Covering 370 sq km, Lake Garda is the largest of the Italian lakes, straddling the border between three regions: the Lombard plains to the west, Alpine Trentino Alto-Adige to the north and the rolling hills of the Veneto to the east. Look around and you’ll be surprised to see a Mediterranean landscape of vineyards, olive groves and citrus orchards that is thanks to the lake's uniquely mild microclimate.
Like the best Italian lunch, exploring this region can't be rushed. You’ll want to linger in Sirmione’s thermal pools, amble around Roman ruins and ferry-hop between villages. Then you might consider touring vineyards that feature in many sommeliers' top 10s: Valpolicella, Soave and Bardolino. Further south, in incurably romantic Verona, sit beneath the stars and enjoy world-class opera; and, in Mantua, feast on Renaissance frescoes. Uncork it, savour it, then come back for more.