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The most beautiful and important lake in Europe attracts visitors from all over the world. It boasts an impeccable tourism infrastructure, including renowned hotels, Liberty villas, and the magic of unique views. It is the first Mediterranean-style region that a visitor coming from the North encounters.
Start from Villa Romana (Desenzano) and Catullus’ Grotto (Sirmione), then reach Isola del Garda by boat for a visit to the villa and the English and Italian gardens. Vittoriale degli Italiani in Gardone Riviera is late poet Gabriele D’Annunzio’s house-museum. It displays objects and relics that reflect his complex personality.
End the day with some shopping in Salò, elegant town and theatre of significant historic events.
“Casa del Podestà” in the town of Lonato is a splendid 15th century building and the mansion of the Podestà (governors) during the Serenissima Republic of Venice. It contains the noteworthy collections of Senator Ugo da Como, a 19th-century Brescia scholar, which include the smallest book in the world. A pleasant stroll around the Rocca castle will provide views of beautiful Lake Garda. Lonato’s historic centre is also worth a visit.
In the 1400s, the town of Toscolano Maderno was the core paper production site for the Republic of Venice. This industry was a significant staple of Lake Garda’s economy for centuries. ‘The Paper Valley’ is crossed by the Toscolano creek which gave power to the paper mills, some of which have been restored alongside tools and buildings to create a unique indoor-outdoor museum. The Paper Museum is open to tourists and visitors who want to discover the Paper Valley with the help of guides (oftentimes, former plant workers) who can show the different stages of paper production and enrich the narration with stories and anecdotes.
Nature and mountain lovers can visit Valvestino for an unusual holiday in one of the traditional barns of the village of Magasa, restored to accommodate tourists who want to be in direct contact with the farming world. You are in Parco dell’Alto Garda (Upper Lake Garda Park), a true nature paradise and botanical garden. The area also has an Ethnographic Museum and the Cima Rest Astronomical Observatory.
Discover the beauty of plants and flowers in the lake’s several historical and botanical gardens.
The André Heller Foundation Botanic Garden in Gardone Riviera has fascinating flowerbed arrangements made with 3,000 worldwide species.
Ghirardi Botanical Garden in Toscolano Maderno focuses on medicinal plants.
Isola del Garda is the largest island in the lake. Guided tours of the Italian gardens and the early 20th century villa are offered.
An excursion to Parco dell’Alto Garda will immerse you into a beautiful natural setting and one of the best conservation areas on the lake, just a few minutes away from the most popular tourist destinations. Don’t forget your camera!
Valtenesi is the land of Valtenesi wine. Wineries, oil mills, and traditional shops are delightful discoveries for the most demanding foodies. Taste Chiaretto wine in Moniga; it’s one of the most modern and interesting rosé wines. Lugana is produced south of Sirmione: it’s an internationally known local white wine and offers an excellent pairing option for lake fish or seafood. Another local DOC wine is San Martino della Battaglia, produced near Desenzano. These wines all have limited production and excellent quality.
Halfway between the city and Lake Garda in Ciliverghe di Mazzano, Villa Mazzucchelli houses three interesting exhibits: the Museum of Fashion and Costume (a rich collection of clothes and accessories), Giammaria Mazzucchelli House-Museum, and the Museum of Wine and Corkscrews (tools and materials linked to vine cultivation and wine production, as well as wine tasting and consumption).