A few weeks ago, my colleagues from the brand and online marketing team and I were invited to a marketing meeting at Lake Garda. I didn't think a meeting at an Italian apartment complex could cure my longing for a holiday.
Discovery tour around Lake Garda
Lake Garda in Italy is one of the top destinations for Austrian tourists and particularly popular with families. But I had never been there. That's why I was particularly pleased that my job was taking me to Italy for 3 days, on one hand, to work there, but also to become familiar with the area surrounding Falkensteiner Apartments Lake Garda. After all, I do need to know what I'm talking about if I am going advertise it.
So the journey began at Vienna Airport. It took only about one hour's flight for us to arrive in Milan. Unfortunately, we didn't see a lot of the city, because we travelled on to Lake Garda by car right away. After a little more than two hours of driving, we arrived in the tranquil town of Moniga del Garda, where the apartments are located.
To be honest, I am once bitten, twice shy of apartment complexes in Italy. I think back in horror to a holiday in Grado with a family we were friends with.
But the apartments at Lake Garda taught me otherwise. Upon our arrival, the view of the complex through the glass front of the reception hall was already reassuring. A large, colourful and well-tended garden with a pool at the centre surrounded by sunbeds and parasols and the loose arrangement of the apartment buildings creates a pleasant atmosphere.
We were welcomed by General Manager Marko Vuljan and receptionist Hannelore Hilpold, whom I had already had the pleasure of meeting back home in Vienna, but this was the first time we were meeting in "her territory".
Since we arrived relatively late in the day, my colleagues and I wound down the day with dinner on the terrace. We planned the next day's meeting marathon together with Marko and Hannelore, also scheduling an outing during which Marko would show us the best spots on and around the Southern part of Lake Garda.
In the morning, gathered again on the terrace overlooking the pool, this time for breakfast, we fuelled up for the day to come.
After a short, five-minute car ride (there are also bicycles and e-bikes available to borrow for more athletically inclined guests), we had already arrived at the shores of Lake Garda. Truly a fantastic view. And when I stretched out my hand to test the water temperature, it completely slipped my mind that this was a lake, as I remarked to my colleagues, "Now we can say we were in the sea at our meeting".
But here at Italy's largest lake, it's easy to feel like you're by the sea. There are plenty of nice shore-side cafes, bars and boat rentals to be found here. And, of course, piers that reach out into the lake and many sunbathing spots.
We then moved on to Desenzano del Garda. A small, typically Italian town right by the lake with wonderful old buildings, hotels and restaurants, that offer a great destination for a day trip visit. When we were there, the weekly market was on, where you could buy not only fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish, but also the familiar Italian souvenirs like leather jackets, shoes and clothing.
There is also a little port in Desenzano, where you can borrow boats to spend a day on the lake (even if you don't own a boating licence).
The next stop was Sirmione. Now I finally knew where all the tourists had been hiding! Entering by the narrow castle gateway, we had arrived in a small, almost Medieval city that is apparently the hot spot for day excursionists on the Southern shore of Lake Garda. Fantastic hotels, direct lake access and very inviting cafes and restaurants encourage the visitor to linger, despite the crowds.
But we had to head back to the complex, because the actual reason for our trip still lay ahead of us, the marketing meeting!
But before that, we received a lot of information and tips that we certainly wouldn't want you to miss out on! There are now a few activities on my to-do list for my next visit: Gardaland, Caneva Aquapark and an extensive bicycle tour (on an e-bike, of course) to the winegrowers and olive oil mills in the environs of Falkensteiner Apartments Lake Garda. I look forward to that!