It’s a town at the foot of the mountains in Northern Italy that is known for its mineral spring waters. By car, it is about 90 minutes from Venice. It’s also my father’s hometown, which is surely reason enough for it to appear on a map – well, according to my father at least!
I have visited Recoaro seven times so far on my travels, and my most recent visit in August 2012 is probably one of the most enjoyable stays that I have had there. The town was buzzing – the streets were filled with locals and tourists; cafes, bars and restaurants were open and thriving, with patrons spilling out on to the streets and impromptu stools set out onto the footpaths; new businesses had opened and restoration works on various projects, including the town’s cable car, had recently been completed. In a time where financial strain and high unemployment are curbing spending, it is incredible to see this pretty town flourishing.
So what does a tourist do in Recoaro? The usual past-times of a tourist in Italy can also be enjoyed here – namely sitting on the piazza enjoying a coffee or two, enjoying a carafe or two of the local vino, eating until you think you will burst, hunting for the town’s best gelato, trying out your sketchy Italian on the locals and simply soaking in the atmosphere. If, however, you feel you need a few things to tick off your tourist list, then recommendations include taking the cabinovia (cable car) from the centre of town to Recoaro Mille for beautiful views across the Recoaro and the surrounding mountains. A shuttle bus then connects you from the top of the cable car to where the chair lifts leave from to the top of the ski runs for even more amazing views of the mountains. On a clear day I have been told you can see all the way to Venice… maybe, depending on much of that local vino you have been sampling… From Recoaro Mille there are lots of summer hiking and biking trails, or ski runs in the winter for the more adventurous.
There are several picturesque towns small villages and hamlets dotted around Recoaro which make lovely day trips as well. These include Ronchi, Valli del Pasubio, Montecchio (where Romeo and Juliet’s castles are perched on a hill above the town) and Rovereto. The northern tip of Lake Garda is only 90 minutes drive from Recoaro via a stunning and at times hair-raising journey across the Little Dolomites.
So how would you fit Recoaro in on a tour of Northern Italy? Very easily. You’ve had a few days marvellous days in Venice and it’s now time to head to the Lakes, so you pick up your hire car from Venice Mestre and program the GPS to take you to Recoaro. You have two nights at the delightful Casa Pozza Tiziano and have a lovely insight into local Italian life, before driving to Rovereto and on to Lake Garda. You drive along the eastern coast of the lake, stopping in various towns etc, and finish at Sirmione for your two night Lake Garda stay. Then you head either to Verona or across to Milan and Lake Como. Easy!
As for me, well I can’t wait until I am drawn back to Italy and can return to Recoaro Terme for another unforgettable stay.
The facts:Where? Recoaro Terme, Vicenza, Italy When? 3rd August – 7th August 2012 (4 nights) – staying at Casa Pozza Tiziano – http://www.casapozzatiziano.it/ – Luisa speaks impeccable English and is so welcoming and warm. The B&B has been lovingly restored. It is a converted sawmill with a fascninating history and is one of the region’s historical houses. 5 out of 5. The best bits? The cablecar, the town square, the thermal springs, and of course the view of the mountains.