One of our “must dos” when traveling through Italy was to rent a Vespa.
We picked Lake Garda for our Vespa adventure because it is absolutely gorgeous and the roads weren’t too busy (especially in October).
This tale is a must-read, but we also have a fun video! Click here for your virtual Vespa tour around Lake Garda, Italy.
After researching all of the Vespa rental shops and reading reviews, we chose Bella Bici Bike Rental. The owners, Vilma and Rob, are extremely friendly. They were very responsive to messages and made it so easy to reserve our Vespa.
When we arrived at the shop, we were greeted by Ari, the store mascot.
And the owners, Rob and Vilma.
Their shop is very clean and all of the equipment was in top condition.
The Vespas, all lined up and ready to be rented for a day of fun!
Do you want to rent something on 2-wheels with less or no power than a Vespa? Bella Bici also rents mountain bikes and E-bikes. What’s an E-bike? It’s a bicycle with a small electric motor to help with propulsion. Pretty cool.
Here is the cute sign displaying all of their rental rates:
We went inside to pay and complete the official paperwork.
Please note that you will need to present your driver’s license or another picture id when renting. Also, the Vespa required a 100 Euro deposit which they requested in cash. (Of course, as long as you return the Vespa without any damage, your money is returned.)
Payment and paperwork complete it was time to try on our helmets. We picked red to match our red Vespa!
Before we took to the streets on our adventure, Rob took a lot of time to explain to us how to operate the Vespa. He also showed us a map of the area and gave us great suggestions on where we should go.
Our plan was set: leave Garda and drive north along the lake on 249 to Torri del Benaco. Turn right on 32A and drive up the very curvy road to San Zemo di Montagna. Take 9 back to 249. Once safely back on 249, drive past the busy town of Malcesine and on to the smaller towns of Torbole and Riva del Garda. After relaxing in Riva del Garda take 249 along the lake the entire way back to Garda – with one stop in Torri del Benaco.
On a bright red Vespa and with 8 hours to explore, we were off!
Time for our Great Italian Vespa Adventure!
Note: Lisa did NOT drive the Vespa. She is definitely a much better passenger than a driver on anything with less than four wheels.
We drove along the lake on the very scenic road to Torri del Benaco.
We were so distracted by the beauty that we missed our right turn. No worries, it was easy enough to turn around and find the correct road up the mountain. The road up to San Zeno di Montagna was full of endless twists and turns and curves and scenic overlooks. We were very impressed with how much power our Vespa had. It had zero difficulties climbing the curvy, mountain road. Ronnie used to have a BMW 1200 motorcycle and he was even impressed with the power of the Vespa!
After lots of twists and turns, we arrived at San Zeno di Montagna!
The town of San Zeno di Montagna was beautiful and quiet.
One of the best things about a Vespa is that you can always find free parking spots!
As we were walking, we spotted this black cat posing for a picture.
We were starving after our uphill climb and discovered the Giardinetto Restaurant. It was the perfect spot to take a break and have lunch.
The views were amazing from the inside dining room and the outdoor patio. Since we were chilly from the ride, we opted for the inside. We ordered 1 salad, 2 pizzas and a 1/2 liter of wine.
Our view for lunch:
All of the food was so delicious and it was a great spot to stop for a break.
Fueled from lunch, we were ready to climb back on the Vespa for more exploring.
Ronnie is ready to go!
Back on the Vespa, we slowly drove back down to Lake Garda. The views were so amazing!
Back down on the lakeside road, we continued north.
We passed by Malcesine as it was very busy and stopped in Torbole. Along the way, there were lots of tunnels to drive through! Very exciting for the passenger, possibly a little nerve-wracking for the driver.
Note from the driver: It is dark inside the tunnels so be sure and remove your sunglasses before you start this part of the drive!
Some pictures from Torbole –
Boats and a fisherman in Torbole, Italy.
After a quick visit in Torbole, we drove to our most northern destination: Riva del Garda.
Ronnie on the streets in Riva del Garda, Italy.
Riva del Garda was another postcard-perfect village. We walked around and saw this Land Rover fire truck.
Stopped into the No Name Pub for a drink.
The view from the pub:
As we were walking back to the Vespa, we came across this performer:
Everyone loves bubbles!
Time was getting away from us, so we hopped back on the Vespa and started our way back to Garda.
On the ride back, we stopped in Torri del Benaco for a snack and drinks.
A selfie on the streets of Torri del Benaco.
We stopped at La Regatta for drinks and bruschetta.
Incredible view and great food!
With the clock ticking, it was time to say goodbye to Torri del Benaco and drive back to Garda.
When we returned to Bela Bici, Ronnie took the Vespa across the street (so convenient) to fill up the gas tank. Only 4 Euros for a full day of fun!
Words and pictures do not even come close to describing what a funfilled adventure we had on our Vespa.
During the main season, Bella Bici is open 7 days a week from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. Contact Bella Bici Bike Rental to book your 2-wheel adventure around Lake Garda!
Still not convinced that they are the best? Read all of their 5-star reviews on TripAdvisor.
Thank you so much to Vilma and Rob of Bella Bici Bike Rentals. Our Vespa adventure day was one of the highlights of our vacation in Italy!