What a great summer at Lago di Garda! We definitely got good friends this summer. I’ve actually started to appreciate and to love this great gem. ‘Gardameer’ (engl tranl. Sea of Garda) is how the Germans call it and now I understand why. At some points, it definitely looks like anywhere along the seacoast, i.e. along Croatia’s coast. The best summer feeling – and even better since there is freshwater.
In all those years since my dad had moved there, I’ve so rarely visited. Shame on me! I definitely changed the game this year and went there so many times. From South Tyrol, it’s the perfect distance for a nice weekend getaway. Mid July, Irina and Conny came down from Munich and we explored the region togheter. Moreover, I spent another weekend with my mum and friends on the other side than usual. The area around Limone is amazing too. Well, there are a lot of lovely places, which I don’t want to hold from you. Of course, I’ve included some great restaurant recommendations!
I’ve included all my recommendations. Let’s go down the memory lane a little bit! Allora incominciamo…
- By the way, Verona is super close to Lago di Garda. Find my travel guide for Verona here!
FROM LIMONE, PORTO DI TIGNALE DOWN TO TOSCOLANO
I can’t believe that I’ve never really been to the ‘other side’ of Lake Garda. The area from Limone toToscolano is beautiful too. It’s a little bit wilder than the North-East. Driving through the old tunnels is spectacular. We stayed at Porto di Tignale, which is a great recommendation for all surfers. In fact, it’s the most Southern part where the wind is still strong enough. I highly recommend Gargnano, Bogliaco and Toscolano Maderno too.
- Fun Fact: Why would you get stressed and look for a hotel for just one night? We spontaneously decided to stay over the night and simply slept in the car. Why not? Waking up front row with the lake in front of your feet was such a great feeling of freedom!
Torre San Marco Gardone Corso Zanardelli, 142, 25083 Gardone Riviera
Chic!! Hotel Villa Fiordaliso Corso Zanardelli, 150, 25083 Gardone Riviera
Gourmet Restaurant Lido 84 Corso Zanardelli, 196, 25083 Gardone Riviera
Restaurant Lido Via Colletta, 61, 25084 Gargnano
Restaurant ‘Allo Scoglio’ Via Barbacane, 2, 25084 Gargnano
Pizzeria Ristorante Le Fontanelle Via Rimembranza, 32, 25084 Gargnano
my favorite places in the South-East
TORRI DEL BENACO, ALBISANO, CAVAION
Let’s head over to the South-East now. The area around Bardolino is very popular and I definitely konw why. On the one hand, it is super close to the highway exit Affi. Of course, in summer time there are looots of tourists. I’ve often asked myself who loves such crowded places. However, there are people who love the fuzz. Moreover, summer is only once!
Luckily, there are smaller villages in the hinterlands or further north, which are not overrun with tourists: Torri del Benaco, Albisano, Cavaion Veronese or Castion Veronese.
- I’ve noted a great car round trip in my Google Maps!
A small village where you can stop for a coffee. The palace / villa you see on the picture above is an event location. Of course, not for a little budget. And how idyllic are the pictures below? Love it!
Albisano lies on the mountain and you’ll be looking down to Torri del Benaco. The view over Lago di Garda is so beautiful. Best is to come here in the morning. In the afternoon the lake gets usually quite damp and the sight is not so clear.
Torri del Benaco
Torri del Benaco compared to its neighbor villages is still not so crowded. The charming small port is one of my favorite spots. Therefore, if you’re looking for a more relaxed place it’s the right choice (however, in high season I can’t guarantuee anything!)
- If you’re coming from Torri and heading down to Bardolino you’ll find a great ice cream shop, Gelateria al Borgho in Garda – highly to recommend!
Cavaion is a cute little village close to Affi. Due to its hill side it offers a great view onto Lake Garda. The village has some cute old Roman streets.
- Recommendation: enjoy the sun down at ‘Ceriel’
RESTAURANT-TIPS LAKE GARDA Bardolino and surroundings
Of course, you’ll get great Italian food in most of the places. However, as soon as you’ll see German translations on the menu, you are in the wrong place. Luckily, my dad knows some unpretentious, delicious trattorie. Here are couple of his favorites! I’ve already been to some!
Ristorante Pizzeria Palafitte Via S. Cristina, 36, 37011 Bardolino
Ristorante Viavai Via Gardesana dell’Acqua, 27, 37011 Bardolino
Pizza napoletana! Nuova Marconi Via Monte Baldo, 46, 37013 Caprino Veronese VR
Trattoria el Brol Via Vittorio Veneto, 7, 37010 Castion Veronese, Costermano VR
Favorit! Ristorante La Rosa Via Pezze, 2, 37010 Cavaion Veronese
Locanda Centrale Piazza della Chiesa 4, 37010 Cavaion Veronese
Ristorante Trattoria La Villa Str. Villa, 32, 37010 Cavaion Veronese
Great pizza! Ristorante Pizzeria Alle Querce Via Monte Mandion, 250, 37013 Ceredello VR
Cà Bottona Via I° Maggio, 18, 37010 Costermano VR
Ristorante la Taverna da Oreste Via Francesco Fontana, 32, 37017 Lazise VR
Ristorante Miralago Via Morsella, 26, 37010 Pastrengo VR
Sella d’Italia Piazza Carlo Alberto 25, 37010 Pastrengo VR
Locanda Bonaparte Corte Bramante, 73046 Rivoli Veronese VR
my favorite restaurant
LA ROSA in Cavaion
There’s never been a visit to the Lago di Garda without eating at La Rosa in Cavaion. We have been going there for over ten years now, so we already know the staff and just love their dishes. They have a great terrace in summer time and good value for money. My favorite dish is the ‘spaghetti alla chitarra’. The pizza is great, the wine is delicious – what else do you need? I also recommend the lunch menu!
Ristorante Pizzeria la Rosa
Via Pezze, 2, 37010 Cavaion Veronese VR
LOCANDA BONAPARTE in Rivoli
Another great recommendation is the Locanda Bonaparte in Rivoli Veronese. The restaurant is a little bit more chic. I recommend to share an ‘antipasto misto di pesce’ (we ordered it for two and ate it in three). The portions are huge and they’ll bring one dish after the other. Super delicious!
Corte Bramante, 73046 Rivoli Veronese VR
Boat tour at Lago di Garda
My summer at Lago di Garda ended with a beautiful boat tour. We took off in Bardolino and headed southwards. It was such a relaxing day. Well, life on a boat is just too good! We ended the day with an aperitif.
Weekly market in BUSSOLENGO
If you’re looking for an authentic Italian weekly market, you should head to the hinterlands. We stopped on our way to Verona and experienced the one in Bussolengo. You’ll find everything from clothing, vegetables and fruit, meat, stationery and more.
- You can combine the weekly market with a daily trip to Verona!
- Here you’ll find all weekly markets around Lago di Garda!
Evening strolls at PESCHIERA DEL GARDA & BARDOLINO
It was just too hot during the day. Therefore, we enjoyed the time at the pool and headed to the surrounding villages in the evening. Bardolino is always a great place to go. Moreover, we drove more southwards to Peschiera del Garda. Lazise is cute too.
Peschiera del Garda
- Get the best ice cream at Gelateria Biancaneve. Gelateria Cristallo is a great choice as well!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my recommendations. Let me know if there is anything else you want to know.