15 places to visit on Lake Garda

Have you decided to give yourself some days off? And as a destination, have you chosen Lake Garda? Good, best choice! In this article I have listed 15 places to visit on Lake Garda.

Have you decided to give yourself some days off? And as a destination, have you chosen Lake Garda? Good, best choice! In this article I have listed 15 places to visit on Lake Garda.

You will surely have realized that the lake is very big. To be precise, with a surface of 370 km2, it is the biggest one of Italy. Its shores belong to three different regions: Lombardia, Veneto and Trentino Alto Adige. They are inhabited since the Bronze Age and they bring traces of the different dominions throughout history. In fact, the lake was called Benàco, from bennacus, a Celtic term which reminds the geographic configuration of the lake: “with many promontories” or “horned”. Later, from the VIII century, it took the name of Garda, as the evolution of the Germanic word “warda”, “place of guard”.

In the XIII century the presence of Della Scala family on the territory is even now visible. Thanks to the different castles built on the shores of the strategic points of the lake. With no doubts is the domination of the Serenissima Republic of Venice to have left a lasting trace.

It is curious to know that the lake has 25 tributaries, among them the Aril, the shortest river of the world, long just 175 metres. The only emissary is the River Mincio. Due to its vastness, it presents different landscapes according to the various zones and many things to do and to see. 

Among its shores countless interesting cities and villages with majestic castles stand out. Panoramic points with the view on the lake do not miss. They can be reached through walking or cycling routes. The beaches of Lake Garda are ideal for a relaxing break and a bath, but also for a beautiful promenade and different water sports. How to forget the parks on the Veronese shore, an area for the entertainment of everyone, adults and children.

So, an embarrassment of richness, but do not worry! In this guide, you will find 15 places to visit on Lake Garda, a selection of places that you cannot absolutely miss.

1. VITTORIALE DEGLI ITALIANI
2. PUNTA SAN VIGILIO
3. RIVA DEL GARDA
4. MONTE BALDO
5. SIRMIONE
6. LIMONE DEL GARDA
7. ISOLA DEL GARDA
8. GARDALAND
9. CANEVA WORLD
10. ROCCA DI GARDA
11. BORGHETTO – SIGURTÀ
12. MARMITTE DEI GIGANTI – TORBOLE
13. TIBETAN BRIDGE OF TORRI – SAN ZENO
14. ROCCA DI MANERBA
15. LIMONAIA DI PRA DELA FAM OF PORTO TIGNALE

1. VITTORIALE DEGLI ITALIANI

In the list of the 15 places to visit the Vittoriale of the Italian, on the west shore of Lake Garda in Gardone Riviera couldn’t miss. The structure was erected at the behest of Gabriele D’Annunzio from 1921. Different buildings, an open-air theatre and wonderful gardens compose it.

It was transformed in a house-museum of the famous poet of the Foundation of the Vittoriale. It is committed to tell his life, his endeavour, his works and his irrepressible love for the life.

Only visiting the big monumental building, it is possible to understand how complex and fascinating the personality of Gabriele D’Annunzio was. Think that during the visit of the house you will cross the Mascheraio Room. It was reserved exclusively for the unpleasant hosts who D’Annunzio kept waiting for hours before receiving them. An example? It seems that Benito Mussolini remained there waiting for more than 2 hours!

In the building, born after the genius of this big man together with his friend architect Maroni, different war relics are exposed. Among these, the most original are the personalized two-seater airplane and the antisubmarine motorboat.

The gardens with their streams and fountains maintained intact the beauty thought by D’Annunzio and his eccentric scenography taste. Inside them the majestic open-air theatre is located, which was projected on the example of the Roman theatre of Pompei. Nowadays, the theatre hosts concerts and shows of big artists during summer months.

The Vittoriale of the Italian is also the place where Gabriele D’Annunzio passed his last period of life. He is buried in the Mausoleum, which was built for him from the architect Maroni on the summit of the park.

On the façade the motto “Memento Audere Semper” (remember to dare always) is impressed. That is a sentence, which, with no doubts, pushed D’Annunzio in the realisation of this amazing building.


Garda
Credits: Paolo Tralli – @paolotrl

2. PUNTA SAN VIGILIO

The second of the 15 places to visit on Lake Garda is the peninsula Punta San Vigilio. One of the most romantic places of all the lake, Punta San Vigilio is a little unmissable jewel. The peninsula is an oasis of calm with a magic atmosphere, whose beauty is famous all over the world. Not by chance, it hosted big celebrities looking for stillness and tranquillity. Among these, we can list Napoleone, Alessandro II the Zar, Winston Churchill, the director Laurence Olivier and the Prince Charles of England.

Also, the poet Goethe, stricken during his journey in Italy, talked about its beauty. He wrote, “How much I would like that my friends were for a moment near me and could enjoy the view in front of me”. 

You could reach easily Punta San Vigilio by foot from Garda following the lakeshore or by car taking Gardesana street.

The peninsula is the private property of the Guarienti family of Brenzone, but it is anyway possible to access.

Passing through the long cypress boulevard, you will find in front of the beautiful Villa Guarienti. The fifteenth-century villa, with a well-finished Italian garden, overlooks directly on the waters of the Lake. The perfect location for events and ceremonies. Continuing through the cobblestones and crossing a small entrance arch, you will find in front of the porticciolo. The access is set off from a gravestone with an inscription, which invites to leave every anxiety before entering. Once there a wonderful view on Salò gulf and Manerba fortress will open in front of your eyes.

To enjoy the wonderful show, you could stop for a short break at the tavern, a small and cozy bar and restaurant. It is located just up against the porticciolo. On the peninsula, it is also possible to pass an elegant and romantic night at the hotel attached to the villa.

Another pearl of Punta San Vigilio is the not so far from the Mermaids Bay, a little beach immersed among the olives with crystal war.

The best moment to visit Punta San Vigilio? Definitely at sunset, for a walk through this Romanic scenery or an aperitif with a view on the spectacular landscape.


Riva del Garda
Credits: Paolo Tralli – @paolotrl (IG)

3. RIVA DEL GARDA

Riva del Garda is the second biggest city of Lake Garda and lies North, set along the Trent shore and the Dolomites.

Surrounded by olive trees and lemons, it is a place which offers thousands of opportunities of entertaining and satisfies every interest. Unmissable a visit at the small historic centre with the numerous picturesque streets, which leads to 3rd November Square. Here, at the oriental angle, the Apponale Tower stands out with on top the small angel wind vane “Anzolim”, symbol of the city. With its 34 metres high, it offers a breath-taking view on the lake. But only if you get in the 170 steps, which lead to the top!

For the lovers of history (but not only) the places not to be missed are two. The first the Bastione, the stoned fortress which stands above the city. It can be reached through a 15/20 minutes walking from the historic centre or the new panoramic lift. Secondly, the Mag, Museo Alto Garda, situated in an ancient medieval castle known as the “Rocca”. The museum tells with archaeological and painted finds the life around the lake in the past. The rooms of the castle often host temporary exhibitions. 

Are you passionate of trekking and walks? For a stroll in the nature, the Varone Waterfalls park will amaze you with caves and spectacular waterfalls.

Another possible walk starting from Riva is the one to the Tenno Canal, a small medieval village included among the most beautiful Villages in Italy. Nearby the homonymous famous lake with its turquoise colour of the water is located. The village is also the point of departure of different trekking excursions. For example, the one to San Pietro’s refuge or the Gardatrek, an itinerary through refuges for more days.

For the people who love discovering the territories of the lake by bike, we suggest the Ponale street, which connects Riva del Garda to Ledro Valley. A wonderful panoramic route, walkable also by foot, will gift you suggestive glimpses and breath-taking landscapes.

La valle di Ledro

In the Ledro Valley you can also find the homonymous lake famous because of the findings of an extended area of piles. From the 2011 they became Unesco Heritage. The lake is bathing and in Summer, it is ideal to practice different water sports and fishing. Moreover, its waters feeds the hydroelectric plant of Riva del Garda. 

The most adventurous people will be happy to know that around Riva, the railway tracks, you will find of every difficulty. The waters of Riva del Garda instead are the ideal place for sailing excursions or snorkelling sessions. Whereas the near Torbole, thanks to its daily winds, allows to practice kitesurf and windsurf.

For the gourmand instead, in the restaurants on the lakeshore it is possible to taste all the typical dishes of the Trentine tradition. Without forgetting the extra virgin oil of Garda dop, produced with the northernmost olive trees of the world!

I hope my list of the 15 places to visit on lake Garda has been interesting so far. Continue reading my article to discover my next suggestions!


15 places to visit on Lake Garda
Credits: Hans

4. MONTE BALDO

My list of the 15 places to visit on Lake Garda continues with the most famous mount of this area; Monte Baldo.

The Monte Baldo is the westernmost elevation of the Venetian Pre-Alps. It lies in fact for three quarters in the Veronese territory and for the rest in the Trentine territory. A solid mountainous unique and proud, as its name, which extends for more than 30km narrowed between the Adige Valley and Lake Garda. The lacking presence of the man in the area left the territory pure and favourite for the development of different species of plants and flowers. In this regard, the botanic vegetable garden is worth a visit of Monte Baldo, where you could admire a series of autochthone examples.

The mount, other than having a high naturalistic interest, offers the opportunity to carry out countless outdoor activities. From hiking to mountain bike, to riding, without forgetting the free flight. For this reason, it is unmissable among the 15 things to visit at Lake Garda.

In fact, from the top of the mountain it is possible to descend by paraglider and enjoy the wonderful view. The same view that numerous birds of prey of this area are lucky to see every day.

If you are not so adventurous and sporty, but you anyway want to admire the most beautiful panorama of Lake Garda, do not be afraid. From Malcesine the 360° Monte Baldo cable car leaves, which with a panoramic climb back up will allow you to reach the summit. We suggest you go there in a clear day to totally appreciate the view on the entire lake, which extends beyond the Morenic hills up to the Padana Plain.

Returning from Monte Baldo take you a bit of time for a visit at the beautiful Malcesine. The small village of medieval origin extends with alleys and little squares at the foot of the imposing Scaligero Castle.

Moreover, from Malcesine many trails and itineraries for excursions by foot on the Mount of all the difficulties begin, from easy promenades until more demanding trekking.

To better discover all the beauties of Mount Baldo, do a visit to the museum of natural history of the castle of Malcesine. You will find attentive descriptions and reproductions of flora and fauna of the area. You will understand how it is wide and varied thanks to its particular microclimate. The mount in fact stretches from the sub-Mediterranean climate to the Alpine one. This allows the presence of many species, in particular the botanic ones. Not randomly on the Baldo you find almost the 50% of all the flora of the Alps.


15 places to visit on Lake Garda
Credits: Federico Prevedello

5. SIRMIONE

Sirmione is a narrowed strip of land which divides the Brescian side of the lake from the Venetian one. It is a place which could not miss in our list. This peninsula offers breath taking panoramas and a rich historical and artistical heritage.

The first thing which will catch your attention at the entrance of Sirmione is the Scaligero Castle. With its crenelated towers, the keep and the powerful walls it will seem you that it floats on the water in a surreal way. It is surrounded from the lake. The castle is an example of lacustrine fortification among the best conserved and unique in its genre. It is possible to visit it and access to the communication trenches from where you can enjoy this magnifique landscape. Even if the best way to admire it in all its majesty is by the lake, doing a boat tour of the peninsula.

Once you overcame the castle, the vivant city centre opens in front of you. We suggest a promenade among the narrowed stone streets to capture romantic shutter clicks. Here you will find different small shops of handmade products and typical restaurants. Be ready to discover suggestive glimpses and unforgettable panoramas.

The peninsula is known at international level for the curative properties of its thermal waters. Give yourself a bit of relax and an afternoon of relaxation at the thermal centre Aquaria which offers different paths and treatments for every need.

Sirmione boasts also numerous and enchanting beaches where you can stop sunbathing or bathing in the crystalline waters of the lake. Moreover, there are different sportive structure which rent equipment to practice water sports.

At the tip of the peninsula there is the archeologic park of Catullo’s caves. The archeologic structure contains the optimally conserved rests of a Roman domus of the I century b.C. An unmissable visit, also because it is considered one of the most relevant examples of Roman villa in Northern Italy. 


15 places to visit on Lake Garda
Credits: meineresterampe

6. LIMONE DEL GARDA

With its evocative name Limone del Garda is for many the city of lemons. It is a very appreciated well-known locality which arises on the Brescian shore of Lake Garda. Contrary to what many people think, you have to know that the name of the village derives from the term limen, that is border. As a matter of fact, Limone is located at the end of the Lombardian territory, before the beginning of the Trentine one.

The best way to reach Limone del Garda? With no doubts with a boat by lake. The village had been isolated for many years and was reachable only through the water. The citrus cultivation was very widespread in the place, agevolated by the mild climate of the territory. Once in the city it was possible to admire different lemon tree houses.

Currently opened to the public remains the Limonaia del Castel, where we suggest you a visit. Walking through the coloured and perfumed citrus you could discover all the secrets of this ancient tradition. Unfortunately, it is almost completely abandoned.

This explains why walking among the streets of this wonderful village,  you will find in many shops souvenirs with lemons in different forms.

Another more curious place where to find them represented are the ceramic plaques with the civic number attached to the walls of the houses. Enjoy yourself searching them walking among the narrowed streets and the suggestive square of the ancient village.

Unmissable stage is the one at San Rocco church, a place loved both by the locals and the tourists. This panoramic point, which overlooks the lake, can be reached from the city climbing a delicious stair always adorned with plants and flowers typical of the place.

Among the last attractions realized in Limone the suspended cycle way on the lake stands out. It became absolutely one of the must-do stretches. It is a woody gangway of some kilometres jutted out the lake and can be accessible both by foot or by bike. The landscape is with no doubt spectacular and it opens on the Veronese shore where you could distinguish clearly Malcesine and Monte Baldo.

If you want to conclude the visit with the thrill, the homonymous terrace in Tremosine suits you down to the ground. Nearby Limone, this panoramic point set in the rock of a plateau lies. It is easily reachable and from here you could enjoy a unique and thrilling view of the lake.


Isola del Garda

7. ISOLA DEL GARDA

The wonderful Isola del Garda, the biggest between the five islands of the lake, is located on the Lombardian shore. It lies in front of San Felice del Benaco.

A place where nature, art and beauty reign and bound to be inserted in our list of the 15 places to visit on Lake Garda.

The island is famous for its enchanted charm and for the succession of historical events attached to it. The island is the property of the noble family Cavazza and hosts their residence surrounded by luxuriant gardens and a small naturalistic park. For this reason, it is possible to reach and see the island just with the guided tours which are organized. On the island, the family is always well-disposed and glad to welcome the visitors to tell them the story of this enchanted place.

It was inhabited since the Roman Epoch and passed from being a dock for the pirates to a place for monks’ prayers. Many important celebrities throughout history have been hosted here. Saint Francesco of Assisi founded here the Franciscan community and Saint Antonio from Padua retired here praying. During his stay, Dante Alighieri remained so stricken that he mentioned the island in one poem of the Divine Comedy. Isola del Garda was then claimed by Napoleon Bonaparte and Mussolini, which made it the dwelling of his grandson. Only after the Second World War the island came back to the Cavazza family.

Approaching this breath-taking island by boat, it will surely be clear to you why so many wanted to “have” this island for their own!

Crossing among the crystalline waters of the lake observing the wonderful landscape. Arriving to the small port you will find in front of the imposing villa with a neogothic style, rich in surprising architectural particulars. It was realized in the first ‘900 years from the Genovese architect Luigi Rovelli in the image of the Ducale Palace of Piazza San Marco in Venice. The guide will lead you among the rooms of the residence where you could appreciate the fine and elegant furniture. You could also admire the beautiful XVII century canvas of Carlo Carloni.

During the guided tour you will also have time to stop sipping an aperitif in the terrace, an experience with a unique view.

Two bloomy gardens surround the residence. One at the English and one at the Italian manner which decrease up to the lake. It is very interesting to do a walk among this vegetation rich in local and exotic plants, unique flowers and rare essences. The rest of the island is covered by a luxuriant forest with small rocky caves and sculptures, were a magic and fairy atmosphere reign.

Finally, if you want to pass a day of relaxation and wonder, immersed between history and nature, Isola del Garda is the perfect destination.


Gardaland
Credits: Gardaland Plus

8. GARDALAND

Even thought it is not a village Gardaland surely is one of the 15 places to visit on Lake Garda. In fact, people from all over Italy and Europe visit this park at least once!

Gardaland is one of the biggest amusement parks in Italy, visited in 2019 from almost 3 million people. It is located in locality Ronchi, in the municipality of Castelnuovo del Garda, almost overlooking the lake. A park where adults and children can spend one or more days dedicated to the entertainment. It is curious the fact that the park is crossed by the Dugale stream, a natural tributary of the lake.

It was Livio Furini that, in the early 70 years, came up with the idea from which this project originated. The Veronese businessman took inspiration from its visit to the Californian amusement park Disneyland.  After having coming bakcto Italy, he decided to inaugurate on the 19th July 1975 what should have become the most visited park of the nation.

It immediately had an extraordinary success, but it is from the 1984 that the park took the flight. This happened introducing many new attractions, letting itself know all over the world. Think that in 2005 Forbes magazine put it at the 5th place among the amusement parks at a global level!

Gardaland Hotels

But the growth of Gardaland continues and in 2004 the magic Gardaland Hotel was introduced. This move led the park to become the first one at the Italian level having its thematized hotel. A way not to interrupt the magic once having gone out of the park but continuing dreaming for all the duration of the holiday. 

To this, the Gardaland Adventure Hotel and Gardaland Magic Hotel add during the years, the second one in 2019. They are two structures, entirely thematized in every detail, which will allow the hosts to live epic adventures. From the savage West, to the Arctic Ice, passing through the mysterious jungle and Arabian atmosphere from a thousand and one night. Not to mention the magic experience of the enchanted reign inhabited by magicians and magic creatures.

And the news does not finish here. What is at this point the only thing that both adults and children love and misses in Gardaland? The animals. That is why, just 4 years after the addition of the hotel, to complete the idea “Resort of the entertainment” the Sealife Aquarium arrives. And also here the record couldn’t miss: it is the first Italian aquarium entirely thematized.

And we arrive today, with the last big news: the first Legoland Water Park in Europe! The play with the worldliest famous little bricks becomes the central theme of this new area of the park (15 thousand square meter extra). With interactive water sports, coloured slides and lots of entertainment, you will never go away.


Caneva

9. CANEVA WORLD

The world of amusements Caneva is located in the Municipality of Lazise, on the eastern coast of Lake Garda, nearby Gardaland park.

Caneva world is composed by an amusement park about cinema, Movieland, a water park, Caneva Aquapark as well as three themed restaurants.

The Caneva World was founded by Alfonso Amicabile, pioneer of the entertainment of the 60 years of the economic boom. Even now it is property of his family. Caneva World evolved and modified with the passing of the years up to becoming the big entertainment and amusement park which is known. Let’s recall yet together the stages which signed its path and led him to the success.

It was born in 1965 as Dancing La Caneva, a dancing club which recreates the atmosphere of a real benacense winery. As a matter of fact, Caneva in dialect means cantina, winery.  Ahead of his time, mister Amicabile launched the Cabaret phenomenon in the nightclub and hosts now successful artists.

In 1975 the tennis club and the covered Olympic swimming pool were opened. Caneva world transformed from a night club to an entertainment place, also daily.

It is in the 80 and 90 years, when the first slides were installed, that Caneva began to be a real water park.

Supersplash is the first one, Kamikaze follows, one of the most known attractions still today. Also the smiling drop was born, the first mascotte of the park. In 1996 it was transformed in a thematised park taking inspiration from the USA parks. So, Caneva Acqua Paradise was born. The theme chosen, “Caraibic island” was realized inserting big green places, palms and wood. They make the atmosphere exotic substituting the metal structures.

The following year the restaurant-show “Medieval Times” was opened unique in its genre. As a matter of fact, during a characteristic medieval dinner  the commensals can attend a fascinating show. The actors with realistic costumes and armours perform valorous chevaliers, princesses and swordsman in a tournament with horses. An ideal place to spend an out-of-the-ordinary night!

Since 2002 the realisation of Movieland, the park dedicated to the cinema, started.

At the beginning it was opened with just an attraction. Now it counts more than 20 ones, unique in the world and many of them of pure adrenaline. The most iconic, visible from outside of the park, is Diabolik, the first big Rollercoaster Invertigo in Italy. Then there is the path on the lorry “Magma”, the submarine simulator “U-571”. The dynamic cinema “Android 3D” as well as the free fall on the “Hollywood Tower” do not miss. “The Horror House” is an unmissable attraction, the best horror house in Italy.

Movieland proposes a suggestive and realistic Hollywood-style setting to make every visitor feel actor and protagonist of incredible adventures for a day. Moreover, inside the park 10 shows occur, with magnificent sceneries, artists and exceptional costumes. 

An area dedicated to families with children do not miss, the scenography “Stone Age” and a small but cheerful playground.


Rocca di Garda
Credits: Andrea Aiello

10. ROCCA DI GARDA

Another place not to miss among the 15 places to visit on Lake Garda is the Rocca di Garda. The mountainous relief overlooking the waters of the lake often protagonist of the photos of the lakeshore panorama.  It stands out South of the city of Garda, at the border with the municipality of Bardolino.

The Rocca was the location of the ancient Longobard fortress, from which the name of the city of Garda derives (from the Germanic Warda, fortress). After its golden period the fortress was destroyed and now just some relics of the walls remain. These last are visible along the trail which from the Saint George’s Retreat leads to the summit of the Rocca.

A walk which we strongly suggest you do, which allows to reach the top and enjoy a spectacular view on the lake. The path, accessible both by foot and by bike for the more trained, winds among woods and olive trees. It leads you in two hours to the summit. Even though it has some stretches slightly steep during the climbing, it offers some unique glimpses on the lake. Then the view, once on the top, pays back the effort.

Also the small town of Garda, which gives the name to the entire Lake, is worth a visit. Ancient medieval village, it collects in the historic centre, made of streets, small jewels not to be missed. Among these, the Pieve of Garda, one of the most ancient in the area, conserves the beautiful cloister with the arcade of the XV century. You find it accessing from a small door on the right side of the Saint Maria Maggiore church.

Different villas, such as Carlotti Palace, Albertini Villa, Fregoso Palace and Captains Palace remember the prosperous past of the city. Due also to its ancient bonds with the Republic of Venice. On the lakeshore you could then notice La Losa palace, with its wide vaulted arcade at the ground floor. It was built to be a small dock, it hosts an exterior gallery with a panoramic viewpoint at the first floor.

One of the most photographed points is with no doubts the harbour with the numerous boats, which are always moored and the row of flags.

For the evening, the wide lakeshore of the city hosts many elegant restaurants and bars where you can stop dining or sipping an aperitif at sunset.


15 things to visit on Lake Garda
Credits: Maris Bogdan

11. BORGHETTO – SIGURTA’

One of the most enchanted villages in Italy is for sure Borghetto sul Mincio. In fact, I had no doubts about adding it to my list of “15 places to visit on Lake Garda”. It is a hamlet of the near Valeggio, in the valley of the Morenic Hills. This small village, built on the shores of River Mincio, can enchant the visitor since the beginning, thanks to its ancient medieval fortifications. History and landscape are what made this place so interesting to deserve the insertion in the Club of the most Beautiful Villages of Italy.

Many places to visit in this tiny village!

In this place, you can feel the harmony between the past and the surrounding nature. In its centre you find a characteristic bell tower and some beautiful water mills. The town might be small, but its position made it even worthy to build an imposing construction. Known as the Visconteo Bridge with the extraordinary fortified dam next to it. This last one was built in 1393 at the behest of Gian Galeazzo Visconti to guarantee the impenetrability of the oriental borders of the dukedom. The “Long Bridge” instead, with its 650 metres of high crenelated curtains, connects with the famous Scaligero Castle. It messed up the local topography, closed off forever the river to the navigation and modified the flow.

A destination, the one of Borghetto, much popular, especially for the lovers of the bike. The town can be reached coming from Peschiera or Mantova, especially coasting the river, enjoying the peace and the greenery surrounding.

An interesting curiosity is the name of Borghetto, which derives from its toponym and means “fortified settlement”.  As a testimony, we can mention the first settlement of local historical relevance, which dates back the Longobard period.

Borghetto sul Mincio is a magic place, where the time seems to have stopped, among water mills, ancient walls and bloomy gardens. And as regards this, if you are here, you cannot miss a tour inside the big Parco Giardino Sigurtà. It is a botanic area which in 2017 won the prize as “Second most beautiful Botanic Garden of Europe”. Recently, the “World Tulip Award 2019” and “Best worldly Attraction 2020”.

It was the patrician Gerolamo Nicolò Contarini who bought in 1407 the entire property, at that epoch a little vegetable garden enclosed by walls. Over time it became the marvelous park that we all know today. Over decades the property of the park passed to different families: the Guarienti, the Maffei, Maria Paulon, up to the Sigurtà in 1941.

It was with the Dr. Sigurtà that, after renovations and new additions, the park was able to come back to its ancient incomparable beauty. Rather, it found one more sparkling. The garden was expanded reaching the actual 60 hectares dimensions and the characteristic Horizontal Meridian and the wonderful labyrinth were inserted.

So,  a place where you can relax on grass fields surrounded by colored flowerings. From the famous tulips until the nymphaea of the central ponds. Alone, in couple, with family or with friends, the Parco Giardino Sigurtà gifts moments not to be forgotten.


MARMITTE DEI GIGANTI
Credits: Luisella Pala

12. MARMITTE DEI GIGANTI – TORBOLE

If you are traversing the panoramic street of the lake which connects Nago to Torbole, the Marmitte dei Giganti are an unmissable deviation.

From Nago

If you leave behind the main street and you traverse a short dirt track, you can easily reach this particular place. In front of you a totally unique landscape will open, many people compare it to the lunar one. Big cavities with a diameter of 4-5 meters and depth up to 15 meters seem to be appeared in that place in mysterious ways.

For a long time, without knowing which was their origin, it was told that they were realized from some giants, from here the nice name. Really, these characteristic rocky walls are some wells of glacial origin. They shaped with the erosion of the water that after the fusion of the glacier flew whirling into the crevices dragging the smashed rock.

In the area the melting of the ices created many others natural monuments to be admired, such as the glacial hop, the striped rocks.

From Torbole

Another way to reach the Marmites of the Giants is through a 30-40 minutes’ walk leaving from the centre of Torbole. The panoramic track winds among the olive trees and it is easy to be traversed. Glimpses on the lake to be immortalized for their beauty do not miss.

If you are going to see them, remember to bring with you a torch because there is also a walkable tunnel. This particular place, long about 15 meters, was inhabited in the prehistoric epoch, as different findings of arrows and ceramics testify.

Moreover, on one of the rocky walls an iron stair has been installed and allows to reach the top. Once you reach it, you could admire a wonderful view on Lake Garda, on the last stretch of Sarca River and on Brione Mount. Although not so much visited, these glacial wells are among the most renowned of all the Alps chain. This thanks to the famous geologist and paleontologist Antonio Stoppati, who after many years of study, described them in its work “Bel Paese”.


15 places to visit on Lake Garda
Credits: Andrea Cacciatori

13. TIBETAN BRIDGE OF TORRI – SAN ZENO

The Tibetan Bridge of Torri del Benaco is a particular attraction that we wanted to insert in the list of the 15 things to visit. Long 34 meters and placed at a height of 45, it was inaugurated in 2019. The view of the lake from the bridge is very suggestive, in the clear days you can distinguish Malcesine, Riva del Garda and Torbole.

It is easily reachable through a hiking path. The bridge is suspended on a profound cliff and connects the localities of Crero and Pai di Sopra.

How to reach the bridge? Depends on the side from which you will arrive. In the next few lines we will explain you both ways.

Leaving from the small village of Crero, hamlet of the municipality of Torri del Benaco, the walk winds among woods and olive trees. Offering marvelous glimpses on the lake.

Once reached the small town of Pai, enjoy a stroll in the main square and in the streets of the city centre. The most ancient nucleus of the town is castled on the side of Mount Baldo. It still presents the relics of ancient fortifications which date back to the X century.

For an exceptional view on the lake, climb up to the panoramic terrace near Saint Marco Church. From the balcony you could admire a wonderful panorama.

To reach the Tibetan Bridge there are many variants, also longer than the trail. Continuing the promenade among the medieval villages it is even possible to reach San Zeno di Montagna. San Zeno is characterized by a particular urban structure, since it is built up different districts connected by the provincial road.

The different districts were once well distinct among them. The most ancient and populated gave the name and functions even now as the centre of the town.

Placed at the slopes of the Mount Baldo, San Zeno is the adapted place for excursions in the nature, outdoor activities and different kinds of sport.

If you love the adventure you cannot lose the Jungle Adventure Park. A leader adventure park in Italy which proposes 6 paths with different grades of difficulties.

My list of the 15 places to visit on Lake Garda has almost come to an end. Curious about the last two places to visit?


15 places to visit on Lake Garda
Credits: Gabriele Girelli

14. ROCCA DI MANERBA

The Rocca and Stone of Manerba Natural Reserve is a real paradise for those in love with nature, outdoor life, and history.

The reserve consists of a relatively circumscribed space, where different paths can be traversed. They are all well signalized. Strolling among the colors and the perfumes of this regenerating environment  will seem you to be in an almost fairy-tale place. Plants which belong to different climates enclosed in a very unique variety of vegetal species, overlooking the sweet waters of lake Garda.

With its 84.8 hectares of body of water and 116,2 hectares of coastal territory, the big Parco Lacuale di Manerba del Garda is really breath-taking. It’s a safeguarded area, very rare in Europe and unique in Italy, suitable to preserve both the aquatic and earthly biodiversity.

The Rocca and Stone of Manerba naturalistic Reserve, the Mount King walls and the agrarian areas between Montinelle and Saint George constitute the terrestrial slope. The protected waters, instead, are the ones included between Porto Dusano and Pisenza. They are very popular, especially for the lovers of diving. As a matter of fact, in this area, it is possible to navigate only with sailing or rowing boats. A further expedient to preserve the local fishing fauna is the fishing ban in these areas.

The Museum

Along the climbing which leads to the summit of the Rocca, the archeological museum is located. A luminous structure, developed on two levels, enhances the archeological realities, the landscape and naturalistic aspects of the surrounding environment.

At the ground floor it is possible to find relics of the most different epochs. They are explained in an exhaustive way by didactic panels in Italian and English. The pluri-stratified site of the Rocca and the Stone, the Pieve of Saint Mary and the locality S. Sivino sites lie here.

The last one presents some relics of an inhabited pile-dwelling of the Bronze Age. It became part of the UNESCO World Heritage. It was discovered in the 1971 from the Tritone Sub of Desenzano. According to the experts this site extended probably along the shore of the lake for about 150m.

So, Rocca di Manerba is a place to be discovered, a relaxing place which satisfies the desire of peace, nature and knowledge.

Alone or together, this panorama can reserve very beautiful glimpses and relaxing moments to share with the people we prefer. In addition, if you want to benefit from an expert guide, the companions of half-mountain are available. They lead groups of enthusiastic people along the entire trail.


15 places to visit on Lake Garda

15. LIMONAIA DI PRA DELA FAM OF PORTO TIGNALE

The Lemon house Pra dela Fam is part of the Eco museum of the lemon houses in Garda. It is a cultural institution created in 2011 at the Municipality of Tignale. It is a project which deals with the development of the local communities and of the safeguard of the historical, cultural and natural heritage. The goal of the Eco museum is to document, conserve and valorize the historical memory of the territory. This project includes six small villages: Aer, Gardola, Oldesio, Olzano, Piovere and Prabione.

The Limonaia Pra dela Fam is part of the route of the local traditions. Visiting it, you could see and discover the productive methods of the citrus cultivation used in the past. As a matter of fact, the lemon house has been transformed in a museum after important restorations. It was again made productive respecting the ancient traditions of the master gardeners of a time.

Many things and activities to do, and so we could not finish our list about the 15 places to visit on Lake Garda without this characteristic Limonaia.

Retracing the name Pra dela Fam, in dialect it means Prato della Fame (Lawn of the Hunger). It was used to indicate the unlucky situation of the navigators and fishing men which landed there. They were often forced to stop for days without food because of headwinds. For a long time this stretch of the Brescian coast was only reachable by lake. The citrus cultivation in the tignalese area began in the XIII century, taken and spread from the Franciscan monks of Gargnano. These plants found a favorable climate without Northern cold winds, which were blocked by the mountains.

The greenhouse of Pra dela Fam was presumably realized at the end of the same century, together with many others in the area. The aim was to protect the plants from the freezing temperatures of the North. Thick stoned walls and a wooden roof for the winter compose it. A tank for the water collection and the canals for the irrigation, typical elements of the various lemon houses of Garda, do not miss.

For several years the Brescian shore of the lake, from Salò to Limone has been famous as the place for the northernmost citrus cultivation in the world.

This flourishing activity brought big wealth in the towns of the Alto Garda and numerous lemon trees were realized and extended. Unfortunately, in 1861, because of a combination of different reasons, the trade went through a fast decline, which caused the end of it.

Thanks to the interventions of restauration, the Limonaia Pra dela Fam is today one of the few lemon houses accessible and functioning. It welcomes every year numerous visitors. The eco museum of the Lemon House is open in Spring and in Summer. The guided tour allows you to discover this ancient and important tradition among inebriating perfumes and bright colors of the different citrus produced here. To end with a bang: a tasting of the products realized with the fruits of the lemon house. Lemons salted and flavored, bitter orange marmalade, limoncino and citrus oil.

With this list of the 15 things to visit on Lake Garda we tried to tell the many beauties and opportunities that the area offers. Many other things remain to be discovered. We accept suggestions from everyone on all the new places to add to the list, the lake has always some hidden news!

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