Lake Garda is the largest Lake in Italy. It has a Mediterranean climate and therefore there is an abundance of olive trees, lemons, agave oranges, palms, oleanders and cypresses. The eastern side of the lake, called “the olive riviera” is the one which longer enjoys the sunrays during the day The northern side is dominated by the chain of the Monte Baldo (32km) .
The eastern side of Lake Garda
Travelling southwards we meet Malcesine, with its powerful medieval Castle. In Macesine you find the terminal of the cable car up to the Monte Baldo. Further south we meet Brenzone, a small town surrounded by lovely villages on the slope overlooking the lake. The next small center is Torri del Benaco, one of the most picturesque place of the Lake. The city of Garda lies in a deep bay dominated by the Rocca, a stronghold linked to the Langobard kings. Next comes Bardolino famous for its wines.
The southern side of Lake Garda
The ancient village of Lazise, with its bronze age remains possess an almost intact surrounding wall and castle. In the southern part of the Lake we meet Peschiera, a place close to the many parks; Sirmione situated between Brescia and Verona, was very well known in Roman times for its thermal resources; like Lazise, Malcesine and Torri del Benaco its endowed with a well preserved castle surrounded by water.
Desenzano is the largest city of Lake Garda, particularly rich in the roman time – there are still rests of a roman villa – has today an enchanting harbor.
The western side of Lake Garda
Salò, in the roman time called Salodium, was completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1901 ; 8th September 1943 to April 1945 was the seat of the Italian Social Republic with Mussolini.
Gardone became an important tourist center in the middle of the 19th. century as the Austrian L. Wimmer built here a fantastic hotel and promoted the area all over Europe; the European aristocracy met here almost every year for long periods. In Gardone, in 1921 the Italian poet Gabriele D’Annunzio bought an old house and transformed it in a meeting point for the cultural society of that time, with a theatre, a library …
The area around Toscolano Maderno is very interesting for trekking, and mountain-bike excursions. Gargnano, one of the smallest villages of the lake, is characterized by the numerous villas surrounded by beautiful gardens and parks built in the 19th and 20th centuries by wealthy families. In one of those villas lived Mussolini’s family during the social republic time.
The northen side of Lake Garda
Tremosine offers extraordinary panoramic views over the lake and it’s listed among the most beautiful Italian villages. Limone enjoys a typical Mediterranean vegetation, with oleander, palms, olive trees…Here in the past were grown lemon trees and oranges; the winter gardens for these plants are still visible on the slopes. The first winter gardens “limonaie” were built in the 17th century.
Riva del Garda is situated in the extreme northern part of Lake Garda and lays among the mountains; thanks to its position here meet the lovers of windsurf and sailors. Riva is an excellent starting point for excursions to Lake Ledro, Lake Tenno and Varone waterfalls.