Five places to see in Riva del Garda

In this article, I want to tell you about the five places to see in Riva del Garda that you can’t miss if you visit it.

Known as the pearl of Lake Garda, Riva del Garda is one of the most fascinating places that you can visit on its banks.  In the north of the lake, the town belongs to Trento district, and it has a mountain landscape one of a kind.

On the western side there is the Monte Rocchetta, while the eastern one is characterized by the Monte Baldo.  Its peculiarity is the fact that there is a mountain landscape but at the same time there is also the lake. For this reason, it is one of the top destinations for nature and sport lovers.

At Riva del Garda there are a lot of accommodation facilities, 150 circa of B&B, hotel, camping and residence. In a breathtaking scenery, these accommodations offer the best of the comfort and relax, and a warm and familiar hospitality.

Keep reading if you want to discover what you can do in this place at Lake Garda.

Five places to see in Riva del Garda
Credits: instagram @daniela2chic

The diversified territory and the presence of the lake offer the possibility to practice a lot of sports. Cycling, rowing, sailing, trekking, windsurf, yoga and mountain bike are some of the sports that you can try when you will be at Riva. If you are a beginner or an expert it doesn’t matter. The activities are for all levels and for every taste, you’ll be spoilt for the choice!

For culture and history lovers, Riva del Garda represents an important interesting site. The numerous artistic and architectural works are evidence of its eventful past. Rocca, Bastione circolare and Torre Apponale are some of the examples that we will explore soon.

To close the circle, there are a series of historical paths that represent an interesting opportunity for who loves going down memory lane.

If these are the premises, selecting the five places to visit in Riva del Garda is very complex and reductive. I will try to define in brief which are the stops that can’t really miss in your itinerary if you visit this beautiful resort.


I’m proposing an itinerary that will allow you to fully enjoy this resort at 5 stars and to bring at home a wonderful memory.

Five places to see in Riva del Garda
Credits: fabio.f93 (IG)

First of all, I suggest you visit the historical city center, full of history and of interesting architectural and artistic beauties. On of all the Torre Apponale, symbol of the city, on the eastern side of Piazza III Novembre. Then there is the Bastione Circolare, known as ‘Rocchetta’, and the Marocco quarter, a picturesque and almost secret spot of the city center.

Five places to see in Riva del Garda
Credits: fabio.f93 (IG)

You cannot miss a visit to the MAG (Museo dell’Alto Garda), especially on grey and rainy days.

For sunny days, one of the five places to see of Riva del Garda is without doubts the lakefront. It offers splendid landscapes thanks to its beaches and the crystal-clear water.

The fourth place is the Ponale Path, the most impressive among the other of Riva del Garda that links the resort to Ledro Valley. 

Finally, you can’t miss a visit to Parco Grotta Cascate del Varone, just a few steps from Riva. In addition, going towards Tenno, there is the picturesque Borgo di Canale di Tenno and the homonymous lake whose waters will surprise you for its turquoise colour.

If you want to discover in detail the points of interests of this place to visit at Lake Garda, keep reading the article and get inspired!


Five places to see in Riva del Garda
Credits: Marco Ghirello – ghire (IG)


The first place that I want to suggest you is without doubts the historical center of Riva del Garda. The town is a little gem nestled between the lake and the mountain, full of history and evidence of the past. I suggest you give yourself a free half day to fully enjoy the beauties and to discover the hidden corners.

One of the symbols of Riva is without doubts the Torre Apponale, located in Piazza III Novembre and built in 1555. With its 34 meters of high, the tower served as a strategic point to supervise the square and the harbor.  It was restored in the 20TH century and made accessible to the visitors thanks to the complete restoration in 2002.

If the climb doesn’t scare you, you can go up the 165 steps of the staircase situated internally, you will enjoy of a breathtaking view! Down, remember to look at the sky e to search the small angel collocated on the top, it’s the symbol of the city.

If you want to discover other information about this place at Lake Garda keep reading, you won’t regret it!

The Torre Apponale is situated in the east side of Piazza III Novembre, the main square of Riva del Garda and it is the fulcrum of the town. Under the arcades there are the Pretorio Palace and the Town Hall of Riva del Garda. In this square, give yourself a moment to admire the particular glimpse on the lake and why not, sipping a drink with view.

Continuing the tour through the streets of the center, you will arrive for sure at Marocco quarter. The name of this area recalls the dialectal word ‘marocche’, the stones in which the houses were built. As you imagine, it is a very picturesque site that will allow you to dive into a past of public housing and real life.

Five places to see in Riva del Garda
Credits: s_marelli


The second unmissable stop is the MAG (Museo dell’Alto Garda), inside the Rocca, the medieval castle only 350 meters from Piazza III Novembre. The headquarters of the museum is at Riva del Garda, while the second section is at Arco, at the Civic Gallery ‘G.Segantini’.

The Prince-Bishop of Trento built the medieval fortress in 1124 to protect the town of Riva. Its history is rather troubled: restored by the Scaligeri in the 14th century, it was looted many times during the Venetian period during the fight with the Visconti. Under the Habsburg, it became an army base in the 1800. Only during the 20th century, it is reborn as a museum.

If you want to know some details about this place at Lake Garda, don’t miss the next lines!

Today the castle is one of the symbols of the city. The crystal-clear water and the small boats that surround it make the location very suggestive.  Cross the small bridge and immerse yourself in the magic of this place, breath culture and take your time to admire the beauties exposed.

The museum is subdivided in three sections, respectively the Pinacoteca, with the paintings of art of boarder of Lake Garda between the XIV and the XIX century, an archeological section and one of history.

To make your experience even more unforgettable, I suggest you go up its main tower, the Mastio. From here, you will enjoy a wonderful view of the city and the lake. Don’t forget the camera to bring home some spectacular shots!

Credits: Nelleke Bos – enne_ellebi


Once satisfied your curiosity and made a bellyful of culture, I suggest you a bit of healthy relaxation. For this reason, the third place to see at Riva del Garda that I recommend you is the lakefront with its beaches. My advice to you is to make a stop at ‘Spiaggia Sabbioni’ and ‘Spiaggia dei Pini’, called Purfina.

This area of Riva will amaze you for the incredible attention with which the vegetation is preserved. The colorful flowers make an incredible chromatic harmony, a really pleasure for the eyes! Although the beaches are usually covered with pebbles, the extensive green zonas and the numerous trees offer large and nice shaded areas where staying. 

The crystal-clear water where you can dive in for a refreshing bath, with the setting made by the mountains, make this place almost surreal.  Here the time stops and the only thing to do is cuddle yourself in the noise of the waves of the lake. 

Don’t let yourself be scared by cloudy days; these beaches assume an even more suggestive look with some clouds in the sky!

Ponale path
Credits: Andrea Sonda


The fourth of the five places to see in Riva del Garda is without doubts the Ponale path, one of the most beloved in Europe. The paths links Riva del Garda to the Ledro Valley and offers the possibility to admire a truly incredible landscape.

Enclosed between the rocks of the mountain and the water of the lake, this street was built from the 19th century. Interrupted about 20 years ago, it become only in 2004 a cycle-pedestrian path. Today it is a rout of about 20 km, inclusive of back and forth.

Reached the Ledro Valley, you can continue and arrive at the Statue of the Madonna on the panoramic terrace, from where you have a breathtaking view. The path can continue towards the center of the town Pré di Ledro, Molina, the Ledro Lake or the Pile-Dwelling Museum, take your pick!

The Ledro Lake - the Pile-Dwelling Museum

If the length of the path puzzles you, you must know that it is a path for everyone, accessible on foot, by bike or by mountain bike. You can also decide to shorten it, choosing the loop trail, shorter but equally beautiful.

Ponale path
Credits: Anna Maria Jagielska – anna.j81 (IG)

Credits: jennifer_alka


About 3 kilometers from the city center, there is the Parco Grotta Cascate del Varone, the 5th unmissable place if you visit Riva del Garda. The waterfall in the park is considered a geological rarity. It is a narrow valley eroded in the rock dating back to 20.000 years ago, incredible, isn’t it?

The park is characterized by the presence of two caves that offer the possibility to admire the waterfall from two different prospective, superior and inferior. In both cases, you can access to the cave through a walkaway to arrive just a few meters from the waterfall. The colorful lights that delight the water make the place truly magic and the visit suggestive. Between one cave and the other, you have also the possibility to enjoy the botanic park and to do a nice picnic in the equipped areas.

My advice is to take with you a k-way, it will protect you from the splashes of water and it will prevent you from getting out the cave soaking wet!

In addition, the park is pet-friendly, so don’t hesitate to get you whipped by your four-legged friend! It will be also for it a funny and refreshed experience (if it loves water).

To discover the surroundings of this place at Lake Garda, keep going with the reading!

Continuing uphill in Tenno direction, you will have the possibility to visit also the Borgo di Canale di Tenno. The medieval villages are 600 m above sea level, and it is ‘One of the most beautiful villages in Italy’. Lose yourself among the small streets and marvel at the buildings made in stones for which the time never goes. Visit the Tools and rural life museum’ and the Artist house, it will be a very particular experience!

If you are so lucky to be here during the second week of August, I suggest you participate at ‘Rustico Medioevo’. The manifestation is an event where culture and gastronomy come together in an exuberant dance to offer a unique and unforgettable experience. In December and in January, don’t miss the characteristic Christmas market, that creates a dreamy atmosphere and offers a true fairytale.

The last unmissed place in your tour is without doubts the Tenno Lake, at 14 kilometers from Riva del Garda. Treat yourself a regenerating walk around the lake (about 40 minutes) or a refreshing dip in its turquoise and crystal-clear water. Although the lake is small, it will offer peaceful and relaxing moments.

EVENTS in Riva del Garda
Credits: Lönhardt M. Denisa


If the five places to see in Riva del Garda aren’t enough to convince you, let me talk to you about the splendid annual events.

The Notte di Fiaba (Fairytale Night) is an event not to be missed if your visit to Riva is scheduled in August. This event says goodbye to summer by turning the village into a fantasy location.

If you’re keen on bikes, the FSA BIKE Festival of Riva will conquer you with three days of exhibitions, presentations and engaging sport competitions, all focused on MTB, eMTB, lifestyle and much more.

The event X Strada (In the Street) is a perfect choice for an alternative evening on August 15th in the streets of Riva. An event with live music up until midnight.

At this point, I hope that Riva del Garda has become the first destination on the list for your next travel. Rest assured that it will be a very pleasant discovery!

To know the other places to visit at Lake Garda, don’t miss the related articles!


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