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Ultimate Travel Guide for Lake Garda, Italy

Are You Planning a Trip to Lago di Garda – Italy’s Largest Lake?

Hello! Here you will find my ultimate travel guide for Lake Garda. Use it to make your travel planning easy, logical, and enjoyable. It will also help you experience this beautiful corner of Italy in the most authentic way.

The information is organised by topic, for example:

  • Where is Lake Garda and is it worth a visit?
  • How to reach Italy’s largest lake and travel around it?
  • Which are the best lakefront towns and landmarks, the best things to do here, and the best beaches to top your tan on?

There are maps, practical details, and lots of beautiful photos to give you an idea of what to expect. You will also find the best times to visit Lago di Garda, packing suggestions, how long to stay here, and the best types of accommodation.

In addition, I have included sample itineraries for one, two, and three days to spend here and my top 5 tips for visiting Lake Garda. It’s all based on my numerous stays at Italy’s largest lake over the last ten years.

You can easily scroll up and down the page to focus just on the type of travel information about Lago di Garda that you need.

Have a look and enjoy your Lake Garda trip!

Lake Garda, Italy - How to Visit and Best Things to Do - The Ultimate Travel Guide -
Travel Guide for Lake Garda, Italy - How to Visit and Best Things to Do -

The information in this travel guide reflects my first-hand experience. It may contain affiliate links and if you click and make a purchase through them, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. The ads on this page help me keep this blog free and produce new travel content for you to enjoy. Full details in my Disclosure.


First things first! Let’s pinpoint on the map where exactly Lake Garda is in Italy and Europe.

Lago di Garda – as they call it in Italian – is in Northern Italy. It serves as the natural border between three Italian regions:

As such, the lake is a great destination if you want to see as much of Italy and its regional differences as possible within a short amount of time.

Lake Garda’s upper half points up to the north and it’s narrow and long. Its lower southern half spreads out with wild abandon.

The further north you travel along the lake’s shores, the taller and craggier the alpine peaks that hold it in its tight embrace become. To the south, expect hilly groups blanketed by vineyards and olive groves followed by plains stretching towards the cities of Brescia and Verona.

Here is a handy map showing the exact location of Lake Garda in Italy and Europe. You can zoom in and out, open the map in a new tab, and use it to calculate travel directions.


Lake Garda is one of the major highlights of all of Northern Italy. On account of its beautiful surroundings, charming lakefront towns, and a long list of sights and things to do, it holds the crown among the best Italian lakes.

Easy to reach from a number of large Italian cities (including Venice and Milan), Lago di Garda is a great destination for a day trip, a weekend break, or a longer holiday. Here you can have fun in some of Italy’s best theme parks, spend time on the beach, taste local specialties and prized wines, and experience firsthand the Italian dolce vita.

Expect proud castles, landmarks of national importance, medieval hamlets, splendid botanical gardens, exciting hikes, and viewpoints offering fantastic panoramic views.

During the high season, the lake is abuzz with lively events and fun happenings. In winter, expect festive markets, Nativity scenes, and ice rinks. Lago di Garda has a lot to offer no matter what you are looking for. Visiting the lake to enjoy its history, vibe, and beauty can turn out to be your favourite memory from your Italian holiday.

Lakeside view of Castelletto sul Garda - Veneto, Italy -
Posterna Beach with views of Lake Garda - Malcesine, Italy -


Garda Town seen from above - Rocca di Garda, Lake Garda, Italy -

Verona Airport is the most convenient airport for Lake Garda. It’s just off the southern edge of the lake and provides easy access to the lakefront towns by bus and railway.

There are seven more airports that offer quick travel to the lake and may be more convenient for you depending on your point of departure, airline, and destination on Lago di Garda.

They are: Bergamo Orio al Serio, Venice Marco Polo, Bologna Guglielmo Marconi, Treviso Antonio Canova, Milan Malpensa, Milan Linate, and Innsbruck Airport.

For details about how to reach Lake Garda from each one of them, have a look at this exhaustive blog post:


Lake Garda is very easy to get to from Verona, a number of large Northern Italian cities, and anywhere else in Italy. The three best ways to travel are by train, by bus, and by car.

Once at the lake, you can then explore it by several types of transport with local buses and ferries providing direct access to the many lakefront towns.

For exhaustive details about reaching Lago di Garda and travelling around it by car, train, bus, ferry, and even electric train, have a look at these blog posts:

Ferry boat - Peschiera del Garda, Lake Garda, Italy -


Waterside view of Punta di San Vigilio with the famous Locanda - Lake Garda, Italy -
Boats in a small harbour in Castelleto sul Garda - Lake Garda, Italy -

Lake Garda has a lovely Mediterranean-style microclimate. Winters are rarely freezing. In summer, a nice refreshing breeze brings a welcome respite even on a scorcher of a day.

When to visit Lake Garda in Italy depends entirely on what you want to do and see here. If it is beautiful views, great walks, amazing food, and picturesque corners, feel free to come at any time of the year. The lake is gorgeous in any season. From January to December, there are many events that take place on its shores. From Christmas events in winter to town-wide celebrations in summer, there is always something to do and see here.

Late autumn, winter, and early spring are mostly crowd-free and offer many different types of local entertainment like craft markets, as well as food and wine festivals.

In winter, Lago di Garda is very peaceful. This is when you can experience its heritage and nature more authentically. Christmas is a particular highlight with festive illuminations, markets, underwater Nativity scenes, and many local events.

When the weather gets warm, visitors start flocking to Lake Garda. In July and August, the streets are densely packed, the theme parks are abuzz with people, and taking a dip in the clear lake waters to cool off is a pleasure like no other.

In July and August, temperatures here reach on average 28 degrees Celsius but often can go much higher. The shoulder season is especially pleasant on the lake shores. April and May and then September and October bring temperatures between 17 and 22 degrees Celsius. However, there is also a slightly bigger chance of rain.

If you are looking for more information on the best times to go to Italy, then have a look at these blog posts:


You can find all sorts and types of accommodation around Italy’s Lago di Garda to suit your requirements. From luxury family-friendly hotels on the edge of the lake to stylish caravan parksholiday villages, and fun camping sites in the bosom of nature, there is something for everyone.

You can choose from lavish historic villas that nowadays function as exclusive hotels. You can opt for a cosy B&B in the centre of a lakefront town. Or you may prefer a self-catering accommodation to enjoy a home-from-home experience.

If you are arriving by car, then make sure that your accommodation also offers parking spaces or can recommend a nearby car park. Especially, if you are planning to stay outside of the larger lakefront towns like Desenzano del Garda and Riva del Garda. Parking spaces in the smaller lake towns may be difficult to come across and are usually taken by the locals.

If you are relying on public transport and your accommodation doesn’t provide transfers, then make sure that you have easy access to the nearest bus stop or ferry port. You don’t want to have to walk for miles luggage in hand or depend on taxis every time you want to go to the town centre.

Here are some suggestions for places to stay at Lake Garda. All come highly recommended:

Luxury: Grand Hotel Fasano, Quellenhof Luxury Resort Lazise, Park Hotel Imperial, Villa Cortine Palace Hotel

Mid-Range: Albergo Gardesana, Villa Paradiso, Agriturismo Corte Patrizia, Hotel Canarino

Budget: Campeggio Europa Silvella, B&B La Dimora del Garda, B&B Alla Mezza Luna

Alternatively, use this map to get a quick visual idea of the available accommodation options around Lake Garda, Italy. You can zoom in and out, type in your specific travel dates, and then click on the different price points for detailed information about the hotel you want to know more about.

In addition, have a look at this blog post which explains the different types of accommodation you can book in Italy. It will give you plenty of ideas to look into for the best and quirkiest places to experience here:
View of the small village of Cassone on Lake Garda - Veneto, Italy -



The medieval Scaliger Castle seen from the board of a ferry nearing Sirmione - Lake Garda, Italy -

There are many beautiful towns and picturesque hamlets dotting the shores of Italy’s largest lake. The most popular among them are Sirmione, Lazise, Desenzano del Garda, Malcesine, and Riva del Garda.

Yet, many more deserve a visit on account of their natural setting, panoramic views, and a cluster of must-see local sights. This blog post will help you choose based on your sightseeing and vacationing interests:


Some of Italy’s prettiest medieval villages are right next door to Lago di Garda. Visiting one or a few during your time at the lake is a great way to spend a few hours. Expect picturesque locations, centuries-old stories, quirky corners, events, and foods.

Here are some of the best villages in the surroundings of Lake Garda to choose from:

Borghetto sul Mincio – this small hamlet has a cluster of ancient water mills built over the River Mincio. Many of them nowadays function as restaurants serving the local delicacy – love-knot tortellini. Borghetto also has a hilltop castle and an impressive medieval bridge.

Campo di Brenzone – this 1,000-year-old village can be reached only on foot. Centuries-old mulattiere – or mule-tracks in English – lead to it high up in the lush hills above Lake Garda.

Canale’ di Tenno –  a beautiful medieval village with a thriving art community. Nearby, you can visit the striking Lake Tenno. Famous for its turquoise waters, you can easily hike around it in about an hour or so.

Castellaro Lagusello – perched on the shores of a small heart-shaped lake, this medieval hamlet is picture-perfect.

Rango – just up the road from Canale’ di Tenno, this is another medieval village where you can admire Italy’s rustic architecture.

Tremosine sul Garda – this is a cute little village with vertiginous views over Lake Garda. To reach it, follow the Strada della Forra. It’s known as one of the most scenic roads in the world as it goes through a dramatic gorge.

The ancient watermills on the River Mincio - Borghetto sul Mincio, Italy -
A balcony with corncobs in Canale di Tenno - Trentino, Italy -
Inside the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli - Campo di Brenzone, Lake Garda, Italy -


A waterside view of Villa Bettoni near the town of Gargnano on Lake Garda - Lombardy, Italy -
Sanctuary of Madonna della Corona - Spiazzi, Veneto, Italy -

Medieval castles and quirky museums, ancient Roman ruins and forts from World Wars I and II, funiculars, historic villas, and religious sanctuaries… There are many exciting sights and landmarks that are a must-see around Lake Garda in Italy.

I particularly like the Scaliger castles in the towns of Sirmione and Malcesine, the Monte Baldo cable car, the Roman villas in Sirmione and Desenzano del Garda, the citrus gardens in Torri del Benaco and Limone sul Garda, Villa Bettoni in Gargnano, Museo Nicolis which is about half an hour away from Lazise, and the thermal baths around the lake.

Not forgetting, of course, Italy’s shortest river – Aril. Only 175 m long, it flows straight into Lake Garda but first, it navigates a small weir and three bridges.

Don’t miss a visit to either the Sanctuary of Montecastello or the Sanctuary of Madonna della Corona (or see them both if you have the time!). The latter is particularly famous on account of being half-hewn into the rocks at a height of 774 m above sea level.

For a good overview of the many different sights and landmarks to explore around Italy’s largest lake, have a look at these two blog posts:


Right off the southern edge of Italy’s largest lake, you will find several of Italy’s largest and best theme parks. Among them are:

CanevaWorld Resort – with two theme parks – Movieland the Hollywood Park and Caneva the Aquapark – and three thematic restaurants, this is an amazing place to visit right on the shores of Lake Garda.

You can either visit the two parks on the same day by buying a combined ticket or dedicate a day (or more) to each. There is a great selection of rides, slides, and attractions for the whole family in both parks to keep you happily occupied for hours.

Gardaland – this is a great place to visit. The rides and attractions keep the whole family having fun from morning till dusk. The entertainment shows are spectacular, too.

You can visit Gardaland either during the high season from April/May to September or you can come for the special Halloween and Magic Winter events. If you choose the latter, expect the most amazing and heart-warming Christmas adventures including a visit to Santa’s House which is staffed by cookie-baking elves.

Gardaland is also where you can visit two additional Lake Garda theme parks:

  • Italy’s first Legoland Water Park; and
  • Gardaland Sealife Aquarium – Italy’s first fully themed aquarium. It has 40 pools and it’s home to over 5,000 creatures that represent the fauna of Lake Garda and the world’s seas and oceans. It’s a great place to experience for yourself, especially on a rainy day when you still want to be surrounded by water without getting wet.

Cavour Water Park – this water park is easy to access from the lakefront towns of Peschiera del Garda, Desenzano del Garda, Lazise, and Sirmione. It is a great place to spend a hot summer day at. There is lots to do and see here for the whole family.

Among the main attractions are Palm Beach, Paradise Island, the Rainforest water route, and the Kamikaze turbo slide. I particularly love the events held here, especially the Carnival Party.

In addition, next door to Lake Garda, you will also find several adventure parks, an award-winning garden park, a safari park, and several thermal parks. Find out more about them in this blog post:

Gardaland - Italy's largest theme park - Lake Garda, Italy -
Large theme park at Lake Garda, Italy -
Water park at Lake Garda, Italy -


Garda Town seen from above - Rocca di Garda, Lake Garda, Italy -
The view from the start of the hike to the Tibetan Bridge - Crero, Lake Garda, Veneto, Italy -

Surrounded by craggy alpine peaks and gently sloping hills, Lake Garda is a hikers’ paradise. Hundreds of trails crisscross its green shores allowing you to get close to nature and experience some of the most splendid panoramic views in Italy.

Here are some of the best hiking destinations and hiking trails around Italy’s largest lake:

Monte Baldo – a long tall mountain shouldering the eastern shore of Lake Garda. Numerous trails of differing difficulty run through it. For easy exercise, hike to the Tibetan Bridge here. I also love the hike to Naole’s Crest for the bird’s-eye views it opens over the lake and the abundance of wildflowers in spring.

Rocca di Garda – a tall hill standing guard over the town of Garda. Hiking to its top affords the best panoramas over the lower half of the lake.

Busate-Tempesta Panoramic Path – a head-spinning hike above the blue waters of the lake. Part of the trail follows a sequence of metal staircases attached to the vertical rocks.

Strada del Ponale – easily the most spectacular hike in Upper Garda. This historic panoramic road leads from the town of Riva del Garda to the Ledro Valley where you can visit the small but perfect in terms of beauty Lake Ledro.


There are more than a hundred beaches around Lake Garda. Spiaggia Giamaica is easily the most famous one of them. You will find it a short walk away from the small town of Sirmione. The beach stands at the tip of a long promontory and instead of sand is made of huge flat stones bleached by the sun.

Otherwise, each lakefront town has at least a couple of small beaches next to its historic centre. Many more beaches flank the lake between the different towns and villages on its shores.

I especially like the beaches in Navene, Desenzano del Garda, Malcesine, and Riva del Garda but you will not be short of options no matter where you are at the lake. Just bear in mind that the beaches here are mostly pebbly or grassy. Sandy beaches are far and few between at Lago di Garda. Bring water shoes!

For more details about Lake Garda’s beaches, have a look at these blog posts:

Jamaica Beach with Grotte di Catullo at the end of the Sirmio Promontory - Spiaggia Giamaica, Lake Garda, Italy -
The beach - Navene, Lake Garda, Veneto, Italy -


Windsurfers on Lake Garda - Trentino, Italy -
Paddleboarding on Lake Garda - Lombardy, Italy -

Lake Garda is a great place to practice sports. From invigorating Nordic walking to adrenaline-filled windsurfing, kitesurfing, and sailing, you will never be short of choice.

Upper Garda is especially suitable for all types of water sports. The triangle between Limone sul Garda, Torbole, and Malcesine offers the ideal waves and winds.

346 m deep, Lago di Garda is also a popular diving destination. If heights are your thing, then you can paraglide here, too. Monte Baldo along the eastern shore of the lake is where paragliders head to for extreme experiences.

Clubs renting out sports equipment proliferate in every lakefront town. From paddleboards to sailing yachts, the choice is yours. Many clubs also offer training courses as well as guided tours to local sights of natural beauty where you can practice canyoning and admire gushing waterfalls.

If you prefer, you can also rent a motorboat and enjoy piloting it around the lake. The top end of Upper Garda is off-limits for motorboats but everywhere else they are a wonderful way to get around, discover hidden corners, and enjoy beautiful waterside views of ancient castles and steep mountains.


Lake Garda has a lot to offer no matter your style of travel. You may be after a peaceful and relaxing holiday with stunning lake views, a pampering experience with spa procedures and some pool lounging, an active nature break with lots of hiking, or an unforgettable day trip. Or you may just want to be able to say that you’ve been to Lago di Garda and understand what all the fuss is about. Any reason to visit is valid!

So, how long to spend here depends entirely on you and on the amount of time you have at your disposal.

Let’s say that this will be your first visit to the lake and you just want to test the waters. Then you can easily take a self-organised day trip (for example, from Verona, Venice, Milan, or Bologna) or a guided day trip and see one or a few of the most popular lakefront towns like Desenzano del Garda, Peschiera del Garda, Sirmione, Lazise, Garda, Bardolino, Malcesine or Riva del Garda.

Alternatively, you can pencil in a weekend break or an even longer stay at Lago di Garda. It’s a big place that easily caters to all types of travellers. The information in this travel guide will help you make the right for you choices in terms of accommodation, activities, and places to visit during your stay on the shores of Italy’s largest lake.

The Limonaia citrus garden seen from top of the tower of the Scaliger Castle - Torri del Benaco, Italy -
Locanda di San Vigilio with the boat for guests - Punta di San Vigilio - Lake Garda, Italy -


View of the defensive walls - Peschiera del Garda, Lake Garda, Italy -
Best Towns to Visit at Lake Garda, Italy - Story -

There are many ways to organise your visit to Lake Garda, so take the following sample itineraries as simple suggestions:

1 Day at Lake GardaDesenzano del Garda – Sirmione or Peschiera del Garda – Lazise or Lazise – Bardolino – Garda or Riva del Garda – Torbole or Malcesine – Limone sul Garda or Torri del BenacoMalcesine. Take your pick!

2 Days at Lake GardaDay 1: Desenzano del Garda – Sirmione, Day 2: Lazise – Bardolino – Garda or Day 1: Riva del Garda – Limone sul Garda – Malcesine, Day 2: MalcesineTorri del BenacoLazise

3 Days at Lake GardaDay 1: Desenzano del Garda – Sirmione – Lazise Day 2: Torri del BenacoMalcesineRiva del Garda Day 3: Limone sul Garda – Gardone Riviera – Salo’

Bear in mind that these sample itineraries are quite intense. They allow you time just for the main sight or two in each lakefront town before moving on to the next.

They give you a chance to see lots and experience Lake Garda from many different angles – history, nature, panoramic views, food, and so on. However, they will require you to be organised with your time. Especially, if you are travelling by public transport. If travelling by car, then make sure that your accommodation offers parking facilities to save you time searching for a space at the end of a long day sightseeing.

You can easily split the itineraries over a bigger number of days and stay longer at each place. It really depends on your style of travel, personal interests, available time, and if you are travelling by car or public transport.


Lake Garda is a wonderful place to visit and explore as a family. Theme parks, adventure parks, beaches, sports, hikes… There are so many things to do and experience here! Plus, delicious food, lively markets, and so much gelato! Italy’s largest lake really is an amazing family destination.

This blog post will give you lots of ideas for fun things to enjoy here with your kids:

Large sundaes served in a local gelateria - Desenzano del Garda, Italy -


Tourist boats in the harbour in the historic centre with a view of Lake Garda - Malcesine, Italy -
View of the historic harbour of Desenzano del Garda with boats and beautiful houses - Lake Garda, Italy -

Guided tours are a great way to explore Italy’s Lake Garda if you enjoy a more structured approach to travel and would like to see the maximum in a short amount of time. Professional guides will introduce you to the history and nature of this corner of Italy and will show you hidden gems that are not always easy to discover by yourself.

As such, this guided full-day tour of Lake Garda comes highly recommended. It takes you to several of the prettiest towns around the lake. It also combines travel by coach and boat for the best views and the maximum range of experiences.

If history is your thing or if you simply want to enjoy stunning lakeside views with some wine and nibbles, then you can book this tour of the castles of Lago di Garda.

In Sirmione, don’t miss this mini tour of the lake’s most scenic peninsula. In 25 minutes, you will enjoy the views of Roman ruins, the famous Spiaggia Giamaica, the proud Scaliger Castle with its fortified harbour, and you will even see the spot where an underwater sulfur spring gushes from the lake’s depths. For added beauty and emotions, take the same tour at sunset and salute the setting sun with a glass of Prosecco.

While you can explore Lake Garda by yourself using the tips shared on this page and have a wonderful time, sometimes, it pays to be shown around. Especially, if it’s your first visit to Lake Garda, if you have only a short amount of time, or if you find it overwhelming to find your way around in a country where you don’t speak the language.

So, take your pick either from the tours mentioned herewith or by making your choice directly on the websites of Viator and GetYourGuide.


With four well-defined seasons, Lake Garda is a holiday destination that’s easy to pack for.

In summer, bring sun cream, a hat and/or sunglasses, and a swimming costume. In winter, layer up. This way you will be cosy on one of the rare truly chilly days and will be able to peel off a layer or two when the sun shines bright. In spring and autumn make sure that you have a light waterproof jacket on you as downpours do happen on some days.

If you are planning to enjoy some panoramic walks or do some more strenuous hiking, bring proper hiking shoes with a good grip. Supporting your ankles on the pebbly paths in the hills is a must at all times.

The same applies to walking on cobbles which is the type of surface typical for many of the historic centres of the towns around Lake Garda. So, flip-flops or super-high heels are not ideal. Opt for shoes that keep you steady and don’t allow your foot to slide inside them. Beach shoes will come in very handy when you go swimming in the lake as most of the beaches here are pebbly.

Follow the Italian dress code in so that beach attire is not welcome when visiting museums and churches. Knees and shoulders need to be kept covered.

Colourful boats in the small harbour - Castelletto sul Garda, Veneto, Italy -
The harbour in the historic centre with a view of Lake Garda - Malcesine, Italy -



Protected by rugged mountains to the north and rolling hills to the south, Lake Garda enjoys a mild Mediterranean-style microclimate. Vineyards, peach orchards, and olive groves carpet the slopes and plains around the lake. Centuries-old citrus gardens still provide rich pickings of oranges and lemons.

The lake is territorially split between three northern Italian regions – VenetoLombardy, and Trentino-Alto Adige. Each one of them has its own flavours and dishes. So, you will have a chance to try many different things during your time here – from Italy-wide staples such as pizza, risotto, and pasta to authentic local specialties prepared with lake fish and locally-grown fruit and vegetables.

For an in-depth introduction to the local cuisine, have a look at this blog post:

In a nutshell, focus on the traditional for Lake Garda foodstuffs – extra virgin olive oil, fresh lake fish, black truffles, chestnuts, and fruit such as peaches and kiwis. In terms of authentic local dishes, try:

  • bigoli con le sarde – this is thick spaghetti-shaped pasta served with a delicious sauce of sardines.
  • risotto con la tenca – a typical for the area of Verona dish which combines locally-produced rice with the abundant here tench fish.
  • fritto misto – expect a mix of battered and fried pieces of different types of fish served with fried vegetables. It’s much more delicious than it sounds.
  • tortellini di Valeggio sul Mincio – known as tortellini nodo d’amore (love-knot tortellini), these are delicious parcels of handmade pasta stuffed with different fillings. They are typical for the nearby town of Valeggio sul Mincio which is also famous for its medieval hamlet of Borghetto sul Mincio.
Grilled sardines served in a small local restaurant - Sirmione, Italy -
Fritto Misto - Limone sul Garda, Lake Garda, Italy -
Handmade tortellini - Borghetto sul Mincio, Italy -


View of Verona with Ponte Pietra - Verona, Veneto, Italy -
The rooftops of the city of Trento - Trentino, Italy -
Riva del Vin on the Grand Canal - Venice, Italy -

Lake Garda is a short to manageable distance away from some of the most beautiful and rich in history and art Northern Italian cities. If you are planning to use Italy’s largest lake as your base during your Italian holiday, you can take many exciting day trips from it either by car or bus and train.

Here are some of the best destinations:

Verona – universally known as the City of Romeo and Juliet, Verona is a beautiful place with a multilayered history and dozens of sights to explore. 

Brescia – Lombardy’s second-largest city has a history that spans over 3,200 years. With impressive Roman ruins and an enormous museum that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Brescia is a lively and exciting place to visit. 

Trento – the capital of the province of Trentino is a hidden gem in Northern Italy. Expect important historic landmarks, frescoed facades, and a truly outstanding Science Museum – a joy to visit with your kids.

Rovereto – this is easily the prettiest Italian city you have ever heard of. With beautiful architecture, a must-see Museum of War, and a fantastic art museum, Rovereto is full of gems to discover one by one.

Milan – Lombardy’s capital is world-famous on account of its Duomo and Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. This is a large and vibrant city where you can enjoy sightseeing and shop for exclusive Italian brands.

Vicenza – this elegant city stands out with its Palladian palaces and Renaissance architecture. It is also an important centre of gold jewellery design and production. 

Padua – the city of science and religion has a long list of must-see sights. Among them are Italy’s second-oldest University, the world’s first permanent anatomic theatre, and the famous Scrovegni Chapel which is one of the earliest masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance.

Venice – the beautiful City of Canals doesn’t need an introduction. From world-class museums to splendid architecture in a unique natural setting, there is so much to do and see here.

Mantua – Lombardy’s Renaissance Pearl is dotted with lavish frescoed palaces and more works of art than can be seen in a lifetime. The local food is also delicious. 

For more ideas about beautiful cities to visit on a day trip from Lake Garda, have a look at these blog posts:


I have been blogging about travelling to and within Italy for nine years now providing detailed and first-hand tried and tested information about the best things to do in this beautiful country. It’s all based on my close to twenty years of visiting Italy solo and with my family. Six of these years, we actually spent living in Vicenza in the north of the country.

If you are after in-depth researched and illustrated with dozens of original photos articles about Italy, have a look at the following categories and blog posts:

In addition, right at the end of this page, you will find a list with links to some of my most popular blog posts about many beautiful and exciting cities, towns, and regions to visit in Italy. So, just scroll down and then click on the ones you want to know more about.

Finally, Italy’s official tourism website is a great source of the latest news about travel in Italy. Otherwise, this is one of the best guidebooks about Italy.

View of the historic harbour and the historic centre from the medieval Scaliger Castle - Torri del Benaco, Italy -
View of the historic harbour of the village of Cassone on Lake Garda - Veneto, Italy -


Waterside view of Acquaria Terme - a spa resort in the town of Sirmione - Lake Garda, Italy -
  1. Lake Garda is very easy to travel around. Use every opportunity to see as much of it as possible.
  2. Lago di Garda has very interesting local traditions and history. Every corner of the lake, every small museum, and every local festival reveal new facets of its heritage to fall in love with.
  3. Every lakefront town here has its own charm. Visit as many of them as you can to see which one you will want to return to time and time again. Mine is Malcesine!
  4. Enjoy Lake Garda’s beautiful surroundings. Chestnut forests, olive groves, carpets of wildflowers, green slopes, clear water in all shades of blue, green, and turquoise… Embrace nature!
  5. Treat yourself to a spa day. Gushing thermal springs (some of which are underwater) feed Lake Garda’s lovely spa facilities offering you endless chances for peace and relaxation.



View of Lake Garda from the waterfront - Malcesine, Italy -

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Get Ready for Your Trip to Lake Garda in Italy

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Select local tours and activities on GetYourGuide, Viator, and Tiqets.

Panoramic view of the town of Torbole on Lake Garda - Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy -


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Northern Italy: 
Best Cities to VisitMajor AirportsReasons to Visit
Lake Garda Towns and Villages: Best TownsDesenzano del GardaLazise, Riva del GardaMalcesineTorri del BenacoPunta di San VigilioCampo di BrenzoneBorghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio
Visiting Lake Garda: Map of Lake GardaGetting Around Lake GardaLake Garda with Kids8 Best AirportsVenice to Lake GardaVerona to Lake GardaMilan to Lake GardaBologna to Lake Garda
Lake Como: Ultimate Travel Guide, How to Get to Lake Como, Best Things to Do, Best Towns, Best Airports, Lake Como in Winter
Venice: Travel Guide, Things to Do, Major LandmarksEssential TipsHidden GemsOne Day Itinerary for Art LoversBest Beaches in VeniceBest AirportsTrain Stations in VeniceBoats in VeniceHaunted VeniceDay Trips from VeniceQuotes about Venice, Dorsoduro, Rialto Bridge
Verona: Things to Do in One DayVerona Opera FestivalDay Trips from VeronaRomeo and Juliet ItineraryVerona to VeniceVerona to Milan, Airports for Verona
Things to Do in One Day101 Facts About Padua10 Reasons to Visit PaduaDay Trips from Padua
Things to DoDay Trips from VicenzaBest MuseumsThe Beauty of Vicenza
Veneto: Top Places to VisitUnique AdventuresMost Colourful PlacesMysterious PlacesMost Beautiful LakesReasons to VisitMain CitiesPrettiest Small TownsMost Beautiful Villages
Lombardy: Best Cities and TownsReasons to VisitBrescia
Friuli Venezia Giulia: VenzoneMost Beautiful Villages
Emilia Romagna: BolognaRavennaComacchioMost Beautiful Villages
Marche: Reasons to VisitGradaraFrasassi CavesTemple of Valadier
Umbria: Reasons to Visit Perugia