Relaxed Touring with a Local

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About the Lake Garda Region

 

Garda, the largest of the Italian lakes, spans the regions of Lombardy on it’s western shores, Veneto to the east and Trentino at the top of the lake.

Although carved out of the limestone rock by glacial action, the lake lies only 65 metres above sea level and is like a fragment of the Mediterranean transferred to the shadow of the Dolomites. The northern end of the lake has a dramatic, almost fjord-like appearance on the western shoreline, while to the east the mass of Monte Baldo (known as The Garden of Europe) runs down alongside the lake. The southern end of Lake Garda has a flatter, more gentle landscape. Nearby is the beautiful city of Verona, made famous as the setting for “Romeo & Juliet”. Verona is second only to Rome for the number of historical monuments found within the city. One of these, L’Arena, built in AD30, is the largest open- air lyrical theatre in the world and famous for it’s summer opera season.

Climate

It has a mild sunny climate with average temperatures of mid to high twenties from May to September with daily sunshine of 11-12 hours per day.

History

Over the centuries, this region has been under the influence or direct rule of many foreign powers, from Germanic tribes to Napoleon, Italian feudal lords to Spanish kings, and it wasn’t until the end of WW1 and the departure of the Austrians that the region finally came under the control of a unified Italy. Even today the local dialect spoken here has noticeable Spanish and French influence. The lakeside town of Salo’ was set up in 1943 as a Nazi “puppet republic”, where the disgraced Mussolini made his last stand, after fleeing Rome as his fascist state began to collapse. Five hundred years earlier Gasparo Bertolotti was born here. Famous as a maker of stringed instruments, he is regarded as the inventor of the violin. 

Local Produce

The eastern shore of Lake Garda has long been known as “the Riviera of Olives” with wide scale commercial olive cultivation. It is the northern most area in Europe for this and the olive oil from here is known for it’s light, fruity and non-acidic flavour.

The southern end of the lake is home to the wine making areas of Bardolino and Valpolicella, best known for their reds; the light Chiaretto, the rich Amarone, and the sweet Recioto. The northern Trentino area is well known for it’s distinctive dry whites.

Our Hotel

We have personally selected Hotel Meridiana as our hotel in Malcesine. It is a small, family run, boutique style hotel, with a lovely private courtyard garden, perfect for relaxing over a coffee or drink at the end of your day. It is centrally located, only a few minutes walk to the historic quarter and the lakes edge.

Did you know

The dramatic opening car chase sequence in the James Bond movie “Quantum of Solace” was filmed through the gallerias and twisting curves of the cliffside road on the northern shores of Lake Garda.

Cassone is the location of the river Aril, officially "Italy's shortest river", with a length of only 175m.

Punto Veleno - one of the worlds steepest bike races is held in September every year from Castello to Prada. Rises 1080m over a 8km distance. This famous race is open to both MTB and road racing cycles. 

Red Bull world cliff diving world championships take place from the Castle walls of Malcesine  27m down into the lake.