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Chocolate box scenery

Lake Garda in Italy reminds me of the days of the most beautiful chocolate boxes! This gem is jaw-droppingly beautiful with picturesque seascapes and landscapes.

The meaning of Garda is “place of guard/safety/observation”, originating from the Germanic word “warda”.

This alpine region was formed by glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age and is between Venice and Milan on the edge of the Dolomites.

The lake and its shoreline are divided between the provinces of Verona (to the south-east), Brescia (south-west), and Trento (north). 

Italy Lake Gerda
Italy Lake Gerda

Best time to be in Lake Garda

Lake Garda is known for its mild winter temperatures.  Since it’s located on a lake, our choice is June/July which is the beginning to mid-summer in Europe. it is also the time of school holidays, meaning it may be crowded being Italy’s largest lake and a popular travel destination.

TIP: The European school year starts early September (early autumn). Temperatures are no longer in the 30s (degree Celcius) and slightly cooler. It may also be less crowded.



Lake Garda is filled with history. Many battles were fought on the shores of Lake Garda, going as far back as the year 268 when Roman forces defeated the Alamanni in the Battle of Lake Benacus.

Other battles were in:

  • 1438, between Miland and Venetian Republic following the military engineering feat of galeas per montes.
  • 1797, the Battle of Rivoli during the French campaign of Napoleon I in Italy against Austria.
  • 1859, Battle of Solferino during the Italian Risorgimento. The aftermath of this battle led to the Geneva Convention and the formation of the Red Cross.
  • 1866, naval battles between Italy and Austria.
  • 1943, the town of Salò served as a nexus for military operations and communications for German troops during World War II.
Italy Lake Garda at Sunset

Towns and villages to see

Lake Garda offers a lot more than just the lake and its history. Many towns and villages are spread out on its shoreline.


Sirmione is on the south side and very popular because of its variety of markets, restaurants, bars, hotels, and fashion shopping.

If going to a spa is your thing, try Virgilio & Catullo Spa Complexes. There is also a ruined Roman spa, the Grotte di Catullo (Grottoes of Catullus). And if you have health problems with your ears, you need to go to the sulfur springs at the tip of the peninsula. The word is that the sulfur springs is  the place to go for healing catarrhal conditions, 

The 13th-century picture perfect Scaliger castle is a must-see.

Transport from Verona to Sirmione

If you’re not renting a car or booking an airport transfer, consider a train transfer. From personal experience, The Trainline was a reliable booking platform on every occasion I’ve used them.

Italy Sirmione on Lake Garda
Italy Sirmione on Lake Garda


Garda is not far from Verona – a mere 30 kilometers (19 miles).  If you consider staying at Garda, you may want to fly into Verona, the nearest airport.

Gardaland is a famous theme park in Italy and just over an hour’s drive from Verona.


Torbole is about 30 kilometers southwest of Trento on the north shore of Lake Garda.

Known for its winds you will find many happy windsurfers and kiteboarders. Sailing is also a popular sport.

Torbole is known for its tasty polenta and game dishes.

Take a drive to Nago, on the hills above Torbole. San Vigilio is a parish church dating back to the 16th century.

Places to see include:

  • The church of Sant’Andrea 
  • The ruins of Penedes castle, which was destroyed in the 18th century. It had been owned by the Arco earls, by the Castelbanco’s and by the Republic of Venice.
  • The so-called Giant’s pot (Italian: Marmitte dei Giganti) representing the evidence of erosive phenomena from the glacial era.
Italy Torbole on Lake Garda
Italy Torbole on Lake Garda

Riva del Garda

Italy Riva del Garda
Italy Riva del Garda

Riva, at the foot of the Brenta Dolomites, is the pearl of Lake Garda and popular for sailing, windsurf and kiteboard activities. The long sunny beaches in the Mediterranean climate are a winning recipe for a great holiday. And if you had enough sun, go climbing, rowing, hiking, cycling, mountain biking or play tennis.

Lemon, olive, and palm trees are everywhere amidst the rich ancient history and culture.

Places to see in Riva del Garda include:


  • Apponale tower (a past trading and fair center)
  • The hydroelectric plant
  • The Inviolata and S. Maria Assunta churches (Baroque architecture)
  • Palazzo Pretorio (home to Roman, medieval and modern gravestones)
  • The Ponale path (hiking, cycling)
  • The Rocca (City Museum and Art Gallery)


Plan your trip to Lake Garda

Things to do

Is Lake Garda expensive?

Nearest airport

The nearest airport to Lake-Garda is Verona (VRN) Airport which is 34 km away.

Other nearby airports include:

  • Milan Bergamo (BGY) (76.4 km),
  • Milan Linate (LIN) (111.7 km),
  • Venice (VCE) (130.2 km), and
  • Milan Malpensa (MXP) (153.3 km).

Hotels & Places to Stay in Lake Garda


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