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An Italian Lake Wedding


July 11, 2013 by Dan

Our real reason for going to Italy was the wedding of Carolyn and Mark. Carolyn is a dear friend of mine (we’re approaching 20 years of buddyhood) who lives in Switzerland, and she and Mark decided to get married on lake Garda because…well, it was beautiful, of course. But the real reason is that they’re both crazy athletes, and having a place where you could swim and bike was high on their list. Triathletes…gotta love ‘em.

Getting to Garda was (for once) pretty smooth – we got the earliest possible bus out of Tirol, which put us on the train platform four minutes before the southbound train. Naturally, said platform didn’t have a ticket machine, which resulted in me grabbing 50 Euro from Julie, sprinting downstairs, under the tracks, up the stairs, and to the station, all while a crowd of class-bound schoolkids gawked at me. The ticket machine was infernally slow in processing my request for a ticket to Verona, but finally spit it out just as the train was pulling around the corner to the station. Another sprint, and…victory! We were on the way to Verona.

From Verona (where Julie out-of-nowhere busted out the opening monologue to Romeo and Juliet, another train to Desenzano, where a sleepy train station and helpful agent got us to a bus that would drop us in Salo. We had a moment of comedy when the bus was careening down a hilly road and I noticed that we were passing the Hotel Panoramica. Wait…weren’t we staying at the Panoramica? I hit the stop button, and the driver immediately slammed on the brakes, to general uproar.

But we got there, then headed down to town, where we immediately made a friend.

Julie and Salo - the inventor of the violin!

Little did we know that the bane of children of Tiger parents everywhere was born here. Neat! The town itself is awful purty, and looks like this:

Salo Waterfront

Or this:

Alleyway, Salo

Not bad. It reminded us of an Italian Sausalito, right down to the yachts everywhere.

Boats, Salo

See those mountains in the background? If the sun had been out, you would see that they were stunning, and covered in snow. The weather remained resolutely gray, but we didn’t let that dampen our spirits on the wedding day. I mean… wedding in Italy! If you can’t have fun at that, there’s something wrong with you that even a post-ceremony boat ride to Islo del Garda can’t fix.

Island palace

And who doesn’t love a blushing bride and happy groom?


Philistines, that’s who. We were very pleased to be a part of it all.

Dan and Julie

I’d been to a wedding in Italy before, and as you may expect, the reception was all about the food, and they did a wonderful job. Anything that starts with burrata-smothered tomatoes and proscuitto-wrapped cantaloupe is A-OK in my book.

Yeah. Burrata. Proscuitto.

Tempura Risotto? You have to be kidding.

Risotto with Tempura. It works.

Like all good weddings, this one ended for us on the far side of three in the morning, with an almost-lost walk back to our hotel from the reception site. Salo at three in the morning is nearly deserted, beautiful, and oh-so-quiet.

Salo at three a.m.


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