Territori

EAST LAKE GARDA and MONTE BALDO

Monte Baldo is a mountain range of immense fascination in terms of the landscape and natural features. Its distinctive ridge running north-south extends 42 km.

The highest peak, Cima Valdritta, reaches a height of 2218 metres above sea level. On the eastern side, sheer limestone walls  drop straight down into the valley of the River Adige; to the west it plunges into the lake, with  wooded slopes furrowed by deep ravines. It is one of the most spectacular natural environments in the entire Alps, a sort of panoramic terrace overlooking Lake Garda and offering all-round views of stunning beauty.  

A veritable paradise for numerous plant and animal species, it has been dubbed “the garden of Europe”. Due to its geographical location, it was never entirely submerged during the glaciations, becoming an area of refuge and differentiation, where numerous endemic species of flowers have developed (Monte Baldo is home to 43% of all species of flora in the entire Alps).  The eastern shore of the lake, known as the “Olive Riviera”, is also steeped in culture, history and traditions: Romanesque churches, Scaliger castles, Venetian palaces and fortifications erected to guard the inland villages.   

It is a land of fierce clashes and historic battles that are now re-enacted in costume. Numerous museums in the area contain exhibits bearing witness to these troubled times and will be staging a series of events in 2014 to mark the centenary of the start of the Great War.  The area is also renowned for fine wines, such as Bardolino DOC and Valdadige Terra dei Forti DOC.  

For  more details log on to www.lagodigardaveneto.com or  www.baldolessinia.it 

This area comprises the following towns: Brentino Belluno, Brenzone, Caprino Veronese, Costermano, Ferrara di Monte Baldo, Malcesine, Rivoli Veronese, San Zeno di Montagna and Torri del Benaco. 

North lake Garda and valle di Ledro

North Lake Garda and nearby Valle di Ledro offer stunning views and endless opportunities for outdoor activities, places of historical and cultural interest, and culinary specialities.  

Lake Ledro is one of prettiest and most unspoilt parts of the North Lake Garda area (Trentino). It is ideal for swimming, relaxing, fishing and water sports such as sailing and canoeing. Another lovely spot is Lake Tenno, which is renowned for its emerald-green waters.  A vast network of mountain paths and trails maintained by CAI-SAT (the Italian Alpine Club) enables visitors to discover Valle di Ledro and North Lake Garda on foot. They range from easy to difficult, extending from Lake Garda (65m a.s.l.) to Monte Cadria (2254m a.s.l.).  

The two areas are a veritable bikers’ paradise, with over 300 km of trails following forest roads, mule tracks, military roads and cycling tracks. Some are suitable for the experts, with difficult ascents and technical descents, others for families seeking a day out in the open air. Routes worth highlighting including one from Lake Ampola to Mt. Tremalzo, and the Garda Sarca Ring, which takes in all the towns in the North Garda area.  Here, sport is the main holiday attraction. Sailing and wind-surfing are very popular, and climbing enthusiasts can put their skills to the test on the numerous cliffs and rock faces in the area.  

Lake Ledro is also synonymous with history, or, to be more precise, prehistory. On the banks of the lake stand the remains of a pile-dwelling settlement dating back to the bronze age that has recently been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Pile-Dwelling Museum contains numerous implements that were used by the area’s first inhabitants, and the remains of the ancient pile village take you back to daily life as it was 4000 years ago. Valle di Ledro also has relics dating back to the Third War of Independence and the First World War.

The Garibaldi Museum and the Ossuary contain documents of great historical and cultural interest.  North Lake Garda offers a holiday full of interesting experiences, featuring art, architecture, ancient history and a past rich in culture:  the Rocca in Riva del Garda, currently the seat of the MAG (North Garda Museum), forts dating back to the First World War, historic towns – such as the medieval village of Canale di Tenno, one of Italy’s loveliest – Arco Castle, Drena Castle and much more besides. The climate here favours typical Mediterranean vegetation, such as holm-oaks, olive trees and cypresses, which flourish in this ideal habitat at the foot of the Brenta Dolomites.   

For  more details log on to www.vallediledro.com, www.gardatrentino.it, www.altogardaeledro.tn.it  

This area comprises the following towns: Arco, Drena, Dro, Ledro, Nago-Torbole, Riva del Garda and Tenno. 

The Sebino and Val Trompia

The area covered by the Gölem LAG takes in 27 towns, of which 18 come under the Valle Trompia Mountain Community and 9 under the Sebino Bresciano Mountain Community. This region is a sort of “natural hinge” between Franciacorta and Vallecamonica. 

The landscape here is highly varied, and includes typically lakeside features,  more Alpine traits with sheer cliffs plunging into the lake, and the hilly area of Franciacorta, one of the most important vine-growing areas in the Lombardy region. Thanks to the abundance of water, the area has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and the land has been farmed for centuries due to the favourable environmental and climatic features.

Lake Iseo (originally known as Sebino) also has numerous popular tourist resorts offering excellent hotel accommodation and delicious culinary specialities.   A list of the most important attractions cannot fail to include the Rock Engravings in Pisogne. Like the inhabitants further up Val Camonica, the people who lived in the countryside around Pisogne used to carve images in the rocks. Just south of the lake, on the border with Franciacorta, is the ancient Ome Spa, dating back to 1886.   

The imposing curved silhouette of Mt. Guglielmo marks the border between Lake Iseo and Valtrompia. Far from being inaccessible, it is a popular destination with hikers and offers interesting environmental features linked to its orographic and geomorphological structure, geological nature, and climatic conditions.   Upper Valtrompia has a lengthy iron-making tradition, where the Iron and Mines Road takes you back in time and space thanks to numerous relics of the valley’s manufacturing activities. Forges, furnaces, and mines with their tunnels and surface facilities are interesting places to visit here.   There are also two large nature parks – Parco del Mella and Parco delle Colline, both of which lie on the road linking Brescia with Valtrompia.  

For  more details log on to www.galgolem.org  

This area comprises the following towns: VALTROMPIA: Collio Valtrompia, Bovegno, Pezzaze, Marmentino, Irma, Tavernole sul Mella, Marcheno, Gardone Valtrompia, Sarezzo, Polaveno, Villa Carcina, Concesio, Nave, Bovezzo, Caino, Lodrino, Lumezzane and Brione; EAST LAKE ISEO: Iseo, Marone, Monte Isola, Monticelli Brusati, Ome, Pisogne, Sale Marasino, Sulzano and Zone. 

The high garda Brescia and Val Sabbia

Known as the ”land between the two lakes”, the Garda Valle Sabbia LAG covers the mountainous area between the north-western part of Lake Garda and Lake Idro. Most of the North Garda area is in the Alto Garda Bresciano Park, a place of contrasting yet fascinating features, ranging from the mild Mediterranean climate of the coast, where lemons and olives are grown, to breezy Alpine landscapes offering breathtaking vistas and an incredible vegetable and animal biodiversity.

This delightful area, with its sheer rocky cliffs, rows of terraces, network of trails and scenic routes taking in the valleys, mountains, woods and villages on the coasts and further inland, provides endless opportunities for recreation. The coastal strip is a highly popular international tourist resort, but anyone seeking to escape mass tourism can easily find unspoilt spots just a few miles inland is an entirely different rural and mountainous dimension.

For more details log on to www.cm-parcoaltogarda.bs.it, www.gal-gardavallesabbia.it or www.gardalombardia.com

This area comprises the following towns: Gardone Riviera, Gargnano, Limone sul Garda, Magasa, Salò, Tignale, Toscolano-Maderno, Tremosine sul Garda and Valvestino.

 

A valley with an interesting history, Valle Sabbia links the Po Plain with the so-called Judicarian (central-eastern) Alps and has been a major communication and trade route since ancient times. It is marked by the course of the River Chiese, which is important for the life and the economy of the whole area. North of Brescia the river flows into Lake Idro, a beautiful pre-Alpine basin lying 368 metres above sea level and surrounded by peaks rising to over 1000 metres.

Valle Sabbia has always been a place of excellence in production, particularly iron and steel making, and boasts a rich archaeological and industrial heritage. Thanks to its unspoilt nature, lovely landscape and local art and traditions, the valley has much to offer tourists. Beautiful villages, hamlets and rural architecture tell the story of the people and how much they love living in an enchanting area, with no lack of woods, water and ancient traditions.

For more details log on to www.vallesabbia.info; www.gal-gardavalsabbia.it

This area comprises the following towns: Agnosine, Anfo*, Bagolino*, Barghe, Bione, Capovalle*, Casto*, Gavardo, Idro*, Lavenone*, Mura*, Odolo, Paitone, Pertica Bassa*, Pertica Alta*, Preseglie, Provaglio Valsabbia*, Roè Volciano, Sabbio Chiese, Serle, Treviso Bresciano*, Vestone*, Villanuova sul Clisi and Vobarno. 

*also belongs to the Garda Valsabbia LAG

The hills moreniche of Garda

The Moraine Hills of Lake Garda LAG coincides with the part of the Garda Moraine Amphitheatre in the province of Mantua. These hills, which were formed by the Pleistocene glaciers, are now carpeted in vines and olive trees.

This area steeped in history and culture is easy for the whole family to explore by bike, following one of the many cycle tracks in the gently rolling hills or along the banks of the river Mincio. It took centuries of hard work to conquer this area and tame its   unruly and rebellious nature. The (relatively recent) advent of irrigation, in particular, has modified virtually the entire appearance of the hilly area, making it lush and green even in the dry season.

The landscape today is marked by numerous waterways.   This area acts as a link between the plain to the south and Lake Garda, with which it has established important relations in terms of production and tourism. Despite the large numbers of tourists who flock here from all over the world, the Moraine Hills have preserved their original features and form part of the environmental system of the nearby Mincio Nature Park. Cypress trees are among the most characteristic elements, marking the hilly ridge and silhouetted against the sky. They also form small circles known as roccoli, where wild birds were once trapped. The Gonzagas introduced almond trees to the area, once a common site, though all that remain now are a few large solitary specimens. Peach trees, survivors of a past tradition, are also grown here (mainly in Solferino and Cavriana) to boost business income.    

Local food specialities and wines undoubtedly rank among the area’s products of excellence. Salami, delicious hams and Grana Padano, a globally renowned hard cheese, are all produced here, in addition to DOC wines. One of the best known freshly-made pasta dishes is capunsèl from North Mantua, the uniqueness of which has been recognised by the Lombardy Regional Authority. The area is also renowned for its confectionery products, still made using traditional recipes, such as fragrant biscuits, to which spelt is sometimes added, the famous San Biagio cake from Cavriana, which contains ground almonds and has become a popular desert, and the San Luigi Ring, a speciality from Castiglione delle Stiviere. 

These places also boast an interesting past: the Moraine Hills of Lake Garda witnessed the Battles of the Italian Risorgimento, which paved the way for the Unification of Italy. A date to remember is 24th June 1859, during the Second War of Independence, when the bloodiest battle that proved decisive for the fate of the war was fought in Solferino and San Martino. It was here that Henry Dunant, after witnessing the heroic efforts of the local people as they tended the wounded on both sides, came up with the idea that led to the founding of the International Red Cross, to which a museum, the only one of its kind, is dedicated in Castiglione delle Stiviere. 

For  more details log on to www.collinemoreniche.it or  www.galcollinemorenichedelgarda.it  

This area comprises the following towns: Castiglione delle Stiviere, Cavriana, Monzambano, Ponti sul Mincio, Solferino and Volta Mantovana.  

EAST LAKE GARDA and MONTE BALDO
North lake Garda and valle di Ledro
The Sebino and Val Trompia
The high garda Brescia and Val Sabbia
The hills moreniche of Garda