until 12.30 you can visit our local market on the lake shore promenade. You can easily walk there from the hotel which would take 10 to 15 minutes, but you can also park there. A visit to the market is also an opportunity to stroll around the historic village of Limone and visit our main Church of Saint Benedict which is famous for its main altar designed by the sculptor Cristoforo Benedetti and which is surrounded by two famous paintings by the Venetian painter Andrea Celesti. Both artists were mainly working at that time for the Bettoni family from Bogliaco who commissioned the altar as well as many other beautiful pieces of art in their palace in Gargnano as well as in Saint Pier d’Agrino, the Church of Bogliaco. However, only few people know that in Limone, at the end of the promenade, there is a beautiful villa surrounded by lemon trees called: ‘LA GARBERA’, which was the Limone residence of the Bettoni family at the time the lemon groves were flourishing. There used to be amazing huge paintings by Andrea Celesti which were transported by Ludovico Bettoni to their property in Brescia, in Via Marsala (a property still owned by the family), when the Limone property was sold.
2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month
Riva’s market is bigger than Limone and it lasts the whole day. As there is a lot of traffic and crowds on market day, we suggest you visit Riva by public transport: ‘the battello’, which reaches Riva after a stop in Torbole. The Market is in the city center just a few minutes from the boat stop. As you walk from the harbour to the market, you will pass Riva’s clock tower which is worth a visit, as from the top there is a beautiful view of the city. Why not stop in the castle too and have a look at the museum, few people know that this museum contains the entire collections of pre-historic findings on Monte Baldo, Lake Ledro and the higher part of the lake.
Torbole is easy to reach from Limone by public transport, called the ‘battello’, actually the boat reaches Torbole first and then goes on to Riva. The market takes place in the city center near the harbour which is easy to reach on foot in a few minutes. From Torbole the lake has a particular perspective and it is the same that Johann Wolfgang Goethe had during his Italian Journey the 4th of September 1786 when he first started his Journey from the Brenner Pass. Goethe arrived on Lake Garda from Rovereto on his way towards Verona. Already in Rovereto he was impressed by the rows of vines and here he meets the first person who only speaks Italian, a waiter. He stops there with the idea to continue towards Verona, but realizes how near Lake Garda is which he has always longed to see.
From the town of Nago, at the top of the mountain he sees the breathtaking view of the lake for the first time. Goethe’s gaze of the lake encompasses all the longing for the south and the ancient Roman and Greek classical world that inspired most of the Romantic writers, from Goethe, Byron to D.H. Lawrence. Going towards Torbole, he sees the olive and fig trees for the first time, all plants described by Roman and Greeks writers. In Torbole itself Goethe is struck by the beauty of the lake with the rocks and little mountain villages, but also by Torbole’s amazing strength of the wind and quotes Virgil’s words: ‘Fluctibus es tremitu resonans, Benace, marino’. Now Torbole is known worldwide for its wind and kite surfing.
the third and fourth Wednesday of the month.
Arco is located 4 km north of Riva in the direction of Trento. The market lasts the whole day and it is better to drive there as there are good parking facilities. The first thing that strikes you when you arrive is the amazing high rock with castle ruins at the top. It is really worth to walk there after the visit to the market: it can be reached just from the main central square with the big church, the road takes off near the Newsagent shop just in front of you. From this point a central road with nice shops goes on until the traffic light, just before the main bridge, at the ice cream shop you can find the beginning of another beautify the path that takes you to the top of the hill where the castle is placed. It is an hour’s walk among agaves and oleander plants with benches to sit on, if you are tired. Arco’s castle became famous because of the wonderful watercolor painted by Albrecht Dürer during his Italian journey in 1495.
Only in the morning until 1 p.m.
One can reach Toscolano by car in 30 minutes. The town itself is not so beautiful, but do not miss a visit to the Church of Saint Pietro e Paolo which is on the main road on your left as soon as you arrive in Toscolano. Here you can admire the most stunning paintings of Andrea Celesti whom we already mentioned in our piece about Limone. In Toscolano, after you have been to the market, why not have a walk in the wild Paper Valley. The Paper Mill Valley ”delle Cartiere” is part of the Alto Garda Bresciano Park and is one of the best examples of Italy’s industrial heritage. We can rediscover this industrial past along the Paper Mill Valley, a route that takes us along the Toscolano torrent, through tunnels, over bridges and along the ruins of old factories. The small building that was used as the porter’s lodge of the Maina Inferiore works, the last firm in this area to hold out until the Sixties, is today the Paper Museum. It shows the method of production in use between the fifteenth and eighteenth century, including the mallets, vats and the press. The various processes are also shown: from the drying through the smoothing out to the final product. Already in the fourteenth century Toscolano was famous for its paper manufacture, supplying various printers in Venice and other parts of northern Italy. In 1510 the inhabitants of Garda even paid homage to Louis XII, king of France, by giving him oil, olives and paper from Toscolano. Particularly famous were the printers Paganini Bros. who produced editions of Latin classics in the sixteenth century.
If you are lucky to get a beautiful blue sky, it is worth taking a boat not only to visit the Saturday Malcesine local market, but also take the cable car that brings you up to the top of Monte Baldo. The flat top of the mountain has an altitude of 2200 meters and from there one can have a marvelous view of the whole lake, the Dolomites in the north, and the flat land until the Apennines in the south. It is worth going right to the top as it is flat and easy to walk. You can admire the beauty of the flowers known among European botanists and herbalists since the XVth century for the its incredible variety of orchid and medicinal plants. There are well served huts on the top but it can be windy and cold, also in the middle of the summer. If you are good mountain trekkers it is worth reaching the Cima Valdritta towards the south, the Cima Altissimo towards the north.
Salò is certainly worth a visit for its long beautiful lake shore promenade, for its amazing cathedral also situated at the beginning of the promenade, the Palazzo del Podestà built in Venetian style, as this used to be the residence of the ‘Magnifica Patria’ and its Podestà (1443) during the time when this part of Lake Garda used to belong to the Venetian Republic before the arrival of Napoleon.
In this palace there are often important exhibitions, you can see one of Gasparò da Salò’s basses, offered by Leonardo Colonna, the main bass player of La Scala Orchestra, but now retired. Gasparo, born in Salò on the 20th of May 1540, was famous all over Italy as a violin, viola and bass maker. His workshop was in Brescia, where he died in 1609, and had 4 important pupils such as Giovanni Paolo Maggini. Gasparo was the one who invented the form of the violin played today and slightly perfectioned later by Stradivari in Cremona.