Last Monday was my Birthday and so as a special treat we went to one of my favourite spots in Italy – Lake Garda. Situated in Northern Italy about a 5 hour drive from Zurich, Lake Garda is the biggest lake in Italy. Famous for it’s crystal clear waters and numerous small islands, the largest being Isola del Garda.
The romantic aura of the area is so strong that even simply spending 2 nights there we left with the feeling of having had a real holiday. We have been there several times in the past however each visit there is something new to discover. Our favourite part is always close to one of the larger villages – Salo. A super cute place to shop to your hearts content or simply enjoy an ice cream.
This visit we stayed at the Grand Hotel Fasano – a Leading Hotel of the World with fabulous Michelin guide restaurant, Il Fagiano. Dating back to 1888 many famous people have stayed here over the years , including Shirley Temple.
Keep reading for a pictorial view of following Shirley Temple’s footsteps along Lake Garda, including the Grand Hotel Fasano and more.
Following Shirley Temple’s Footsteps along Lake Garda – Grand Hotel Fasano
Grand Hotel Fasano
The Grand Hotel Fasano dates back to 1888. It was officially declared a national heritage by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage in 1989. Originally famous as a winter holiday destination for noble German and Austrian families.
Many famous people from the worlds of art, literature and aristocracy have stayed here over the years. Including Formula One champion Gerhard Berger, professional footballer and manager Franz Beckenbauer and renowned sailer Paul Cayard. Visiting the bar we discovered a photo of the famous child actress, Shirley Temple.
I loved the fact that as soon as we arrived the doorman rushed to open the car door and help us with our luggage.
The beautiful opulence of the hotel hits you the minute you walk through the doors to reception.
Not to forget the super cute chirping of the pretty white budgerigars across the hall from reception.
We had a wonderful superior room situated on the ground floor, looking out onto the lake and just opposite the hotel’s private boat pier.
A great semi open bathroom with rain shower feature…
Lunch at the bar “La Terrazza”
Having checked in and unpacked next step was to feed our rumbling tummies. What better place to go than on the lovely 1st floor bar terrace with a full view overlooking the lake.
Check out what lunch looked like:
The indoor pool and spa
The Aveda spa has a vast selection of treatments.
I really enjoyed seeing the Aveda products again, having first discovered them years ago in Auckland whilst shopping with my Mum. I love the philosophy behind the brand
seeking to recreate the harmony of the five natural elements of which we are all composed: earth, air, fire, water, and the infinite.
Dinner at Il Fagiano the Michelin guide restaurant
The Il Fagiano the Michelin guide restaurant dining room still has it’s original ceiling. With a charm to it making one feel as if stepping back into another century.
Chef Matteo Felter is a native of Lake Garda, and the menu is his modern interpretation of the lake region’s traditional cuisine. I’ll let your eyes do the talking regarding how fabulous the food was. Being a super nice warm evening we ate outside.
The Gin lounge
In the case of the Gand Hotel Fasano, a visit to the gin lounge is an absolute must. Check out the many photos of famous people who have stayed there in the past.
Did you know that Gin originates from Holland? We didn’t and thoroughly enjoyed learning all about the special nuances to the flavours of gin…
The lounge Area
Note the attention to detail, the lounge was a place you really did just want to sit, relax and admire the surroundings…
Things to do:
TukTuk into Salo
TukTuk rides can be ordered from reception – for EUR 14 you will be taken right into Salo. About a 10 minute drive. I love the little shops in Salo and often pick up little souvenirs for the home – this time I bought two mats for beside our bed. Nothing like an Italian style bedroom – smile!
Private Boat Tour
The whole experience of having a boat to ourselves with our personal guide was simply fabulous. Alberto from Consolini Paolo Boat Tours took us all around Isola del Garda – the largest island on the lake and showed us where Silvio Berlusconi likes to stay for vacation.
We learnt that Isola del Garda is privately owned by Lady Charlotte Cavazza who still lives there with her 7 children and their families. Although privately owned by the Cavazza family, Isola del Garda has been open to visitors since 2001.
Telephone: (0039) 335 7072999
Wine trip into the Franciacorta region
Franciacorta is the sparkling wine from the Province of Brescia (Lombardy). We fell so in love with the Bella Vista Franciacorta served in the hotel that we went to the vineyard itself and bought 6 bottles to take home.
Loved all the art around the vineyard – well worth a visit!
Our two night stay at the Grand Hotel Fasano was simply fabulous from start to finish. Super friendly staff, wonderful setting and amazing food. Since posting pictures on Instagram I have already had many people write to me saying they have stayed here too. Everyone loved it and want to go back – especially after seeing my recent pictures – smile!
If you haven’t been here yet I truly recommend a visit!
– Via Zanardelli, 190 – 25083 Gardone Riviera (BS) – T 0039 0365 290 220 –
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nb: This post was written in collaboration with the Grand Hotel Fasano but all opinions are my own.26 Persons think this post is funky