There are countless things to do in Peschiera del Garda. The picturesque lake town encloses several architectural and cultural beauties. It also offers the opportunity to carry out numerous activities and welcomes several events. We prepared a small introduction and a list of the unmissable three things to see in Peschiera del Garda.
Peschiera del Garda is a wonderful, fortified town in the south of Lake Garda that boasts a long history and ancient traditions. It rises on the mouth of the Mincio river, the only one emissary of the Lake.
Peschiera del Garda is an excellent starting point to discover the wonders of the lower lake and it is easily accessible.
Wondering about places to visit on Lake Garda? Peschiera is one of the must-see towns on this lake and offers unforgettable views to capture at every corner.
There are several ways to get in Peschiera del Garda and it might be interesting to know that also the ancient Gallic Way during the roman period ran through this town. Nowadays things did not change really. Infact, Peschiera del Garda still is an important town, in terms of infrastructure. It is located right on the railway and highway that connect Milan and Venic. So, it is easy to reacht the town by car and by train.
If you arrive by plane to Verona, Peschiera is just 23 km from the airport. And it is also quite easy to reach with the public transportation coming from Milan – Bergamo Airport.
Are you a cyclist or hiking lover? You can reach the town by following the bike path along the Mincio river from Mantua. Another cycle-and pedestrian path runs along the lakeside promenade coming from the east coast of the lake. This path starts in Garda. (There is a small interruption between Lazise and Peschiera in which you will have to go on the main Gardesana)
If you are in another town on lake garda, you can reach Peschiera by public ferry as it has a harbour.
1. Peschiera del Garda Fortress, UNESCO Heritage
One of the three things to see in Peschiera del Garda are the Venetian walls, which are included in the list of Venetian Defense Works between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries of UNESCO heritage.
I already mentioned Peschiera del Garda having a strategic position, and so throughout history it is not hard to understand that Peschiera del Garda has been marked by numerous dominations. All of these leaving visible traces in the historical town center.
The existence of this town seems to have started with a pile-dwelling site dating back to the Bronze Age. Infact, the pile-dwelling village became then a Roman fortress in the first century BC and took the name of “Arilica“. The reason why the inhabitants of Peschiera are still called Arilicensi!
Subsequently it became the seat of the castle and fortress of the Veronese Scaligeri family in the thirteenth century. And it was only during the domination of the Serenissima Republic of Venice that itassumed the aspect that it still possesses today of a pentagonal fortress with five ramparts.
A feature that made it famous worldwide as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017.
The Pentagonal Venetian UNESCO Fortress is one of the places to visit on Lake Garda!
Many people do not know that also Peschiera has a medieval castle, or better said, a big part of what is left of the original castle. You can find the castle inside one of the ramparts of Peschiera del Garda, known as Bastione Cantarane. To help you imagine the kind of castle that Peschiera had you just have to visit Lazise and Sirmione as it had the same architectural style as these two castles. Infact, Sirmione, Peschiera del Garda and Lazise formed a triangle of important Medieval fortifications on the south-east coast of Lake Garda. Now you will be probably wonder who hid the castle inside the rampart?
Well, it was under the domination of the Republic of Venice and their need to make the pentagonal shape around the center, that the castle was modified.
To fully admire the magnificence of the venetian fortified complex, we recommend taking a walk on the different ramparts and walls.
Crossing the Porta Brescia bridge that crosses the Fossa Reale, (the right branch of the Mincio river) you can see Feltrin Rampart on the right and Tognon Rampart on the left. It is interesting to know that the optical telegraph, used during the last years of the domination of the Habsburg army, was located on Tognon. This allowed to connect the town of Peschiera with the military fortress of Pastrengo and command center of Verona.
There are many places to visit on Lake Garda, if you are going up to Querini Rampart you can have a beautiful view of the lake and the port, access route for all the boats that reach the city.
St. Mark’s Rampart instead is an excellent vantage point and strategic control of the homonymous gateway. From this you can also admire the Bastione Cantarane, the second built and the southernmost of the Fortress. Inside this one there is the Rocchetta, seat of the Scaliger castle and the remains of the ancient Roman tower of the Via Gallica. At the moment this part is not visitable because subjected to restoration.
An original and very suggestive way to discover the majestic complex of the walls and the Bastions is with the Boat Tour. This is a panoramic path on the water of about 30 minutes that starts from Piazza San Marco, by the boat you can admire from the outside the entire fortress of Peschiera.
Possibly a similar tour is also carried out by a gondola, typical boat of the Venetian lagoon.
In August around the fortress there is the traditional Palio delle Mura. It starts with a parade of rowers on the canals around the Venetian walls, the boats are a faithful reconstruction of those of the sixteenth century. It then continues with several competitions on water accompanied by live music shows.
2. Historical Center of Peschiera
The entire city is surrounded by the water of the Mincio River which has been divided into four canals. Peschiera is connected to the earth by two flowering bridges from which you can capture incredible shots of the walls. The only two access roads are Porta Brescia, also called country gate, and to the west and Porta Verona. The latter is recognizable by the simulacrum of the Marciano Venetian lion of San Marco, image of the Serenissima. Destroyed by Napoleon as a sign of contempt after the Treaty of Campoformio and the fall of the Republic of Venice.
For a long time, the facade of the door has been deprived of it, but now you can admire it again. Thanks to the faithful reconstruction carried out by the Academy of Fine Arts of Verona that brought Porta Verona back to its ancient splendor.
Walking in the center of Peschiera you can admire the different fortified examples of the many different eras in which Peschiera played an important role.
Infact its role as a fortress continued during the Napoleonic and Habsburg era. From 1800 it became a Habsburg stronghold and became part of the defensive Quadrilateral of Italy. The Empire built its military district here with the Austrian Palleria and the Artillery Establishment, completely restored and open to the public, now home to the city library.
Crossing the green Catullo Park you can also see the Caserma Franciscus I and Palazzina degli ufficiali. In the Piazza Ferdinando di Savoia, once called Piazza Armi, they built the imposing military hospital with the characteristic shape of letter E.
Also, in the square, next to the Church of San Martino, you can see the Roman remains dating back to the 1st-4th century A.D. found during some excavations.
Peschiera also played a fundamental role in the fate of the First World War. In 1917, the Palazzo del Comandante, now called the Palazzina Storica, held the conference to decide how to react to the defeat of Caporetto suffered.
Among the things to do in Peschiera del Garda there is undoubtedly a walk on the Ponte dei Voltoni overlooking the Canale di Mezzo. The central canal, one of the branches into which the Mincio was divided, runs through the historic centre.
The bridge, recognizable by its 5 arches, is the ideal place to take one of the most characteristic images of the city.
Built in 1556 by the Venetian superintendent after the construction of the fortress, opposite stood the fixed fishing station called Pescarezzo. Today it remains a last visible testimony from the lakeside Bonomi, recently restored as a historical memorial.
The Voltoni Bridge is the place every year of the festivities of the beginning of November in honor of the Patron of the city, Saint Martino. The most ancient and traditional festival of Peschiera: the Voltoni Fire. A weekend of festivities whose most awaited moment is the fireworks show to the rhythm of music that is done on the bridge of the same name.
Another folkloric event in the city is the Games on the Canal that are done in July. Three days of fun and a little madness. Participants will engage in bizarre disciplines such as the cycle dive and the inflatable race on the Middle Canal, laughs are assured.
The city is still a place of meeting, exchange and connection and every year is visited by more than 50,000 tourists.
There are several ways to discover the city and the remains of history that made it so important.
You can walk through the city and the Venetian fortress together with a guide with the Peschiera walking tour. Or independently with the retractable audio guides at the infopoint.
With a walk that starts from Porta Brescia you can admire the main points of interest and the wonderful view from the ramparts.
Not to be missed is the museum of fishing and traditions that tells of the past as a large lake town of Peschiera.
Unmissable in the list of things to see in Peschiera del Garda are also the Lungolago Mazzini and Lungolago Garibaldi, along which you can enjoy a walk. The best way to enjoy the beauty of the Lake and capture incredible shots.
3. Ciclabile lungo il Mincio
As third among the things to see in Peschiera del Garda we recommend the bike path that connects the city to Mantua. A spectacular 44 km long pedestrian and cycle path that winds along the banks of the Mincio, the river that separates the Veneto region from Lombardy.
The route is mostly flat and well signposted, easily accessible by all, experts and amateurs.
For this reason it is suitable for families, being far from road traffic and surrounded by green vegetation, to accompany only the noise of the water of the river.
The track start in front of the Feltrin bastion, keeping right once you exit Porta Brescia and cross the bridge. A panel indicates the beginning and shows the entire route that, as you can see, crosses the lush Mincio Regional Park.
The route offers not only the pleasure of a quiet and relaxing ride in nature, but also leads to several points of interest very beautiful. Among these definitely worth a stop in Borghetto sul Mincio, not surprisingly included in the list of “Most beautiful villages in Italy”. The picturesque village crossed by small streams is famous for its water mills.
An ideal point to capture iconic shots and small special views of Borgetto sul Mincio is undoubtedly the Ponte Visconteo. The imposing seventeenth-century bridge-dam built at the behest of Gian Galeazzo Visconti.
This village is part of the municipality of Valeggio sul Mincio, another charming town that you can meet not far along the way. Dominated by the majestic Scaliger Castle, the city is also famous for its traditional and inimitable tortellini of Valeggio. If you are in the area at lunchtime you can not miss a good dish in one of the many typical trattorias of the place!
Valeggio is also home to the most beautiful botanical park in Italy, second in Europe: the Sigurtà Garden Park. With its 600,000 square meters, it is home to hundreds of species of plants and flowers. You can also access the park with your bike and walk the 10 km of trails that wind through turfs, flower ponds and countless flowerbeds. For children there is also an interesting educational farm where they can get in touch with some nice farm animals.
After this enchanting stop between nature and history, the cycle path of Mincio continues towards Mantua. Once out of the Mincio Nature Park the landscape changes appearance, it outlines on the horizon the city of Mantua with crenellated towers and palaces. A system of lakes built to defend the city surrounds it almost entirely and the entrance to the center is definitely impressive. A visit to the beautiful Mantua once arrived is a must before getting back in the saddle for the return.
In the return route there are several detours that you can do. From Monzambano you can reach the medieval village of Castellaro Lagusello nestled among the morainic hills with its famous heart-shaped lake. Or before reaching Peschiera di you can turn for Ponti sul Mincio, a small town of medieval origin dominated by the beautiful castle from which you can admire a breathtaking view.
The cycle path that connects Peschiera to Mantua is a stretch that is part of the European route Eurovelo7 that aims to join North Cape to Malta with a fully cycle route.
Here are described what are for us the three main things to see in Peschiera del Garda, but there would be many more!
Every visitor who comes to our city falls in love with a different place or landscape that immortalizes in memory or in beautiful photos.
You just have to come and discover its uniqueness with your own eyes!