Pieve di San Zeno

Lake Garda

There's old and there's...old. Hemmed in by houses and guarded by an agreeably shabby courtyard north of the main road, this tiny church, dating from the 9th century, is one of the finest pieces of Carolingian architecture to have survived in northern Italy. Its almost windowless form and moody interior give visitors a good impression of how early-Christian worship must have felt.

The original painted decoration is still visible in places and a couple of the interior columns were pillaged from earlier Roman buildings.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Lake Garda attractions

1. Museo del Vino

0.79 MILES

Just off the main lake road and walkable from town, the Museo del Vino is set within the Zeni Winery, and rarely has a museum smelt this good. Rich scents…

2. Museo dell'Olio d'Oliva

1.69 MILES

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…

3. Market

2.11 MILES

It's worth timing a visit to Garda to coincide with its exuberant Friday market, one of the biggest on the lake's eastern bank. Look out for Lake Garda…

4. Promenade

2.91 MILES

Paved in waves of marble and brick, Lazise's promenade is the best on this side of Lake Garda. Grab an ice cream, feed the swans and lap up those views.

5. Chiesa di San Nicolò

3.01 MILES

The Romanesque Church of Saint Nick, the patron of fishermen, sits squat by the lapping harbour as it has done since the 11th century. Inside lurk the…

6. Rocca Scaligera

3.07 MILES

The five towers of the privately owned Rocca Scaligera rise to the south of the harbour – look out for the huge hole in the north wall of its main tower,…

7. Punta San Vigilio

3.08 MILES

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…

8. Parco Baia delle Sirene

3.11 MILES

The privately owned Parco Baia delle Sirene rents sun loungers beneath the trees on Punta San Vigilio's beach. Entry is free at sunset.