish to visit Lake Garda again with my family last year. In March this year, I brought my partner back to Lake Garda and we had a great time. I hope that next year, I would be able to bring my parents to Lake Garda too.
One of the places I wanted to take my family to was Sirmione, a picturesque town situated on the southern shore of Lake Garda in Italy. The town is famous for its thermal spa, and I would like to share this experience with my parents. Additionally, my mother has always wanted to visit Milan, and I would like to make this a reality for her, ideally during the Milan Fashion Week.
Accommodations in Milan
We stayed in 2 different hotels in Milan this year. One of the hotel is located next to the Malpensa Airport, which I had previously shared here.
Crowne Plaza Milan – Malpensa Airport (S$102 Per Person Per night with Breakfast, stayed for 1 night)
As our flight only arrived in Milan at 10.30pm, I decided to stay in the hotel near the airport once again because it would have taken us at least an hour to travel into the city center by train or bus. I chose this hotel again as I wanted to try the breakfast buffet. However, the selection and quality of food were underwhelming and disappointing. In the future, if I were to return to Milan alone, I would consider staying at the Holiday Inn hotel to compare my experiences.
Cosmo Hotel Palace (S$55 Per Person Per night, stayed for 1 night)
The next day, we checked into another charming hotel located 30 mins away from the city centre by metro and tram. There was a lovely Sicilian dessert shop just a stone throw away. I soon learned that it is important to stay in a hotel within walking distance of a metro station. Unfortunately, this hotel was not and I would probably not stay here again unless I plan to get around Milan in a cab.
Food in Milan
Other than the delicious sweet treats in this Sicilian pastry shop (Antichi Sapori), the savoury snack was also heavenly and pretty affordable. I ordered an Arancini which, to my delight, was served piping hot with cheese oozing out when you bit into it.
As we still had to work during the trip, we did not partake in any leisure activities in Milan. I hope that the next time I am back in Milan, I would be able to visit the Leonardo Da Vinci Museum and join a walking tour.
Getting to Lake Garda
If you plan to visit Lake Garda and are flying from a European airport, I recommend flying into Verona airport instead of Milan airports (i.e. MXP or BGY). Verona is a better gateway to Lake Garda than Milan, and the airport is closer to the lake. However, this information may only be accurate for the year 2022 and 2023, and it may change as the infrastructure network in Italy evolves.
We took a train to Lake Garda from Milan and the price of the one-way train ticket was S$16 each.
Accommodation in Lake Garda
Camping Bella Italia (S$25 per person per night, stayed for 3 nights)
The accommodation had an excellent location with affordable rates, and the best part was waking up to a beautiful lake view everyday. Additionally, we were able to cook some of our meals in the fully equipped kitchen which is beneficial to our health and wallets.
However, there were some unusual requirements that we needed to be aware of, such as bringing your own bed linen and pillowcases or opting to rent them at 11-euros, late night check-out charges, and having to clean the accommodation ourselves or opting to pay a 30-euro cleaning fee. Prior to the trip, I was worried that there may be insufficient blankets, but thankfully, we were provided with two blankets.
Unfortunately, the swimming pool was not open during our stay, which was disappointing to me. We learned that it would only be open in early April.
Despite these quirky conditions, we were overall satisfied with the accommodation, especially given the low price point we paid since it was still off-season. Surprisingly, this ended up being our favorite accommodation due to the stunning lake view, even though it was the cheapest accommodation in our trip.
For those planning a visit to Lake Garda, I recommend visiting during the months of March and early April or late September to early October for the best deals on accommodations.
Attractions in Lake Garda
During our stay at Lake Garda, I enjoyed cycling from our accommodation to Sirmione. The cycling route reminded me of cycling at East Coast Park, but at a much larger scale.
I found myself boldly thinking about leading a van-life with my future children and parents during and after this trip. However, I am still afraid to take the leap of faith and I am still researching more about this idea.
I hope that I have inspired you to start writing down your dreams and goals as you can write your way into your dream life!
|Expenditure Category||Per Person||% of Total Cost|
|Air tickets (Milan, Verona)||S$ 83||16%|
|Train Tickets (Milan, Lake Garda)||S$ 32||6%|
|Bus Tickets and 2-Days Bicycle Rental||S$ 49||10%|
|Accommodations (for 5 nights)||S$ 232||46%|
|Food (11 meals)||S$ 110||22%|
Solo Trip Guide: 4 Days 3 Nights in Italy from Verona to Milan