Lake Garda or Benaco is the largest lake in Italy. Its wider part to the south is surrounded by morainic hills that were formed by glacier retreat, while the narrow northern part is enclosed by the mountains that create its fjord-shape configuration and provide a very mild Mediterranean climate.
Its sunny environment, temperate climate, and lush vegetation – mainly olive and lemon trees, palms, cypresses, oleanders and orange trees – along with the majestic landscapes are the background to the remarkable historical and cultural remains spread all around and make this lake the most charming in Italy.
Thanks to the intense colour of its brilliantly clear waters with a marked shade of blue, Lake Garda is a unique spot where visitors and guests can enjoy a holiday full of relaxation, sports and fun, together with the thrill of discovering new places.
Lake Garda is best lived like a little sea. Narrow enough, between steep rock faces at the feet of Mount Pizzocolo. A simple life with all the sweet comforts of the city.
Due to its unique position, Lake Garda enjoys a mild climate that allows the cultivation of lemons and olives which usually grow only in Southern Italy. The entire western half lies within Lombardy and can be explored along the coastal roads that wind parallel with the water. 70 kilometres wrapping around some of the most beautiful destinations.
Sirmione, located to the south, with the Rocca Scaligera and the natural thermal waters appreciated by Catullus and the singer Maria Callas. Further north, Gardone Riviera is home to the Vittoriale degli Italiani, a permanent window on the life of the Italian writer Gabriele D’Annunzio. Continuing along the Strada della Forra – which Churchill defined as the eighth wonder of the world – to Tremosine and the Terrazza del Brivido, a natural terrace suspended 350 meters above a breath-taking panorama. Still further north, the labyrinth of lemon groves of Limone sul Garda smells of sweet summer.
James Bond drove his Aston Martin along the winding Strada della Forra in the film Quantum of Solace, whereas cyclists can explore the many mountain trails while waiting for the completion of the most spectacular cycle path in Europe. Raise the sails and let the wind be your guide, whether it’s sailing, windsurfing or kitesurfing.
Besides sailing and windsurfing that have made Lake Garda famous all over the world, there are plenty of other sports you can practice.If you love nature, you can go on wonderful excursions around the lake and on the plateaus, go horse riding to discover the most isolated corners of Lake Garda, or relax with a game of golf. Mountain bike enthusiasts can venture along the over 1000 km of waymarked trails and the more athletic will find in Arco one of the best European destinations for free climbing. Here there are excellent free climbing schools and perfect practice walls.
Don’t miss kite surfing, the latest fashion directly from Hawaii, or try canyoning descending streams in contact with unspoiled nature for a really unique adventure! If you want to enjoy a different view of the blue lake, try scuba diving to discover the treasures in its depths, or take a paragliding flight from the top of Monte Baldo to admire the incomparable beauty of Lake Garda.
Sailing & Windsurfing
Mountain Biking & Bike Rides
Trekking & Nordic Walking
Climbing & Via Ferratas
Desenzano has a particularly rich artistic, historical and archaeological heritage, starting from the Roman era. In the Middle Ages, it was the subject of disputes between Brescia and Verona, later in the 15th century it passed under the Venetian rule becoming a thriving commercial centre.
The core of the city develops around Piazza Malvezzi and the Ancient Harbour, with the XXVI century palaces by Todeschini, a famous architect from Brescia. Don’t miss the visit to the archaeological area with the ruins of a magnificent IV century Roman Villa with splendid polychrome floors and mosaics, the Archaeological Museum with one of the oldest plows in the world and the panoramic tower of San 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). You can also visit the Castle, build in the Middle Ages and rebuild in the XIV-XV centuries, recently renovated and offering a breath-taking view of the Lake. Villa Brunati has also been recently renovated and has become the Public Library since 2007.