Lake Garda Italy is the country’s largest lake; it lies between Venice and Milan and is one of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations. The eastern side of the lake where most of the tourists visit is nicknamed the “Riviera of Olives” after the many olive groves in the vicinity.
The pleasant climate is another draw to the many visitors who come to the lake shores each year. Olive groves, citrus trees and vineyards are in the surrounding countryside and together with the local farms and freshly caught fish from the lake; Lake Garda can satisfy even the fussiest foodie. The lake gets its name from the town of Garda which is located on the lake’s southeastern shore.
In the late 5th century the Ostrogoths, a branch of the Goths, established a fortress on the Rocca south of the town of Garda. Rocca was invaded several times and finally was captured by the Venetians. There are several examples of Venetian architecture in the area.
Major communities on the shores of the Lake Garda include Malcesine which has a quaint historic center with meandering cobbled streets but is best known for the Castello Scalligero, a 13th century fort with a medieval tower. Within the castle the remains of an Etruscan tomb were uncovered. The community is framed by Monte Baldo which rises 2,218 meters behind it and visitors can take a cable car to the top for spectacular views and to visit the botanical gardens.
Sirmione has luxurious lakeside resorts, thermal bath resorts and hotels such as Terme di Sirmione but is largely known for its historic significance.
There are Roman ruins in the town as well as a castle. Le Grotte di Catullo on the Sirmione peninsula is surrounded by olive groves and citrus trees, here the remains of the villa of Catulla was found which probably belonged to a wealthy Roman official. Peschiera del Garda is a town encircled by 16th century walls and has a picturesque historic center with plenty of activities, hotels ,restaurants and intersting places to visit.
The Castle of Arco overlooks has featured in many famous paintings including that of Albrecht Durer which is exhibited in the Louvre, Paris.
The castle and the village are connected by a series of enclosing walls and the village has gateways where you can enter. The castle dates back to the 12th century and includes a cistern cut out of the rock which is filled by rainwater collected on the roofs
The Fortress of Nago was constructed in 1860, it has two levels the upper floor was used to accommodate troops and the lower level has an entrance which blocks the road. There used to be 6 cannons on the upper level and 2 on the lower. The fort has been restored and there is now a restaurant on the lower level.
The Mount Brione Fortress is another stunning piece of Lake Garda architecture, its construction began in 1862 and various other fortifications were added over the years.
The Apponale Tower in Riva del Garda was constructed in 1220, it rises 34 meters and has recently been renovated so that you can climb the 165 steps to the summit.
On the eastern shores of Lake Garda is Torri del Benaco, a fortified commune where you can see a 14th century castle which faces a quaint Roman harbor.
Today Torri del Benaco is surrounded by indigenous pine trees and olive groves and is one of the most charming and most visited of the Lake Garda communities offering stunning sceneries and enchanting accommodations.
If you are looking for a place where you can do something exciting and different every day then make sure you visit Italy’s largest most entertaining lake district with an abundance of activities available such as windsurfing, canyoning, golf or for the more relaxed person, wine tasting or Italian cooking classes.
One thing is certain your be sure to find something that suits you. Lake Garda Italy also boasts one of the best water parks in Italy and more than 30 miles of free beaches and some of the most eye catching and celebrated scenery in the whole of Europe, including medieval villages, archaic villas and historic Venetian castles.
Have you ever wondered how magnificent it would be to view and be on Italy’s largest lake? Close your eyes and just imagine the sounds of beautiful birds, the smell of crisp, fresh air; the grandeur of mountains and foothills embracing you, and the laughter and conversations of joyful people around you: Now open your eyes and start booking your trip to Lake Garda Italy
Italy Poets and politicians, divas and dictators, they were all attracted by the picturesque Lake Garda (Lago di Garda), also known among the locals as Lago di Benaco (the beneficial lake).
In fact, 7% of tourists visiting Italy choose to spend at least a day on Lake Garda’s banks, enjoying its Mediterranean climate, and admiring the amazing landscapes of this North Italian region: vineyards, orange, lemon, olive trees and charming villages.
Torri del Benaco One of the smallest towns in the area, the picturesque and medieval Torri del Benaco is home to a pretty harbor filled with colorful fishing boats, but also to the imposing Scaliger Castle (Castello Scaligero) and to a lakeshore promenade lined with restaurants.
Do not miss the Church Santi Pietro e Paolo completed in 1769.Even in summer, Torri del Benaco is relatively quiet and an idyllic place for a relaxing holiday.
Nago Torbole is made up of two separate and radically different, yet equally fascinating cities. While Torbole is located along the lake, and is extremely popular with windsurfers and sailors, Nago stands on the slopes of a mountain, offering a breathtaking view.
Here you can explore a historical fort – Forte di Nago – and the cave Marmitte dei Giganti. Nearby, you will find Monte Baldo Park, also called the “Garden of Europe”.
Bardolino The mild climate makes Bardolino the ideal place for vineyards, so it is not surprising that its hilly landscape produces the famous Bardolino red wine. This charming town is also home to the Romanesque church of San Severo, with original frescoes, and to the church of San Zeno dating from the 9th century.
Limone sul Garda A popular destination that has retained its village-like charm, Limone sul Garda stands at the foot of the steep mountain Dosso di Roveri.
Famous for its citrus orchards, Limone sul Garda is home to La limonaia del Castel dating from the 18th century. Acquired by the city in 1995, it houses a museum and educational center. Inside San Pietro church you will find beautiful frescoes from the 13th and 14th century.
Salo Located at the foot of the San Bartolomeo Mountain, Salo is the largest city on the western side of the lake. Do not miss the Palazzo della Magnifica Patria, built in 1524 and rebuilt after the earthquake of 1901, and the cathedral, which was built during the 15th century.
Lazise’s territory includes the coastal area of the lake and a vast internal area made up of hills that gently slope towards the lake, among olive grooves and vineyards.
The majority of Lazise hotels are found both in the centre and in the surrounding countryside, while numerous camping grounds have been set up along the promenade south of the village.
Lazise is the ideal location to practice lake sports, but also to take leisurely walks, to make excursions by bicycle and on horseback along panoramic paths with gentle slopes.
Malcesine With the Monte Baldo in the background, Malcesine is beautiful and impressive. Most visitors come here for its stunning Scaliger Castle and the Palazzo dei Capitani, but many tourists come to also take the cable car to Monte Baldo (Funivia di Malcesine) offering amazing 360 degree view of Lake Garda Italy and its surroundings.
Sirmione Famous and touristy, Sirmione is located on a peninsula that extends over the lake. It houses the archaeological site “Grotte di Catullo” (the ruins of a large Roman villa), the Rocca Scaligera, an imposing castle and baths. Go for a walk in Maria Callas Park, stretching in front of the villa where the Greek diva lived.