That’s exactly what we want to talk about in this post – let's find out together everything about the ‘most beautiful villages’ around Lake Garda!
The Most Beautiful Villages in Italy
Since 2001, the ‘I Borghi più Belli d’Italia
’ (meaning ‘the most beautiful villages in Italy’) association has awarded small villages all over our country with historical and artistic characteristics that are representative of local traditions
. Over the years, the association has paid special attention to the Lake Garda area, so much so that now there are now six villages that can boast this title.
The medieval alleys of Canale di Tenno
The first village we want to tell you about is the closest to Riva del Garda
, and therefore to the Astoria Resort. We are talking about Canale di Tenno, a small hamlet belonging to the Municipality of Tenno. Canale is located on the hills overlooking the Trentino side of the lake
, at an altitude of 600 meters. The first document about its existence dates back to 1211, and the village still retains the original urban layout
, with the typical stone houses and arches (known as vòlti in Trentino dialect) connecting the buildings. During the summer, Canale hosts "Rustico Medioevo
", an event that for a few days brings the village back to the 13th century. In winter, its streets are populated with the colours, lights and flavours of the Christmas Market
, one of the most traditional in Trentino. The Casa degli Artisti is also worth mentioning, an art center hosting courses, exhibitions and concerts.
The rural village of Rango nel Bleggio
Let's stay in Trentino, but let's move inland – specifically, to the municipality of Bleggio Superiore. Here, we’ll find the hamlet of Rango, included in 2006 in the list of the ‘Most Beautiful Villages in Italy’. The structure of the town is reminiscent of ancient fortified villages, with ancient houses leaning against each other
, connected by arcades, hallways and internal courtyards. The narrow streets in the centre still show the salesà
, the ancient cobblestones that were used up until a few decades ago in these areas. The church, dedicated to Saint Lucia, is a small baroque jewel
, while the Museo della Scuola (School Museum) offers an unprecedented experience to those who want to learn about education in the first half of the twentieth century.
Pieve di Tremosine and the view of Lake Garda
Let’s travel a few kilometers south to reach Tremosine, in the province of Brescia. In this case, we are talking about a 'scattered municipality
' – meaning a town divided into several hamlets. The scenery is truly enchanting, because Tremosine is located on a natural plateau overlooking the lake
, with an altitude ranging between 65 and 1,976 meters. The incredible variety of landscapes, with diverse vegetation and an urban context that changes as you rise in altitude, are the best-known characteristic of this village. It’s also worth seeing the Strada della Forra, set in the heart of the mountain
that connects the coast with the hamlet of Pieve, up on the edge of the plateau. Do not miss the picturesque alleys with the unique "round staircase", pay a visit to the eighteenth-century parish church, and finish off with an aperitif on the famous "Terrazza del Brivido".
The gardens of Gardone Riviera
Let’s stay in province of Brescia, moving south towards the middle of the lake. The town of Gardone Riviera is famous because of the Vittoriale degli Italiani
, the residence built by Gabriele D'Annunzio
between 1921 and 1938 in honour of the "inimitable life" of the poet-soldier, and the exploits of Italians during WWI. However, Gardone has much more to offer. Before D'Annunzio, Gardone was an internationally renowned health resort
, with a clientele from northern and central Europe. There are several buildings dating back to that time - like the Savoy Palace
, built in 1906 in the Viennese secessionist style, the scenic Villa Alba
, with its monumental staircase, the tower-belvedere of San Marco
, renovated by D'Annunzio in 1925 in Venetian-military style, and finally the extraordinary Botanical Garden Handre Heller
Castellaro Lagusello, the castle and the heart-shaped lake
Castellaro Lagusello is located in the province of Mantua, in the municipality of Monzalbano, a few dozen kilometers south of Lake Garda. The small town was born in the 11th century
as a castelliere, that is, as a military garrison overlooking the 'lagusello'
, the small heart-shaped lake that still makes the landscape unique today. Entering the village from the northern side, you’ll pass through a door under a high square tower
, known as the clock tower. Then, you can visit the baroque church
dedicated to San Nicola, where a wooden Madonna from the fifteenth century is kept. Also worth noticing are the ancient Guelph walls,
the river stone flooring, and the visible stones in the rectory and the houses.
Borghetto sul Mincio, the village of mills
Finally, we’ll cross the border of the province of Verona to reach Borghetto and its mills. Borghetto, part of the larger municipality of Valeggio
, rises in the valley of the Mincio river, at the foot of the Visconti bridge
. This small village was always an important crossing point and border area, having seen the Lombard, Venetian, French and Austrian armies clash over time. The Visconteo bridge, an extraordinary fortified dam built in 1393 by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, has been a crossing point
for centuries. Borghetto still retains the appearance of an ancient mill village
, in complete symbiosis with its river. If you do make it there, enjoy a plate of traditional hand-made tortellini and let yourself be enchanted by the Sigurtà Garden Park, one of the most beautiful gardens in Italy.
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