Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy and it is characterized by the typical Mediterranean weather: here you can find olive trees, orange trees, agave and palms. Now a popular holiday destination, tourism by lake Garda dates back to the XIX century, when Goethe chose Torbole, where the ancient path known as eastern Gardesana starts, for a summery stop. This route covers the shore of the lake dominated by the Baldo mountainous chain, considered a botanical garden. Going south, you find Malcesine, and its majestic medieval castle and city hall, the headquarter for Venetian captains back in time. Malcesine is now the starting point for the scenic funicular way that leads up to the top of Monte Baldo. You then meet Brenzone, with its crystal-clear water, and Torri del Benaco, suggestive village of fishermen, dearly loved by the poet Poliziano. The promontory of Punta San Vigilio, already chosen by Laurence Oliver and the German Poet Otto Taube, then follows and after that Garda. The ancient village that gives its name to the lake, lies down in a gulf, now called “La Rocca”, which is connected to the history of Lombardic sovereigns and the imprisonment of Adelaide, and king Lotario’s widow. Following up, you can find Bardolino, with its impressive city walls from the Scala period, churches, parks and villas from the Venetian age. Here you can admire Villa Guerrieri – Rizzardi, dating back to the XVII century, with its beautiful garden and the ruins of an ancient castle, or villa Gianfilippi – Campostrini, built in 1541, where Tzar Alexander I of Russia and Ferdinand IV of Naples sojourned. You can also find many more, such as Villa Bottagisio and Villa Marzan in Cisano, and Villa Betteloni in Calmasino. Leaving Bardolino, now well-known for its wines, you then meet the ancient borgo of Lazise, where finds from the Bronze Age alongside with the suggestive perimeter of the city walls are still visible. Last, Peschiera with its ancient and majestic fortress, present in Dante’s works, for its role in crucial battles and sieges in all historical eras. In Peschiera the so called Serenissima highway meet the railway line that connect Milano to Venezia. This area follows the river Mincio, which back in the past the Latin poet Catullo sailed with its “faselus”, going towards the beautiful Mantuan plain, which ispired Virgilio’s poems. Here, the lake joins the river with amazing naturalistic path known as Passeggiata Naturalistica dell’Alto Mincio. Various and idverse are the sport activities you can try by the lake. Canoing, kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing as well, thanks to the wids created by the mountains that surround the lake. Among the various typical products produced by the lake, you can try DOP olive oil and many renowned wines, such as Bardolino Chiaretto DOC, but also lemons, oranges, limes, mandarins and bergamots.
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