The western side of Lake Garda belongs to the region called Lombardia; you can reach the fascinating villages of this coast by train, with a boat trip or through highways.
First of all, Salò, is a small town of 10.000 inhabitants and it was considered the Capital of Italian Social Republic, between’ 43 and ’45. The famous lake bank, called Lungolago Zanardelli, has been inaugurated only in ‘900 and it shows the famous twenty ‘targhe’ explaining the origin and the history of some local parts of the village, also known as ‘contrade’. If the weather is too hot, you can take a break in Duomo S.Maria, admiring the ceiling with its frescos; in particular you will be moved by the’ best crucifix’, as stated by the artist Mantegna. In fact, this monument is a very important building for architecture, as it represents the passage from the Gotic to Renaissance period. You can learn more about Italian history during our Walking Tour. However, after having enjoyed a pleasant walk along the lake bank or in Duomo square, you will certaintly pass by Palazzo della Magnifica. Here again the art has a central role, from the symbol of Venice, the Golden Lion to the headstones of Italian Reign.
Then, if you want to see something very unique, a stop in Gardone Riviera is totally suggested. In this town a roman amphitheatre is still preserved and it is located in D’Annunzio house, which was built in ‘600. Nowdays during the summer many live shows are set up, even with International artists. As everything is surrounded by green trees and spectacular gardens, a magical scenary is recreated. Finally, by entering in the botanic garden Hruska and Villa Alba you can also explore the local mediterrean plants and some sub-tropical vegetation.
Last but not the least, on the way to Brescia, there is a tiny colourful village called Limone. Till 1932 this village has been quiet isolated and reachable only from the south. Built as a fisherman village and agrumes cultivators centre, Limone has become one of the most visited town on this side of the lake. Maybe it is best to arrive by boat, as the parking areas are usually quiet expensive and busy. Even if it is generally known because of the cultivation of lemons, its origin might comes from the latin name ‘limen’ which means border. However, coming from the water you can easily admire the old Limonaie, stone and wooden greenhouses that used to protect the agrumes cultivation during the coldests winters.
As quoted in the stories of Goethe, this village is very different from those of the eastern side of Veneto region, and it is quiet magical getting lost into its narrow roads surrounded by flowery balconies or little wooden windows. Some spectacular views to the lake can be also enjoyed from the Church Chiesa di San Rocco; this is not the main one but sometimes the hidden places can be quiet more special. For tasting some traditional flavours and typical dishes, instead, it is a good choice to visit Limone during Festa di Sapori Antichi; during this Fair you can discover the real spirit of the charming little lake town with food itineraries and live music shows.