Italy is an amazing country: its architecture still continues to inspire and impress tourists, and its cuisine is famous throughout the world. Thanks to its many attractions, this country attracts tourists like a magnet, and there really is something to see. Beautiful landscapes, amazing nature and architecture - the Italian visual range attracts and fascinates at first sight.
Not far from Milan, Verona and Venice, the majestic Lake Garda is located - the largest in size in the country. Its coast is literally littered with small and large hotels, and all because this area is very popular not only among visitors, but also among Italians themselves.
Due to its convenient location, Lake Garda is not only a self-sufficient holiday destination, but also a peculiar hub connecting several popular tourist areas.
Major resorts and terrain features
Lake Garda is only 30 minutes from Milan, which allows you to visit nearby attractions, including the Italian fashion capital, on vacation. Garda is spread over 370 square kilometers, and its coastline is about 130 km. The maximum depth of the reservoir reaches 340 m, while it connects the Italian provinces of Trentino, Veneto and Lombardy.
In the north of the reservoir, the climate is rather severe: the weather is windy, and the average temperature is lower than in the south. However, despite this, cold winds blow there quite rarely, since the terrain is surrounded by mountains that do not let the cold air flow through.
The southern side is completely at the mercy of the Mediterranean climate: in the summer the air warms up to 30-35 degrees, but at the same time there is almost no stuffiness and exhausting heat.
The water temperature is most comfortable from the beginning of summer to the beginning of autumn - during this period the reservoir warms up to 22-27 degrees. The amazing property of the lake - the formation of waves with complete calm - attracts surfers to rest. On the coast are scattered small towns and villages, which themselves are quite attractive in terms of tourism.
The brightest of them are:
- Sirmione is a small town famous for its guests by the castle called Rocca Scaliger. Its history dates back to the Middle Ages, and the architecture is notable for its severe inaccessibility. In addition, the place around the fortress is really beautiful, since it is located on a peninsula of elongated shape, surrounded by azure lake water. Thanks to the construction of the castle, the small town became the administrative center, and a SPA resort with mineral springs was located nearby.
- Fat. Back in 1900, this city suffered crushing losses during an earthquake, after which it was rebuilt. Arriving at this place, you can immerse yourself in a variety of water activities or visit local attractions, such as the residence of Mussolini or several summer houses of Italian government members,
- Malcesine. This place is very beautiful, and therefore tourists are constantly resting here. It is not only the rare beauty of the surrounding area that attracts them: Malcesine is closely associated with Johann Goethe - a famous poet who lived here for several years. Also vacationers can climb the funicular to the summit of Mount Baldo, or visit local museums,
- Limone - this city is famous for its professional windsurfing competitions. By the way, the name of the city largely justifies itself, because on the slopes grow lemon groves that make the town unlike any other,
- Desenzano del Garda. The town is famous for the fact that there are many nightclubs here, because of what it is informally called the capital of nightlife. From the architectural local attractions can distinguish the ancient Roman villa and the Cathedral of Mary Magdalene.
Anyone who expresses a desire to visit these wonderful places can choose how to stay on the coast of the lake independently: today, in any, even a small town near Lake Garda, you can find a small hotel on the shore, accommodate in apartments or in a villa - everyone will find afford a home to taste and pocket.
Interesting places and entertainment
Speaking about Lake Garda, one can not fail to mention the amazing and delicious cuisine in this region: all dishes are prepared in the best traditions of Veneto and Lombardy. Often the recipes contain meat, olive oil and fish. The most popular among tourists are dishes such as polenta carbonara, tortellini, trout cooked with citrus, and broth - broth with the addition of toasted flour and olive oil.
You can see the sights in any locality located on the coast - no town on the coast is not deprived of interesting places. For example, many will want to see the grotto of Catullus, which belonged to the poet Guy Valery Catullus.
This building is considered one of the oldest buildings on the coast. The ruins of the villa found in the 15th century: the structure was subsequently cleared of the mud layer and made suitable for tourist visits. In addition, guests can walk along the olive grove adjacent to the structure.
One of the most striking sights of Lake Garda can be called an amusement park called Gardaland, which many people compare to Disneyland. The park is especially popular with families with children, because there are so many different attractions here, as there are no more in any Italian park.
Attractions were opened in 1972: from this time on, the park's collection is constantly updated with new venues and entertainment events. Sometimes it may seem to guests that the park is filled with myths and legends: this atmosphere is present in the magic castle of Merlin, and in the study of the Egyptian pyramids, and while participating in an almost real pirate battle.
Continuing the theme of parks, it is impossible not to mention the park Sigurta - a sample of landscape architecture. There are many varieties of trees, flowers and medicinal plants, and the area is decorated with ponds and grottoes. Another no less interesting park is Natura Viva, where you can take a safari trip and admire giraffes and rhinos.
On the coast, you can enjoy several types of outdoor activities - windsurfing or rowing, mountaineering or yachting, as well as mountain biking. Each city is equipped with rental equipment related equipment. For those who like to bask in the sun on the beach there is also a place - almost all the beaches on the coast are sandy and pebbled, and the entry into the water is mostly sandy.
Garda Island (Borghese)
The largest of the five islands of Lake Garda has changed quite a few names in its history - it was known as Lecky Island, Borghese Island, De Ferrari Island, Scotty Island and Monks Island. During Roman times, the island was used as imperial hunting grounds, and later, in 1220, at the initiative of Francis of Assisi, a famous religious figure, a monastery was founded in the northern part of the island. At first it was a modest monastic skit, after a couple of centuries it turned into a full-fledged monastic complex. By the XVI century the religious life of the island began to decline, and in 1778 the monastery was closed.
Garda Island - the largest of the five islands of the lake
In the 20s of the last century, the island of Garda became the property of the Kavazza family - the owners built a luxurious villa here, richly decorated with various architectural elements, both from the outside and from the inside. In one of the rooms is a picture of Carlo Karloni, dating from the 18th century. Next to the villa there is a picturesque garden with exotic plants and incredibly beautiful flowers.
The cozy resort town of Malcesine with winding cobbled streets, medieval buildings, many cafes and an excellent beach area is located on the east coast of the lake. Its main attraction, around which, in fact, there was a settlement, is the medieval castle of Scaliger, built on the site of an even more ancient fortress.
The resort town of Malcesine is located on the east coast of the lake.
The picturesque castle at all times was attractive to artists, poets and other creative personalities, but the greatest Goethe brought him the greatest fame, who wrote about him in his “Italian Journeys” and accompanied the description with his own sketches. Today, a bust of Goethe is installed in the castle and a museum dedicated to the poet’s memory is organized. In the castle of Scaligero there are also the Museum of Natural History of Lake Garda and Mount Baldo.
The historical center of Malcesine deserves no less attention than the famous castle - here are the ancient churches of San Stefano and Santa Maria di Navene, the Palazzo dei Capitani with magnificent painted ceilings and wonderful frescoes, as well as the Pariani Museum, which stores the most valuable historical documents.
Limone Sul Garda
The small town of Limone sul Garda, so popular with tourists, at the beginning of the last century was a small fishing village, which could only be reached by lake. The land road, which gave impetus to the development of the tourism industry, appeared only in 1932. In the historic part of the city are well-preserved ancient buildings - the churches of San Benedetto and San Rocco, as well as medieval palaces, located on Piazza Garibaldi.
Citrus Trees have become the business card of Limone sul Garda
Citrus trees, which appeared here in the XIII century thanks to the Franciscan monks, became the visiting card of Limone sul Garda. Along with tourism, the town’s economy is based on the cultivation of citrus fruits and the production of high-quality olive oil.
Ideas for trips to cities with medieval castles, long sandy beaches and lemon trees.
Juicy Italy with its emerald hills, blue mountain peaks and crystal waters is loved by many tourists. One of the best places for year-round recreation is the huge Lake Garda, surrounded by the majestic Alps, long lines of the cleanest beaches, coniferous forests and olive groves.
Roads from Verona, Venice and Milan lead to the lake. To get to the towns, scattered along the coast, you can by bus and train, and move between them - on the ferries that run from early spring until late autumn, or local buses.
Especially for our readers, we have prepared a list of noteworthy cities and sights that are gathered in and around them.
Perhaps, Sirmione - the main city of Garda. He was loved by tourists for its thermal waters, medical centers and historical buildings. The symbol of the coastal town is the castle of Scaligers, the construction of which was completed in the XIII century. At one time, the stone giant served as a defender of Sirmione, as evidenced by powerful towers and a heavy drawbridge. Time did not cause him damage, and today an exposition dedicated to the history of the place unfolded in the castle, open to all comers.
Another important place is the Catullus Grottoes. According to the legend, in ancient times, the Roman poet lived with his family. True, no one has yet been able to confirm or deny this fact. Anyway, the ancient ruins - one of the largest archaeological monuments of the country.
In the center of Sirmione among the narrow streets are hidden two magnificent churches - the Gothic Santa Maria Maggiore, built in the 15th century, and the elegant San Pietro with 12th-century frescoes. Not to mention the thermal complexes of Sirmione: in the heart of the city, the Catullo terms are open, and the luxurious Aquaria complex with three pools is located nearby - one of them goes directly to Garda.
Limone sul garda
Want to visit the homeland of lemons? Then be sure to include Limone sul Garda in your itinerary. Residents of the city are sure that aromatic citrus fruits appeared here. As a sign of pride, they still adorn the doors of houses with bells that look like lemons. Yes, and evergreen trees with yellow fruits grow here everywhere.
The city has preserved medieval monuments - the 17th century cathedral of San Benedetto, the 16th century church of San Rocca and various palazzo. Not least, Limone sul Garda is popular for its landscapes: the rocky mountains literally hang over the city, and on the shores covered with small pebbles, swans and ducks frolic.
Riva del garda
In the very north of Garda, among the massive mountains, lies the charming town of Riva del Garda, which tourists do not particularly appreciate. The main attraction of the city - the fortress of La Rocca. The stone giant of the XII century is still surrounded by a moat full of water. Now in La Rocca, the Museum of History is open.
Not far from the medieval fortress rises the 34-meter tower of Torre Appolnale, preserved from the XIII century, on top of which there is a viewing platform. In the city there are numerous palaces: Armani, Lutti, Martini and others.
One of the most beautiful places in the vicinity of Riva del Garda is the 73-meter high gorge with the Cascata di Varone waterfall. The water wall does not freeze even in winter. Here is open observation platform, to which a special tunnel leads.
Peschiera del garda
Lively Peschiera del Garda is located in the southern part of the lake. In the central squares of the popular resort town opened numerous cafes with traditional Italian cuisine. Their neighbors are old bastions and pavilions, the gates of the Port of Verona and the fortress of the XVI century, which have survived to this day.
Another attraction of Peschiera del Garda - pebble beaches - perhaps the best on the whole lake. The swimming season is open from June to August, but often there is no free space here.
3 km from the city is the main amusement park Garda - "Gardaland". On its territory are collected a variety of attractions - land and water - as well as the aquarium.
Do you like unusual museums? There are two of them in Bardolino: the first is dedicated to the favorite drink of the inhabitants of the Mediterranean, wine, and olive oil, the second - to the hunting of birds and fishing.
In the center of the town, surrounded by the ruins of the defensive walls, many religious monuments are preserved: the churches of San Nicolo, San Vito and San Zeno, the monastery of San Colombano and, of course, the Romanesque church of San Severo, which became famous for its frescoes with scenes from the Apocalypse.
On urban beaches there is everything you need to relax and sunbathe. In addition, from Bardolino is easy to get to the "Gardaland".
Desenzano del garda
The city on the southern coast of Garda was known as a popular resort in the 4th century BC - this is confirmed by excavations carried out on the territory of the local Archaeological Museum, because they were able to find an ancient Roman villa that used to be here.
In the upper part of the city stands the medieval tower - the only preserved detail of the former fortress, from which no trace remains. It offers an amazing view of the Garda and its surroundings.
There are in Desenzano del Garda and religious monuments like the church of San Giovanni Dekollato and the Cathedral of Santa Maria Magdalena, and secular mansions-palazzo, and excellent beaches, such as Desenzano Beach.
The resort on the west coast of the lake is surrounded on three sides by a coniferous forest. One of the main attractions of the town is the Andre Heller Botanical Garden with an impressive collection of plants, from highland to Mediterranean. Among the lush greenery hidden sculptures of famous Italian masters.
Right on the shore of the lake stands the tower of San Marco with the current observation deck. In the vicinity of the city there is a chic Vittoriale palace and park complex with a huge palace in the color of yellow amber, an amphitheater and a garden.
Arco, surrounded by olive groves, originates on the banks of the Sacra River and stretches all the way to Garda. Scientists have found traces of settlements of the Neolithic and Bronze Age on its territory. In the historic center among the centuries-old buildings there is a park with a monument to the local artist Segantini. Next to it is the Palazzo Markabruni with frescoes of the XVI century.
The most remarkable place of the city - the ruins of the old castle. During the restoration, it contained 14th century murals depicting knights and court ladies, hunters and a dragon, which was defeated by St. George the Victorious.
In Arco there is entertainment for athletes: with the arrival of winter, ski slopes open on Mount Stevo.
A small town in the province of Brescia used to serve as a Roman necropolis. Its streets have impressive medieval temples: the Cathedral, which contains works by Italian masters, the Church of the Apparitions of Christ, the Temple of the Order of the Capuchins.
In Salo will appeal to fans of archeology - in the local museum presents a collection of exhibits from the times of the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Another significant museum - Historical - stores documents from the Second World War, as well as the Napoleonic Wars.
Гости, прибывающие на отдых в эти живописные места, могут сами выбрать, какой тип размещения для них наиболее удобен.
Небольшие отели, расположенные на берегу озера, апартаменты, виллы или дома – все это доступно для каждого туриста, и рассчитано на любой вкус и ценовую категорию.
Небольшую одноэтажную виллу можно снять за 218 евро в неделю, апартаменты на 4-6 человек обойдутся в 310-380 евро в неделю, а дом или виллу с бассейном можно будет снять уже за цену от 420 евро в неделю.
Лучшие отели на озере Гарда (Италия):
- Grand Hotel Terme 5* (от 167 евро в сутки).
Grand Fasano 5* (от 220 евро в сутки).
Gardaland Hotel Resort 4* (от 110 евро в сутки).
Лучшие апартаменты: Residence Panorama La Forca (от 650 евро в неделю).
Local cuisine: features, dishes, prices
Cuisine of this region - dishes prepared in the tradition of lombardy and veneto: most of the recipes include meat, freshwater fish and olive oil.
Traditional dishes - Polenta Carbonara (based on different sorts of cheese and corn flour), trout with citrus, tortellini (the finest dough and meat filling), “bro bruza” (broth with olive oil and toasted flour).
- Trattoria Pie di Castello (Riva del Garda). The original institution on the north shore of the lake. It specializes in the preparation of dishes from meat, marinated in a special way. Attendance is very high, so the table is better to book in advance. Address: Via al Cingol Ros, 38.
Grifone (Sirmione). Perfectly cooked fish or meat flambe, lamb meat, dishes of local and all-European cuisine will satisfy even exquisite gourmets. Address: Via Gaetano Bocchio 4.
Villa Boselli (near Mantua). The peculiarity of this restaurant is that it is possible to order a “tasting menu”, i.e. mini portions of all selected dishes. Address: Volta Mantovana, via Boselli, 6.
Find out also where the volcano Etna - the most incredible volcano in Italy.
Not far from Lake Garda is Venice. Photos and descriptions of the attractions of this place can be found here.
A photo and description of the sights of Florence, you can read in this educational material.
The old villa of the poet Guy Valery Catulla, who lived in the I century BC, is almost the most ancient structure on the lake. The ruins of the villa were discovered in the XV century, and not in the best condition.
Afterwards the structure has been cleared of dirtand now numerous tourists can take a walk through the old villa and the olive grove adjoining it.
A bright attraction of this area can be called themed amusement park "Gardaland", received the title of "Italian Disneyland." The park will be especially interesting for families with children - there are not so many amusement parks in Italy that have so many attractions and entertainment.
Opened "Gardaland" was in 1972, and since then in the park there are all new sites and come up with various entertainment shows. It may seem that numerous myths and fairy tales came to life in the park: guests will be interested in visiting the magic castle of Merlin and exploring the Egyptian pyramids, taking part in a pirate sea battle or a knight's tournament,
- Address: Loc. Ronchi - 37014 Castelnuovo del Garda
At the peak time (from June to August) the park is open daily (from 10 to 23 o'clock), and in the remaining months the closure is 19 hours.
This green oasis is a model of landscape architecture. Many kinds of trees and flowers (only types of tulips or roses here are about 30 thousand species!), 80 artificially created reservoirs and grottoes, garden of medicinal plants.
- Works park complex daily from 9 to 18.
Safari park "Natura-Viva"
Here, it will be interesting to fans of adventure: you can make car ride on safariduring which you can see walking rhinos or giraffes. Particularly brave can experience incredible sensations, hitting the real world of dinosaurs. In addition, the park is open and the usual zoo.
- Park hours coincides with the high season (from March to November), work time - from 9 to 18.30 hours daily.
Tourists who prefer an active holiday, can do windsurfing, sailing, rowing, mountaineering. Another sport that is gaining popularity is mountain biking. In each city there are points of rental of mountain bikes and related equipment, in the mountainous areas there are special cycle tracks. Rent a bike for 1 hour will cost 25 euros.
The deposit for the yacht is 200 euros, the cost of renting a yacht for 1 hour - 50-60 eurosand if you take a yacht for the whole day, then you need to pay 230-250 euros. The truth is better to make such walks in the morning, because after lunch the waves rise and the ride is not so comfortable.
Beach holidays on the lake will give a lot of pleasant moments. Sand and pebble beaches, sandy entry into the water.
How to get there?
To get to Lake Garda, you first need to get to Verona or Venice (airline Allitalia). Then by train to get to Treviso (closest to Garda) or Trieste. You can continue the journey to the place by car (rent a car or travel by taxi). The trip by car takes about 3 hours.
From Verona to Garda can be reached by trainwhich departs from the train station. The path will take no more than half an hour (20-25 minutes), the ticket price is 4 euros.
Verona and Garda binds and bus service (routes number 162 or 163), travel time is approximately 45 minutes. The ticket costs 3-4 euros.
Rest on Lake Garda is suitable for everyone: lovers of an active lifestyle, fans of a relaxed beach holiday, coming for new impressions or shopping fans. And for sure you can be sure that the impressions of this holiday will remain in your memory for a long time and only the warmest memories will evoke.