Villages, Cities and Towns
During our tours you will be able to visit enchanted and fabulous places like Island of Garda, Gardone Riviera and Isola dei Conigli (Bunnies Island). Each tour is thought to give you dreams and memories which will be yours forever! You will fall in love to the Garda Lake and its landscape and the memories of these boat tours will last forever.
Isola del Garda
Isola del Garda is a place of rare and special beauty. A precious jewel, bursting with histoy, memories and legends. A treasure surrounded by the clear waters of the lake. A picturesque rock that has welcomed ancient people from the Romans to the Longobards. Is was the home of the St.Anthony of Padova, St. Bernanrd of Siena and probably Dante Alighieri. The early 20 th century villa built in Neo-Gothic-Venetian style rises up southwards, in all its elegance and charm. This impressive and harmonius building is full of surprising architectural details with Italian style terrace and gardens sloping down to the lake. Everywhere you find yourself surrounded by the exuberant and undisturbed vegetation, native and exotic plants, rare scent and unique flowers. The heavenly woods are made up of Pine and cypress trees, acacias, magnolias and agaves. The sound of bird song seems to echo the joyful spirits of those who have respected, cared for and loved this place throughout the centuries.
Gargnano is a large municipality formed by 13 small hamlets and situated at the center of the Garda Riviera. It could be called "a town between two lakes." Gargnano and the hamlets of Villa and Bogliaco sit on the shore of Lake Garda and offer a typical Mediterranean landscape, while the inland area gradually climbs the hill to include Valvestino Lake, a genuine fjord nestled between the mountains of the Valvestino Valley. The lakefront towns have preserved the picturesque, romantic characteristics of ancient fishing villages and the small hillside hamlets still have their old, rural homes and narrow streets winding through the grassy meadows that were once the basis of mountain economy and now offer a marvelous panorama of Lake Garda and views that take us back in time. Gargnano offers visitors a striking setting full of art and history, with its historic villas, palazzos, beautiful churches, gardens, and lemon groves. Gargnano is also the sailing capital of Lake Garda. The hamlet of Bogliaco is the starting point each September for the prestigious Centomiglia International Regatta, the most important yacht race on Italian lakes.
Located in a beautiful, sunny spot on the Toscolano River delta, the town of Toscolano Maderno is an important historical and economic center of the Riviera dei Limoni e dei Castelli. The two towns of Toscolano and Maderno, which date back to ancient Roman days, are home to industry, numerous stores and businesses, hotels, and restaurants. This area is where Italy’s first paper mills originated and that industry is still very active. The remains of ancient paper mills, one of which was recently turned into a museum, can be seen dotting the Valle delle Cartiere (Paper Mill Valley), one of the most interesting industrial archeology sites in Northern Italy. Both Maderno and Toscolano have several notable artistic sights, especially in their town squares with their ancient churches. This area is full of beautiful scenery and offers visitors several sports activities, including hiking, horseback riding, and golfing.
A famous tourist destination and resort area, Gardone Riviera can truly be considered a genuine "botanical garden" where the typical vegetation of Lake Garda alternates with Central European, Mediterranean and sub-tropical plant species. Numerous parks and gardens line the lake banks and alternate with historical villas that, since the 19th century, have welcomed international guests seeking relaxation, elegance, and a sense of well-being. Gardone Riviera offers its guests a special microclimate, luxurious vegetation, an elegant atmosphere and a striking lakefront boulevard that hosts musical and cultural events in the summer. The town is famous for the Vittoriale degli Italiani, the imposing walled residence of poet Gabriele d’Annunzio, now a prestigious museum. Don’t miss the Andrè Heller Foundation - A. Hruska Botanical Garden, with hundreds of plant species from five continents that can be seen along the paths winding past rocks and ponds.
Stretching out along the Salò Gulf and sheltered from the wind, the town of Salò is the renowned port of entrance to the Limone Riviera. Because of its central location near major roadways, it is a point of reference for the entire area for its many services and its dynamic economic, administrative, and commercial activities. Its importance is, above all, historical: Salò was the capital of the Magnifica Patria during the period of Venetian domination, and it was also the headquarters of the Fascist Government of the Italian Social Republic. Traces of its prestigious past can be seen along the main street in the elegant historic center full of buildings with great historical and artistic value, and also with many boutiques and stores. Salò is very proud of its Palazzo of the Magnifica Patria, built in 1524 by Sansovino and rebuilt after the 1901 earthquake, and of its Late Gothic Cathedral, which was built in the 15th century and which now houses several important works of art. Tourists in this lively town have many other opportunities. Sports buffs and outdoor enthusiasts have numerous activities to choose from, including the many hiking and biking itineraries found along the hill behind the town or on the lakefront promenade that circles the entire gulf.
San Felice del Benaco
In-depth studies have demonstrated that the area was inhabited during the Roman era. The order of San Francesco d’Assisi founded the first hermitage of Roman monks. After the destruction of the ancient castle of Scovolo, which took place when Brescia deprived Verona of the Valtenesi area, the population migrated to Portese and San Felice, where they built the castle of San Felice. The town was the scene of many conflicts and settlements, among which those by the French and the Germans. During the war of succession to the throne of Spain, at the beginning of the 18th century, it suffered the passage of armed troops, whom they were obliged to supply with timber, without succeeding in avoiding episodes of violence and abuse.
Manerba del Garda
The name would appear to date back to the presence of a temple dedicated to the goddess Minerva, of which only a plaque in her honour remains. It was probably situated where the fortress was constructed. The area was already inhabited in the prehistoric era, as is demonstrated by many findings, and was also settled by the Romans. Charlemagne issued a diploma in which be gave the Verona monks of San Zeno rights over the areas dominated by the fortress present on the promontory. It is only thanks to this document that it has been possible to trace the existence of the fortress. Federico Barbarossa also stayed in Manerba del Garda, giving the Bishop of Verona rights over the town. In 1426 Manerba was part of the Venetian Republic, entering as a part of the Valtenesi area. With the arrival of the plague in 1630, the population was decimated, dropping from a figure of 1.550 to only 703 at the end of the plague. Nor was Manerba able to escape the terrible raids of the French troops during the war of Spanish succession. Among famous persons from Manerba we find the parish priest Alessandro Gualtieri, who was greatly appreciated in the era of Austrian domination as he opened a completely free grammar school and also concerned himself with agriculture, writing various treatises worthy of note. During the Risorgimento Giuseppe Garibaldi stationed himself at the fortress in Manerba del Garda to study the movements of Austrian troops.
Moniga del Garda
Moniga is a small town on Lake Garda which lies in the heart of the hills between Desenzano and Salò. Thanks to the remains of a pile-dwelling village it has been possible to ascertain that this area was already populated during the Early Bronze Age (1800-2000 b.C.). In the second half of the 12th century it became a feud of Ugone da Poncarale and in 1196 it was donated to the monks of Leno. Moniga was subjected to a series of dominions, among which that by the Republic of Venice and subsequently the Austrians, with whom it was linked until 1859. From 1928 to 1947 it became a part of the Commune of Padenghe. Its unusual name is believed to come from that of the goddess Diana Muchina, who, according to the legend, was said to have a sanctuary in the area.
Padenghe sul Garda
Traces of a prehistoric settlement and findings demonstrating the presence of the Romans have been found here. During the Hungarian invasions the inhabitants were obliged to abandon the Christian village lying on the banks of the lake and dependent on Pieve di Desenzano, to move into the hills, where they constructed the castle. In the Middle Ages the castle became a Ghibelline fortress contested by Brescia and Verona. In 1330 Padenghe was conquered by the Scaligeri family, ownership of the castle being contested among the family members. At the end of the 14th century the towns along the bank requested and obtained autonomy from the Visconti family. In 1414 the castle of Drugolo was entrusted to Padenghe by Pandolfo Malatesta. After the peace agreement in Lodi, in 1454 the Veneto Republic stationed a garrison inside the castle. The people of Padenghe were defined as "proud", by a macaronic poet who stayed in the convent of Maguzzano. During the French dominion Padenghe was saved from the war thanks to the intervention of Cardinal D’Amboise who avoided the destruction of the castle, which would have led to dangerous discontent among the people. Padenghe was also subjected to the sacking and violence of the Imperial German soldiers coming from Verona in 1532, whereas at the end of the 16th century it was menaced by merciless bandits, among whom the famous Giacomo Dainese, known as Giacomazzo da Padenghe.
Desenzano del Garda
On the southern banks of the Garda Lake, situated in the heart of the Morenic Amphitheatre, Desenzano is a charming village and a very popular bathing resort. An optimum point for trips and excursions, Desenzano presents a particularly rich artistic, historic and archaeological heritage, starting from the Roman era. In the Middle Ages it was the object of fights between Brescia and Verona, afterwards, in the 15th century it passed under Venetian dominion, becoming a thriving commercial centre. The core of the city develops around Malvezzi Square and the Ancient Harbour, with the XXVI century palaces by Todeschini, a famous architect from Brescia . It is a must to visit the archaeological area, that houses the ruins of a magnificent IV century Roman Villa with splendid multicoloured and mosaic flooring, the Museum of archaeology, with one of the most ancient ploughs of the world, the panoramic tower of S.Martino della Battaglia. The chapel of the Duomo preserves important works of art by Andrea Celesti (1637-1712) and “ the Last Supper” (1738) by Gian Battista Tiepolo(1696-1770). Furthermore, we can indicate the Castle, founded in the Middle Ages and reconstructed in the XIV-XV centuries, recently renovated and offering a breathtaking view of the Lake. Also Villa Brunati has been recently renovated and has become the Public Library since 2007. In the last years, Desenzano has also become the Garda locality best known for its vitality and entertainment opportunities, above all it’s nightlife, thanks to the numerous varieties of restaurants, bars, discobars and discotheques. In Desenzano it is also possible to do all kinds of water sports (in particular windsurfing, sailing and scub- diving) and you can go horse riding and play tennis and golf. Desenzano is a destination for everyone: from families with children, to romantic couples, young and old. To visit: Villa Romana – Museo Archeologico “Giovanni Rambotti” – Museo Risorgimentale a Torre Monumentale di S. Martino della Battaglia – Castello di Desenzano – Palazzo Todeschini – Duomo di S.ta Maria Maddalena – Villa Brunati (Biblioteca Multimediale Comunale)
Known to everyone as “ the pearl of the islands and peninsulas” thanks to Catullo, Sirmione is famous for it’s thermal water with it’s healing properties. Situated on the south bank of Lake Garda, in correspondence with a long and narrow peninsula that divides the gulfs of Desenzano and Peschiera, Sirmione was made even more famous thanks to writers such as Catullo, Stendhal, Lawrence and Goethe that honoured its artistic and environmental beauty. Remembered as "Mansio" (together with other public buildings subject to a decurion), after the fall of the Roman Empire, Sirmione became a part of the Longobard kingdom, and in the XII century, it had its own independent administration from Verona. During the Scaligera regime, in XIII century, a wall was built around it and also an impressive fortress, after that it passed to Venice in the XV century. Apart from hosting a Spa of international level, it also has a rich historical and artistic heritage, that includes the ruins of an ancient Roman Villa of the first imperial era, known as the Catullo Grottoes , the Scaligera Fortress and the church of "S. Pietro" in Mavino, that dates back to at least VIII century. The city centre is characterised by the narrow alleys with the walls of stone, offering its visitors romantic and suggestive views. Today Sirmione is one of the most important tourist centres of the Garda Lake, with sports and recreational facilities to practise the water sports (windsurfing, sailing, etc.) and hotel establishments and services at an international level, able to satisfy the needs of even the most demanding clients. To visit: Castello Scaligero – Villa Romana “Grotte di Catullo” – Chiesa di S. Pietro in Mavino – Chiesa di S. Anna della Rocca – Passeggiata delle Muse fino al Lido delle Bionde
Peschiera del Garda
Peschiera del Garda, whose Roman ancient name was Acrilica, still preserves evidences of its history attracting every year many visitors curious to discover signs of the work of man. Near the military defensive works you will find houses and religious buildings such as the sixteenth-century Sanctuary of Madonna del Frassino (Our Lady of Ash) visited every year by thousands of pilgrims. Besides it, Peschiera offers its visitors peaceful and relaxing moments in the natural environment surrounding it. In the oasis of the Laghetto del Frassino (little lake of Ash) and in the Mincio Valley crossed by a park having the same name, you will have the possibility of walking in contact with an unpolluted and luxuriant nature. The stretch of territory reaching Sirmione from Peschiera is called ‘Lugana’ and it is well-known for the production of a wine having the same name. Lugana wine, which (in 1967) was one of the first Italian wines bearing a DOC trademark, can be served with some local dishes of Lake Garda’s tradition such as ‘I Bigoli con le sarde’ (home made spaghetti served with a sauce of sardines), ‘Le Sarde in saor’ (Sardines cooked with onions) and ‘risotto con la tinca’ (risotto cooked with tench).
The Lazise territory includes the coastal area of the lakeside and a vast internal area made up of morainic hills that gently slope towards the lake, among olive grooves and vineyards dotted with rows of cypresses. Hotels are found both in the city centre and in the surrounding countryside, while numerous camping grounds have been set up along the promenade south of Lazise. The area permits one not only to practice the traditional lake sports, but also to take leisurely walks, to make excursions by bicycle and on horseback along panoramic paths with gentle slopes. The two outlying villages of Colà and Pacengo offer a stay which puts together the country and agricultural habitat, with a few holiday farms which also sell products of their farming. The olive tree, cultivated on crags and side terraces, dominates the view of the hinterland of the coastal area of the lakeside. Olive trees and vineyards are intensively cultivated in the surrounding lands where many appreciated wine and oil farms are located.
Bardolino is situated on Lake Garda at the widest point half-way along the Verona side. Its mild climate allowsof the growth of typical Mediterranean plants: olives, cypresses, oleanders, laurels, and vineyards prosper on the hills which surround the centre, which stretches towards the lake with two characteristic projections, formed over the centuries by the two rivers. In recent decades tourism has developed to support the traditional farming economy. Bardolino boasts about sixty hotels with an overall total of 4000 beds. The typical local products of wine, oil and fish all go to create excellent traditional meals, which can be tasted in the hotels, refined restaurants and the numerous country inns. Wine is the protagonist of many celebrations: in May the Feast of Bardolino Chiaretto (Clear Bardolino), in October the Feast of Grapes and of Bardolino wine, in November the Feast of Bardolino Novello (new Bardolino) and from the middle of September to the middle of October the Grapes therapy.
Wie Just like the other towns on the lake, even Garda boasts pre-historical origins with its usual finds that date back to the Bronze Age. There is evidence of a very ancient past such as the rupestrian warriors weapons, Luppia which represent warriors, weapons, horse-soldiers, labyrinths, animals. There is still some evidence of the Roman Age both , in the layout of the city and in some tombstones. Garda LakeThe name “Garda” probably comes from the German word Warte, which means guard, "fortress", and is referred to the "uncatchable" stronghold made up by the Rocca’s. Historians believe that during the first centuries of the Middle Ages this fortress had become so important from a strategical point o view that gave the entire lake its name: in fact it was no longer called by its Latin name Benàcus and changed into Garda. Because of its position , the territory of Garda, never enjoyed a complete period of peace, not even during the rule of Serenissima. In 1797, Napoleon, put an end to the Venetian rule.One more photo from Garda Lake After that, the territory of Garda was ruled by the Austricians, for a short period, but after a series of events one after another, it became part of the Kingdom Of Italy. During this century, the quality of life did not improve that much and after World War II ,in a few years, Garda changed from a town made up by fisherman into a modern tourist one, gaining a reliable wealth and attracting thousands of visitors on its shores, mostly foreigners, every year. Nowadays the City of Garda is one of the most booming and visited touristic places in Lake Garda.
Torri del Benaco
Torri del Benaco captures all the charm of a medieval village nestling between walls and towers. The Roman harbour recalls the tradition of Lake Garda’s fishermen. Various incisions on the rock are a testimony to the prehistoric era. The development of tourism has made Torri one of the most exclusive spots on the lake, with guests of prestige such as Andrè Gide, Stephen Spender, Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leight, Maria Callas, Jacques Piccard, King Juan Carlos of Spain. Pai, with its two small villages on the lakeside and on the hillside and Albisano, a green balcony on the lake, both offer history and holidays in close contact with nature. Crer is a group of old houses amongst the olive groves. The beaches are sun-bathed all day long the water is clean. Sailing and windsurf are popular on the lake; tennis is also offered on various well equipped courts. Many walks can be made, even excursions with mountain bike. Cruises on the lake are also possible.