Peschiera del Garda, the little fortified Venice
Peschiera del Garda is the southernmost town of Lake Garda as well as the westernmost municipality of the entire Veneto region, on the border with the Lombardy region. The old city, born at the mouth of the Mincio river, inevitably recalls the canals of Venice: the waterways surround the peculiar star-shaped Fortress, which in 2017 became part of the UNESCO. You can access the historic center through the two entrance doors positioned on two opposite sides, Porta Verona and Porta Brescia, a clear reference to the two provinces with which Peschiera del Garda borders. As a link to the two parts of the city center, separated by the canal, there is the Ponte dei Voltoni which will take you from the main square to the Museum of Fishing and Lake Traditions. Residence of two pile-dwelling archaeological sites dating back to the Bronze Age and of Roman excavations located in the center of the town, Peschiera del Garda is renowned not only historically but above all at a tourist level: given the strategic point that allows tourists to organize visits and excursions also to Lombard locations such as Sirmione and Desenzano del Garda, Peschiera del Garda has numerous holiday centers with large capacities, so much so as to double the resident population in the high season. Peschiera records over 2 million official visitors every year, placing it in the top 25 of tourist destinations in Italy and in second place (after Lazise) as an Italian lake destination.
Lazise, the lakeside destination that holds the record in Italy
Continuing the itinerary northwards, just 15 minutes by car from Peschiera del Garda you will find Lazise, the most visited lake destination in Italy. Its tourist strength derives from the position in which it's located, in relation to the attractions that the town offers within it and in its vicinity: with the presence of a thermal spring immersed in the hills, campings, beaches and resorts that surround the urban area, and a few kilometers from famous Italian water parks and amusement parks, Lazise guarantees hospitality and entertainment even within the town walls, through not only the tourist port full of bars/coffee shops, restaurants and clubs, but also thanks to the architecture that preserves, such as the Venetian Dogana (which represented the border between Veneto and Lombardy), the Medieval Scaligero Castle surrounded by the panoramic garden, and other villas of great value: a historical and architectural value that meets elements of landscape value .
Bardolino, where food and wine meets the nature of water
A well-known wine production location that takes its name, Bardolino keeps the presence of historical and religious architecture consistent and associates the latter with an attention based on relaxation and the pleasure of enjoying the lake on which it is reflected: the lakefront, enclosed by two small peninsulas, protects the suggestive port with the city tower (remnant of an ancient Scaligero castle) and the historic center, built around the main square, full of taverns and restaurants where you can enjoy the food and wine goodness of the area. There is no shortage of museum references: in fact, in Bardolino there are the Olive Oil Museum, the Wine Museum and the Sisàn Museum dedicated to the ornithological, fish and peasant traditions whose purpose is to spread the knowledge of the historical-artisan traditions practiced in the past in the Lower Garda.
Garda, where the name of the lake was born
Renowned for the name it gave to the lake, owner of the homonymous Museum and of the largest Venetian rowing school in Italy, Garda is a mix of history and natural paths: historic buildings and villas surround the center of the city, framed on the northern and southern shores by suggestive nature trails. Starting from the lakefront and following the "Passeggiata Rivalunga" pedestrian path that reaches Bardolino, south of the town it's possible to climb to the panoramic point of Rocca di Garda, a wild park at the foot of which the ruins of the castle rest. To the north of Garda, on the other hand, passing through various panoramic points and the wonderful Villa Canossa, it's possible to reach the Baia delle Sirene Park and the Punta delle Sirene: a peninsula on the lake with several refreshment points that closes the small gulf of Garda to the north-west, from which it's possible to access the Spiaggia delle Sirene, the Villa San Virgilio and the Villa Guarienti - Brenzone built at the water level.
Torri del Benaco, the village protected by its Castle
Located 10 minutes by car from Garda, Torri del Benaco is a small tourist town famous for its Scaligero Castle: characterized by three towers from which the name of the town derives, the Castle houses an ethnographic museum on the local traditions of the Garda fishermen and of the inhabitants of the Upper Garda hinterland. The ethnographic museum on Garda culture illustrates and testifies the historical aspects of Torri del Benaco and Upper Garda, with specific sections concerning olive growing, fishing and rock carvings.
Brenzone sul Garda and its coastal hamlets
The scattered municipality of Brenzone sul Garda extends at the foot of Monte Baldo. The locality is made up of 16 small hamlets distributed throughout the territory, including the hamlet of Campo abandoned at the beginning of the twentieth century and currently inhabited by a single family, and that of Castelletto which, in addition to being the most inhabited with less than 450 inhabitants, it's the most important landscape and tourist one thanks to its small port. Continuing north, you can reach the last town on Lake Garda on the Venetian Coast: Malcesine, the pearl of Garda.