It seems like you are considering spending your holidays at the well-known lake Garda, the biggest and the most diverse lake in Italy. Read the next lines if you are wondering about what to do and see on Lake Garda.
Maybe it is the first time, maybe it is the umpteenth time. Maybe you already know how to move or maybe you have no idea where to start. It does not matter what kind of visitor you are… Our suggestion is to choose carefully the destination that matches better your interests and needs.
Whether you are looking for inspirations or you are just curious, this guide is what you are looking for! So, let’s have a look on what to do and see on Lake Garda.
Lake Garda, a lake for everyone
Lake Garda, once known as Benaco, with an area of 370 km2, is part of 3 regions. These lucky regions are Lombardy, with its Brescia province; Veneto with Verona and Trentino-Alto Adige with Trento. The lake is only one, but its dimensions allow it to be extremely variegated, showing off in every place a different but always charming look.
Moving towards the alps, the landscape becomes more and more wild and fierce, offering exciting sport activities. Further south the winds subside, the landscape becomes more peaceful and you have no choice but to enjoy this marvelous calmness.
Now, are you ready to discover in detail all the wonderful places to visit on Lake Garda?
Lake Garda Lovers
The time has come, but first we would like to tell you how the idea for this guide was born. We can’t actually take all the credit.
Our team members are people of all kinds, most of them born and raised on Lake Garda. Some of mixed Italian origins with other European countries origins. Others have fallen in love with this destination and decided to stay here since their first arrival.
What we have in common is our great passion for the public relation and the desire to contribute to the enhancement of the Gardesan area. We have been present in the tourism sector of Lake Garda for over 10 years now and we are very proud of that.
During these years, we have had the pleasure and luck to meet many people from every corner of the world. People who have helped us to see the lake with different eyes and for this reason we want to thank all of them with this article. It is thanks to their questions and suggestions, even the more unusual ones, that we were able to prepare this guide about what to do and see on Lake Garda.
It is thanks to their questions and suggestions, even the more unusual ones, that we were able to prepare this guide about what to do and see on Lake Garda.
Where are the medieval castles?
It may seem strange to you, but one of the most frequently asked questions we receive is this one! So, if you are a fan of medieval history and constructions, on the lake you will meet your match!
To the north of the lake on the upper Garda plain stands the Arco Castle. Perched on a rugged rock spur, it is the best place to admire one of the most beautiful views in Trentino. This castle has become a symbol and icon of the city and has been depicted by many artists. What remains of the manor are the towers and part of the walls. Inside it is possible to visit the “prigione del sasso” and the ravelin. Moreover, a cycle of profane frescoes from the fourteenth century is still intact in one of the rooms.
The Desenzano Castle is one of the castles from which you can enjoy one of the most beautiful views of Lake Garda. The castle is of medieval origin, built on the ruins of a Roman fortress. Due to its strategic and highly sought-after position it has been repeatedly attacked over the centuries. Following numerous works, it has reopened to the public and hosts events and concerts. In particular, with the restoration of the walls, today it is possible to visit the patrol walkway and the ascent to the entrance keep.
Another castle built by the Della Scala family on the ruins of Roman and medieval fortresses is the Lazise Castle. It has a square plan structure with an important keep and five towers. The castle is located in the center of the town but cannot be visited inside as it is a private property. The crenellated walls that enclose the entire historic center of the city are also very characteristic and well preserved.
Fortress of Lonato
At the top of Lonato, a small town on the Brescia side, stands the Rocca di Lonato. Built for military and defensive purposes, it can be reached by passing over the suggestive drawbridge. The fortress is made up of two main bodies: the Rocchetta and the Main District. Today the Rocca can be visited, and various events take place inside, such as Fiori nella Rocca, Lonato in Festival and Fiabe nella Rocca. If you are looking for a beautiful set for your wedding reception, it is possible to organize it here; it will certainly be unforgettable.
The Scaligero Castle of Malcesine stands in one of the most panoramic points and offers a suggestive view of the lake. It can be reached easily with a walk that starts from the center of the village and is open to the public for visits. Inside, in addition to the walk along the walls and the lookout terraces, you will also find the Goethe Room. In fact, the famous writer stayed in Malcesine during his trip to Italy. It is said that, struck by the beauty of the castle, he decided to draw some sketches (now preserved in the small museum Sala Goethe). The locals, however, mistook him for a German spy and for the misunderstanding he was almost imprisoned. Very interesting is also the visit to the Natural History Museum of the castle which tells about the flora and fauna of the lake.
The Castle of Moniga was built in the 10th century, during the invasions of the Hungarians, as a refuge for the inhabitants in cases of danger. It stands on a slight rise on the road that connects the other defensive castles in the area. Having never been a stately home and not being in a particularly strategic position, the castle has never suffered significant attacks or conquests. For this reason, it is very well preserved.
In the Mincio park stands also the Castle of Monzambano, one of the most intact examples of Mantuan castle architecture. The city of Monzambano was for many years a strategic point of great importance and for this reason the castle was subject to several renovations. The crenellated perimeter wall that surrounds the two hills on which the castle stands is perfectly preserved.
Don’t you stop here! Keep reading because the list of the places to visit on Lake Garda is only at the beginning. Let’s continue to discover other castles…
In an elevated position with respect to the city stands the Padenghe Castle, an ancient medieval defensive stronghold. You can access to the castle via the original drawbridge and passing it you will find yourself among the remains of a small medieval village. You can reach the stronghold with a short walk starting from the city center.
Rocca of Peschiera del Garda
Many do not know but also in Peschiera there is a castle from the Della Scala era. The Rocca of Peschiera del Garda, also known as Rocchetta, is located inside the Canterane bastion, part of the Peschiera fortress. The interesting thing is that it was built keeping the Roman marble tower inside. This tower was positioned there as a crossing point for the Gallic Way. For the curious, we suggest visiting the Fishing Museum to see a miniature reproduction of the castle.
Participate with our Peschiera Walking Tour to discover more about Peschiera del Garda!
Not far away there is also the castle of Polpenazze, also built as a defense against the Hungarian invasions. Then rebuilt by the Venetians in the 16th century it was partially demolished to build the parish church. Today only parts of the walls and the ancient entrance remain of the castle.
Ponti sul Mincio Castle
Among the defensive buildings of the Scaligeri there is also the castle of Ponti sul Mincio. Characteristic for its polygonal shape enclosed between five towers. Built between 1260 and 1276, when it lost its main defensive function it became a reservoir for the aqueduct. After years of neglect and abandonment following the restoration works, today the castle of Ponti sul Mincio has returned to its former glory. Purchase the Ponti Card to visit this beautiful Scaliger Castle!
The Puegnago Castle is also part of the same defensive line against the Hungarians. Currently only the ruins of the castle remain, on which a bell tower built in the nineteenth century.
The Castle of Sirmione, on the other hand, is unique of its kind, a rare example of a perfectly preserved lake fortification. Both the castle and the dock can be visited. In addition, we recommend taking a boat tour of the peninsula to be able to admire it in all its grandeur from the water, the best perspective.
Torri del Benaco Castle
The Castle of Torri was built in the last period of the Scaliger domination. It is built on the remains of a medieval castle, in fact the city being halfway on the Peschiera-Riva route has always been a strategic point. Inside, you can visit the museum that tells the story of the castle and the main traditions of this lake area. Of particular note is the citrus greenhouse, the only one open to the public.
Valeggio sul Mincio Castle
Not far away stands the suggestive Castle of Valeggio sul Mincio. Symbol of the city and reachable through a pleasant walk among elegant Art Nouveau villas. The castle is of medieval origin and still has the grandeur of that era unaltered. Although most of the ancient walls were destroyed by an earthquake in 1117, the Torre Tonda and part of the subsequent extensions of the Scala family remain intact.
You didn’t think there were so many, did you?
Did you feel like a bit of a princess or a bold knight? Well, then let’s continue for history and culture lovers with other places to visit on Lake Garda.
What are the archaeological sites of Lake Garda?
In the mid-1960s the ancient rock carvings dated 1500 BC have been discovered. They are present throughout the area of the Veronese shore between Garda and Malcesine. Surly these are in the list of what to do and see on Lake Garda.
To see the first engravings discovered, just go to Monte Luppia, in the Punta San Vigilio area. You will find there the famous Pietra delle Griselle and Pietra dei Cavalieri.
A good concentration of engravings is also present in Torri del Benaco; in the museum of the Castle you will also find a dedicated room. For a more complete experience, we also recommend the Naturalistic Archaeological Park of the Rocca di Manerba del Garda.
In Sirmione you can visit the Grotte di Catullo, an archaeological park that extends for more than 2 hectares at the end of the Peninsula. In this site you will find the ruins of a Roman villa built in the Augustan age (late 1st century BC), surrounded by a large olive grove with centuries-old plants. Inside the park there is also a small museum with the remains found in Sirmione.
On the lake you can also visit the ruins of the Roman Villa of Desenzano, built between the 1st century BC and the 5th century AD. Distinctive and valuable feature of the Villa are its marvelous perfectly preserved mosaic floors. In addition, the various artifacts found in the villa are exhibited in the site’s Antiquarium.
There is a small archaeological site also in Peschiera, next to the church of San Martino. Symbol of the presence of the Romans in the city where they built a fortress, currently not open to visitors because it is being restored. Peschiera in Roman times took the name of Arilica and the inhabitants of the city are still called “Arilicensi”.
Moving north of the lake to Riva del Garda, on Monte di San Martino, you will find a respectable archaeological area. Due to its strategic position, already in the Iron Age, between the 1st and 3rd centuries BC. it was inhabited. Most of the remains date back to pre-Roman and Roman times, where the site became a place of worship and was the site of a sanctuary. The church of San Martino, which gave the mountain its name, was built in the 6th century AD. You can visit the archaeological site, recently become a museum, following the signs that reconstruct the entire history of the area.
What are the UNESCO sites of Lake Garda?
The main UNESCO sites in the area of Lake Garda are the Venetian fortress of Peschiera and the pile-dwelling site of Frassino. Both located in the lower lake area are part of the list of what to do and see on Lake Garda.
Pile-dwelling site of the Frassino
The Frassino site was added to the list of 111 “prehistoric pile-dwelling sites in the Alps” in 2011. It is a submerged area 3-4 meters deep in the homonymous lake not far from Peschiera. Precisely this characteristic has allowed it to remain unchanged over time and today it is one of the best-preserved sites. Underwater research has brought to light several finds, preserved in a dedicated area of the Natural History Museum of Verona. In the museum you will also find a model showing the appearance of the submerged site.
The fortress of Peschiera del Garda
The pentagonal fortress in which the city of Peschiera del Garda is enclosed is not the first defensive wall that the city had. But it is certainly the most characteristic. The lakeside village has always been considered a strategic control point. Built in 1500 under the domination of the Serenissima Republic of Venice, it is a fortress with 5 bastions and 2 access gates.
It became a UNESCO site in 2017 in the list of “Venetian defense works between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries”. It can be visited with audio guides independently or with guided tours.
Interesting, right? For some time there has also been talk of nominating the entire lake as a World Heritage Site… we’ll see! Now, let’s continue our journey to the places to visit on Lake Garda.
Contemporary history, art and museums
If you love XX century history, the MU.SA and the Museo Storico Nastro Azzurro in Salò are two must see. If you are passionate about Italian literature, you will surely enjoy the Vittoriale degli Italiani at Gardone Riviera, the historic residence of the poet Gabriele D’annunzio.
Do you want to know something more about the lake and its activities? We therefore suggest you visit the Museo della Pesca in Peschiera and the MAG (Museo Alto Garda) in Riva del Garda. The Arboreto in Arco and the Limonaia del Castel in Limone are also worth mentioning, as they are two unconventional outdoor museums.
If you are interested in topics such as technology and ecology, the Museo della Carta in Toscolano Maderno and the hydroelectric central in Riva del Garda are what you are looking for.
For gastronomy lovers, a visit to the Museo del Vino in Bardolino or at the Museo dell’Olio in Cisano will be very interesting.
Which spiritual sites should I visit?
In addition to the views along the lake there are several very beautiful religious sites. Some places to report are:
Sanctuary of Montecastello
Also known as Madonna della Stella, is located in Tignale. It is one of the most popular sacred places on Lake Garda. Definitely due to its geography. As the peak on which it is located offers a view of both Monte Baldo and the peninsula of Sirmione. It is also curious to know that it arose on the foundations of an ancient temple, presumably dating back to 800 AD.
Sanctuary of Madonna della Corona
This sanctuary is located in Ferrara di Monte Baldo and is a jewel embedded in the rock with a view overlooking the valley. You won’t forget this kind of emotion. To reach it, it is necessary to climb a series of stairs but the effort will be repaid by the spectacular view. It is not accessible to strollers and prams.
We have dedicated an entire article about this amazing place!
Hermitage of Valentine
Another interesting spiritual place is the Hermitage of San Valentino, in Gargnano. According to the legend it was built by the inhabitants to escape the plague of 1630. This hidden corner can be reached by a walk of 2 hours, considered of easy level. However, as for all walks in the hills and mountains it is always recommended to wear hiking shoes.
Madonna del Frassino Sanctuary
Equally recommended and not far from the center of Peschiera del Garda is the Sanctuary Madonna del Frassino. It was built in Renaissance style near the homonymous lake between 1511 and 1514. It is famous for the appearance of a bronze statue of the Madonna and Child, illuminated by a beam of light. This sanctuary can also be reached comfortably by car.
Which are the gardesan traditional foods and wines?
Dear visitor, welcome to Italy, the homeland of good food and excellent wine!
As you probably know, this area, thanks to the mild climate, is famous for its cultivation of olive trees, vineyards and lemons. Therefore, some suggestions on this topic could not be missing in our article about what to do and see on Lake Garda.
Do you love wine?
Then, you will have no problems finding wine cellars and oil mills guided visits, to discover the production processes of our most valuable products.
When it comes to wine, you have surely heard of our Bardolino, Lugana and Valpolicella, made in the homonymous cities. MASI Tenuta Canova in Lazise and Cantina Ottella in Peschiera, for example, offer multiple guided tours with tasting of their best wines.
Tortellini di Valeggio
If you love traditional food, you have to stop at Valeggio sul Mincio, birthplace of the tortellino “Nodo d’Amore”. We then suggest you complete the experience of an authentic Italian meal with a local “grappa” (Italian liquor).
If the only thought of a static holiday bores you, don’t worry… we have the perfect solution! If you don’t want to miss any of the places to visit on Lake Garda, keep reading the next lines about how to move around easily.
How can I move around easily?
What to do and see on Lake Garda is one of the most frequent questions we get. Another frequent question is about how to move around to visit the places on Lake Garda!
If you are staying in the southern area of the lake, you can easily reach places of interest such as Mantova, Valeggio sul Mincio and Verona. Are you going to stay in the northern area,? Then you can visit places such as Trento, the Lake Ledro, Arco or Torbole.
From Pacengo, Peschiera del Garda, Sirmione, Desenzano e Padenghe it is easy to reach the A4/E70 that connects Torino and Venezia. This option is perfect for visiting cities like Milano, Bergamo, Brescia, Verona, Padova e Venezia.
The SS 249 (Gardesana Orientale) connects all the east side towns of the lake, from Peschiera to Riva del Garda. Even though it is very busy during the high season, it allows you to visit the various towns of the venetian and trentine side.
Meanwhile, the SS 45 bis (Gardesana Occidentale), connects the towns of the occidental side, from Riva to Salò, while following the coastline.
If you do not own a car, we suggest you stay in Peschiera or Desenzano, connected to the neighbouring cities by a rail network. If you are a good strategist, you can also organize your movements combining ferries and buses. (link trasporti)
Lake Tour by boat: debunking the myth
At the top of the list of what to do and see on Lake Garda there is “how to make a tour of the lake by boat”.
Comprehensibly you want to be able to plow it from north to south, but it is better to clarify how to do it.
The big two-floor ferry-boats that you will surely see sailing the lake act as a transport service, just as the buses. This means that, if you want to take a tour of the lake, you need to be careful to the timetables and stops for each ferry-route. Pay attention especially to the travel times, a ferry is a transport service, this means that it will stop in every intermediate port. Therefore, the more practical ones may be able to organize their movements just by studying the ferry navigation times.
If you are looking for a short ride just for the experience, or because sometimes you prefer to move with this transportation, with a timetable you can combine the two things!
A nice alternative to ferries is the many organized boat tours that are available every year from May to September.
If so far it seems you have already discovered a lot about the places to visit on Lake Garda, actually we just started. Read on to learn about the most beautiful sports, cycle paths and scenic trails…
Which sports can I practice on the lake?
If you love to be always on the move, one of the things to do and see on Lake Garda is definitely some sport: your daily bread!
Sports in the northern area
As we anticipate, the lake activities vary depending upon the position. The northern winds, from Brenzone and upwards, are perfect for sports like sailing, windsurf, kitesurf and canyoning. Moreover, the surrounding mountains allow trekking, excursions, climbing, vie ferrate and MTB/E-mtb lovers can have fun on the many paths. Basically, choosing cities such as Malcesine, Nago, Torbole, Riva, means choosing a holiday full of adventure and excitement!
Sports in the southern area
The calm waters and winds of the south, on the other hand, are perfect for activities like SUP (stand-up paddling) and canoeing.
Hikes, jogs and runs on the lake, bike excursions and, above all, refreshing swims, are practicable pretty much anywhere. But be careful, the water and air temperature are not the same for every locality!
Usually, in every town, it is possible to rent a small boat to enjoy a sunny day, admiring all the beauties that surround you. The possession of a boat licence is often not even required.
If you are looking for something more extreme, have you ever tried skydiving on the biggest lake in Italy? Well, Monte Baldo is the perfect place for, literally, jumping off!
Which bike paths can I find?
If you want to combine an amazing landscape with some culture, we recommend you take the E7 (or E6), i.e Eurovelo 7. This is the longest Italian bike path that, following the Mincio river, connects Mantova to Peschiera, passing through the marvellous Borgetto.
In the same city of this small medieval burg, you will find the renowned Parco Giardino Sigurtà, accessible also by bike.
If you do not want to part from the lake, you should follow the first part of the Garda by Bike, in Limone (see the dedicated paragraph). Alternatively, we suggest you the road paths between Riva del Garda and Torbole or Peschiera. The latter, between Pacengo and Lazise, is interrupted, therefore you will have to ride a stretch of Gardesana (a specific lane of a few km has just been realised).
Do you consider yourself fit and you love wine and the countryside? A trip from Garda to Verona, through Valpolicella, will allow you to experience a day of unforgettable smells and colours.
What is Garda by Bike?
It is an ambitious project that aims to offer the possibility of riding the whole lake perimeter on a cycling ring of about 140km. it essentially means connecting all the already existing bike paths. Unfortunately, to date, only the first segment (Limone) of this masterpiece is completed, but we highly recommend it! As for the rest, we will have to wait a few more years.
What are the panoramic paths of the garda lake?
We start by saying that every corner of the lake hides breath taking views and it is impossible to mention them all. However, we will do our best to let you know which ones you should not miss!
The most loved panoramic paths are for sure the ones of Busatte Tempesta, Cima Valdritta or Cima Comer passing through Eremo di San Valentino.
Mount Pizzicolo, nicknamed Naso di Napoleone (Napoleone’s Nose) is another privileged vantage point of the lake. Another enjoyable hike in the one through Valle delle Cartiere, in Toscolano Maderno.
Regarding the panoramic points, the most appreciated ones are the Punta Larici, Punta San Vigilio, Rocca di Garda and the Manerba one. All these offer a wonderful bird’s-eye view of the lake.
Particularly popular among motorcyclists is Strada della Forra, defined by Churchill as “the eighth wonder of the world”. This 5-kilometres road, carved into the rock and overhanging on the lake, connects Pieve di Tremosine to Tremosine Alta. You will find Terrazza del Brivido nearby where, only if you are reckless enough, you will be able to look down!
TAKE NOTE: For all walks, we highly recommend having the right equipment such as hiking shoes and water in the warmer months.
What are the natural parks?
For the nature lovers, we recommend the Riserva Naturale Orientata della Rocca e del Sasso (nature reserve) in Manerba del Garda and the Parco Naturale Regionale della Lessinia (natural park). Another must see is Parco Giardino Sigurtà in Valeggio sul mincio, the second most beautiful botanic park in Europe.
If you are mostly interested in caves and waterfalls, we suggest you visit Parco Grotta Cascata del Varone, Parco delle Cascate di Molina and Cascate del Ponale. Moreover, keep in mind that Monte Baldo is also called Europe’s botanic garden!
There are so many places to visit on Lake Garda as a couple. But if you are looking for some tips on how to impress your partner or for some unique shots, you should read the next lines…
Which are the most romantic places of the lake?
The magic of the lake and its views are the ideal setting for a couple’s trip, you can find a romantic and suggestive corner everywhere. Everything will enchant you, starting with small ancient villages, castles, fairytale villas and walks along the water hand in hand. Every detail will make your heart beat faster and will sculpt wonderful moments that will remain in your memory forever.
If you love sunsets, each town on the lake is perfect. The best time to exchange promises and love phrases. An enchantment where, embracing your partner, you can enjoy the beauty of the landscape and let your mind regenerate. On summer evenings, when the waves calm down and the beaches empty, stopping to wait for the sunset is one of the moments you will surely remember.
Activities for couples
In the list of romantic activities you cannot miss, a day at the spa is definitely at the top of the list. From the natural lakes of Villa dei Cedri in Colà, to the characteristic infinity pools of Aquaria in Simione, thermal waters will regenerate you. You can always personalize your experience with couple courses and massages with scented oils. Several hotels provide ideal offers for enjoying an afternoon or a whole weekend of love and relaxation. Another activity that you can enjoy with your partner is a nice cruise on the lake. A light aperitif or a romantic dinner on a private boat, just you and your soul mate, can certainly reserve an exciting opportunity for two.
Isola del Garda
This island, in the Brescia part of the lake, is also strongly recommended to visit.
Also known as Isola Borghese, from the name of the owner family, it is located in front of San Felice del Benaco and is the largest island on the lake. You can reach it and visit it only with guided tours of about 2-3 hours. In the island you can see a wonderful Venetian neo-Gothic villa and a park with Italian and English gardens. During your visit, take a moment to have a delicious aperitif on the terrace of the villa and some souvenir photos. The view of the lake that you will have is really one of a kind.
On Lake Garda, even a simple walk in nature can become romantic. From Gargnano and climbing upwards along the path of lovers, you arrive at the Hermitage of San Valentino, enjoying a magnificent scenery. The name itself is enough to recall love. This place between rocks and suggestive landscapes is a true source of inspiration and emotions. Here the couples look for the good wishes of the Patron Saint of lovers.
And let’s not forget the viewpoints from which you can admire the lake from above. Extraordinary examples are the Rocca di Manerba on one side and the Rocca di Garda on the other side. But if that’s not enough, you can push yourself even higher, going to San Zeno di Montagna or directly to the characteristic Monte Baldo.
Isn’t that enough for you? Read on to discover other romantic places to visit on Lake Garda…
Romantic views and fairytale places
Punta San Vigilio
Punta San Vigilio undoubtedly stands out among the most romantic views of the lake. Here the promontory with a characteristic marina, the building of Renaissance beauty and the beautiful beach just a few steps away, reserve a magical, decidedly fairytale corner.
Roman Villa and Scaliger Castles
Staying on a fairytale theme, if you want to feel a little like princes and princesses, you can visit the castles. From the ancient and imposing Scaliger Castle of Malcesine, to the magical one of Sirmione, you can admire the landscape from these enchanting places. Perhaps also recalling the famous love verse in latin of the poet Catullus, “Odi et Amo” (I hate and I love). They say that he composed these rhymes in his Roman villa in Sirmione, perhaps the original site where nowadays you can see the famous caves.
The Vittoriale degli Italiani
The Vittoriale degli Italiani is also a poetic and suggestive place, which you can find near Gardone Riviera. Built by the will of the poet Gabriele D’Annunzio, it is one of the most fascinating places on the lake, thanks to its park and the poet’s house. An ideal place for those who love romantic atmospheres linked to the past, amidst the furnishings and love stories of the Vate. In fact, in the priory there is the sculpture of Eleonora Duse, muse and lover of the poet, her great love tormented by her.
Lake Garda is divided into 3 regions. So, let’s find out which are the most romantic villages to visit on Lake Garda…
Shore of Brescia
A town overlooking the lake that deserves a visit is Limone, famous for its historic Castèl lemon house. Not far from this small village is Tremosine with the famous Terrace of the thrill. The dizzying view of the lake from that height is certainly a unique emotion to share with your partner and that you will hardly forget. In a narrow gulf of the lake, also on the Lombard shore, another little gem to see is the city of Salò. Due to its position it enjoys a lot of sun and the waters of the lake always calmly caress its shore. To admire the romantic reflections of light on the lake, take a peaceful walk on the wooden piers of the well-kept lakefront.
Shore of Verona
The Veronese shore responds with the beautiful villages of Torri del Benaco and Brenzone, two gems that are definitely worth a visit. But if we want to talk about the king of the Venetian side, we cannot fail to mention Lazise, the first municipality of Italy. This town with its characteristic historic center surrounded by ancient walls is the most popular destination around the lake. With your partner you can take advantage of the fact that the whole area is dotted with vineyards. You can toast to love in one (or why not even more than one) of the many wineries in the area, enjoying tastings and snacks.
Shore of Trentino
Finally, even if territorially speaking its shores touch the lake less than the other regions, Trentino also defends itself well. Riva del Garda, for example, offers various choices for lovers looking for something special. An example is undoubtedly the inclined panoramic lift that connects the historic center of the town with the Venetian Bastion in just two minutes. A breathtaking view of the lake and the city is what awaits you at the top, ready to be immortalized in your memories as a couple. A few kilometers from Riva there are also the famous Varone waterfalls, a real geological rarity. The caves, the colors, the flowing of the water, the botanical garden, all will contribute to making even this short but wonderful adventure romantic.
Romantic places near Lake Garda
Parco Giardino Sigurtà
Moving a little from the lake, going up along the banks of the Mincio river, the only outlet of the lake, you will find the Sigurtà Park, another perfect destination for lovers. It is a historic botanical park of a fifteenth-century villa, arranged at the end of the eighteenth century with English gardens. Walking hand in hand in this romantic atmosphere surrounded by expanses of plants and flowers is an enchanting experience. This park, with the different blooms and the succession of the seasons, is able to give emotions all year round.
Borghetto sul Mincio
If you are in Valeggio you cannot miss Borghetto sul Mincio, a small village that seems to emerge from the water, declared one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Consisting of a few houses embraced by a fortified complex, you can admire this village while walking through its picturesque streets and ancient mills. To conclude the visit, what better promise of love than a plate of traditional tortellini, a specialty of the village, which here are called “love knots”.
Canale di Tenno
Canale di Tenno also stands out among the most beautiful villages in Italy, a place where time seems to have stopped between the narrow-cobbled streets and ancient shops. The small village is located near the famous homonym lake, away from the large tourist flows of Lake Garda. In the alleys of the village you will be immersed in a poetic atmosphere, an ideal place for a romantic walk.
If your idea of a romantic outing is inspired by the great fairy tales made of princes on horseback, the perfect scenario can be found in Castellaro Lagusello. Entering the small village, it seems to be in the nineteenth century, here you can take the course and obtain a license to drive the gig. Once you have loaded your lady on the gig, all you have to do is head towards the small heart-shaped lake of the village!
It is not fantasy, but reality, it is no coincidence that Castellaro Lagusello has been the set of many famous films.
Take note; Castellaro Lagusello is also famous for its flowers. In fact there is an event dedicated to them called; I fiori di Castellaro Lagusello.
Verona, the city of love
Lastly, we have to mention the beautiful Verona, the big fish of the most romantic places on/near Lake Garda. The Italian city of love par excellence needs no introduction, but it certainly deserves a visit from the Lake Garda area.
The charm and atmosphere of this lake, moreover, are perfect for a gift: you will make an exceptional impression on your partner!
Come and paint your unforgettable moments, enjoying all these exciting views.
What are the most beautiful burgs?
Certainly, on your list of what to do and see on Lake Garda there is a visit to some beautiful characteristic villages.
Among the most beautiful in Italy by the lake there are Tremosine and Gardone Riviera. The latter also won the Bandiera arancione (touristic quality mark).
Recently Malcesine, which reached the seventh position in the RAI program “il borgo dei borghi”, was added to the list too.
What do I need to know if I want to fish on the lake?
The Lake Garda is inhabited by many kinds of fish that you can also eat in the local restaurants and trattorias. But hasn’t eating a fish caught with your own hands a completely different taste?
It may sound peculiar, but one of the most popular requests between things to do and see on Lake Garda is fishing.
This is why you should be careful to the rules and licenses needed for fishing.
For the state-owned waters, a fishing licence released from the province is required. You can request it at the municipality of every specific town.
In the province of Verona, an amateur-sports license can be purchased at a cost of 34 euros which is valid for one year. For foreigners, a 3-month tourist license is available and costs 13 euros.
In the province of Brescia, the amateur fishing license is the same for both Italians and foreigners. It is valid for one year and costs 23 euros.
Trentino decided to liberalize fishing since 2018, therefore a fishing license is not required anymore in the trentin area of the lake.
But let’s move on now to family holidays. If you are looking for this type of solution among the places to visit on Lake Garda, read on, we are going to talk about this topic.
Where should a family with children go?
Lake Garda has always been one of the most popular and visited destinations in Italy. Thanks to the wide variety of its offer, it allows each visitor to meet their own needs.
There are numerous things to do on the lake with children which is why many families choose it as a destination for their holidays.
In addition to the wonderful beaches, the lake also boasts the presence of numerous theme parks, pedestrian and cycle paths surrounded by nature and several museums.
If you are more interested in a holiday with adrenaline and fun, we recommend staying in Peschiera del Garda, Lazise, Bardolino and Garda near the numerous parks. For a holiday dedicated to sport and nature, visit the villages of Malcesine, Torbole, Riva del Garda and Limone. The towns of Sirmione, Salò, Gardone Riviera and Torri del Benaco are suitable for the more curious, with their castles and museums that will leave you satisfied.
Here are all the fun and interesting experiences to do together with your children.
At the top of the list of things to do on Lake Garda with children, there can only be a boat trip. Navigating on the waters of the lake is in fact the best way to enjoy its beauties from a different point of view.
We recommend the Sirmione Peninsula Tour which will take you around this thin strip of land that separates the Venetian shore from the Lombard one. You can thus discover hidden corners of the peninsula and steal unique shots. Plus, it’s a great way to show your kids that a border is never an insurmountable obstacle.
The Tour around the Fortress Walls of Peschiera del Garda, the Venetian pentagon built to defend the beautiful town, is also very beautiful. An interesting excursion and often in the company of the many ducks that swim around the ramparts.
We continue our list of “What to do and see on Lake Garda” with the much loved Theme Parks we have in our area.
As soon as they hear the name of the destination, your children will think of nothing else: Gardaland. The most famous amusement park in Italy that pleases the whole family with a range of attractions for all ages and fairytale settings. However, not everyone knows Gardaland Sea Life, the wonderful interactive aquarium that can be reached on foot from the park. With large themed tanks and a surprising underwater tunnel, it is the only one of its kind in Italy. There you can try out special interactive experiences and games with your children. Furthermore, this is just one of the many other amusement parks to do on Lake Garda with children.
Among these is the Jungle adventure in San Zeno di Montagna, immersed in the breathtaking landscape of the Monte Baldo Natural Park. With routes suspended on ropes and ziplines, fun is guaranteed. The park has six different trails designed for all different ages and desires for adventure. In a dedicated area it also houses a mini-park where children can feel like little Indiana Joneses.
If your children’s dream is to find out how their favorite films are created, Movieland is the right park for them. Here they will be able to enter the backstages and try to feel like protagonists for a day. The park for its attractions and shows is recommended for older children.
Fun in Summer
In the summer there are also several water parks perfect for contrasting the hot days with good family fun.
Associated with Movieland is Caneva Aquapark which offers breathtaking slides and winding paths between waterfalls in a Caribbean landscape. The fun for your children is not lacking and is easily accessible by public transport or their shuttle.
Also suitable for children is the Cavour Aquapark, surrounded by greenery and with different settings. On holidays there is an entertainment that organizes games and tournaments and a nice mascot with which to take beautiful photos of your happy children.
Nature and animals
With your children you will enjoy not only adrenaline and adventure but also nature and animals.
Parco Giardino Sigurtà
For a peaceful day in the countryside with the whole family, the Sigurtà Park in Valeggio sul Mincio is the ideal place. The botanical garden with its 60 hectares was awarded as the most beautiful in Italy and second in Europe. They come from all over to admire the blooms of the different species of flowers, in particular that of tulips, which has become a real event. The “Tulipanomania” awarded in 2020 as the best attraction in the world.
The park can be visited on foot in tranquility by dedicating half a day to it or the park offers several alternatives. Golf-carts and bicycles can be rented for independent tours or guided group tours. Otherwise preferred by the little ones is the little train. On a panoramic tour lasting about half an hour, he takes you to discover the most evocative places in the Park. The park’s most interesting attractions for children are the fascinating labyrinth in which to get lost and the educational farm where you will find various farmyard animals.
Parco Natura Viva
With many more species of animals, some of which are also at risk, is the Parco Natura Viva. The wildlife center hosts more than 1500 animals, divided into thematic areas, with a safari section to be covered by car. In addition, the Park offers families with children numerous recreational activities to study animal life. There is no shortage of play areas and picnics to spend a pleasant day outdoors. The perfect place, therefore, for you and your children, to discover new animals and the importance of biodiversity.
Giocabosco educational park
Moving from the animal kingdom to that of fantasy, the Giocabosco Educational Park in Gavardo (BS) is recommended for children aged 3 to 8. A forest inhabited by gnomes and fairies created to spread environmental education and play in nature through the imagination. An open-air place suitable for children with games and activities to be amazed, discover and get in touch with nature.
Do you want to enjoy the beauty of the lake with a little relaxation? Several spas are ready to welcome both you and your children.
In Lazise, Villa dei cedri is a natural spa surrounded by centuries-old trees which is divided into two lakes. In this little corner of paradise, children are also welcome and can swim and play without problems in the large surrounding green areas.
A few kilometers from Verona is Aquardens, a large park of 5200 square meters with indoor and outdoor pools. The structure is perfectly organized for families with children with reserved entrances and changing rooms. In addition, it offers a miniclub service and a children’s area with a swimming pool and slides where they can play safely.
Among the things to do with the family there are not only parks and entertainment, but also sports, culture and much more. Read on and discover all the possibilities on activities and places to visit on Lake Garda.
Sports and games
For a few hours of leisure, Lake Garda offers various game or sports attractions for the whole family to do together.
Bardolino Minigolf with a fun 18-hole course and a play area equipped for the little ones is one of them. With the inflatable slide castle and the elastic trampolines to make very high jumps in complete safety, fun is guaranteed! The only risk is that your children will want to go back again the following day.
An intriguing alternative for the older ones is Lakescape. The escaperoom in which your complicity and teamwork will be tested. You will have to overcome puzzles and traps in a race against time, will you make it?
As for sport, there are many cycle and pedestrian paths suitable for children to do along the shores of the lake.
Many things to do and see on Lake Garda, continue reading the next few lines to find out more about activities in the area.
Very impressive is the Limone cycle path which passes on a walkway suspended over the water. Another one that we recommend, pleasant and flat, is the one that follows the Mincio from Peschiera del Garda to Mantua, passing through Borghetto. A visit to this village, declared one of the most beautiful in Italy with its still working mills, is almost a must!
If you are passionate about water sports, on the other hand, in the upper part of the lake it is possible to take courses and sessions of various windsports on the water. There are also Sup and pedal boats that can be rented along the shores of the lower lake, you are spoiled for choice!
Walking in the countryside and discovering the beauty and strength of nature is an experience suitable for the whole family. A moment to relax but at the same time raise children’s awareness of the importance that nature has and how much it must be protected and safeguarded. Among the various natural attractions, the one that strikes children the most are the waterfalls, where the power of water is shown in all its beauty.
Here are the best places around Lake Garda to go with children.
Le Cascate del Varone
A few kilometers from Riva del Garda is the Varone waterfalls park. A walk between two spectacular caves where you can admire the slow and unstoppable erosion of water. Between stairs and bridges at the end of the path you will find yourself in front of a spectacular water jump that will leave you all in suspense.
Parco delle Cascate di Molina
The Molina waterfalls can be another beautiful stop.
Valpolicella is not only a place of excellent wines, but also holds the ideal destination for a nature excursion suitable for everyone, adults and children. The beautiful park of the Molina waterfalls extends for 80,000 square meters and inside you can choose the route you prefer among the three indicated. Then you just have to lose yourself admiring the many waterways that flow between the green unspoiled landscape and the sparkling waterfalls. Before returning, we recommend a visit to the ancient streets of Molina. Small medieval village with mills fed by the waters of the park. It is important to know that the park cannot be accessed with strollers, which must be left at the entrance.
La Cascata del Ponale
In the Trentino area, one of the most beautiful is the Ponale waterfall which flows directly into the lake. The best way to admire it is from above along the path of the same name. The panoramic road, easy to travel and suitable for all, reserves a magnificent landscape that is different at every bend.
Museums to visit with children
For a different and educational afternoon to do with children on Lake Garda there are several museums where you can learn while having fun.
On the Brescia side, the Toscolano Maderno Paper Museum is interesting. Here you can visit the old paper mill and discover the various stages of paper manufacturing. Seeing all the steps needed to produce a sheet of paper also allows you to raise awareness among children to avoid waste. Very fascinating is the interactive station of the museum that allows you to relive everyday life in an ancient paper mill.
In Riva del Garda, on the other hand, it is possible to visit the hydroelectric plant for an experience that will guide young and old to the discovery of clean energy. The guided tour explains in an easy and comprehensive way even to the little ones and the different multimedia installations will capture their curiosity making the visit engaging and interesting. In addition, your children will be able to feel like real explorers wearing protective helmets during the journey through the galleries of the plant.
The castles that will enchant children of all ages
Throughout history, the lake has always been a very coveted place by the lords of the area. Rising in a strategic point of great importance on its banks, several castles and defensive fortresses have been built. Fascinating places to visit that with their majesty leave adults and children speechless.
The most beautiful that we recommend for a family visit on the Brescia side are certainly the castle of Desenzano del Garda and the castle of Sirmione bathed by the waters of the lake. The ancient stronghold of Padenghe can also be reached with a pleasant walk. On the Venetian shore the most beautiful castles were commissioned by the della Scala family. Like that of Malcesine, from which you can admire an inimitable panorama over the entire water basin, the fortress of Torri del Benaco, partially transformed into a lemon house and the Lazise castle.
In addition to the Middle Ages, many other places on the lake have been marked by important historical events or characters linked to the history of our country. Visiting them with your children will make them experience what until now they have only read on the pages of their school books. A great way to make them remember what they have studied but above all to make them feel part of what is the history of Italy, which is very often perceived as distant and detached from them.
Torre di San Martino della Battaglia
The Tower of San Martino della Battaglia is certainly one of these places. The visit will also appeal to the little ones who will run up the steps to get to the top as soon as possible and to the little girls who will feel a bit Rapunzel.
Il Vittoriale degli Italiani
Il Vittoriale degli Italiani is also an interesting place rich in history. The visit can be adapted to the different ages of your children. Perfect for middle school kids who studied the life and works of Gabriele d’Annunzio in those years. For the little ones we recommend avoiding the visit to the poet’s house and concentrate on the large gardens which with the particular fountains and the different models of warship will undoubtedly capture their curiosity.
Here, then, are all our tips on what to do and see on Lake Garda with children.
You are really spoiled for choice! You only have to leave and come to the lake that makes the whole family happy.
At this point of the story there is only one type of holiday left to organize: the one with our 4-legged friend! So here are some ideas on places to visit on Lake Garda with your dog.
Which options do I have if I set off with my dog?
There are many hikes to go on with our pet on the Lake Garda and even many pet-friendly beaches and structures.
Beaches for dogs
In Località Fornaci (Peschiera), there is the Braccobaldo Bau Beach. There you can find showers, a “toilet” dog area, sunbed rental (with the possibility to have an extra one for your dog) and a welcome kit with a bowl and a blanket.
In Salò, right after Mulino mokai beach, in Via Tavine, you will find a space of around 500m2. This is the perfect place for taking your dog swimming and there are also some dog training classes available!
Manerba is equipped for your four-legged friends as well as it has created a dog beach in the city’s bay, near the Ideal Pieve camping. It is a fenced area in which only 20 dogs at a time can enter.
In some cases, such as on public transport, both boats, trains and buses, a muzzle is required, especially for large size dogs. For every eventuality, always carry it with you.
If you would like to walk on Monte Baldo using the cable car that leaves from Malcesine, only one dog per car is allowed, with muzzle and leash.
Access to the parks
What about the parks? Just as the accommodation facilities, some of the parks welcome
your animals with open arms, but some of them, unluckily, cannot let them in.
For example, dogs are allowed in Gardaland and Movieland, but they at least have to be on a leash and they won’t access to the attractions.
At the Parco Sigurtà, on the contrary, access to dogs is not allowed to protect the botanical environment. Likewise, dogs are not allowed in Parco Natura Viva to protect the peace of the animals. However, they both offer dog-sitting options nearby or at the park. As for the water parks it is not allowed to bring pets for hygienic reasons.
When and where can I find the weekly markets?
What to do and see on Lake Garda? A weekly market of course! In fact, one of the most popular tourist attractions of Lake Garda are certainly the various weekly markets. They are so much demanded that they earn a place in the ranking of things to do and see on Lake Garda.
Populated by citizens of various countries and by stalls of all kinds, they also attract many tourists eager to immerse themselves in a traditional and rural atmosphere. These markets are so numerous that, every day from 8 to 13, you can visit a different one, from farmers’ markets to antiques markets.
One of the best ways to explore and buy the various typical Garda products are the farmers’ markets. Here you can get in direct contact with local producers, buy seasonal products and get to know the farms in the area. To get hold of slightly more particular souvenirs, the craft and antiques markets could be the solution. You can find stalls with products of all kinds, from vintage to handmade ones.
MONDAY: Colombare di Sirmione, Pozzolengo, Peschiera del Garda, Moniga del Garda, San Zeno di Montagna, Torri del Benaco, Calmasino di Bardolino
TUESDAY: Desenzano del Garda, Cisano, Tignale, Castelletto di Brenzone, Limone sul Garda, Tremosine, Bardolino, Torbole
WEDNESDAY: Lazise, Gargnano, San Felice del Benaco, Castelnuovo del Garda (Sandrà), Arco (1st and 3rd of the month), Riva del Garda (2nd and 4th of the month), Bogliaco
THURSDAY: Bardolino, Lonato del Garda, Toscolano Maderno, Bussolengo, Trento, Colà di Lazise, Mantua
FRIDAY: Garda, Manerba del Garda, Lugana di Sirmione, Gardone Riviera, Puegnago, Soiano del Lago, Pastrengo, Brenzone (evening summer market)
SATURDAY: Malcesine, Pacengo di Lazise, Castiglione delle Stiviere, Padenghe sul Garda (afternoon), Salò, Valeggio sul Mincio, San Martino della Battaglia, Verona, Brescia
SUNDAY: Monzambano, Rivoltella
TUESDAY: Arco, Bussolengo
WEDNESDAY: Padenghe sul Garda
THURSDAY: Absence of Brenzone, San Benedetto di Lugana, Desenzano del Garda, Castiglione delle Stiviere, Torbole (from April to September)
FRIDAY: Riva del Garda, Pacengo di Lazise, Torri del Benaco
SATURDAY: Calmasino di Bardolino, Lonato del Garda, Caprino Veronese, Polpenazze
SUNDAY: Castelnuovo del Garda, Costermano
THURSDAY: Torri del Benaco (evening, from June to September)
SATURDAY: Verona (3rd of the month)
SUNDAY: Valeggio (4th of the month), Brescia (2nd of the month, except July and August), Desenzano (1st of the month, except January and August), Verona (1st of the month), Mantua (3rd of the month), Bardolino (3rd of the month)
Continue reading the last part of the list about “What to do and see on Lake Garda” Beaches, Theme Parks, Curiosities and Tour await you in the next few lines!
What are the most beautiful beaches of the lake Garda?
The lake garda is full of picturesque and unforgettable beaches. You will have plenty of choice, from sandy to rocky beaches.
Baia delle Sirene in Garda is a place surrounded by nature that offers a relaxing view on the gulf of Garda. Another must see is Jamaica beach, in Sirmione, that reminds, on the contrary, a tropical landscape and its atmosphere.
Spiaggia di Pisenze in Manerba del Garda is filled with the finest sand, the perfect place for wonderful selfies! Meanwhile, the Lido di Fasano in Gardone Riviera, owns the only “bandiera blu” (blue flag) beach of the garda lake, thanks to its crystal-clear waters.
In the northern area, you can find the Fonte Torrente San Giovanni beach in Limone, small but spectacular. In Riva del Garda, you can visit Spiaggia dei Pini, composed of a pebble shore that alternates to the green areas that surround it. Another one is Spiaggia delle Lucertole in Torbole, where you can admire a breath-taking view thanks to its overhanging cliff, perfect for climbing lovers.
What are the theme parks?
There are many activities you can dive into on our wonderful lake, and as many theme parks that you can visit. For those who enjoy having fun, the south-east area offers many options, from amusement parks such as Gardaland or Movieland, to aquaparks such as Caneva and Cavour.
If you love animals, there is the Natura Viva zoo-safari or, if you prefer aquatic animals, you should spend one day at Gardaland Sealife.
Among the places to visit on Lake Garda we can certainly also suggest some locations of important events. Read on and see some…
Which are the historical events?
Lake Garda, home of breath-taking sceneries and full of art and activities, has also seen many interesting-to-know historic events during the years. For this reason we have to add to our list of “What to do and see on Lake Garda” also some curiousities!
First free Italian municipality
We are going to list some of them for you, starting from the Sacro Romano Impero. In 983, Lazise’s population asked to the emperor Ottone II to let Lazise benefit of considerable legal and fiscal autonomy.
The emperor, who wanted to remain on good terms with Lazise and to exploit the conformation of the territory for defence purposes, granted their request. For this reason, Lazise’s municipality is considered as the first independent municipality of Italy.
Solferino e San Martino Battle
Moving forward, we can remember the Solferino and San Martino’s battle on the 24 June 1859 in Lombardia. It was fought during the Second Italian Independence War, between the Austrian army on one side and the French and piedmontese armies on the other. Austria was the defeated one, therefore losing the war and the whole Lombardy. This event is seen in Italy as the first step to national unity and, in the world, as what inspired Henry Dunant to develop the idea of the Croce Rossa internazionale.
Repubblica Sociale di Salò
We then, during the second world war, move towards Salò. Salò becomes the centre of the world when Mussolini, in 1943 proclaimed it capital of the new Repubblica Sociale di Salò. He then also proceeded to settle in Villa Feltrinelli in Gargnano.
Peschiera, as a set for a movie
The last, less historic but still memorable event, dates back to the sixties, when the Lake garda was “transformed” in the Caribbean Sea. More precisely, we are talking about when Peschiera hosted, for almost 10 years, actual floating studios, tv and film productions. The protagonist of this adventure was Walter Bertolazzi that, starting from 1958, set up a fleet of vintage ships, which acted as a film set for pirate movies.
Of course there are much more curiosities worthy to know… Many of them are in our other articles!
Most requested tours
I almost finished the list of what to do and see on Lake Garda. Read the next lines about the choices you have to participate with a tour! You will notice the options are endless! Those who want to feel the wind in their hair and the warmth of the sun, boat tours are ideal.
For the ones that love the feeling of the wind in their hair and the warmth of the sun, the boat tours are perfect. The most popular one is the South Garda Lake Tour: a 3.5-hour excursion to discover the most beautiful landscapes of the lake, with stops to bathe.
Isola del Garda is another very popular destination. This excursion includes a guided tour for discovering the marvellous villa, its botanic gardens and the surrounding park.
If you are looking for a shorter tour, of around 30 minutes, you can choose between two options. One is the boat excursion around the Sirmione peninsula, the other is a tour on a small boat around the Fortezza Veneziana in Peschiera.
Garda Lake Tour
For those who wish to discover the whole of Lake Garda in 1 day, it is possible to participate in the Garda Lake Tour. A tour of the lake by bus with a guide who will accompany you to discover the geomorphology, history and culture of Lake Garda. There will be 4 stops plus 1 transfer by boat to admire the view from the water.
For those who would like to discover the whole Garda Lake in a day, the Garda Lake tour is available. This is a lake bus tour with a local guide, who will take you to discover the many treasures that these renowned cities offer you. Among these destinations you can find the romantic Verona, the immortal Venezia, the Modern Milan and, for nature lovers, the charming Dolomites.
What else to say?
We hope that these answers to what to do and see on Lake Garda have helped you to discover how varied and fascinating this lake is.
It is no coincidence that for years, millions of tourists have been staying and visiting its coasts falling in love with it. Between its shores it encloses small magnificent villages full of history, traditions and art, offering the opportunity to carry out countless activities. From sport to relaxation it satisfies every need, it has a mild and favorable climate in every season, suitable for both short visits and long stays.
Whether you are a first-time traveler or a regular visitor, we hope that in our guide you have found at least one good reason for an excursion on Lake Garda.
What else can we add then?
Surely there are more questions to add to this list of what to do and see on Lake Garda.
This lake never ceases to surprise.
If you have some suggestions or questions to add, write them in the comments, we are always happy to learn more about new topics and experiences on Lake Garda!