Colourful city, beautiful green lake, aperitivo, pasta and gelato – perfect combination for amazing holidays in Italy. This past summer we found la dolce vita when we spent a week in Trento and around Lake Garda. I love holidays where I can combine exploring a city and then relax at the beach.
Trento is great for a city break, it has a lot of interesting sites but you can see it all in two days. And even in August, in the top of tourist season, there are not a lot of tourists. Lake Garda on the other hand, is the biggest and one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy with amazing clear water and thus very popular with tourists. But if you stay in one of the smaller and less known villages, you can avoid crowds at the beach. Read on to find out which picturesque Italian village we stayed at.
This summer adventure was special also because it was our babymoon – our last vacation before becoming parents. 😉
What to see and do in Trento?
Ride a cable car up to Sardagna (Trento Alta) for an amazing view of the city and surrounding hills from Panorama Busa Degli Orsi.
Visit the castle Buonconsiglio, walk around its museum to learn more about its history dating back to the 13th century and admire its beautiful architecture. My favourite was the Venetian Gothic Loggia and Loggia del Cortile dei Leoni. Take also time to relax in enjoy in the amazing garden – a green oasis in the center of a busy city.
Stroll the colourful streets in the city center: visit the main square Piazza Duomo where you can admire Cattedrale di San Vigilio, Palazzo Pretorio with Torre Civica and Neptune Fontain. Walk Via Rodolfo Belenzani, stop at Santa Maria Maggiore church, go for a coffee at Piazza di Fiera and look for the city’s towers: Tromba Tower, Torre Verde and Torre Vanga.
Science museum of Trento MUSE looks absolutely interesting. Unfortunately, we could not visit it, as it was fully booked for the whole duration of our stay in the city. But you can always visit the garden in front of the museum, which is free, and get to know the typical fruits, vegetable and other plants from this part of Italy. Next to the museum you can visit Albere Palace.
Take a walk along Adige river that flows through the city, admire the St. Apollinare Church and visit interesting gallery in the Piedicastello Tunnel.
What more is there to do in Trento?
We wanted to visit also the gardens Giardino dei Ciucioi (we still got a lovely view of them from the other side of the river) and Orrido di Ponte Alto gorge, but they were both closed on the days we were in Trento, so do check out their timetable before you visit. I would also love to visit the wineries around Trento and do some wine tasting, but I was pregnant when we visited, so we skipped this activity on this visit. However, I did buy myself a bottle of their typical red wine and can’t wait to try it.
Nearby Trento: Lago di Toblino
On our way from Trento to Lake Garda we stopped at Lake Toblino. It’s a charming lake with castle and a nice walking path along the shore.
How to spend time around Lake Garda?
We spent three and a half days in the picturesque village of San Felice del Benaco, enjoyed Italian cuisine and beach time at the local beach. Our days started with delicious breakfast (send me an e-mail if you want information about our cute B&B), then we walked to the beach where we found an amazing spot below a tree at the wooden pier. We enjoyed the sun, refreshed in beautiful lake water, read books, watched boats, drank mocktails and snacked in a nearby bar. In the evenings we tried out restaurants in the village. Although it was the beginning of August, when Italians have their annual holidays, there were not a lot of people on the beach. But for dinners it is still better to have a reservation to be sure to get a table.
However, it was another story regarding crowds in the more popular spots along the Lake Garda. There were a lot of people, but charming towns are still worth seeing. We visited:
Beside walking the main streets of the city, do also take a path along the olive trees up to the medieval castle for a great view of the town, surrounding landscape and a glimpse of the Lake Garda.
Riva del Garda
If you like charming towns with colourful streets and squares, Riva del Garda is a place for you. Even better is eating pasta bolognaise for lunch with a view of the lake.
Panoramic point Chiesa di San Fermo
Nice spot with a beautiful view of the lake and island Isola del Garda. You can also visit the island and its gardens.
Peschiera del Garda
This picturesque town is where the Lake Garda water flows in the Mincio river, so here you can find many channels. You can enter the town via one of the two old main gates Porta Brescia or Porta Verona (or through Ponte Salvo D’Acquisto). Then walk around colourful streets, visit the Fortress and pass the most famous bridge Ponte dei Voltoni.
Which other cities are worth visiting around Lake Garda?
With more time I would also stop at Sirmione, Desenzano del Garda, Malcesine, Bardolino and Limone Sur Garda.
Visited: August 2021