Lake Garda or Lago di Garda as locals calls it, is the largest lake in Italy and it is situated in between the Lombardia and Veneto region, half way from Venice and Milan. Its geological as well as morphological characteristics take us back in time, at around 4-5 millions years ago! Its landmarks and culture is in comparison very young, as it dates back to the Medieval age :) Traces of the lake's formation as well as the way people have been living from its resources can be found in may towns and parks; Lago di Garda offers a great holiday where beauty, history, relax, fun and taste can be found. Even if it seems to be a popular destination, Lake Garda still have hidden gems and not-crowded spots where you will only find locals (people and swans!). As I have spent 20 years of my life in this area, I have collected a few spots that you really should not miss while at Lake Garda.
This popular town (which is way less visited but still stunning if you go in spring or autumn) is known for its turquoise water and the many small streets where wild flowers go wild on each brick wall and where you can find all sort of local delicacies. If you do not believe me, writers such as Goethe, Stendhal, Catullo and many others mentioned Sirmione in their work because of its beauty and rich history.
If you want to feel at the beach (but you do not want sand everywhere) and you want to enjoy blue water, Punta San Vigilio is where you should be. It offers many small shingle beaches with stunning waters. This spot is not that known but it is truly paradisiac: the water is not salty and warm, the horizon has mountains and the waves are never big. Enjoy your day here and you will feel re-charged!
If an active holiday is what you are looking for, make sure to stop by at Riva del Garda. Rock-Climbing on the lake, wind-surfing, paragliding on the water, cycling and much more is what you will find there. The wind in Riva del Garda created the perfect conditions for water sports and offers a nice breeze if you are active while not in the water. Just stop at one of the many sports shops and rent the equipment you might need (in case you do not have it already) and enjoy!
Another lovely town where strolling along the nice streets will make you forget any trouble, Peschiera del Garda offers both breath-taking views, many lidos where to go for a swim and tasty food! Lake Garda is known for its Risotto con la Tinca, Coregone al forno, Bigoli co le Aole, Carne Salada and much more depending on the season.
I guess that what Desenzano has to offer is pretty special... and I am not talking about its lovely streets, or delicious food or rich history. I am talking about swimming with swans! In many of the Desenzano's small beaches you can find swans (white, black and in groups) and they will probably swim next to you if they see you in the water. Avoid feeding them as they might get aggressive (because they will keep wanting food) but make sure to get pictures!
This are some of my favourite spots around the Lake Garda. Pictures are great but memories even more... so make sure to get lots of them! And by the way, do you know that the special lake ecosystem allows the production of a very special extra virgin olive oil that is unique and cannot be found anywhere else but in the lake Garda towns? Make sure to get a bottle -it is not only delicious but extremely healthy too!
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