Lake Garda: the Lombard shore
Lake Garda bathes Lombardy on its western shore, which is dotted with charming villages, natural wonders and stony beaches. It is also the best side of the lake for watching the sunrise, admiring the sun rising behind Monte Baldo.
This western shore of the lake is bordered by the Gardesana Occidentale road, which runs from Sirmione to Riva del Garda in the Trentino area.
In particular, the stretch of road from Salò to Limone is also known as the 'Riviera dei Limoni' (Lemon Riviera), given the numerous citrus fruit cultivations in the area that benefit from the lake's microclimate and form an important part of the area's economy.
Limone sul Garda
It is undoubtedly one of the most popular resorts on Lake Garda, suitable for all tastes: lovers of nature, sport and relaxation. Typical are its lemon groves, present in the area since the 18th century and open to the public, such as the Limonaia del Castel, the Limonaia del Tesol and the Limonaia di Villa Borghi.
There are also several museums that tell the story of the area: the Tourism Museum, the Fishermen's Museum and the Oil Exhibition.
Also making Limone a popular destination is its marvellous cycle and pedestrian path (Ciclopista del Garda) suspended over the lake. Inaugurated in 2018, it starts from the centre of the village and for now is just over 2 km long, with the aim of soon connecting Limone to Riva del Garda.
Included in the list of Italy's Most Beautiful Villages, Gardone Riviera is also known as the Garden City of Lake Garda for its lush vegetation and numerous villas with splendid gardens, which have benefited from the lake's mild climate.
It was here between 1921 and 1938 that Gabriele d'Annunzio chose to build the Vittoriale degli Italiani, in memory of his life and the exploits of the Italians during the First World War. Every year it is visited by more than 200,000 people.
It is the first municipality of the Riviera dei Limoni, one of the largest towns on Lake Garda. Known for its historical significance, but not only, we recommend strolling along its enchanting Zanardelli lakefront.
The town's main square, Piazza della Vittoria, overlooks the lake, where the Palazzo della Magnifica Patria and the Palazzo del Podestà stand.
Desenzano del Garda
It is the most densely populated of the towns on the shores of the lake. We recommend a visit to the Porto Vecchio, created in the 15th century for commercial needs, and Piazza Malvezzi, the beating heart of the town.
Also not to be missed are the Desenzano Castle, which dates back to the 10th century and of which the crenellated walls and towers remain, and the Villa Romana built at the end of the 1st century B.C., an important archaeological site containing over 240 square metres of polychrome mosaics.
Located on a peninsula in the southernmost part of the lake, Sirmione is one of the best known and best loved resorts on Lake Garda, unmistakable thanks to the medieval walls that surround it. It is a stop that we highly recommend, to let yourself be enchanted while strolling through its colourful and flowery historic centre.
The Scaliger Castle, which captures the traveller's attention and is the highlight of this village, dates back to the 12th century and is surrounded by the waters of the lake.
But Sirmione is also well known for its thermal baths: it was the Roman poet Gaius Valerius Catullus himself who extolled its natural hot springs.
The Grotte di Catullo are also an archaeological area that preserves the remains of a residential villa, and are named after the poet, who described returning to his beloved home in Sirmione in his poems.
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