In the picturesque hills surrounding Lake Garda sits Castelnuovo, which is also home to the largest theme park in Italy, Gardaland. The town has a long history that dates back to the ancient world, when it was known as Beneventum. Later, it was named Quadrivium, because of its location between four important cities: Mantua, Verona, Brescia, and Trento. However, Frederick I-Barbarossa razed this town during the 12th century. After this occurrence, the population decided to build the town anew, this time with fortifications. They renamed the town to Castrum Novum, which turned into its current name, Castelnuovo del Garda. The surrounding area is beautiful, filled with lush vegetation and vineyards, with many local wineries. This makes this small town the perfect place from which to enjoy the beautiful Lake Garda.
Location: Lakeside Village on the Southeast Bank of Lake Garda
This fortified town is on the southeast bank of Lake Garda. Only a small part of it lies on the lake itself, the rest is in the hills covered by olive groves and vineyards. The nearest airport is Verona-Villafranca. To take the train, you exit at the Peschiera Railway Station, and there are buses that take you to the town. You can also arrive by car taking the A4 to Peschiera, or take a ferry service to Peschiera.
Culture: Visit Charming Examples of Historical Architecture
Although many visitors come to enjoy the amusement park, there are many beautiful historical buildings that remain as examples of older architectural styles, especially the local churches. The Church of St. Maria features a Roman-style bell tower, while the Church of San Filippo and San Giacomo date to the 13th century. There are also some beautiful villas that remain, including the Villa Arvedi d'Emilei, which dates to the 17th century. Dominating the city center is the old castle, which was built in 1387 that features a great tower in the second wall.
Activities: Experience Italy's Largest Theme Park and Aquarium
The Gardaland theme park, which is the largest in Italy, features 32 rides, including three water rides and six roller coasters. Over 3 million people come to Castelnuovo every year to enjoy Gardaland. If theme parks are not your choice of entertainment, you can also visit the Gardaland Sea Life Aquarium, which has several recreations of ocean habitats with 37 tanks that have over 5,000 specimens. You can also just enjoy the beautiful Lake Garda by hiking, cycling, sailing, or just relaxing on the shores.