Lake Garda (Italian: Lago di Garda or Benaco) is the largest lake in Italy. It is located in Northern Italy, about half-way between Brescia and Verona, and between Venice and Milan. The lake and its shoreline are divided among the provinces of Verona (to the southeast), Brescia (southwest), and Trento (north).
The northern part of the lake is narrower, surrounded by mountains, the majority of which belong to the Gruppo del Baldo. Here you can visit the towns of Riva del Garda and Torbole both very popular among those who love sailing and windsurfing, Arco and Malcesine, town the latter where you can find the Funivia del Monte Baldo, a cableway that connects the town to the Monte Baldo, with cabins on the second section that rotates on itself to give passengers a 360° spectacular view of the lake and its surroundings.
Thanks to Lake Garda's temperate climate vines and olive trees dominate the landscape of the eastern shore of the lake, called Riviera degli Olivi (Olives Riviera), where excellent wine and oil are produced. Here famous wines like Bardolino, Valpolicella, Bianco di Custoza, Lugana, Soave are produced. On this side of the lake beautiful towns like Torri del Benaco, Garda, Bardolino and Lazise welcome you, for relaxing strolls on the lakes side, sunbathing on the small nice beaches or a bit of fun for the families in amusement parks like Gardaland, Caneva and Movieland.
In the south Peschiera, Desenzano and Sirmione are the most peculiar villages. In this area you can find the liveliest nightlife of Lake Garda, with small bars on the beaches where to enjoy your aperitivo or a night out in one of the many clubs on the lakes side. In the picturesque peninsula of Sirmione the Scaliger castle dominate the scene and give the landscape a magic touch. Strolling in the quiet centre, among its little nice shops, you can reach the end of the peninsula with the Grotto of Catullus a three-story patrician villa from around 150AD (Catullus died in 54BC) and the Terme di Catullo, thermal baths that use the water which bubbles out of Lake Garda near the northern shoreline of the Sirmione peninsula: this is mineral-rich water at a temperature of 70°C that is used for health treatments in the two thermal baths and spas which exist on the peninsula.
The western shore is called Riviera dei Limoni (Riviera of the lemons), due to the important presence of lemon trees cultivation, with beautiful villages like Limone, Tremosine, Tignale, Gargnano, Salò, San Felice del Benaco and Manerba, where with an easy climb on its tower, called "La Rocca" , you can enjoy one of the most amazing view on the lake.
The lake has numerous small islands and five main ones, the largest being Isola del Garda where at the beginning of the 20th century a venetian neo-Gothic style villa has been built an imposing harmonious building, rich in surprising architectonic details. The Cavazza Family, who owns it, organizes tour to visit and discover the beauty of this island.
Nearby to the south is Isola San Biagio, also known as the Isola dei Conigli ("Island of the Rabbits"). Both are offshore of San Felice del Benaco, on the west side. The three other main islands are Isola dell'Olivo, Isola di Sogno, and Isola di Trimelone, all further north near the east side.
Verona and Venice are within easy reach for a beautiful day out: they are both well connected to the villages on the lake both by motorway and by public means of transport as trains and buses.
Lake Garda is the place to go if you are looking for a relaxing holiday, for those who love relaxing on the beaches, sightseeing or also walking in the mountains and the surrounding hills. A holiday that can meet everybody's needs!
Nearest airports: Milan Bergamo, Verona (Catullo airport), Milan Malpensa.
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