Lake Garda is somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit; the natural beauty and authentic Italian ambience the area is so famous for has attracted me since my grandparents regaled me with stories of their holidays there years ago. I’ve since compiled a list of all the highlights I want to see when I find the right Lake Garda holiday deal - read on to find out more.
Now, I’m no history buff, but I love castles, and the Scaliger Castle of Torri del Benaco is simply stunning. Built in 1383, the fortress isn’t particularly big, and a fair bit has been pulled down over the years. Despite this, what remains is well-preserved and evokes a medieval sort of mystery that I’d love to experience firsthand.
According to reports, the castle is cheap to enter, and you can witness some superb views of the moat, lake and surroundings if you’re willing to climb to the top of the tower. There’s also a fascinating museum to explore, full of old implements like olive presses and fishing tackle.
The beautiful yet unusual hillside estate of Vittoriale was once the home of writer Gabriele d’Annunzio, who was famous not only for his literature, but also for his fascist associations. The writer lived at the estate until 1938.
Make your way through the building and gardens to take a look at the various sections, which include an amphitheatre, a mausoleum and a museum, to find out more about the life and works of the Italian personality.
Plenty of adults enjoy thrilling theme park rides and indulging your inner child is nothing to be ashamed of. The amusement park Gardaland is the perfect place in which to do this, as the theme park is home to all manner of enjoyable rides, including a number of rollercoasters.
There’s also an aquarium here, and you can watch a dolphin show to see how the gentle creatures live and communicate, while other shows include displays of magic and balloon modelling.
The ecosystem at Marroche is particularly special because it’s here you can take a look at footprints that date back millions of years, thought to have been left by dinosaurs. The calcified rock that comprises much of the local landscape means spotting the footprints is tricky, but if you take a tour your guide will point them out to you.
It is thought that one of the footprints was left by a carnivore and the other by a herbivore measuring between six and seven metres tall.
Retreat of San Paolo
The area surrounding Lake Garda is dotted with churches both old and new, but one of the oldest and most interesting of the local religious structures is the Retreat of San Paolo, which is built into a cliff face on the road to Prabi. The simple building was once occupied by hermits and the consecration of the altar here was mentioned in the late 1100s.
Pay a visit and you’ll be able to admire the simple structure, which consists of just a couple of rooms and an underlying space. Make sure you catch a glimpse of the ancient frescoes that cover the walls of the hall, although you might want to arrange your visit in advance as no-one is allowed to enter unless on a guided visit.