Author: Levi Reiss
If you are looking for a European tourist destination, consider Lake Garda located mostly in the Lombardy region of northern Italy. Depending on your interests, this beautiful area might be an ideal vacation spot. You can get classic Italian food, and wash it down with fine local wine. It is hardly undiscovered, but that shouldn’t stop you from going. With a little effort you should be able to find some relatively untouched spots. Be sure to read the companion articles in this series that present Milan, small town Lombardy outside of its capital Milan, and the Lake Como district. While people often think of Lake Garda as being part of Lombardy that is not entirely true. This beautiful lake spills over into the neighboring regions of Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto.
Riva del Garda is the area’s best-known resort. It is less expensive than many competitors. You’ll find a castle with a moat. Its Civic Museum is part of a medieval fortress on the lake. The Thirteenth Century Apponale Tower defended the city from invaders and held prisoners. Look for Riva del Garda’s symbol, Anzolin, the little angel on the tower’s summit.
Gargnano, population about three thousand, is a great place for fishing, snorkeling, and sailing. The town’s major attraction is the Cloister of Saint Francis and its bell tower.
Gardone Riviera, population twenty-five hundred, is best known for the mansion The Shrine of Italian Victories and the major Fascist Italian writer Gabriele d’Annunzio who lived there from 1922 until 1938. Be sure to visit the relatively small Botanical Garden Andre Heller with thousands of exotic Alpine, Mediterranean, and subtropical plants.
The little town of Salo, population ten thousand, was the capital of Mussolini’s Nazi-backed puppet state, the Italian Social Republic. Its main sights include a Fifteenth Century Cathedral, the Sixteenth Century Palace of the Magnificent Fatherland with a historical museum, and a Palace hosting an archeological museum. Every Saturday morning there is a great outdoor market.
Bardolino, population about six thousand, sits on Lake Garda’s eastern shore. It’s the biggest resort on the lake and boasts numerous shops and historical sights. Bardolino’s main claim to fame is its fine wine. Every fall it is home to a Grape Cure Festival.
Fish forms a major part of the local cuisine. Indigenous fish include the rare Lake Garda carp, whitefish, and lake trout. Increase your dining pleasure by including local wines with your meal. The best-known wine comes from east of the lake near Bardolino, part of Veneto. Wines are produced all along Lake Garda. See which one you like best.
About the author:
Over the years Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet but simply prefers drinking fine Italian or other wine, with the right foods. He knows about dieting but now eats and drinks what he wants, in moderation. He teaches a variety of computer classes at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his Italian travel website http://www.travelitalytravel.com which focuses on local wine and food.