North of Verona, Lake Garda is the most family- and water sports-oriented of Italy’s lakes. Additionally it is Italy’s largest lake, reaching from the steep Alpine foothills to the northern edge of the Po Valley. The southern shore is lined by beaches and backed by low hills, within the north, mountains and sheer cliffs fringe the lake, especially along the western shore Visit https://wikitravel.org/en/Lake_Garda for travsel info about Lake Garda.
Its terrain gives the lake a wide selection of attractions for sports-loving tourists, from steady winds for sailing and windsurfing to mountains for climbing, rappelling, and mountain biking, all with lake views.
At once, its location gives Lake Garda a year-round temperate climate where olives and lemons grow far north of their usual range, and a relatively turbulent history that’s left several well-fortified castles, Roman remains, and sites of interest to World War II buffs. Add long sandy beaches and a clutch of towns with lakeside promenades and cafés surrounding postcard marinas, whose sole purpose is apparently la dolce vita, and Lake Garda really comes with something for everybody.
You can easily spend a week here without having to be even close to running out of things to do. The attractions below are listed geographically from the southern end of the lake, heading up the east shore and down the west. Plan your visit with this particular list of the very best tourist attractions around Lake Garda.
Sirmione and Castello Scaligeri
The picturesque little town of Sirmione sits at the conclusion of a lengthy promontory reaching out in to the lake from its southern shore. It’s hard to discover a more charming entrance to a town – across a moat on a drawbridge and in to the forecourt of a castle that looks as though it have been built for a movie set.
The water-surrounded fortress was constructed in the 12th century by the Scaligeri, Verona’s ruling family, as part of their defensive network against Milan and was later maintained by the Venetian empire. Tour its restored interior and climb the tower for panoramic views of the lake and town.
Prior to the Scaligeri, the Romans came here to bathe in the sulphur springs, which are actually the cornerstone of a luxury spa. Expect crowds in chic Sirmione on weekends, filling its pricey boutiques and cafés.
Grotte di Catullo: Ruins of a Roman Villa
The Roman poet Catullus, who lived from 84 to 54 BC, had a villa at the far end of the peninsula. Its extensive ruins still puzzle historians, whose theories on its exact nature vary from an enormous bath complex to an ancient version of a full-service resort Visit https://www.tripindicator.com/lake-garda-top-boat-cruises-sailing-tours/1/27338/N/3 for more information about Lake Garda boat and cruise tours..
Make sure you see the tiny, but good, museum at the entrance before touring the ruins and enjoying the lake views in three directions. You may get here by a 15-minute walk from the village of Sirmione, or on an electrical tourist trolley from Piazza Piatti.
Desenzano del Garda
If you’re arriving at Lake Garda by train or from the A4 Autostrada, Desenzano del Garda is where you’ll probably catch your first sight of Italy’s largest lake. Just west of Sirmione, it is a lively little town centered around a marina basin and the piers where lake steamers and hydrofoils leave for towns all around the lake.
There’s little left of the castle that after crowned its hilltop, but Villa Romana, a Roman villa, has been excavated near the old town center and has impressive mosaics. The parish church features a painting by Tiepolo. With plenty of cafés and restaurants and convenient boat connections, Desenzano is a great base for exploring the lake. The majority of the lake’s best beaches are along this southern shore.