LA SERENISSIMA – October 9th

Our time in Sirmione has been spent taking it easy and keeping it simple. This is made even simpler by the fact that there’s not a whole lot to do here in the off-season. Hell, all the laundry’s done. I contemplated a drive around Lago di Garda or, better yet, a nautical adventure on one of the ferries that ply the waters, but I can’t make any sense out of all the disparate sets of information. If I stare at schedules long enough something will be revealed. The figures coalesced and I got it, finally. We are booked on the 11:40 boat from Sirmione to Garda, roundtrip.

An hour and ten minutes up the Lago, we debark at Garda onto a bright and café-filled promenade. We stroll the length and back, assessing the lunch potential. Under some shade trees, we proceed to order two pizzas and bat the usual chatter back and forth. Gradually, a monologue swells from behind Joss. A German lady has A LOT of important shit to say to her mute companion. Nary a pause for breath or punctuation. At our feet a flock of mallards cruises the pavement for crumbs. Not birds, again. As we gnaw on the penultimate crusts, a woman takes the table next to us and begins to mutter in Italian. She gets up and sits back down, settles in. She is brought the bread basket and begins to toss bits at the ducks, except she’s sprinkling gluten on my bag of ferry schedules. Oh, jesus, let’s go shop. Joss buys a sweater that bears a ‘Mood in Italy’ tag.

Our ride back to Sirmione takes just 50 minutes because hydrofoil. From the railing, the Roman villa’s site is even more impressive. We’re pretty relaxed, goddammit. There’ll be five one-night stands from now until we are get to Vicenza and Padua for four nights.

Because of our profound lack of agita, we are awarded our best meal so far, at Osteria al Torcol.

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