Lake Garda Italy

Desenzano del Garda

Welcome to Lake Garda Italy!

Here you can get useful travel information for Northern Italy. This travel guide is built with Desenzano del Garda, Lake Garda Italy, as the base and it shows you daytrips you can take from there.

Lake Garda Italy

Desenzano del Garda

Day trips Italy

Padova (Padua)

Located just over 120km from Desenzano, Padova is said to be one of northern Italy’s prettiest towns, but it has some stiff competition! Padova stands on the Bacchiglione River between Verona and Venice. Shakespeare fans will already know that this town is the setting for ‘The Taming of the Shrew’. It is also home to some of the best-preserved Giotto frescoes, arcade-lined streets, impressive piazzas and a famous university. Founded in 1222 the University of Padova cites Galileo as one of its former faculty. Galileo’s desk is still in the original anatomy theatre which can be seen by prior arrangement. The university also has an interesting 16th century botanical garden.

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Start your walking tour at the landmark Basilica di Sant’Antonio. This amazing Byzantine edifice is topped with many domes, towers and cupolas. Around the altar are Donatello’s bronze reliefs of Sant’ Antonio’s life, dating back to 1444. Other gems to see are the Chiesa and Museo degli Eremitani, both packed with priceless art and historic artifacts including two frescoes by Mantegna.

Reservations are necessary to see the Cappella degli Scrovegni, a must-see 14th century building where Giotto’s 38-panel fresco covers the wall from floor to ceiling. It depicts the biblical story of the lives of Mary and Joseph. Call 049-202-0020 at least 24-hours in advance to book to see this amazing restored work of art. Still on the art theme, Titian’s first known works can be seen here in Padova too, in the Scuola del Santo. The 16th century Duomo which was designed in part by Michelangelo and the accompanying Baptistery both have some wonderful frescoes.

Whilst exploring Padova you will come to the unusual elliptical shaped Prato della Valle, one of the largest open spaces in Europe. The surrounding canal is lined with statues of many famous politicians, artists and philosophers.

Further out of town a totally different experience can be enjoyed with a soak in the warm waters of the Terme Euganei Spa. The regional park nearby has many well-marked hiking trails and bike routes through the oak and chestnut forests, passing vineyards, medieval fortresses, monasteries and villas which will complete this delightful day out.

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