Peschiera del Garda: An open-air Museum
“An open-air museum: there is no better definition to describe the ancient Arilica. A treasure chest rich in history, enclosed within the walls of the Venetian Fortress, where everything to be discovered is illuminated by the rays of the sun. If you visit this wonderful UNESCO heritage, you cannot miss the guided visit, also known as, Peschiera Walking Tour!”
Brief history about Arilica
Let’s start with the name: the ancient Romans called it “Arilica,” which in Celtic means “where everything flows.” It is a town where water has always been the protagonist, also becoming potentially strategic for maritime trade. After all, Peschiera del Garda is located at the mouth of the Mincio River, the only emissary of Lake Garda. The river then merges with the Po, reaching the Adriatic Sea.
The guided tour of Peschiera del Garda will allow you to retrace every historical era during which the town developed, transformed, and evolved. There is no doubt: by the end, you will feel like a true Arilica resident!
Arilica actually has ancient roots: the very first settlements date back to the Bronze Age. Subsequently, as the dedicated archaeological area attests, the Romans populated the territory. After the fall of the Empire, the Scaligeri prevailed, followed by the rule of the Republic of Venice and a brief period under the leadership of Napoleon Bonaparte.
In the early 19th century, Peschiera del Garda was annexed to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was a glorious era for Arilica, which became part of the infamous Habsburg Quadrilateral, along with the cities of Legnago, Mantua, and Verona. In 1866, the town became part of the Kingdom of Italy.
Best ways to visit Peschiera
But it doesn’t end here: did you know that the Historical Building of Peschiera hosted King Vittorio Emanuele III during World War I? And that the Venetian Fortress is exactly pentagonal in shape?
Peschiera del Garda is the only place to visit in Lake Garda that has received recognition for the Venetian Defense Works.
You will discover many more secrets by walking in the footsteps left by history in the Arilica territory… How to visit Peschiera del Garda is up to you! In fact, to explore the historic center on foot, you have two options:
- You can rent an audio guide and independently follow the itinerary among all points of interest, first on foot and then by boat. The service is available in Italian, English, German, and Venetian dialect.
- If you are a group of at least 6 people, you can book the Peschiera Walking Tour: a guided visit of Peschiera del Garda lasting about 40 minutes. The experience is always confirmed in Italian and English. To plan a guided tour in German, French, Dutch, or Spanish, you can contact us via email.
You can book both activities from here. For the pickup of audio guides, we await you at the Tourism Peschiera Infopoint, in Piazzale Betteloni. We are open every day of the year! Still unsure about which experience to choose? Below, I’ll give you some more information and also reveal how to admire the UNESCO Walls from the water!
Peschiera Audioguide Experience
The audio guides are available in Italian, English, German, and also in Venetian dialect. Once you arrive at the Infopoint in Peschiera del Garda, you will be given a map indicating all the points corresponding to the audio guide tracks. The starting point will always be the entrance to the Venetian UNESCO Fortress, Porta Brescia.
Following the itinerary marked on the map, you can independently take a guided tour of Peschiera del Garda. The audio guide route will last about an hour and will also take you to Bastione San Marco. But the itinerary not only includes a walking tour: the audio guide tracks are also associated with the evocative Boat Tour: Giro delle Mura.
The Giro delle Mura is a 25-minute boat tour that will allow you to observe the Fortress directly from the canals that surround it. Departing from Piazza San Marco, the Boat Tour of the Walls is conducted every day in high season. In low season, you will likely find it on weekends and during sunny days. You can then keep the audio guide for this unique itinerary as well and return it to the office later.
The rental cost for the audio guide is €5. If you prefer to view the Audio Guide map on your smartphone, you can download it in PDF at the following link: https://www.tourismpeschiera.it/wp-content/uploads/3-MAPPA-ITINERARI-FULL.png
Guided visit: Peschiera Walking Tour
The Peschiera Walking Tour, on the other hand, is a guided walking route of about 40 minutes through the narrow streets of the historic center. The guided tour will take you to the beating heart of the Austro-Hungarian Military Quarter and among the most beautiful panoramic points of the Fortress, covering all the eras that have involved Peschiera.
You will also climb the Ponte dei Voltoni: symbol of the town, built in the sixteenth century. A guide will reveal the mysteries of ancient Arilica, starting from its origins when it was still known as a small fishing village.
As mentioned, the guided tour of Peschiera del Garda is available with a minimum of 6 participants. The cost per participant is €15. The guided tour is always available in Italian and English on the dates indicated on the calendar. Upon request, it is possible to organize the guided tour of Peschiera also in Spanish, German, Dutch, and French. In this case, to book the Peschiera Walking Tour, you can contact us via email at the address in the “Contact Us” section.
Museo della Pesca: Fishing Museum
In Peschiera, like other places to visit on Lake Garda, you will also find a museum that tells its history: the local Fishing Museum.
Within the evocative setting of the Radetzky Hall, at the Artillery Barracks of Porta Verona, you will find the entrance to the Fishing and Lakeside Traditions Museum. In the Fishing Museum, you can admire the scale model of the remains of the ancient Scaliger Castle (yes, there was once a castle in Peschiera!) along with specific collections of the historical heritage of lakeside life.