Insider Tips - Lake Garda

  • © DuMont Photo Archive / Udo Bernhart

Our top insider tips for Lake Garda:


Homemade ice cream

There are two good reasons for stopping for an ice cream in the Gelateria Cento per Cento: to build up your reserves before climbing up to Malcesine castle and as a reward for coming down again. Fabrizio Bottesi’s ice cream is so good that even locals climb the path up a steep road to it. Via Castello 31.


Great cheese and wine at Osteria Santo Cielo

A small osteria (a place serving wine and simple food with a focus on local specialitites) frequented almost exclusively by young locals. You can get light dishes here, for example bruschetta or a cheese platter, but the extensive wine list is more notable. The Dutch owner, Hella, fell in love with Italy and stayed on because of the cuisine. Piazza Turazza 11 |  


Hiking with a difference

The 4 km-long (2½ mile) path from Torbole to Tempesta is quite an adventure. You’ll find yourself walking up and down seemingly never-ending metal steps along the rock face. This panoramic path with information boards, takes around three hours from Torbole to Tempesta. Although this is not a fixed-rope route, clambering up and down metal ladders and steps in the cliff face does demand a head for heights. The return journey can be done by bus if necessary. 


All-in-one shop

La Barchessa Arte: The trendy crowd is drawn to this desirable address in the Palazzo Rambaldi, which features a concept store, art gallery, designer shop and winebar - all four rolled into one. Via San Martino 28. 


Relaxed cycling tours

Relaxed cycling tours without map-reading problems! Cycling in the hilly area around Desenzano is pure bliss. You can pick up a brochure with GPS routes for cyclists from the tourist information office. GPS cycling tours (Itinerari con il GPS) can also be downloaded from: Bikes can be hired from Bikes Girelli, Via Annunciata 10 | Tel. 03 09 11 97 97.


Church with a view

The view of the lake from the church square in Albisano is stunning. It's pretty obvious why it has been named the ‘balcony of Lake Garda’ by the Italian poet Gabriele D’Annunzio. It is situated 2 km (1¼ mile) up from Torri del Benaco, clinging onto the ridge of Monte Baldo. Holiday-makers who like to do things in comfort can drive up here but those wanting to 'earn' such a magical view should go on foot. The footpath is marked just after the turning to Albisano. The short hike will take you 45 minutes – and is pretty steep. But then you’ll be gasping for breath anyway when you get to the top – the view from the terrace of Albisano parish church is breathtakingly beautiful.


Head in the clouds

Baita dei Forti is just a stone’s throw away from the cable-car station at the top of Monte Baldo where you can tuck into good wholesome fare. Dishes include the Trittico Baldo – a spicy trio of goulash, venison and mushroom ragout served with polenta with a baked cheese topping. Open daily | Tel. 04 57 40 03 19 | | Budget–Moderate

What a lot of people don’t know is that you can also stay the night here and enjoy a breathtaking view of the lake from one of the six rooms (Budget–Moderate). Cable-car daily 8am–5/6/7pm depending on the season | Return fare 18 euros, one-way 12 euros | Tel. 04 57 40 02 06 | 


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