They are all waiting to reveal their secrets to you, to tell their stories, and to amaze you with their beauty.
The tour of wonders: the tour of Lake Garda
In the morning the north wind descends on the Gulf of Desenzano and calls to you, rustling your hair and tickling you through your clothes: no time to lose! The wonder is out there waiting for you: the lake's characteristic villages tranquilly positioned on its lush shores, the castles, the ancient Roman villas and frescoed mansions of the past, the Gardesana with its breathtaking curves, the lemon houses with their imposing architecture, and the lake at its most intense deep blue in the morning. These wonders are all waiting to reveal their secrets to you, to tell their stories, and to amaze you with their beauty.
Off we go on a tour of the lake
After breakfast overlooking the lake from our open air eating area, you are ready to go and discover the treasures of our lake, but don't be like everyone else, don't let yourself be charmed right away by the lake. Instead take the road that leads towards the countryside between the hills of Padenghe and Puegnago. It is here where the vineyards and the sinuous lines of the landscape will accompany you to the most elegant town on the lake, Salò.
Salò is a must see destination: not only for its posh lakefront promenade and fashionable shops, but because here you can still breathe in the atmosphere of the Belle Epoque, among its palaces and Art Nouveau villas.
You can admire the Palazzo della Magnifica Patria with its loggia, pass under the clock tower, visit the cathedral, and discover the history of Salò at the local museum, the MuSa. You will discover that this town is the home of the violin, because Gasparo da Salò, a famous violin maker, who gave life and voice to this enchanting instrument, was born there.
Before you leave, stop at the Tassoni Shop and have a cocktail prepared with the famous citron liqueur, which was invented and produced right here in Salò.
A stroll along the lakefront promenade
-Locanda del Benaco
The Western Gardesana: the most beautiful road in the world
Get behind the wheel, the best is yet to come, because now you'll travel along the most beautiful road in the world. Carved into the rocks by hand, the road connects the southern part of Lake Garda with the north. Every bend is a thrill: a sheer shoreline over the lake, a row of cypress trees, and the village that suddenly appears. Tunnel after tunnel, between the play of light and dark, the lake appears and disappears into the blue.
Along the way you will see glimpses of prominent villas, such as Villa Bettoni Cazzago with its garden of wonders, and the monumental wood and glass structures of the lemon houses silhouetted against the sky: testimony to the impossible feat that became reality of growing lemons at the northernmost point in Europe.
Not to be missed:
-For the daring, the amazing road to the Forra
-La Malora lemon house
-Villa Bettoni Cazzago
Limone and the northernmost lemons in Europe
In Limone you can visit one of the historic lemon houses and walk among the “còle,” the terraces where lemons and other citrus fruits put on a show of their own. You'll feel like you're walking in the Garden of the Hesperides, among golden apples and the scents of summer.
Even back in the 14th century, when lemons brought to the area by Franciscan friars, it seemed an impossible feat to grow lemons this far north.
But man's ingenuity and the lake's mild climate prevailed and the vertical structures of the greenhouses were built, completely covering the lemons that could be further warmed by heaters with braziers so that lemons could be grown on Lake Garda. From the lemon house you can reach the center of the narrow town with its narrow alleyways, colorful houses, pretty souvenir shops, and the harbor, where the fishermen and their colorful boats of fishermen rest alongside the people of the lake.
- A walk on Europe's most beautiful bike path
Riva: a fairy tale town
We have arrived at the far end of our lake, in Riva del Garda. You are greeted by its square with its clock tower overlooking the lake itself. From here, many small alleys branch off, overlooked by colorful old houses. In particular, look for the Morocco district where you will find some of the most beautiful ones.
Like many lake towns, Riva has fortifications. Among them, and at the center of town, you can visit the Rocca or there is the top of the bastion, where you can find an incredible view, after a short hike from the town center.
Every summer at the end of August, the village streets come alive with fairy tale characters for the fabulous fairy tale night, which culminates on the last evening with an explosion of colors, thanks to a fabulous fireworks display.
For an extra thrill you can visit the cascading Varone waterfalls found at the inside of a cave. Be amazed by the display of lights as they interplay with the refreshing mist of the waterfall.
- the breathtaking Ponale road (to be traveled on by foot)
Malcesine: where painters and poets found inspiration
Upon arriving in Malcesine you'll understand why Goethe decided to stop here and why Klimt was inspired to paint it: with its castle perched on the cliff and its medieval alleys it looks like a dream emerging from the waters of the lake.
Enter the castle and scout out all the vantage points within the walls and towers. Our favorite is from the little balcony overlooking the lake from the second courtyard.
In the castle you can admire drawings made by the German poet and explore the history of Lake Garda and Mount Baldo in the Baldo and Garda Natural History Museum.
The castle is also the setting for a contest of ardor and courage: the Red Bull Cliff Diving with its trampoline placed 27 meters high is a pure thrill for the fearless athletes who dive from here.
The gothic “Palazzo dei Capitani” is a little gem in the center of town. Don't be shy! Step through the doorway and stroll through the romantic garden overlooking the lake.
In leaving Malcesine, stop in Cassone: your path will intertwine with that of the Arìl, the shortest river in the world, only 175 meters to reach before it flows into the lake.
-The cable car to Monte Baldo
Torri del Benaco
In Torri you are greeted by the castle, which springs from the beautiful lemon grove at its base.
You can climb the tower or feel like a sentinel from the past as you walk the walkways.
To understand the essence and culture of Garda visit the Museum of Fishing and Local Traditions.
As the name evokes, there are numerous towers that enrich the panorama: from those of the castle, through the clock tower, to the square tower, the only witness to the defensive ramparts built by King Berengar I in the count 10th century.
Before leaving, treat yourself to an ice cream on the lakefront.
-The clock tower
Where to eat:
- Osteria la Barchessa
- Osteria del 4
The journey continues along the Valle del Sogno and Punta San Vigilio.
The journey continues to Punta San Vigilio: the cypress trees, the coastline that gradually becomes gentler, the villas and coastlines follow one another curve after curve.
If you have some time, stroll around the romantic Punta San Vigilio and admire the elegant renaissance villa and its Italian garden.
Our journey draws to a close and we can celebrate it with an aperitif in the romantic tavern overlooking the marina.
Not to be missed:
- Aperitif at the tavern by the marina
- A swim at the Bay of Sirens
Where to eat:
-The tavern at the marina
-The restaurant, Locanda San Vigilio
Sirmione: a romantic mediaeval town in the middle of lake Garda
Don't miss a visit to Sirmione, the jewel of Lake Garda. You can merge yourself in the romantic atmosphere of this medieval village and discover the Scaliger Castle, a beautiful medieval fortress on water with panoramic views of the lake. Enjoy a stroll along the lake promenade to reach the most beautiful and wild beach in Italy, Jamaica, located under amazing Roman ruins.
Among the olive groves and oleanders, you can reach the ancient ruins of the amazing Roman villa “Grotte di Catullo” , with its stunning views of the lake. Walking back to the pedestrian centre, before losing yourself to the hustle and bustle of this cozy village, don't forget to stop at San Pietro in Mavino, a small romanic church with beautiful fresco.
Peschiera: a powerful fortress, perfect to enjoy a snack or an aperitif on the canals.
Peschiera welcomes you with its impressive stronghold profile. Explore the historic walls and walk along the river. While making your way through its ancient walls, let yourself be tempted by the delights of shopping or ice cream and aperitif tasting along the main canal.
On the way back are even more wonders, such as the lively Bardolino and romantic Lazise, followed by the fortress of Peschiera with its imposing fortified walls and canals.
The sunset paints the lake pink in a farewell to your adventure rich in feeling and beauty.