Northern Italy is famous for many things, her lakes not least of all. As part-time residence of George Clooney, Lake Como is naturally the most popular, but Lake Garda, or Lago di Garda for the Italians, is the most beautiful and probably has the most to do.
Each lake has its own charm, but Garda Lake has the feeling of a real destination—somewhere you’d fly across the world to see.
Things to do on and around Lake Garda include touring castles, exploring a 2,000-year history from the Romans to the Fascists, endless hiking opportunities, the winner of the most beautiful small town in Italy, exceptional local wines, the biggest amusement park in Italy, and crystal clear waters for swimming.
A week wouldn’t be enough to finish exploring its magnificence. Garda Lake is about forty minutes from Verona, an hour and a half from Milan, and two hours from Venice, placing it on one of the most traveled sections of railway in Italy.
The must-see towns on Lago di Garda
Shaped like a femur bone, there are three different zones on Garda. The ball of the femur is home to the largest towns, and also major railway stations. The two shores of the lake narrow quite strongly as one drives north, and a number of terrifying mountain roads link many of the villages on the heights above.
The mountains above the western shore are one big national park, Parco dell’Alto Garda Bresciano, and at the very end of the lake, one exits the region of Lombardy and enters Trentino Alto Adige.
Between these three zones there are several points you’d kick yourself if you missed.