Brescia & Desinzano del Garda 

Paolo left for work early so, as I’m not travelling far today, I was able to take my time this morning. I had my tea, a read then eventually wrapped up, braved the cold and headed out.

Rather than going straight to the station I walked again throgh the city and it was dead. I mean, I know it’s Sunday but there was really no one at all around; it was strange! Only when I got closer to the station did I see a bit more life.

Desenzano del Garda is only 15 mins from Brescia so no sooner had a found a seat and sat down did I have to get off again.

My host, Vittorio, isn’t feeling so great today so asked if I could make my way to his place (rather than him meeting me as we’d planned).

Of course this wasn’t a problem and gave me a chance to walk through the town. Desenzano is a small town on the southern point of lake Garda and had a small but well preserved historical centre and castle.

I spent a good hour just wandering though the streets before walking the few kilometres to Vittorio’s apartment along the coast.

As with all of the other cities I’ve visited, Desenzano is well set up for Christmas. I loved these little decorations, made from wine corks.

The marina also had this lovely floating nativity scene and in the balconies of many houses stood full sized natvity figures. There are so many of them that at first I thought they were strangely dressed people…

My walk took me along the lakeside and even in the cold, it was great to be here and in some good, fresh air. It was only when I was within a couple hundred meters of Vittorio’s place that the snow started… not heavy as we’ve had in theUK this week but it was certianly snow.

After meeting Vittorio and having a much needed cup of tea (several) and some lunch, I thought I’d go back to the town to see the lights turned on. This time by bicycle.

Earlier, in the main square, the Piazza Giuseppe Malvezzi, I noticed a gallery, with shutters closed it don’t look open but seemed to be just be closed up to the weather. As well as having some lovely art, it was a chance to warm up after my wet cycle in.

What was snow had turned to a cold rain making cycling miserable so I chained up the bike and decided to go by foot.

Despite the cold and wet, I’m glad I made it back to the town: at night it was lovely and it gave me a chance to look around the shops and visit the church too.

I happened to stop by the church in time for the evening service so thought I’d stick about and watch for a little.

By the time it had finished, the snow was back and pretty heavy. I had 5km to cycle home and somehow managed to ride with the umbrella up. I’m amazed that I didn’t come off… riding at night, in a snow storm, up and down pavements on a bike with no lights or breaks. Well done me I’d say! By the time I got back, the parts of me not covered by the umbrella were white, I could have been a snowman.