Gardone Riviera is one of the most peaceful and elegant towns around Lake Garda in Italy’s Lombardy region. As soon as you set foot on this scenic lakeside resort, you sense the cosmopolitan ambience. Walking through the quiet streets in the town’s centre, the buildings blend completely and you can’t help but wonder which is a public palazzo, a museum, a glamorous private villa, a luxury hotel, or a restaurant. Officially, the only museum in Gardone Riviera is the Divino Infante that houses the collection of German art collector Hiky Mayir. There is also Villa Alba located within sumptuous gardens and the most elaborate construction of the area’s charming lakeside mansions and villas. Visitors should escape to the André Heller Botanic Garden, an exotic oasis within an oasis where you can while away the hours without noticing them pass. And don’t miss the opportunity to grab a fish dish from one of the sumptuous restaurants on the lake.
Location: In Italy’s stunning Lombardy region
Gardone Riviera is located 40 km northeast of Como on the west side of Lake Garda, inside the Parco Alto Garda Bresciano. It has excellent road and railway connections with nearby cities. The nearest airport is Verona, 37 Km from the centre of the town.
Business: Tourism and exquisite local cuisine
Currently best known as a luxury holiday resort, the economy of Gardone Riviera was traditionally based on agriculture and fishing. Since the 1970’s, tourism has become increasingly important for the local economy and the delicious fish restaurants around Lake Como are a major source of income for the region.
Culture: In memory of the "inimitable life" of the poet-soldier
Seemingly part of another world, the Vittoriale degli Italiani is a citadel, a complex of buildings, squares, streets, gardens, an outdoor theatre, and a circular mausoleum built between 1921 and 1938. Located within the estate is the Prioria, the house of Gabriele D'Annunzio, Prince of Montenevoso, a controversial Italian poet, playwright, and World War I soldier, admired by his peers and criticized by many for his political views. Designed by architect Giancarlo Maroni, the mansion as well as the austere architectural layout of the surroundings, shows influences of Italian Fascist architecture that comes in stark contrast with the supple or even playful style of almost every other building or garden in the area. From the hill, the view on Lake Como is still magnificent.
Activities: A view from the lake
Winston Churchill visited Gardone Riviera after the war, and is said to have enjoyed a number of boat tours in Lake Garda during his stay. Following his example, you can enjoy panoramic views of the town and the surrounding area together with the snow-capped peaks of the Italian Alps. You will come across many Italian visitors who are here for a city break. They will without fail tip you on the best fish trattoria in the area. Tasting on one of Lake Garda’s fish dishes is indeed a remarkable gastronomical experience.