Welcome to Gardone Riviera
Once Lake Garda's most prestigious corner, Gardone is flush with belle-époque hotels, opulent villas and extravagant gardens. They tumble down the hillside from the historic centre, Gardone Sopra, complete with tiny chapel and piazza, to the cobbled lungolago (lake front) of Gardone Sotto, which is lined with cafes and other tourist paraphernalia. Although the haute glamour of Gardone’s 19th-century heyday is long gone it is a pleasant enough place for a stroll and drink, although you’ll probably want to base yourself elsewhere on the lake.
An hour of so uphill from Gardone is the pretty mountain village of San Michele from where you can pick up a number of panoramic walking trails. Ask at the tourist office in Gardone Sotto for details.