Top things to do

Top Choice Osteria in Bardolino

Il Giardino delle Esperidi

Holidaying gourmets should head for this intimate little osteria, where sourcing local delicacies is a labour of love for its sommelier-owner. The intensely flavoured baked truffles with parmigiano reggiano (Parmesa…
Top Choice Gastronomy in Malcesine

Vecchia Malcesine

The lake views from the terrace at hillside Vecchia Malcesine do their best to upstage the food. But the Michelin-starred menu wins; its exquisitely presented, creative dishes might include trout with horseradish, s…
Top Choice Cafe in Garda & Punta San Vigilio

Taverna San Vigilio

With an olive-tree-shaded garden and tables strung out along a tiny crab-claw harbour, the Taverna San Vigilio is one of the most atmospheric bars on the lake. Nibbles include lobster, veal and prosciutto crudo (cur…
Beach in Garda & Punta San Vigilio

Punta San Vigilio

The leafy headland of Punta San Vigilio curls out into the lake 3km north of Garda. An avenue of cypress trees leads from the car park towards a gorgeous crescent of bay backed by olive groves. There the Parco Baia …
Museum in Torri del Benaco

Castello Scaligero

This atmospheric museum packs a wealth of history into the rough stone walls of a 14th-century castle. The fortification was built in 1338 as part of the Della Scala family's attempts to fend off the Venetian Republ…
Museum in Bardolino

Museo dell'Olio d'Oliva

Some 2km south of Bardolino in Cisano, the most impressive exhibits at this well-laid-out museum are the monster grape presses, some of which used mule power to drive them. Other displays chart the history of olive …
Church in Bardolino

Pieve di San Zeno

Flee the gelato and Aperol brigade for a pilgrimage to this ancient miniature church, concealed in a picturesquely shabby courtyard north of the main road. Dating from the 9th century, it's one of the finest pieces …
Castle in Malcesine

Castello Scaligero

From Via Capitanato winding lanes lead to the chalky-white Castello Scaligero. This late-6th-century fortress was built by the Franks and consolidated by the Della Scala family, who ruled Malcesine between 1277 and …
Museum in Bardolino

Museo del Vino

Just off the main lake road, the Museo del Vino is set within the Zeni winery and rarely has a museum smelt this good. Rich scents waft around displays of wicker grape baskets, cooper's tools, drying racks and gigan…
Seafood in Lazise

Alla Grotta

The resemblance of this harbourside restaurant to an aquarium is perfectly apt as the menu here offers almost exclusively seafood. Don't even think of asking for a lake-dweller to be grilled for you lunch – they sim…