Torri del Benaco
Torri del Benaco is a tourist location on the so called Riviera degli Ulivi (Olive Coast), at the foot of the Mount Baldo, in a fairytale like environment made out of olive trees and pines. The town is one of the most visited by tourists in Lake Garda due to how it’s maintained its medieval charm with ancient walls and towers.
The origins of Torri del Benaco go back to the stone age, or more precisely the bronze age, as cave incisions show us. Archeological studies in the area found various stilt house buildings.
During the roman empire the settlement earned the name Castrium Turrium. After the invasion of barbarians Torri fell in the hands of the Longobards, who lavished the building of a border wall, of which only ruins remain today, aside from the famous Berengario tower.
With the arrival of the Scala family from Verona the strategic importance of Torri grew exponentially, and under order of Antonio della Scala the imposing Scaligera castle was built in 1383, above the ruins of a pre-existing structure.
The decline arrived between the 1500’s and 1600’s, with raids of french and austrian troops during the napoleonic wars. Tourism however has brought Torri del Benaco back to its ancient splendor that makes it one of the most frequented destinations on Lake Garda.
What to see in Torri del Benaco
Torri del Benaco is one of the most exclusive places on Lake Garda and it regularly hosts celebrities of national and international fame who come here for relax and fun.
The historical town center is surrounded by walls and medieval towers maintained in excellent state. Near the dock are the Palazzo del Consiglio della Gardesana (Palace of the Garda council) that dates back to the 14th century and has been transformed into a luxurious hotel, and the Scaligera castle, nowadays headquarters to the ethnographical museum.
The museum is divided in 3 sections: the fishing room, the olive farming room, and the calafati (caulk-ers) room. Calafati were how the artisans dedicated to building and repairing fishing boats were called in the area.
The castle of Torri del Benaco also houses a lemon garden that dates back to 1760 and is the only lemon farm on the veronese coast. other places of interest in the historical town center of Torri del Benaco are the baroque church of saint Peter and Paul, and the church of the holy trinity.
Outdoors activities and events in Torri del Benaco
Some of the many activities you can do at Torri del Benaco is swimming in the lake, sailing, surfing, windsurfing, and canoeing, as well as strolling, trekking, and riding mountain bikes on paths that lead to Monte Baldo.
From Torri del Benaco you can also go on a boat trip to see Lake Garda, visiting towns on the Brescian coast or heading north towards Riva del Garda, in Trentino. A great family activity is a day spent in Gardaland, a destination greatly loved by children, just a few kilometers from the town.
Torri del Benaco is also valued by scuba diving lovers, and during the Christmas season an underwater nativity scene is set up 25m underwater. Like in many other towns on Lake Garda, in Torri you can taste excellent extra virgin olive oil and excellent wines, as well as other native products of the region.
The event calendar is always filled with occurrences that vary every year, from classics like the Regata of the Bisse and the Medieval Festival, to the Jazz Festival in september, the Brewery Festival, a fair for artisanal beers celebrated in July 2018, and Silent Torri, a peculiar musical event that took place in 2017.
Torri del Benaco’s surroundings
North of the town, near the regional Oriental Gardesana road, is the clock tower antiquely known as the Tower of the Commune. In the middle ages the heads of the families of the area would come here to trade in what was then known as the “riunione della Vicina” (meeting of the neighbour).
Torri del Benaco is 38km from Verona and is made out of the hamlets of Albisano, Pai, Crero, and Ca’ Tronconi, all who definitely deserve a visit.
Pai is on the lake’s coast, a little north from the main town, and it offers the chance to see what remains of the fortress that was teared down by Federico Barbarossa. Near Pai is the Tanella Cave, where you can see various stalactites and stalagmites.
The hamlet of Albisano is on a hill behind Torri and is a natural green balcony with a great lake view. At last Crero is an ancient district immersed in centuries-old olive trees where you can enjoy long walks.
Tours and recommended itineraries
We will sail in direction Gardone Riviera and Fasano, and then continue to north along the west side of the lake.