Places to visit West of the Lake
In addition to the Valtenesi area (see relative section), you must also visit the Valvestino, a mountainous area extending between Lake Garda and Lake Idro. The coastal road starting from Gargnano, takes you 28 kilometres up to this silent valley, which the European Union has recognised as a site of community interest. This winding road will award you with breathtaking views and scenic panoramas, leading you from the vineyards and olive groves that are typical of the lake, to oak, pine and beech woods that are characteristic of a mountain setting. Overhanging rocks, cliffs and coves are mirrored in the artificial lake. This area is in the Parco dell'Alto Garda Bresciano natural reserve, and in addition to being part of the environmental patrimony, it is also of cultural and historic importance. A visit to the picturesque villages of this area will be a truly pleasurable experience.
Tignale – The Lemon Riviera
This is a perfect place for holidays and trips as it can be considered a terrace on Lake Garda, nestled amongst the green of the olive groves and the blue of the skies and of the lake.
Up until the XX century this town lived off the agriculture and the inhabitants traded oil, wine, timber etc at the Desenzano market. Then, once the via Gardesana road was completed during the post WWI and pre WWII period, and especially starting from the sixties/seventies, the town discovered its real tourist based vocation.
Tignale’s ancient port known as the “Pra de la Fam” is truly characteristic: in the past it acted as a shelter and was a communication route between the towns of the lake’s Riviera; from the early Middle Ages right up to the nineteenth century a hermit settlement could be found built into the rocks. What is more “Pra de la Fam” is home to a charming and large lemon grove, and this special glass house is a feature of the Garda landscape along the shores in the Brescia territory.
One kilometre away, perched on a 690 metre pinnacle is the Santuario di Montecastello sanctuary, which has been a trait of this place for centuries: from being a Pagan temple it was turned into a Christian altar, to then become a place of worship of the Madonna della Stella, Madonna of the Star, in the XIII century. From here it is possible to enjoy a vast and suggestive view.
Tremosine is a town built overlooking the lake: it is famous for the Terrazza del Brivido lookout, perched at 350 metres above the lake, it offers a wonderful view.
Gardone Riviera is one of the most elegant holiday resorts of the area, unwinding above a small port, amongst luxurious flower beds and gardens. One kilometre away is the Vittoriale degli italiani, the villa-museum which was once home to the Poet D’Annunzio and where his remains are now buried and where you can enjoy fascinating views and the wonderful gardens.
In Bogliaco pay a visit to the Bettoni villa, immersed in a baroque park decorated with statues, and featuring an art gallery housing works of art by Guido Reni and Canaletto, amongst others.
Limone sul Garda is a small port village that can be reached by a scenic route, and which is famous for its lemon groves.
Toscolano Maderno is a site that was inhabited right back in Etruscans times (IX century B.C.). The area is also known as the Valle delle Cartiere, the Paper Mill Valley, due to its important paper producing industry; it is also a popular destination for hikes. When in Toscolano visit the ancient Benacum, mosaics of a roman villa; in Maderno the basilica even hosts a painting by Veronese.
Manerba is an interesting little village on the shores of Lake Garda, and its charming XII century parish church hosts the Museo Archeologico della Valtenesi archaeological museum, where there are ruins from the Neolithic period and Middle Ages on display.
The splendid Isola del Garda Island is an island off San Felice and it is home to a beautiful neo-gothic Venetian style villa, where there are wonderful lush, green gardens.