Villages and fortresses of Lake Garda aboard a vintage car
Time requeted: 2 days
A route that develops in the south west part of Lake Garda, touching the Morainic Hills and the Valtenesi, lands full of artistic testimonials, delicious oils and fine wines such as Lugana or Garda Classico.
It starts from the famous Desenzano with its characteristic lake promenade continuing towards Solferino, where it is worth visiting the "Spia d’Italia", the tower overlooking the Pianura Padana and the Morainic Hills. Near the tower a monument dedicated to the Red Cross who was born here and the Church-Ossuary dedicated to the heroes of the Risorgimento.
We are moving now direction Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio.
At the entrance of Borghetto we meet the magnificent Visconti Bridge, where you can park for walking around the delightful and romantic village situated right on the river Mincio. From Borghetto, by foot, you can take a walk along the Mincio river or climb towards the beautiful Medieval Castle of Valeggio. Always on Valeggio sul Mincio it definitely worth visiting the fabulous Park Garden Sigurtà, one of the most beautiful gardens in the world.
We get back on our vintage spider and move into Monzambano following the road along the river Mincio. A quick visit to the castle and then continue to one of the most beautiful towns in Italy, that is Castellaro Lagusello, small medieval town in the province of Mantua.
Passing through Pozzolengo, where it is worth visiting the tiny village surrounded by the walls of the castle, you arrive to San Martino della Battaglia that guests the magnificent Tower, considered the symbol of the Risorgimento and it is also an amazing observation point to Lake Garda and the whole territory surrounding.
Sunset is the perfect time to get into the romantic Sirmione and the old town with its castle and the "Grotte di Catullo". Enjoy dinner in one of the typical restaurant, a romantic bath in the hot thermal waters of Sirmione and you are ready to spend the night in a friendly and peaceful villa inland from Desenzano, excellent starting point for the next day.
lWe start the second day driving to the nearby Padenghe del Garda, that worth a quick visit to the little port and then up to the high country where we find the medieval castel and an amazing observation view point all over the south lake.
We move then to Moniga, with its castle and visit the church of “Madonna della Neve”, small but charming sacred building of the '300.
Next stop Manerba del Garda, with the remains of the ancient castle and the impressive fortress.
Along the lake we come to San Felice del Benaco from where we can visit the “Isola del Garda”.
We move further north for visiting Salò, the ancient capital of the lake. A few km from Salò we meet Gardone Riviera with the famous Italian Vittoriale, home of Gabriele D'Annunzio, and a lovely botanical garden. Continuing up on direction of “Vittoriare”, we face a beautiful road full of curves and hairpin turns with breathtaking sights.
We return on the “Gardesana”, south direction, where we can stop to buy delicious oli and great famous wines. We pass Puegnago, on a gentle hill overlooking the Garda.
To visit, especially in summer, the lakes of Sovenigo, where in July and August bloom lotus flowers and water lilies.
Then continue to Polpenazze, country whose core is surrounded by the remains from the medieval castle.
In the top of the village, hidden by cypresses, we find the delightful little church of San Pietro in Lucone with its frescoes of the XV century and a beautiful view of the Garda.
Next stop Soiano del Lago where we can visit the remains of the ancient castle.
The church of Michael the Archangel, was built in the '600 and here we view interesting paintings made by Celesti and Bertanza.
The tour continues with a visit to the hidden and little known Castel Drugolo, of XIV century, perfectly preserved that reminds the Castle of San Giorgio di Mantova.
Before arriving in Lonato it is a must visit the fraction of Maguzzano and its “Abbazia Benedettina”.
To Lonato worth a visit to the fortress, perfectly preserved, that offer also an excellent view of the lake.
The tour ends with a return to Desenzano. Park the spider, you sit next to the harbor lighthouse to watch the sun set along the roads that have designed our day.