Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lake Garda - Riva del Garda

Just back from Lake Garda, Italy after a holiday there with The Travel Department. We stayed in the town of Riva del Garda on the northern shore of the lake. Wonderful scenery, good weather, a nice hotel, a very good guide, trips to Venice, Verona, into the Dolomite Mountains and around the lake. Still snow on top of the mountains there.

This area of Italy, once part of Austria, was a favourite haunt of writers. Who would not feel at home in a town where many of the streets are named after writers.

The poet Rilke made the first of many short visits to the area in 1897. He stayed in the nearby town of Arco. Franz Kafka holidayed in Riva del Garda in 1909 and again in 1913.

Heinrich Mann (1871 - 1950), the author of novels, short stories and plays, visited Riva on Lake Garda about twenty times over a period of about two and a half years. His better known brother Thomas Mann (1875 - 1955), winner of the Nobel for Literature in 1929, stayed in Riva on many occasions between 1901 and 1904.

Much earlier Dante visited these shores during his long exile from Florence while writing his Divine Comedy. We came across many references to him in towns along the lake and elsewhere in the area.

More on these dead writers later. Tonight we at the Boyne Readings and Open Mic welcome the very much alive Kate Dempsey as the featured reader. Eight PM in the Village Hall, Knightsbridge, Longwood Road, Trim.


Ann said...

I have never been to Lake Garda. Florence now there is a city I am familiar with. Love it. Enjoyed the photos. Glad the weather, hotel and guide added to the enjoyment of your trip. Those mountains look fabulous!

Michael Farry said...

Ah yes Ann, Florence. I spent a week there last year and still didn't have time to see everything. Walking in the footsteps of Dante.