Lake Garda - Riva-Malcesine-Limone-Torbole

Lake Garda - Riva-Malcesine-Limone-Torbole

Garda Lake

Throughout the year though mostly in summer, the waters opposite Torbole and Riva del Garda are dotted with sails of all sizes and shapes.

These four villages are all in the northern area of Lake Garda where it narrows into a mirror-like channel nestling between the Prealpi  mountains which breath strength into the winds such as the Pelèr and Ora that constantly blow pretty much  throughout the year, making it into a much loved destination for sailboat and windsurfing enthusiasts. From the geographical point of view Riva del Garda and Torbole are in the Region of Trentino-Alto Adige, while Limone sul Garda and Malcesine are respectively in Lombardy and Veneto.

The four seasons

Upper Garda is known as the perfect combination of the elements water, air and land. Majestic mountains and lush vegetation stand over the clear waters of the lake, constant breezes and winds are generated by currents making for this ideal mix. Throughout the year though mostly in summer, the waters opposite Torbole and Riva del Garda are dotted with sails of all sizes and shapes. The Torbole sailing and windsurfing clubs are among the most important in the country as well as in Europe, and numerous champions figure in their membership lists, like the woman windsurfing champion, Alessandra Sensini. There are many schools for the less expert or absolute beginners attracted by these sport. At Torbole each September the Surf Festival is held.

Upper Garda is synonymous with active sports holidays but is also perfect for relaxation, sunbathing, pretty bays, great sightseeing and stunning views. The little beaches are public bathing areas are plentiful like the roads and paths connecting Riva del Garda and Torbole, so long walks or bike rides are a must. For walkers there are 11.5 km going from Torbole to Malcesine. A three hour walk over the slopes of Mount Baldo where discovery of flora and fauna of the area will be alternated with admiring breathtaking views from 120 meters above the level of the waters of the lake. 

Mount Baldo can also be reached by cable car and its impressive 1800 meters altitude affords incredible views taking in the plain on one side and leading to the gorgeous Dolomites to the north. And in winter this mountain is also the scene of a number of fine forms of entertainment. The snow on the slopes offers skiing opportunities as you admire the views of lake and valley and there are lessons available from the instructors of the Scuola di Sci Malcesine.


Communion wine for the Bishops
In the highlands that form a crown just a little north of Riva del Garda, a few vintners produce something called Vin Santo or Holy Wine, one of the highest form of expression odìf wine in the area called Trentino. It can be tasted and purchased from Pisoni, a little cellar which also produces very fine table wines or from Pedrotti at Cavedine.
Carne Salada or salted meat is a speciality that comes from Alto Garda Trentino and can be found at Bertoldi's at Riva. Worth a stop is the Osteria Panesalame in the heart of the town center where a series of appetizers accompanied by a fine selection of wines is not to be missed.

What to see

There towns are not just a chance for a great active water sports holiday, it is also the chance to discover nature at her best,  history and incomparable secret places, where many Italian peoples have found common destinies. In Malcesine  the castle is in the fore; it probably goes back to the 5th century and has passed through the hands of Milanese, Venetians, French and Austrians. Illustrious personages such as Goethe stayed there and indeed today a room is dedicated to him where some of his drawings of the lake views  are kept.   Today the castle has a natural history museum which shows how Lake  Garda  developed, informs of its geological composition, flora and marine fauna. There is also a large external area for theater activities called La Caòr.

Riva del Garda is interesting from a historical point of view mainly due to the ancient Rocca fortress fortified in 1124 to plans by Bishop Alemanno of Trent and then turned into a residence around 1516 with conversion work and decoration to soften it. Under Austrian nomination, in the years between 1850 and 1852, there were more changes applied to the structure as it was converted into barracks. Today it is the MAG - Museo Alto Garda or Upper Garda Museum.

This museum was founded in the 1900’s and formed of a number of collections originally housed in the  Palazzo Pretorio, but was only officially opened in the 50’s. It features some extremely important art work and archeological finds which tell the story of how man came to settle and live on the shores of the lake in Upper Garda.  Do not miss the ancient Apponale Tower which is 35 meters high and which offers great views of the town and the lake,  Palazzo Pretorio built in 1375 thanks to  Cansignorio della Scala and the town hall or Palazzo.

Limone sul Garda

Limone sul Gardais a small village on the west shore of Lake Garda, which for a long time was isolated and impossible to reach over land and even today it is still easier to get there from the water.

Thanks to its isolation and superb position between mountain and water, Limone sul Garda has preserved its original charm as a fishing village. With its narrow little roads, flower-filled balconies, little shops and harbor it delights visitors for its simple charm and beauty and an atmosphere of times past, peace and serenity. It is also well protected from the prevailing northerly winds making it ideal for the cultivation on terraces cut out of the rock of citrus fruits, particularly lemons, as its name suggests.  

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