Dominated by its charming castle this gorgeous small medieval hamlet on lake garda has meanerding cobbled lanes to wander down and breathtaking craggy back drop to admire
The pretty town of Malcesine is situated on the eastern shore of Lake Garda. Nestled between the sparkling deep blue waters of the lake and the towering Monte Baldo mountain ridge behind it, this is an incredibly picturesque and popular resort. The town itself offers cobbled medieval lanes, quaint little squares and endless shops and charming restaurants. Standing proud in the centre of town is the impressive Castello Scaligero, one of Lake Garda's most impressive historic castles and the town's main tourist attraction.
What to do
First stop for most visitors has to be the impressive Castello Scaliegro. Built in the 13th and 14th century, this well-preserved castle offers fascinating museums and spectacular views. Explore the three museums, the most impressive being the natural history museum. All displays are labelled in English as well as Italian and are of interest to both adults and children. Afterwards climb the ramparts for panoramic views of this picturesque town. Allow plenty of time to discover everything this fascinating castle has to offer.
Another historical building of interest is the fifteenth century Palazzo dei Capitani. Situated close to the harbour, this was the headquarters of the Venetian rulers of the area. One of the grandest historical buildings in town it offers a particularly picturesque lakeside garden.
A cable railway connects Malcesine with the towering Monte Baldo (1800 m), which is also called "the botanical garden of Europe" due to its varied plant species. Head up for spectacular views, miles of paths and tracks perfect for walkers and mountain bikers. Or simply take a trip to the top to relax in one of the alpine cafes and escape the heat in the fresh mountain air.
To the South of town you will find a pleasant lakeside promenade lined with hotels and cafes. There are also a couple of 'beach' establishments offering grassy lakeside lawns filled with sunbeds and parasols. To the north of town are a couple of pebbly beaches, popular with bathers in the summer months.
Where to eat
There are no shortage of places to eat in Malcesine, where it seems every street and square is lined with restaurants offering typical Italian tourist fare. For a spectacular setting, head to Al Corsaro. Situated with views of the lake and at the foot of the castle, this traditional seafood restaurant is popular with wedding parties and tourists.
The Michelin starred Vecchia Malcesine offers stunning views from its lakeside terrace as well as an exquisitely presented, creative menu. For a quick tasty pizza at reasonable prices head to Pizzeria Ristorante Caminetto. Freshly cooked pizza and pasta as well as speedy friendly service make this a popular spot.
For a relaxing pre dinner drink head to the little port, which is lined with bars and cafes, perfect for watching the world go by.
How to get there
Malcesine is situated on the main lakeside road and is well served by the bus services connecting the lakeside resorts, including the 62/64 services run by ATV which travels all the way to Verona.
If arriving by train the nearest stations are at Verona and Peschiera, from where it is possible to get a connecting local bus or taxi.
The nearest airports can be found at Brescia (26km) Bergamo (90km) and Verona (101km) as well as Milan (181km) and Venice (216km). Malcesine is also well situated for access from other lake resorts being on the main ferry route.
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