Italy’s largest lake has been attracting visitors to its picturesque shores since Roman times, and no wonder! As the area is so large, it is important to choose a location that suits your holiday style. I would recommend Gardone Riviera for budding naturalists – the botanical garden of Lake Garda.
Located on the western shore of the lake, this beautiful resort in Lombardy boasts a fascinating array of plant life, with Mediterranean, Central European and sub-tropical flora in its extensive parks and gardens. I recently had a client who gushed about her morning walks along the waterfront boulevard, watching as the impossibly blue water lapped against the shore.
Along with uncovering the mainland’s natural gems, a visit to Gardone Riviera isn’t complete without taking a short ferry ride to Isola del Garda, whose extensive history and splendour are sure to impress you. The island has been populated since the Roman Age, serving as a burial ground, a monastery and even as a pirate lair over the centuries. Today, the island is home to a residential villa and awe-inspiring gardens, which are open to the public. Why not spend a few hours soaking up its beauty on a serene stroll?
Should you get a bit peckish after exploring the area, you’re in for another treat: the wealth of Italian restaurants in Gardone Riviera – many with waterside tables – will tempt you with one mouth-watering menu after another. From tasty risotto to divine pizza, all served with a side of Italian hospitality, you’ll be spoilt for choice. During my visit, I even found myself taking more walks than intended so that I could continue indulging my taste buds… but I couldn’t have been happier to explore this picturesque lake.
Our Recommended Hotel
While Gardone Riviera’s accommodation is just as impressive as its landscape and gastronomy, one hotel makes the leap from remarkable to downright magnificent. Of course I’m talking about the world-famous Grand Hotel Gardone, which was established in 1884. Over the years it’s hosted its fair share of celebrities, including Winston Churchill. Despite the fact that the Prime Minister was notoriously critical, he had nothing but high praise for this elegant institution, which speaks to its outstanding location and facilities.
Indeed, my clients always praise the hotel’s private lakeside promenade, its piano bar Winnies (which was Churchill’s favourite), swimming pool and hot tub. What’s more, its spacious rooms feature beautiful lakeside views. Your everyday life will feel like it’s thousands of miles away, especially after you’ve indulged your tasted buds at the hotel’s restaurant.