A SEPTEMBER TO BE LIVED
Summer is ending, but the holidays continue with a thousand events on the lake
Summer is over, but not vacation time on Lake Garda. Just a glimpse at the ‘what-to-do-and-see’ list can convince you that September is a month extraordinarily rich with opportunities. That is how the local hospitality industry is responding to the growing and increasingly significant trend of what was once called low-season tourism.
The lake is attractive all year long, from every point of view. With its decidedly mild climate and enchanting days to be enjoyed outdoors, the Lake Garda autumn is a delightful extension of the warmer season. It is the time to harvest and celebrate grapes, to indulge the palate at food festivals, to mingle with the town square crowd and spend pleasant evenings ‘al fresco’ before the arrival of the winter, which, however, is never too harsh around here. It is no coincidence that Lake Garda tourism had brumal origins. It wasn’t until the end of the 19th century that the first health resorts were built along the lake’s shores. They catered for European aristocrats who, seeking to flee the rigid transalpine temperatures descended upon the region from fall to spring. Two decades prior to the turn of the 19th century, following the example of the curative springs established along the Trentino side of the lake shores, Gardone (the centre of Garda tourism in the Brescia province), became the preferred destination of increasing numbers of tourists, especially Germans, who came in September to spend their winters on the Lake.
The upcoming weeks will unfold under the same mild climate which has promoted the development of the Lake Garda tourism industry, today an almost exclusively summer affair. September, but also October and November will continue to offer delightful days. And there will be plenty to enjoy: sailing events on the upper lake, gardening exhibitions, such as ‘The Benaco Gardens’ of Salò and Gardone, food festivals, vintage car rallies, concerts and sport events.
In short, the lake does not hibernate. On the contrary, for many this is the time when Lake Garda offers its best, after a noisey and crowded summer. These pages tell visitors what awaits them: a September offering events and initiatives for every taste.
A THOUSAND DINNER OPPORTUNITIES
A rich season to taste
Autumn on Lake Garda is a season to discover and, above all, to taste. While indefatigable farmers harvest the agricultural bounty ripened by the summer sun, the lake serves as the backdrop of countless food festivals. In these warm and sunny days to be pleasantly enjoyed outdoors, it is possible to indulge one’s palate at the numerous food fairs that in September and October proudly showcase locally grown specialities.
Vineyards and wineries are stage to the spectacle of grape harvesting, in the olive groves farmers determine how long it will be before olives can be taken to the mill, in the woods mushrooms are ready to be plucked and truffles are ripened, while this long summer’s heat finally relents, setting free that pleasant evening breeze that tickles appetites made dormant by swelter.
In September, October and November, Lake Garda offers a calendar of events designed to showcase produce and dishes of a, no doubt, one-of-a-kind season for gourmands. It will be a triumph of autumnal flavours: truffles and porcini mushrooms, game, capers, seasonal fruits and vegetables, the new wine, the last lake sardines, and much more.
Proposals abound, from the Duck Festival held in Desenzano at the beginning of September, to the Valtenesi con Gusto event, a culinary tour of local restaurants. Salò awaits its visitors on the 15th September for ‘Salò in Tavola’; Padenghe on the 20th September for its ‘Padengolosa‘; Tignale on the 25th, 26th and 27th September for its mythical Truffle Festival; Toscolano hosts again a new edition of ‘Garda con gusto‘, which, after its spring program dedicated to lake fish, returns in its autumnal version to celebrate seasonal delicacies; and, San Michele di Gardone Riviera will host six weekends, in September, October and November, to acclaim mushrooms, rotisserie specialties and game.
In short, there are, many opportunities to enjoy the bold and genuine taste of the Garda autumn during events designed to showcase the most typical local produce and rediscover Lake Garda’s simple and traditional cuisine.