INFOGARDA, AROUND US
The interesting combination between mountain and water create the beauty of Lake Garda’s landscape made out of nature but also of its interesting history which explains the relationship among human beings and their territory. It is enough to sit on a balcony of the Hotel Riviera to breath the lake athmosphere, but sometimes curiosity and the need to explore further makes us want to stroll around and discover the different places that surround the lake.
HERE WE PROVIDE SOME GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THESE PLACES:
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Malcesine lies on the other side of the lake, to go there by boat is a must. You might have the image of Malcesine on the back of your mind, thanks to the beautiful picture by Gustav Klimt who painted ‘Malcesine on Lake Garda’, the ‘Church of Cassone’ and ‘Italian Garden’ while he was resident there for a year in 1913. This image of Malcesine by Klimt has not changed over the years. It is worth to go there to visit the Scaligeri Castle, where there are often exhibitions. The historic centre has many galleries probably inspired by Klimt, who actually painted Malcesine on the boat using a standing spyglass. Malcesine is also famous for its mountain called Baldo, that one can reach thanks to a spectacular cable car. From Baldo at the cable station many people enjoy the hang and para gliding sport. But Mount Baldo with its peaks, Altissimo, Valdritta, Longino and Telegrafo is almost 2200 meters high and offers wonderful walks through which one can discover amazing flowers, from different varieties of orchids, daisies, tulips, and herbs that have attracted scholars such as biologists, pharmaceutical and florists since the XVth centuries from all over Europe. a
It is 50km south from Limone. In Desenzano we usually drive to take the train to Venice. One could reach Desenzano by car, or by boat. The lake shore of the city center has restaurants and shops and a beautiful antiquarian market on a Sunday. Around Desenzano towards the motorway there are many shopping malls and an outlet.
SIRMIONE: one can reach Sirmione by boat from Limone or Salò, the second option is really nice as it avoids a fairly long drive and the annoying issue of parking which can be a problem in Sirmione. From the Scaligeri bridge there is the main entrance to the historic town, one could go through the main street where all the shops are. Alternatively, by the side of the castle follow the road towards the lake and from there a nice walk leads straight to the Catullo Roman ruins. The so- called Catullo villa is the real reason to visit Sirmione. An archeological aerea that dominates the lake with a museum that explains the importance of Lake Garda in the Roman times. In the year 1 AC there are also mentions about other Roman sites such as the Roman villa of Toscolano, which is referred to in the comments about the church of St Peter and Paul.
It is a good idea to visit Sirmione on a rainy day and take a couple of hours for the Therme Aquaria, a sulphureous hot water spa ideal for the breathing system, the skin and nervous system. The thermal site is located on the lake and in very relaxing surroundings, they provide towels and a bathrobe.
TORRI DEL BENACO: It is easy to reach Torri from Maderno by ferry, a total of 1 hour and 15 minutes from the Hotel Riviera of which the ferry takes 20 minutes. The castle and the little harbour give this town a romantic flair. From Torri turn right and it is easy to reach the beautiful Punta San Vigilio, a little village made up of a few houses located on the lake where one might think the time has stopped. Impressive the olive trees in this area. There is even one that dates back to the XVth century.
GARDA: The place name ‘garda’ derives from the lombard word ‘warda’ which means ‘wardian’, i.e. when on the rock of the town looking at the lake, everything seems to be under control and everything can be observed and “warded” (guarded). There are many historic buildings worth seening; Palazzo del Capitani from the XIVth century, Palazzo Cesare Fregoso from the XVIth century, Villa degli Alabertini e Villa Canossa from the XVIIIth century.
From Garda it is easy to reach the city of Verona, avoiding the motorway by following the hills of the Valpolicella region, famous for its great wines and vineyards.
LAZISE: 60 km from the Hotel Riviera, is officially considered the oldest town in Italy. In fact the date 983 is sculpted in its protective walls as a reminder of the time when the Emperor Ottone II allowed the local people their administrative autonomy and the privilege to apply taxes on the right of passages and fishing. Imposing is the castle of the Scaligeri family from Verona, and the Venetian Custom house. Around Lazise there are important adventure and free time parks such as Gardaland, Canevaworld and Parco Natura Viva (a kind of safari park).
south of Limone, at only 5 km distance, one can visit the little village of Campione which lies at the foot of a huge overhanging rock. The first important inhabitant of this village came here in the VI° centuryA C. and was Saint Ercolano who chose to live in a cave as a hermit. From Campione one walk up the mountain. (I suggest you read, if interested, the story on ‘CAMPIONE’ by Ghita Beltrami). However, Campione is popular for kitesurfing, there is a good school that will provide the necessary equipment and could convert you to this sport if you have not tried it yet!
A village 20 km distant from hotel Riviera, better to visit by car, but there are boats going there too. Like Limone, Gargnano has a long tradition in the cultivation of the lemon groves. It is said that the Franciscan monks arrived in Gargnano in the 13th century and founded the church of Saint Francis, and realised that climate of this area favoured the growth of lemons. Indeed in the beautiful yard of the Francis church one can admire the sculpture of lemons on the top of the columns. One can still see the columns of the lemon groves of Gargnano built here mainly by the Bettoni family who owns the beautiful villa with an Italian Garden that one can see passing along the main road from Gargnano towards Bogliaco. Bogliaco like Villa and Gargnano has a little harbour and is Europe wide famous for its sailing regatta that takes place the first week of September, called the “Centomiglia”. From Gargnano one can follow the road towards Navazzo and reach the manmade lake of Valvestino and from there Magasa and Cima Rest. Cima Rest is worth a visit for its thatched barns which have a peculiar form probably influenced by the Austrians, one can ask Carlo, Milena or Marco for information on how to go there. See also the story by Ghita Beltrami, ‘The story on the Droane sheppard’ that explains how to go there, as Droane is a ghost village placed above the Valvestino barrier. It may be better to read the story first as you might decide not to go there!!
40 km distant from Hotel Riviera and can be reached in ¾ of an hour. Salò is known as the main city of the Magnifica Patria during the Venetian Republic and still visible from its main buildings, such as the reception room of the ‘Provveditori’ where they usually have exhibitions and concerts. Venetian vestiges are visible immediately outside the tourist information bureau under the porch, where the lion of Saint Marco, i.e. the symbol of Venice is visible. The cathedral of Salò is worth a visit, located also on the lake shore near all the restaurants, shops and the nice promenade that leads to the harbour. If you come to Salò on a Saturday morning you can visit the market , just on the outskirts of town on the road towards Desenzano, than come into the centre to have lunch. I suggest the historic Osteria dell’Orologio on the parallel road of the promenade, the via Fantoni with all the shops. The bar of the Cedral Tassoni serves a ‘cedrata’, the traditional citrus drink from Lake Garda.
Famous already at the time of Goethe for its wind, this village has utilised its weakness as a fortune. In fact Torbole is world renowned for wind and kite surfing, here you can find ideal equipment if you need anything for your wind rides. In Torbole there are also many shops for mountain bikes and pit stop places to repair them. Why not come here by bike!
A transfer with your own bike can be organized, or you can hire one - up to Tremalzo peak, than from there you can almost freewheel down, whether to Limone –as Tremalzo is exactly above Limone- through Passo Nota, the path/road N. 421 and come down from Passo Guil through path N. 117, and N.101. Or go further on the N. 421-422 to Pregasina and come down through the Ponale road to Riva. Take the boat from Riva, or if you have a good lights, both on the back and on the front of the bike, why not come back from the main Gardesana road through the tunnels!!!
25 km south of the Hotel Riviera, soon after Gargnano, you come to the town of Toscolano. It is worth visiting the Church of Saint Peter and Paul as from this church you realise the importance of this town from Roman times until the Venetian Republic.
The church of St. Peter and Paul in Toscolano
The majestic church is situated in an area where at one time stood a large Roman villa of the 1st century AC and which belonged to the family Nonii that had great political influence in Brescia during those imperial days. The pink columns of the principal entrance are re-used materials from that time. In 1584 it was decided to build a new structure and demolish the old one. The facade is austere, simple and classic, but unfinished. Inside there are quite a few works by the Venetian painter Andrea Celesti (1637-1712) who was a pupil of Matteo Ponzi. To start with, Celesti's style had much in common with the 16th century style of Titian, Palma the Younger, Tintoretto and Paolo Veronese. His later style is highly illuminated which creates the impression of figures coming away from their background which has been painted with free and fluid brushstrokes, giving a delicate impression. Around 1679-1680 the Doge Alvise Contarini granted him the title “Cavaliere” in recognition of his artistic merits, but he was later exiled for an unclear punishable offence. There are more than 20 wonderful works by Celesti in this church, the most majestic one of which is the alter-piece “The Massacre of the Innocents” (oil on canvas 450 x 800 cm) which was probably commissioned by the town council around 1700. This work shows his more mature style: the difference between the foreground and the roughly sketched and fading figures in the background.
From Toscolano one can easily reach the paper mill valley. It is worth a walk through this spooky valley. In half an hour where you discover the ruins of what in the middle ages used to be an important industry and here one can also visit,
The Paper Museum in Toscolano-Maderno which situated in the Paper Mill Valley.
The Paper Mill Valley is part of the Alto Garda Bresciano Park and is one of the best examples of Italy's industrial heritage. Already in the fourteenth century Toscolano was famous for its paper manufacture, supplying various printers in Venice and other parts of northern Italy. In 1510 the inhabitants of Garda even paid homage to Louis XII, king of France, by giving him oil, olives and paper from Toscolano. Particularly famous were the printers Paganini Bros. who produced editions of latin classics in the sixteenth century. From the middle of the 1800's Toscolano produced paper of a very high quality, watermarked and suitable for printing money. Today we can rediscover this industrial past along the Paper Mills Valley, a route that takes us along the Toscolano torrent, through tunnels, over bridges and along the ruins of old factories. The small building that was used as the porters lodge of the Maina Inferiore works, the last firm in this area to hold out until the Sixties, is today the Paper Museum. It shows the method of production in use between the fifteenth and eighteenth century, including the mallets, vats and the press. The various processes are also shown: from the drying through the smoothing out to the final product – a ream of paper. The top floor houses a selection of documents, the first one dated 1381 officially certifies the business of paper making. Old books printed by the Paganini family are also on show. In some of the other rooms the process used between the eighteenth and nineteenth century is explained, with three “dutch” machines and a wooden one reconstructed according to the original design.
From Maderno you can take the car ferry to the other side of the lake : Torri del Benaco.
RIVA DEL GARDA
Riva del Garda è il centro più grosso e importante della zona, una cittadina con alta densità di popolazione, ricca di negozi è famosa per lo shopping e il grande centro pedonale e le grandi fiere internazionali; Riva offre innumerevoli gelaterie e ristoranti, è da non perdere una visita alla Torre Apponale e alla Rocca, entrambi in centro in riva al lago, anche la chiesa dell’Inviolata unica nel suo genere merità una visita; Riva è facilmente raggiungibile con il Battello da Limone o in auto, 9 Km dall’Hotel Riviera. Da Riva si parte per varie gite nei dintorni della città: Cascate del Varone, Lago di Ledro e Lago di Tenno, tutte facilmente raggiungibili in auto a pochi minuti dal centro. Molto bella è la passeggiata panoramica che da Riva sale al Tonale in direzione di Pregasina
INFO: +39 0464 554444
Tremosine is made up of 18 hamlets, this area is located above Limone and it is easy to reach, also by walking, by following the butterfly path and the direction of Voltino (2 hours walk). The main town is Pieve with the impressive main church of S. Giovanni and a breathtaking terrace. Located at 400 meter height, within the Hotel Paradiso, this terrace is worth a visit, go and enjoy a drink so you can appreciate from this spectacular point the Tremosine’s stunning position. However, not a place to go if you suffer from vertigo. In Tremosine, in the town of Vesio, there are interesting horse rides in the woods, or again some long and short walks. This area is popular for Nordic walking (see our sport page). It is worth a drive back through Pieve and down to the Forra, a road built in a narrow canyon in 1913 by a local engineer called Arturo Cozzaglio (read the story TREMOSINE by Ghita Beltrami on Tremosine).
Garda, Il toponimo Garda deriva dalla lingua longobarda “warda” ovvero “guardia”, perché dalla rocca che sulla collina sovrasta il paese, si domina tutto il lago. Interessanti da vedere: Palazzo dei Capitani XIV sec Palazzo Cesare Fregoso XVI sec ,Villa degli Albertini e Villa Canossa XVIII sec. Da Garda si raggiunge velocemente Verona dalla statale senza dover prender l’autostrada, attraversando così la valpolicella, famosa per i suoi vigneti e ottimi vini. 50 km dall’Hotel Riviera, 1 ora di auto.
elegant little city which was a famous tourist destination since the XIXth century for Austrian, Swiss and Russian aristocrats who built most of the buildings and the hotels. Churchill came here after the war and stayed at the Savoy and later at the Grand Hotel. It is said that he was looking for the compromising Mussolini Diaries. However, Gardone is well-known for another special inhabitant, the poet Gabriele D’Annunzio, originally from Pescara, Abruzzo. The poet decided to retire on Lake Garda and transformed his residence, the “Vittoriale”, into a museum. He created an open air amphitheater for his plays that are still very popular. In Gardone there is also a botanical garden originally created by the botanist Hruska who later sold it to the Austrian artist Andrè Heller, the garden is a mixture between Japanese garden with Mediterranean plants.
1 h 20 min tramite Riva/Rovereto A22
From Limone one can reach Arco in only 20 minutes (15 km from Hotel Riviera). This town is recognisable for its particular rock that has on its top a castle that overlooks different valleys. Located north in respect of Riva del Garda, Arco is on the main road that leads to Trento. Because of this stunning rock that dominates it, Arco is world known for rock free climbing. There are in fact world free climbing championships organised here. The tourists that arrives here are mostly interested in this kind of sport, for this reason one might find interesting shops with technical equipment for mountain climbing, walking, trail running and for any season. One could reach Arco by bike. Taking the boat until Torbole by following the coast it is easy to reach Arco by bike following the new cycling way along the river Sarca (an affluent of the river Adige). Hence between Torbole and Arco there are 6 km biking paths but one could also decide to go further until Dro and visit the Roman bridge that deviates on the left. At this point the walk/path gets more hilly among the olive trees and dried stone walls. Once reached Dro, stop in the square for a break, and just come back. The round trip is approx.28 km. On foot one could decide to leave the car in Arco at the parking place by the first bridge and have a nice walk of a couple of km to Dro and back again (in total 7 km). Do not forget, before jumping back in your car, to taste the ice cream at the bridge ice cream shop! It is one of our favourites. Ask Carlo, Milena or Marco for the exact indication on a map of these places!
is located in the flat part of the lake and 70km distant from Limone. There is a castle and the historic center is surrounded by ancient walls. A nice promenade and a good atmosphere at night. It was a strategic location situated between the flat land of Lombardy and the Alpine area of the lake. It has been inhabited since the Bronze age, originally by the Roman and Germanic populations. Peschiera is also at the beginning of the river Mincio which goes as far as Mantua. A cycling route has been opened between Peschiera to Mantua and is 43 km long.
Local Turist Information:
Lago di Ledro +39 0464.591222
Limone sul Garda +39 0365.954720
Malcesine +39 045.7400044
Monte Baldo +39 045.6289296
Riva del Garda. +39 0464.554444
Salò +39 0365.21423
Tignale +39 0365.73354
Torbole +39 0464.505177
Toscolano Maderno +39 03655.641330
Tremosine +39 0365.953185
Trento +39 0461.216000
Verona +39 045.8068680