One of the jewels of the lake is the town of Garda, originally named after the Lombard word “Warda” meaning “guard“. Located halfway between Torri del Benaco and Bardolino, the town has about 4,000 inhabitants and during the summer, the number almost doubles thanks to the many tourists passing through.
This small town has very ancient origins, having been at the center of several invasions including those of the Lombards, Visigoths, and Franks. The castle that stood not far away was built in the year 1000 and was then reinforced and expanded over the years to increase its ability, precisely, to guard the territory.
The historic center
Garda is a small town and its historic center is also small, in which one can recognize the ancient dominion of the Republic of Venice in its architecture. Walking through the alleys, you can see various buildings such as Villa Albertini, Palazzo dei Capitani, and many others.
Chiostro della Pieve
What to see in Garda is certainly a question whose answer, however, can be very simple: the Chiostro della Pieve is one of them. Almost destroyed by an earthquake in 1117, this cloister was also a support for the Hospital of Brescia where patients of the time were sent starting from the 1500s.
In the following decades, the Chiostro della Pieve was renovated, giving it the appearance that can be admired live today.
Rocca di Garda
Certainly the symbol of this small village, the Rocca di Garda overlooks it and gives one of the most beautiful views of the entire lake territory. While many believe that the Rocca is a building, monument or palace, it is actually a mountainous relief like the Rocca of Manerba.
The Rocca di Garda is located between the homonymous village and Bardolino and historically was the point from which the lower part of the lake was observed, so much so that a fortress was built there which was eventually demolished over time. You can reach the Rocca on foot starting from the center of Garda in a path that winds for a total of about 5 km where you can also visit the hermitage of San Giorgio.
The lakeside promenade
When talking about the Veronese coast, its beauty in terms of walkability and accessibility must always be taken into account. The lakeside promenade of Garda should not be considered as a single part but rather an important part of the path that starts from here and leads up to Peschiera del Garda (actually you can go even further to Mantua) passing through Bardolino, Lazise and Castelnuovo.
Punta San Vigilio
It is certainly the point of reference of the eastern coast of Lake Garda and a must-see if you are in the area. I talk more about it in a dedicated article (click here) but in this small peninsula, which essentially separates lower Garda from upper Garda, you can admire the local villas, the park of the Bay of Sirens, and the magnificent beaches, perhaps the most beautiful on the entire Lake Garda.
Many important figures in recent history have passed through this area, such as Sir Winston Churchill (who was a true lover of the lake), Prince Charles of England, the King of Naples, and many others.