Dominated by its elegant castle, Malcesine is an enchanting village that offers unforgettable panoramic views. A romantic hamlet, lying on the eastern shore of Lake Garda - better known as the "Riviera of Olives" thanks to the abundance of these centuries-old trees that can be seen almost everywhere – inspiring famous personalities of the past, such as Goethe who stayed there while he was in Italy. The medieval alleys that lead up to the Scaligero Castle, the lakeside lined with shops and restaurants and the magical atmosphere that one can sense in the air during every season, continue to fascinate thousands of tourists who choose Malcesine as a holiday resort every year. Considered to be the "pearl of the lake", this Veronese village is located in an ideal position that can satisfy a wide variety of requirements. Built between 1277 and 1387, the Castle is clearly visible because it stands on a rocky spur with its tall tower. Today it houses an interesting Natural History Museum with numerous geological and botanical finds pertaining to Mount Baldo and the Garda area. Taking the modern Malcesine Monte Baldo cable car with its rotating panoramic cabins is an excellent way for visitors to enjoy breathtaking views of the Lake area from a height. The young and old enjoy the ski slopes of various levels during the winter season, but the Lake is dotted with the colourful sails of sailing boats, and also kite and windsurfers during the summer. The dirt tracks of the hinterland become a destination for hikers and mountain bikers during any season of the year.
Brenzone sul Garda
Located on the Venetian side of Lake Garda, Brenzone is one of the largest municipalities in the province of Verona, covering a territory of over fifty square kilometers. Dating back to the Roman era, Brenzone includes sixteen hamlets. Castelletto, Magugnano, Porto and Assenza, which still have the characteristic layout of the fishing villages gathered around the port, are the largest inhabited centres overlooking the lake. If the economy of the past was based on modest fishing occupations, tourism is the main resource today. The Riviera degli Ulivi is the beautiful location where numerous hotels, residences and campsites are situated, and where you can also have delicious lake fish dishes in the many restaurants in the area. Famous for its production of excellent DOP extra virgin olive oil, Brenzone rises from the gentle shores of Lake Garda to a two-thousand metre height of Mount Baldo, in just a few kilometers, offering various recreational and interesting sports proposals.
Prada, a contrada of Brenzone, is located in the heart of the Mount Baldo area. The crystal clear waters of the lake and the constant winds make Brenzone the ideal place for water sports, such as sailing, windsurfing and kitesurfing. Worth a visit is the Romanesque church of San Zeno in the hamlet of Castelletto, the small church dedicated to San Nicola in Assenza and the evocative, uninhabited, medieval neighbourhood in Campo.
San Zeno di Montagna
From its 600 metre altitude, the mountain locality of San Zeno di Montagna offers beautiful views ranging from the lake to the mountain landscapes. It is characterized by its ancient chestnut trees, but above all it is famous for its delicious mountain fruit, the Brown Chestnut of San Zeno D.O.P. The main features of this mountain locality are the small and ancient villages with their particular identities. The first sight the tourist will see on arrival in the San Zeno di Montagna area is the San Zeno contrada with its parish church and its main square with the same name, where the local, traditional market takes place every Monday.
Worth visiting is also the contrada Cà Montagna with its fifteenth-century palace that houses the municipal seat nowadays, as well as Pora, Baitei and Corrubio on the slopes of Mount Baldo, which are rural districts where peasant life with crops and pastures is still active. San Zeno di Montagna is the ideal place for many sporting activities, especially trekking and mountain biking. From spring to autumn the mild climate opens the door to magnificent walks to discover the most hidden corners of the area, but there are also more challenging paths that push up towards the peak of Mount Baldo for the more adventurous hikers.
The tourist will find a good number of hotels that can guarantee a comfortable stay, enlivened by the now consolidated food and wine attraction of the Verona area.
Torri del Benaco
Nestled at the foot of Mount Baldo, along the Veronese shore of Lake Garda, and surrounded by pine woods, olive groves and lemon orchards, Torri del Benaco combines the charm of a medieval village with the liveliness of a modern tourist centre. The town is dominated by the Scaligero Castle dating back to the fourteeth century, which houses an interesting ethnographic museum with sections dedicated to prehistoric rock engravings, fishing and olive growing and an eighteenth-century lemon growing greenhouse. To welcome the tourist, this lakeside locality offers various types of accommodation, including hotels, apartments, residences and campsites, all of which guarantee a pleasant stay. There is also an efficient ferry service from Torri del Benaco that takes tourists to the nearby towns and villages around the Lake, which are worth visiting from a historical point of view and can be admired from a different perspective. In addition, there are numerous routes and paths for mountain bikers that lead to the hills and Mount Baldo, amidst woods of hornbeam, hazels, ash and oaks. A true paradise for sailing and windsurfing, Torri del Benaco is also a popular centre for scuba-diving enthusiasts who will have the chance to see a curious underwater crib during particular festivities. History makes this place even more fascinating. The first settlement was of Roman origin, the ancient Castrum Turrium, but the discovery of rock carvings, dating back to about 4,000 years ago, bears witness to the presence of man in these places since prehistoric times.
Elegant Venetian style buildings, one of the most extensive beaches of the Riviera degli Ulivi, a network of narrow streets full of tourists make Garda a charming holiday destination. The gulf is enclosed to the north by Mount Luppia, which forms the enchanting Punta San Vigilio and to the south by the Rocca Hill, which can be reached by going along an arduous path surrounded by typical Mediterranean vegetation. In the Middle Ages, the castle of Garda stood on the Rocca, which was so important that the ancient Latin name of the lake "Benacus" was changed to the current "Lake Garda". An easy walk of about three kilometers leads to the romantic promontory of Punta San Vigilio, an oasis of peace and poetry that has inspired prestigious guests and which gets its name from a monk who lived in this place in the thirteenth century. The alleys of the centre of Garda, once inhabited by fishermen, now host elegant shops and welcoming restaurants that prepare lake fish, a basic ingredient of the local gastronomy. Numerous hotels and residences and a modern congress building complete the offer of this renowned tourist destination. An ideal place for nature loving sports enthusiasts, because the Lake offers sailing, windsurfing, swimming and other outdoor disciplines, such as mountain biking, golf, tennis, horse-riding or free-climbing. Interesting cultural visits can be made to the small church dedicated to San Vigilio on the marina, to the splendid Villa Brenzoni Guarienti, built in the first half of the sixteenth century, as well as to Villa Albertini and to the Pieve with its ancient cloister.
Most people associate Bardolino with its world famous DOC wine that bears the same name, which is as appreciated on home ground as it is abroad, fruit of its fertile and rich soil and its mild climate. Located on the Veronese shore of Lake Garda, this enchanting locality has kept its territorial characteristics and the typical architecture of the fishing villages, revealing its past and the activities that typified its economy before the advent of tourism. The remains of the Scaligere walls with their massive towers, the traces of the ancient castle, the elegant buildings and the beautiful churches of San Severo and San Zeno, bear witness to a succession of emperors, monks and noble families. Bardolino and the nearby hamlets of Cisano on the lake, and Calmasino in the hills, are ideal holiday places with many new facilities and campsites available to tourists. A lively stroll along the lakeside promenade and through the narrow streets of the town centre with its local and elegant shops, animates the summer of this magical locality. Olive trees, cypresses, oleanders and vines thrive in this area thanks to the mild climate, colouring the moraine hills. A realm for water sports, mountain biking and triathlon, this Veronese district is also the ideal place for relaxing walks and adventurous excursions in the hilly hinterland.
Turning to the pleasures of good food, the cuisine and gastronomy in Bardolino is provided for by the traditional agricultural economy and its typical products can be tasted in the refined restaurants at the port or in the cosy, traditional trattorias.
Lazise, a prestigious holiday resort on the eastern shore of Lake Garda, is characterized by its fascinating history which has its roots in ancient times. This is borne out by its name that derives from the Latin "Iacus", meaning a lakeside village, and the remains of a large village of stilt houses from the Neolithic period that were found in the hamlet of Pacengo. Dominated by the fascinating Rocca Scaligera, Lazise is entirely surrounded by a circle of turreted walls that enclose the historical centre, now full of elegant restaurants and craft shops. Medieval alleys intersect it, while an elegant square opens onto the old port and onto the promenade that leads to the beaches.
The famous Venetian Customs stands on the marina, a construction dating back to the domination of the Serenissima, which held a small fleet of boats for the control of traffic here. Some ancient shipwrecks lie on the bottom of the lake in the area overlooking the port. The church of San Niccolò, where you can admire splendid fourteenth-century frescoes, is of great artistic interest, while an aedicule exhibits an ancient Madonna dating back to the thirteenth century outside. Lazise is an important and popular tourist centre on the Riviera of Olives, with comfortable hotels and a well-equipped campsite. Sports and leisure facilities, as well as important music events and excellent cuisine made with top quality local products, such as oil, wine and lake fish, complete the tourist offer.
Castelletto di Brenzone
The little tourist and holiday village of Castelletto is the largest of the localities in the municipality of Brenzone.
The village is partly situated on the shore of the lake, along the eastern Gardesana main road, and partly on the mountain slope where the very old, two or three storey houses flank the medieval cobbled streets between ancient facades and private courtyards.
This part of the locality is particularly picturesque and it is the main starting point leading to the paths that go up Mount Baldo.
From there you can walk along the steep paths that farmers and woodcutters used in past centuries, making it a fascinating way to retrace those itineraries on foot or on a mountain bike, or go to the mountain peak using the Prada-Costabella facilities and enjoy the view of the lake from above.
These pleasant excursions among olive trees and through uncontaminated natural surroundings are not particularly strenuous and offer wonderful panoramic views of Lake Garda.
Castelletto offers enchanting lakeside walks and there are hotels, apartments, food shops, bars, restaurants and pizzerias in the village.
It is worth seeing and visiting the villages of the Biaza and Fasor contradas.
Peschiera del Garda
A pentagon-shaped fortress-town, Peschiera del Garda is a jewel of architecture, art and culture at the southern end of the "Riviera of the Olives", the name given to the Veronese side of Lake Garda.
It has been an important centre since prehistoric times because it was an important and vital crossroad connecting the Alps and the Po Valley, Veneto and Lombardy. Its name dates back to the Longobard period, when the plentiful fishing waters changed the Latin toponym Arilica into Piscaria. First it was a Longobard territory, and later it became the domain of the Scaligeri and Visconti. It was only during the Serenissima Republic of Venice that Peschiera del Garda assumed its characteristic urban form. In the second half of the sixteenth century, a number of architects elaborated an important urban conformation, such as the Fortress and the imposing pentagonal walls. Today the ramparts and alleys of the historical centre are home to shops, hotels and fine restaurants that delight the palates of tourists with dishes belonging to the Garda culinary tradition, to be enjoyed with the excellent Lugana Doc, a white wine produced in this area. When entering the village, there is a marina and facilities for sporting activities, such as motor boating and water skiing. The long cycle path that runs through the countryside in the midst of vineyards in the hinterland connects Peschiera del Garda to Mantua. The Sanctuary of the Madonna del Frassino is worth a visit. The Fortress becomes the venue of prestigious cultural events, concerts and theatrical performances during the summer.
Valeggio sul Mincio
On the border between Lombardy and Veneto, south of Lake Garda, Valeggio sul Mincio is located in the natural amphitheater of the morainic hills overlooking the Po Valley.
From the top of the hill, the Scaligero Castle dominates the village and the Mincio valley, with its three towers. Of its oldest part, razed to the ground by an earthquake in 1117, only the Round Tower remains, unique horseshoe construction. It was equipped with three drawbridges, of which only one is preserved.
In the historic center of Valeggio there are Palazzo Guarienti, in strict neoclassical style, where in 1796 Napoleon Bonaparte stayed, and the sumptuous Villa Maffei Sigurtà, seat in 1859 of the headquarters of the Emperor of Austria Franz Joseph. At the back of the villa lies the Sigurtà Garden Park, a botanical and landscape area considered one of the most beautiful garden parks in the world. Once a strategic ford point of the Mincio, Borghetto owes its charm to the harmonious relationship between history and nature and is one of the most visited destinations among those of the "Club of the most beautiful villages in Italy".
The medieval atmosphere is underlined by the fortresses of the Ponte Visconteo, built in 1393 by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan.
Riva del Garda
Riva del garda and its surroundings are so rich in olive, lemon and palm trees that it almost seems as if we are on the sea, but the mountains that surround it remind us that we are not far from the Dolomites of Trentino. First a visit to Rocca di Riva, home to the Alto Garda Museum, is a must: dating back to 1124, the Rocca houses artefacts from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages and up to the present day.
Continuing the walking tour through the old town with its buildings in Lombard-Venetian style, reach and then climb the 34-metre-high Apponale Tower, located on Piazza 3 Novembre, the heart of the town. Another characteristic area of Riva is the Morocco quarter, where you will find very picturesque views. If, in addition to culture, you are here for a sporting holiday, you can go sailing and windsurfing on the lake, as well as walking, mountain biking, climbing, via ferrata and canyoning in the surrounding area: Riva del Garda is a true open-air gym. Another attraction of the area is the Varone Waterfall, with the Parco Grotta Cascata Varone (Varone Waterfall Cave Park), a destination for many tourists due to the suggestive jump of about 100 metres of the Magnone stream, fed by the waters of Lake Tenno.
Torbole, a characteristic historic village with houses arranged like an amphitheatre on the gulf of Lake Garda, fascinates its many visitors. The most picturesque part of Torbole still retains the original appearance of the former fishing and woodland village. We recommend a walk through the beautiful old town, letting yourself be captivated by the picturesque views and corners, the small harbour with the characteristic buildings of the Vecchia Dogana (15th century) and Casa Breust, the central square and the small Dazio house. Even Goethe, during his trip to Italy between 1786 and 1788, was particularly fascinated by Torbole. Thanks to the constant presence of wind and the ban on speedboats, Torbole has become an internationally important sailing and surfing centre, a true paradise for water sports enthusiasts. Hikers, climbers and mountain bikers find a wide range of possibilities here. Torbole is also the starting point for one of the most beautiful walks in the area, that of the Santa Lucia valley towards Nago, to the foot of the Penede cliff.
Limone sul Garda
The village of Limone lies on a narrow strip of land behind high cliffs north of Lake Garda-Lombardy. In the past, it was only accessible via mountains or lake and based its economy on fishing and the cultivation of olives and lemons (it is the northernmost place where citrus fruits can be found). We still find traces of this agricultural economy today in the pillars and walls of the 'limonaie', the characteristic gardens where lemons are cultivated, and in the characteristic fishing harbour. Today, Limone is one of the busiest and best-equipped tourist resorts on Lake Garda, but it has managed to retain the charm of a small town with a picturesque historic centre made up of old houses, narrow alleys and small harbours framed by luxuriant nature that offers countless opportunities for pleasant and relaxing walks both inland and on the lake. A curiosity: some inhabitants of Limone seem to have the gift of the 'Elixir of Long Life'.
Tremosine a village where the charm of unspoilt nature soothes the spirit and life flows simply and peacefully, following the rhythm of the seasons. A village where holidays become magical and unforgettable! The municipality consists of eighteen small hamlets set on hillocks of incomparable panoramic beauty overlooking the entire Garda area. The Strada della Forra (gorge road) is astonishing, sometimes carved into the rock and sometimes cantilevered over sheer cliffs that leave you marvelling. At its inauguration in 1913, a correspondent of the Frankfurter Zeitung called it 'the most beautiful road in the world'. Travelling along it, in just a few minutes you pass from the liveliness of the Gardesana Riviera to the tranquillity of the plateau, from whose terraces overlooking the lake nature shows man all its splendour. From the 'Thrill Terrace', suspended 350 metres above the lake, the view takes your breath away. The natural environment is certainly the qualifying aspect; the landscapes and views, divided between mountain and lake, are of rare beauty. Here you can find peace and tranquillity, in contact with nature, practising outdoor sports or walking serenely along multiple itineraries rich in history. You will discover ancient, original and curious traditions. Discover the delights of simple refined cuisine. There are numerous typical restaurants and agritourisms that have made typical production and tradition their strong points. Even at the table we find the intertwining of Mediterranean and Alpine flavours: from lake fish to mountain game, from the famous Garda extra virgin olive oil to the prized black truffles, from wines to cheeses.
Campione del Garda is located 74 metres above sea level on a small peninsula: it is the only hamlet of the municipality of Tremosine sul Garda that directly faces the lake, which is why it is very popular with water sports enthusiasts and others. The name of the village, derived from Latin and also found in 12th century documents in the form 'Campillione', means 'small field' or 'arable plain'. The village is located in a special position on the delta of the San Michele stream, in a canyon wedged in the rocky fault. Over the centuries, the village has experienced phases of rise and decline, depending on the fortunes of the productive activities that have shaped the social and urban settlement of Campione.In 1807, a heavy flood destroyed the ancient workshops, causing the progressive abandonment of Campione, which subsequently remained almost uninhabited for about a century. It was only in 1896 that Giangiacomo Feltrinelli and later Vittorio Olcese erected a cotton mill and a workers' village in the village, which included a church, a theatre, a boarding school and a shop, and the village repopulated with families employed in the new factory. In 1981, due to the economic crisis of the 1970s, Campione suffered a phase of abandonment. It is only recently that the village is experiencing a new phase, thanks to recovery and redevelopment actions for tourism purposes. Thanks to the presence of constant winds, today Campione sul Garda hosts national and international sailing, windsurfing and kitesurfing competitions, a sport for which it is particularly famous. It is home to schools dedicated to water sports and has a bathing beach.
Gargnano is a large municipality formed by 13 small hamlets and situated at the center of the Garda Riviera. It could be called a town between two lake. Gargnano and the hamlets of Villa and Bogliaco sit on the shore of Lake Garda and offer a typical Mediterranean landscape, while the inland area gradually climbs the hill to include Valvestino Lake, a genuine fjord nestled between the mountains of the Valvestino Valley. The lakefront towns have preserved the picturesque, romantic characteristics of ancient fishing villages and the small hillside hamlets still have their old, rural homes and narrow streets winding through the grassy meadows that were once the basis of mountain economy and now offer a marvelous panorama of Lake Garda and views that take us back in time. Gargnano offers visitors a striking setting full of art and history, with its historic villas, buildings, beautiful churches, gardens, and lemon groves. Gargnano is also the sailing capital of Lake Garda. The hamlet of Bogliaco is the starting point each September for the prestigious Centomiglia International Regatta, the most important yacht race on Italian lakes.
Located on the delta of the Toscolano torrent in a beautiful and sunny position, the municipality of Toscolano Maderno represents an important historical and economic reality in the Garda Riviera. The two towns of ancient Roman origin, Toscolano and Maderno, count on various commercial and tourist-hotel activities, as well as industry. In fact, it should not be forgotten that these places were the cradle of Italian paper production, which is still very active today; the ruins of the ancient mills - one of which has recently been converted into a museum - dot the Valle delle Cartiere, one of the most interesting industrial archaeology routes in northern Italy. This area of the Riviera is also decidedly favourable from a naturalistic point of view and offers visitors countless opportunities for sports activities from trekking to horse riding to golf.
Stretching out along the Salò Gulf and sheltered from the wind, the town of Salò, because of its central location near major roadways, it is a point of reference for the entire area for its many services and its dynamic economic, administrative, and commercial activities. Its importance is, above all, historical: Salò was the capital of the Magnifica Patria during the period of Venetian domination, and it was also the headquarters of the Fascist Government of the Italian Social Republic. Traces of its prestigious past can be seen along the main street in the elegant historic center full of buildings with great historical and artistic value, and also with many boutiques and stores. Salò is very proud of its Palazzo of the Magnifica Patria, built in 1524 by Sansovino and rebuilt after the 1901 earthquake, and of its Late Gothic Cathedral, which was built in the 15th century and which now houses several important works of art.
A renowned resort, health resort and seaside resort, Gardone Riviera can rightly be considered a true botanical garden where the typical vegetation of Lake Garda alternates with Central European, Mediterranean and sub-tropical vegetation. The numerous parks and gardens alternate along the lakeshore with elegant historic villas that since the end of the 19th century have hosted an international clientele eager for relaxation, refinement and well-being. Gardone Riviera offers its visitors a special microclimate, luxuriant nature, an elegant atmosphere and a charming lakeside promenade that comes alive with musical and cultural events during the summer season. The town is famous for the Vittoriale degli Italiani, the monumental citadel that was home to the poet Gabriele d'Annunzio and now houses a prestigious museum. Also not to be missed is the Hruska botanical garden, now the Andrè Heller Foundation, with hundreds of plant species from the five continents, visible in a pathway winding among rocks and small lakes. Recently, the town of Gardone Riviera was awarded the Blue Flag, an international recognition awarded to those localities that stand out for their respect for the environment and landscape, clean water and efficient tourist services.
San Felice del Benaco
The territory of San Felice, Portese and Cisano is a morainic promontory leaning forward on Lake Garda between the gulf of Manerba and the gulf of Salò. Three hiils delimit the land of San Felice: Monte della Croce, Monte Campagnolo and Monte Santa Caterina. The town is 35 km far from Brescia, the county town of the province, and 55 km far from Verona. Since 1927 San Felice, Portese and Cisano belong to the same town council. The roots of its settlements go back to rather ancient times. In fact, pile-dwellings and roman tombstones have been discovered in this area.
Padenghe sul Garda lies on the hills of Valtenesi close to the lake. Its territory allows one to appreciate the character of the lake, while taking advantage of the immediate hinterland with its typical vineyards and olive groves. The Castle of Padenghe, one of the largest on the lake, has preserved its solid walls and is a landscape detail that strikes the tourist entering the Lake Garda - Lombardy Consortium from the south. In the centre of the town stands the marvellous Palazzo Barbieri, now the seat of the municipality, and even the churches combine to create an atmosphere of important historical profiles and rich culture. Padenghe is the green lung of the Valtenesi: the town is in fact famous for its numerous nurseries that every year enliven the streets of the centre in the Padenghe in Verde event.
Sirmione chosen and loved by artists and poets of all times for its enchanted atmosphere and natural beauty.
Sirmione welcomes you to the heart of Lake Garda with the charm of a millenary history, the wellness of its thermal baths renowned throughout Europe, the pleasure of a unique gastronomy and a tradition of sincere and smiling hospitality. Always an emblem of Garda in the world, the Sirmione peninsula, loved and admired since ancient times, stretches 4 km into the heart of Lake Garda. The pile-dwelling settlements, the "Grotte di Catullo", and the Scaligero Castle bear witness to the fascination that this town, frequented and sung about by artists and poets, has exerted throughout the ages. The highly qualified hotel facilities, the variety of the tourist offer, the presence of thermal water and the wine and food tradition, combined with the beauty of the place, make Sirmione an enchanting resort. The imposing Rocca Scaligera was intended for defensive purposes: today a breathtaking view can be enjoyed from the tower. The main churches date back to the Longobard period, while the lively old town is characterised by narrow, charming alleys and stone walls, which offer visitors romantic and evocative views. Not to be missed is the Passeggiata delle Muse (Walk of the Muses) from the old town centre to the Lido delle Bionde: a very pleasant itinerary that runs along the coast and leads to one of the most attractive beaches of the lower lake. Sirmione is synonymous with thermal baths: the thermal water of Sirmione has been known since antiquity for its beneficial effects.
Desenzano del Garda is a dynamic and lively city, full of memories and activities that intersect in the city centre’s busy streets. This city is an ideal destination for those wishing to have a holiday that has the perfect balance between relaxation and recreation, nature and culture. Tourists are able to enjoy any activity, from walks along the lakeside, the long pebbled beaches, shopping through the streets of the old town, the rich nightlife with diverse, modern bars. Desenzano has a lot to offer, providing any type of holiday tourists look for, as it makes use of all types of accommodation facilities and services tailored to the visitor.