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

Things to Do in Bolzano

Things to Do in Bolzano Italy

Just one hour’s drive north of Lake Garda is the delightful town of Bolzano. Once here there are many attractions for visitors to enjoy including churches, frescoes, architecture, museums, monuments, castles and a Benedictine Abbey. Here are some not-to-be missed things to do in Bolzano.

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Mareccio Castle

This impressive castle on the Via Claudia de’Medici dates back to the early 13th century. In 1447 it was bought by the Romer family. The courtyard has a loggia and four Renaissance corner towers which were added more recently, in the 16th century. The building has been sympathetically restored and is now used for various local exhibitions and concerts. Venture inside and see the 1565 frescoes, some of which show the emblems of the 16th century Tyrolean families. The castle is now surrounded by fields of vines which are used to produce the local wine.

Piazza delle Erbe

The long narrow town square known as the Piazza delle Erbe was founded in 1277. The original gates and walls of the town were eventually taken down and the moat was filled in on the orders of the Count Mainardo. Today the Neptune fountain can be seen here with a statue of Neptune, god of the seas with his trident and bronze shells. During the 18th century a hotel on the square was visited by Goethe and by Emperor Josef II.

Roncolo Castle

This 13th century castle today houses a trattoria restaurant but visitors can still see the restored frescoes depicting knights jousting, tournments, ladies of the court, hunting scenes and animals. The castle was once the summer palace of the Vintler family until it fell into disrepair. It was restored by Austrian Francis Joseph who then gifted it to the town in 1893.

Via dei Portici

Along the Via dei Portici are some delightful 16th to 19th century Gothic merchants’ houses. The bow windows add to the charm of the architecture. German merchants generally lived on the south side and Italian merchants lived on the north side of the street. Look for the apothecaries who still trade here at number 17 and number 46. They are well known for their herbal teas, essences and antique equipment.

Victory Monument

The magnificent Victory Monument was designed to commemorate the victory of the Italian army over Austria in World War 1 and was erected on the orders of Mussolini. It was inaugurated in 1928 by King Vittorio Emanuele III but it was unpopular with the German-speaking people in the province and continues to be fenced off to avoid vandalism. The columns of this Victory Gate are decorated with sculptures and busts of local heroes.