Itinerary: Salò, Limone sul Garda, Riva del Garda
Scenic drive along the wonderful West Shore of Lake Garda to discover enchanting villages while enjoying beautiful views
Lake Garda is one of the most popular Italian destinations among Italian and foreign visitors, and indeed, it is a place of great beauty. Also known as Benaco, Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy and it is located on the border between three northern regions: Lombardia, Trentino-Alto Adige, and Veneto. Its coastline is scattered with countless picturesque villages and towns, where tourists can find well-equipped hotels, restaurants, cafes, and many artistic and cultural events and attractions.
The western shore of Lake Garda, also known as "Gardesana Occidentale" or "Riviera dei Limoni", is the stretch that goes from Salò up to Riva del Garda, route SS45bis and it is about 44 kilometers long.
We will start from Salò (pic n°1), which was a very important city in the Italian history. Here, you can stroll along the streets and the lakeshore, or visit the beautiful Gothic-style Cathedral dedicated to Santa Maria Annunziata, built in the fifteenth century, or Palazzo del Podestà (also known as Palazzo della Magnifica Patria) (pic n°4).
Some kilometers north of Salò we will reach the town of Gardone Riviera, where you should visit the monumental complex of Vittoriale degli Italiani (pic n°5). This amazing park has been the residence of one of the most famous Italian poets, Gabriele d'Annunzio, and today it hosts a museum dedicated to him. The complex is actually a combination of museums, parks, gardens, historical reconstructions.
Going north, you could stop in Toscolano Maderno, a nice town with the beautiful Basilica of Sant'Andrea and Palazzo Gonzaga, before driving up to Limone del Garda, 30 kilometers north of Gardone Riviera.
Limone sul Garda (pic n°2) is a very nice town where to have a relaxing walk along the lakeshore and enjoy the beautiful views of Lake Garda. Limone (which means "lemon" in Italian) takes its name after the many lemon and citrus groves nestled on the hills overlooking the town. It is possible to visit these wonderful groves, located in a unique environment.
Finally, 11 more kilometers and we will get to Riva del Garda (pic n°3), one of the most beloved Garda towns. Many wealthy tourists, especially from abroad and many from Germany, love spending their holidays in this small but beautiful city. It can offer everything you need: exclusive hotels with spa centers, stylish restaurants and cafes, pedestrian roads and squares with elegant shops, a wonderful promenade over the lake spotted with pebble beaches and gardens, and a quiet charming atmosphere.
Here, you can visit:
- the Baroque-style Church of Inviolata, built in the 17th century, one of the most important attractions of the town, featuring beautiful frescoes, stucco, and marble floors.
- Palazzo Pretorio, a 14th-century building;
- the Apponale Tower (pic n°6) erected in 1220, overlooking the port. Between March and October, you can climb its 165 steps and enjoy spectacular views from the top!
- the twelfth-century Rocca that hosts a museum;
- the Stronghold, a Venetian-style fortification built on the top of Monte Rocchetta;
- the beautiful Medieval gates.
What to do here:
Sports lovers have a great choice of sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, canyoning or trekking, nordic walking, biking and many more.
Breathtaking views over Lake Garda during this scenic drive tour!
Some pics of the Western shore of Lake Garda:
Salò (pic n°1); Limone di Garda (pic n°2); Riva di Garda (pic n°3); The Palazzo della Magnifica Patria, Salò (pic n°4); The Villa Vittoriale, Gardone Riviera (pic n°5); The Apponale Tower, Riva del Garda (pic n°6);