Lay of the Land
Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake at 30 miles long and located halfway between Venice and Milan, is also one of its most picturesque. With craggy precipices rising out of the waters and lush plants and flowers edging the shores, the freshwater lake draws visitors seeking dramatic landscapes, quaint waterfront villages, daredevil watersports and lake swimming, which is not recommended at neighboring Lake Como.
Lake Garda’s three main shores each have a unique charm. The West Bank is home to scenic towns such as the historic Salò, beautiful Sirmione, mountainous Gargnano (home to the waterfront Villa Feltrinelli) and the lavish grandeur of the Gardone Riviera. The East Bank, with its olive groves and enormous mountain ridge, is home to one of Garda’s prettiest towns, Malcesine, with cove-like beaches, winding narrow streets and a cable car that accesses one of the highest points surrounding the lake. The North Bank abuts the Alps and the region’s strong winds make it ideal for windsurfing and sailing.