Lago di Garda, or Lake Garda, is the largest Italian lake which together with Lake Como is among the most luxurious and desirable destinations of this beautiful country. It has a rich history starting from the Romans (or even earlier!) when it was called Lake Benacus.
We were lucky to spend some time at Lefay Resort & SPA Lago di Garda just a short drive from Gargnano – scroll down to see the details of our trip to the heart of Riviera dei Limoni!
Lefay Resort & SPA Lago di Garda near Gargnano
We visited Lefay Resort & SPA Lago di Garda after we’ve already spent some time at the sister hotel in Dolomiti (learn about Pinzolo and the Dolomites here). The hotels had two contrasting vibes: although both follow the concept of a hotel immersing into nature, the Dolomites one feels much more modern, lush and fresh than the Garda one (note: the Garda one has just undergone a massive upgrade since our visit).
Nevertheless, our stay was really pleasant. The SPA section of the hotel was my main focus of interest, and I couldn’t wish for more with all the pools, wellness programs and professional treatments, saunas and great body and hair care products of their own. The hotel also has a big territory divided into various itineraries requiring different levels of physical activity.
Food was also of the highest level. Our dinner at La Grande Limonaia, the main restaurant of the hotel, was an evening to remember indeed. The breakfasts were served at the same space with a view over the pools and the lake itself.
The only downside for me was the location in terms of the altitude because the hotel sits on the hill (or is this considered a small mountain?) As a person who loves walking I was a bit disappointed that the only reasonable way to go down was a serpentine ride designed for cars only albeit a really short one.
Gargnano sul Garda
Gargnano is a small town on Riviera dei Limoni of Lake Garda located at the Parco Alto Garda Bresciano in the PreAlps. You can spot the cannon balls all over the outer walls of some buildings in the port – they have been left there since 1866 when Austrians attacked town during the Third War of Independence.
If you’re here for sightseeing, there are a few things not to miss. One of the most interesting buildings of Gargnano is neo-gothic Villa Feltrinelli (now it is the Grand Hotel) that was adored by David H. Lawrence and once occupied by Mussolini. Don’t miss the Villa Bettoni as well! Stroll along the beautiful old port of Bogliaco. The town is also known as the home of Centomiglia Sailing Regatta which takes place on the second Sunday of September every year since 1951.
Also if you have time pay attention to the places of worship: San Giacomo church dating back to the 12th century (the oldest in the city), the 13th century San Francesco church with a lovely cloister, and San Martino church with a bell tower.
Other landmarks are the old town hall and Palazzo Feltrinelli, the former Villa delle Orsoline, now occupied by the University of Milan.
But most likely you’re in Gargnano for the scenery. The combination of clear crystal water and the surrounding mountains with the small sailing boasts gliding on the surface of the lake.
Enjoy some gelato in a cafeteria at the Gargnano quay in the shadow of orange and lemon trees with a view over the lake and small boats. By the way, local citruces alongside olive oil, capers and wine, are considered the gems of local produce. Tip: you can also visit Limone Sul Garda which is very close and accessible by car!
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