Lake Garda

Lake Garda, also known as Lake Benaco, is the largest lake in Italy and attracts large numbers of tourists from all over the peninsula and abroad. Situated north, it borders three regions: Trentino to the north, Lombardy to the west and south, and the Veneto to the south and east. The low-lying countryside around the southern stretches becomes increasingly dramatic further north, until impressive rocky cliffs, sometimes swathed in pines, hug the shoreline of the northern tip. Its mild climate, enchanting natural setting, famous spa establishments and excellent accommodation facilities attract large numbers of tourists, who come and spend pleasant holidays in the provinces of Brescia, Trento and Verona.

Verona's shoreline, which is also known as Riviera of the Olive Trees because of the lush olive groves which carpet the sweet surrounding hills, gathers some of the most popular tourist resorts. The southernmost Peschiera del Garda, which is crossed by the river Mincio, is scattered with precious historical evidences and surrounded by enchanting natural landscapes. Note the old town, which is wholly encircled by XVI-century walls, and the Park of the River Mincio, which is flanked by a 40-kilometre-long comfortable cycle-path. Peschiera del Garda's harbour gives tourists the possibility to make outstanding boat excursions across the major resorts, while those travelling by car who head north will have the opportunity to reach the charming medieval village of Lazise and the popular funfair of Gardaland.

Lazise's picturesque XVI-century harbour and XII-century Church of St. Nicolò are dominated by impressive city walls and the beautiful Scaligero Castle. The scenic route which leads north is flanked by the lake's shoreline on one side and charming morainail hills on the other. The nearby village of Bardolino hosts the Church of St. Zeno, one of the most representative churches dating back to the Carolingian Age (IX century) in Italy, and gives tourists the possibility to taste the famous Bardolino wine. The lakeside promenade is flanked by elegant Art-Nouveau villas.

Garda is the ideal holiday destination for the lovers of water sports, expert golfers, adventurous hikers and those interested in visiting its beautiful old town dominated by the Lombard Fortress. Garda's coast, which is commanded by sumptuous ancient manors, is the traditional departure point of important boat races gathering both international champions and amateurs.  A short distance from it are the peaceful resorts of Torre del Benaco and Brenzone, whose enchanting hinterland is dominated by the Baldo Massif, which is crossed by plenty of charming footpaths and provided with well-equipped ski facilities. The northernmost resort of the Veneto overlooking Lake Garda is Malcesine, an elegant resort which offers tourists excellent services, equipped sports facilities and absorbing cultural events.

The northernmost shoreline of Lake Garda hosts the popular resorts of Torbole and Riva del Garda, which are both situated in the province of Trento. Both resorts are popular destinations for sports lovers; Torbole is the traditional gathering place of windsurfers, while Riva del Garda offers tourists high-quaility services and facilities, trendy clubs and a lively night life, as well as the possibility to visit its charming old town overlooking the tourist harbour, which gathers impressive monuments and precious collections of art.

The left side of Lake Garda is included in the Lombard province of Brescia. Limone sul Garda is the first resort to be found along the scenic route known as Strada Gardesana. The name of this small centre, which offers tourists amazing attractions and first-class accommodation facilities, draws inspiration from its lush Mediterranean vegetation gathering citrus orchards, olive groves, oleanders and cypresses. Limone is dominated by Tremosine Plateau,  also known as Balcony of Lake Garda for the sweeping views it offers. Tremosine is the ideal holiday destination for the lovers of trekking and Alpine excursions.

Not to be missed is Gargnano, an ancient village situated in the province of Brescia where impressive monuments and outstanding artistic beauties are complemented by lush green areas. The nearby Toscolano is said to be the first Roman settlement which was founded by the lakeside, and together with the nearby Maderno, is a thriving tourist centre where present and past merge in pleasant harmony. The low-lying countryside hosts Gardone Riviera, an elite tourist destination which has been known as a spa resort since the early  ‘900, and Salò, which is scattered with plenty of elegant buildings and sumptuous palaces overlooking the sea and outstanding Renaissance monuments situated amidst the lush landscapes of its hinterland.

The last stretch of the western shoreline is comprised in the so-called Valtenesi geographical area, which gathers the lively resorts of San Felice, Manerba, Moniga and Padenghe. The surrounding morainal hills are punctuated with ancient vines, which produce Chiaretto, Rosso and Rosso Superiore DOC wines. Not to be missed is the visit of Padenghe's old town, which is scattered with precious Roman, medieval, Renaissance and Baroque monuments. The southernmost stretch of the lake hosts the glamorous Desenzano del Garda, which is dominated by an imposing Roman Villa, and Sirmione, a small peninsula which juts out into the lake for almost 3 kilometres and gathers outstanding natural and artistic beauties which were once celebrated by Catullus and Carducci. Note “The caves of Catullus”, the remains of an ancient Roman villa overlooking the lake, and Sirmione's Spas, a modern spa establishment which develops around the popular Boiola Springs.