The elegant and quaint "garden Village" with its flower and tree lined promenades is a haven for boutique stores and antique gelatarias at the pretty waters edge
Gardone Riviera is a small laid-back resort town on the western shore of Lake Garda. Known as the "garden city" its elegant waterfront is lined with restaurants, villas, abundant flowerbeds and lush gardens. Gardone Riviera's microclimate make it a nature lovers paradise with its numerous gardens and parks full of luxuriant flora and vegetation.
As well as being a lovely place to stay you will find a couple of Lake Garda's main tourist destinations, Heller Garden and the villa of Il Vittoriale degli Itaiani, right on its doorstep.
What to do
For such a small town you will find no shortage of things to do in Gardone Riviera.
First, for nature lovers, a trip to Heller Botanic gardens is a must. Located just a short walk up the hill out of town, this botanical garden was founded and lovingly curated by Arthur Hruska from 1910 until 1971. Making the most of its sheltered spot and mild climate theses gardens are home to hundreds of exotic plant species from five continents. Nowadays the garden belongs to artist Andre Heller and works of modern art can be found dotted among the plants, pools and streams.
Next, one of the most fascinating attractions on the whole of Lake Garda, Il Vittoriale degli Itaiani. Once home of the poet and eccentric, Gabriele D'Annunzio, it features a museum, house, stunning gardens and amphitheatre. Inside the dark and gloomy house, you will find rooms packed with paintings, furniture, frescoes and strange objets d'art. Outside there's a war museum and extensive curious gardens lined with walkways dotted with strange monuments and curios, a blue horse and even a battlehip! Also outside is the 1000 seat Parlaggio ampitheatre, this open air theatre is surrounded by a ring of caskets containing the remains of D'Annuzio's friends, as well as the man himself. A truly strange and fascinating place, not to be missed.
Back in town a stroll along the newly refitted promenade is a great way to relax and soak up the atmosphere. Take a break under a shaded tree or in one of the many bars and restaurants. Visit the monthly pop up market. From here you will also find a small tram that will take you up into the old part of town for two euros.
Where to eat
Gordone Riviera offers no shortage of fine dining options in picture perfect settings. Right on the waterfront you will find Lido '84, offering exceptional dining in a fantastic location right over the lake. One of the finest restaurants in the area, you will need to call well ahead to reserve a table.
For a romantic night out, head to Osteria Antico Brolo. Seating is in a picturesque walled garden or on a tiny flower laden balcony overlooking Gardone. The food is as elegant as the surroundings, perfect amuse bouche, fresh fish and delicious homemade pasta.
Tucked away in the hills behind Il Vittriale you will find Locanda Agli Angeli. This traditional Italian restaurant offers a shaded terrace and well cooked local dishes. The prefect post sightseeing spot.
For truly exceptional dining head slightly out of town to Ristorante Hotel Villa Feltrinelli. This two Michelin starred restaurant headed up by Stefano Baiocco, who trained at El Bulli, is considered one of the finest restaurants in the region, if not the whole of Italy. Exquisite dining in an unforgettable setting.
How to get there
Gardone Riviera is on the principal ferry routes and therefore easily reachable from other resorts and towns around the lake.
The nearest train stations can be found at Desenzano and Peschiera, both of which can be reached via a short taxi reide or ferry trip. The nearest airports are located at Brescia (29km) Verona (36km) Bergamo (67km) Milan (102km) Venice (126km) and Bologna (135km).
Browse our Lake Garda collection
We have a wide range of villas and apartments to suit all holidays. From large villas for groups of families & friends to enjoy together, to cosy romantic hideaways for couples and honeymooners