"Welcome to Lago Land" Top 5 Page for this destination Lago di Garda by iandsmith

Lago di Garda Travel Guide: 495 reviews and 1,182 photos

It's more than just a lake

In fact, it's a garden. Unsure what to open this page with I thought I'd share one of the treats I found simply driving along. You don't have to look hard to find this, it's right on the main road in Gargnano. The old palace is on one side and the gardens, shown here, are on the other.
When Count Carlo Bettoni got his titles in 1751 he thought he should have some edifice befitting his station and so it was that he commissioned noted Viennese architect, Adrian Cristifoli, to commence proceedings in 1753.
Though the rest of his siblings decided to settle elsewhere in Bogliaco, Carlo continued with his splendid palace and I, for one, am grateful.

The southern half

Without the lake, life would be different. I realise that's stating the bleeding obvious but it has shaped the way the towns have grown and their uses have varied.
The largest of Italy's lakes, La Garda is also the easternmost of those with any reasonable amount of water. In the south, the surrounding countryside is flat and agriculture still is a main industry but the unmistakeable signs of tourism and leisure are everywhere, personified by Garda Land, the Italian lake's version of Disneyland, hugely popular in summer, closed when I was there (what did you expect!).
There are many historical buildings, none more famous than the castle at Sirmione, a town on the southern shore situated on a narrow penisula. It has access to the land and sea. The Rocca Scaligera dominates the northern tip of the town and attracts tourists by the thousands.
Beside it there are pleasant lakeside walks and tourist shops.

The other half

Up north, the scenery is nothing less than dramatic, as these cliffs above Sarche clearly demonstrate.
Sports like snow skiing can be found nearby towns that you would normally associate with water sports. Sailing is very popular up here due to the catabatic winds that consistently fall from the towering mountains above and hiking is another popular activity.
The western side has more population but eastern towns such as Malcesine, where I stayed, certainly have much to recommend them

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Lots to see, water sports, history, Garda Land
  • Cons:Water pollution
  • Last visit to Lago di Garda: Mar 2004
  • Intro Updated Apr 25, 2004
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Reviews (31)

Comments (10)

  • calcaf38's Profile Photo
    May 8, 2007 at 4:13 PM

    THank you for checking out my Sayaxche page. I enjoyed your photos and recollections from Lago di Garda a lot - I don't know Italy at all.

  • icunme's Profile Photo
    May 15, 2006 at 8:10 AM

    I really like the "I didn't plan anything" and it serves one well when travelling in Italy -- or anywhere -- especially if you have an abiding interest in the present culture. Ciao, Carol

  • Bashir-1's Profile Photo
    Aug 7, 2005 at 10:37 PM

    Hi, good pics for castle & other heritage buildings. Nice place to visit.

  • sandysmith's Profile Photo
    Aug 7, 2005 at 10:54 AM

    that cable-car had better be open when I visit next year!

  • mapakettle's Profile Photo
    May 14, 2005 at 7:01 AM

    Ian, I think you are nuts, but love your writing style. Remind me never to travel with you though. I like sights to be open. Ma Kettle and I will sincerely take your suggest regarding the hotel with breakfast. Making a note as we speak (I multitas Pa

  • easyoar's Profile Photo
    Apr 3, 2005 at 12:56 AM

    Nice page, I particularly liked the Rocca in Riva - the invisible castle on top of the hill. Hardly much of a deterrent if you can't see it! Isn't Italy a bit too cultured for an Aussie ;-)

  • Nodbod's Profile Photo
    Feb 22, 2005 at 4:08 AM

    I really enjoyed your Lake Garda travel page & Photos and It helped me make up my mind- I think I'll head to malcesine -it looks small and picturesque- thank you

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Dec 17, 2004 at 10:33 AM

    Sensational, Ian. A great tour of Lago di Garda and area. Malcesine sounds wonderful; wish we had seen it. Always enjoy your architectural comments.

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Jun 3, 2004 at 3:33 PM

    excellent infos and lovely pics ! ...Geheimrat von Goethe was a well-travelled, early globetrotter and would certainly be in top 10 of VT today...

  • dannebro's Profile Photo
    Apr 25, 2004 at 2:01 PM

    very nice !


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