Lake Garda enjoys a position right between Lombardy and Veneto. These are two of Italy’s most picturesque northern provinces, and the Lake is no different. This also means it is within easy driving distance of the large and interesting cities of Milan, Verona, Brescia, Bergamo, and even Venice. Moreover, the whole lake boasts excellent road and rail connections. This makes it inexcusable not to visit should you find yourself in the area!
There are countless lakeside towns that are worth visiting, each with its own unique characteristics. For example, Desenzano is the largest town on the lake. It offers great shopping opportunities as well as exquisite dining and wining options. It also boasts a vibrant and lively nightlife scene. Alternatively, head to Peschiera del Garda, a delightful little town, for a taste of history. Here you will find 16th-century fortressed walls, and a town that dates all the way back to 1400-1200 BCE.
For a mixture of history and luxury, why not try Sirmione. Not only does it boast a 13th-century castle, but its quaint cobbled streets also offer their own thermal baths, as well as a health centre with its own hot springs. Tourists tend to swamp the town center in summer months. However, you can find a slice of serenity just minutes away from the harbor. Head up a gently inclining road to find breathtaking views of the lake. You will also find yourself amidst tranquil environs of beautifully tumbling flora. Look out for the majestic villas and even some Ancient ruins in this vicinity. Bardolino is also worth mentioning, if for nothing other than its annual wine festival, which takes place in June!
Such poets as Ezra Pound, Tennyson, and even Catullus have all been enchanted by Garda’s landscapes. Today you can enjoy them from all levels. Climb up the lakesides, or take one of the many water tours to wonder at the surrounding scenery. If you find yourself in the northern regions, you can even go paragliding, hiking and climbing in the mountains that you will find there.
For a taste of Garda’s culture, why not organise a trip to a limonaia, or lemon garden, of which many are dotted on Garda’s shores. For instance, at Torri del Benaco, the castello boasts a 300-year-old limonaia! Alternatively, you can travel a little further inland to experience one of the many local markets held in most of the surrounding towns every week. For families, near Peschiera there are many theme parks, such as Gardaland, that can provide a fun and exhilarating day out together.
Regarding transport, there are regular ferries and hydrofoils across the lake. The nearest airports to the south of the lake are Brecia, Milan, and Verona. From these, there are plenty of train and bus connections. The whole lake also enjoys many road connections.