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5 things to see in Desenzano del Garda (plus one bonus)

Best places to visit during your holidays on Lake Garda

Are you planning your holidays on Lake Garda? Would you like to visit the most interesting attractions surrounding the lake?

Let’s find out best 5 things to see in Densenzano del Garda and why you should choose this location for your break on the most famous lake in Italy.

Desenzano del Garda has a rich history and culture, many commercial activities and tourism facilities: for these reasons it is considered the unofficial capital of Lake Garda.

The ancient history of Desenzano is testified to by first settlements since Bronze Age (2000-1800 b.C.). Through centuries, Desenzano has been ruled by different administrations, including the Republic of Venice and the Republic of Brescia. After Treaty of Zurich (1859), the municipality became at first part of Kingdom of Sardinia, then part of the Kingdom of Italy.

Let’s talk now about the 5 best things to do and places to see in Desenzano del Garda.

The castle

Between main sights on Lake Garda, there is the Castle of Desenzano: it was built in 11th century and was extended in 15th century.

The Castle is made up of 4 corner towers and is placed on a strategic point on the top of the hill, overlooking the city. During its past, the castle was an important fortress for the defence of the territory from Barbarian invasion.

In its finest period, the castle hosted 120 dwellings and the Church of Sant’Ambrogio.

At the end of 19th century, the castle was turned in a military barrack, where Alpini and Bersaglieri remained until 1943.

Since 1969, the rooms was turned in a hall for conference and art exhibition, while during the summer the courtyard hosts an open air theatre.

From the balustrades you can have a breathtaking view on Lake Garda and surroundings.

For more information and opening times, this is the official site of Desenzano Municipality.

The old harbour

During your trip in Desenzano del Garda, you should not miss a visit to Porto Vecchio, an old harbour that was built in 1274.

The inhabitants of Desenzano (called desenzanesi), have been cereal merchants for centuries and Porto Vecchio was the focal point of the business.

For many years, this harbour has been the most important cereal marketplace of the whole Lombardy. It was also enlarged during Republic of Venice’s administration.

Visiting Porto Vecchio let you understand how lake-life was in the past.

Duomo di Santa Maria Maddalena

In Desenzano you can admire a lot of signs of Renaissance’s passing over Brescia, traces of rare artistic and architectural beauty.

One of the most charming is surely Duomo Di Santa Maria Maddalena: the cathedral was built between 16th and 17th century.

Inside the cathedral you find the Cappella del SS. Sacramento, a chapel that hosts “The Last Supper” by Tiepolo (1738).

Oasis San Francesco del Garda

Lake Garda is not only history and culture.

One of the most interesting places to visit in Lake Garda is the Oasis San Francesco del Garda: a nature reserve of 10 hectares established by Lombardy, with the purpose of safeguarding a very valuable and beautiful territory.

It is possible to visit only a section of the Oasis, according with necessity to preserve the integrity of naturalistic features.

Available area is organised for educational tours and environment meetings.

There is a didactic room and territory is scattered of explicative signs.

You cannot miss a visit to observatory cabin, from where you can admire an amazing view of the nature and the flora of the park.

Old Town

Famous italian architect Giulio Todeschini gave life, in 16th cenury, to Desenzano del Garda Old Town.

Old Town is populated by roman monuments and remarkable historical buildings, including Palazzo Todeschini. Piazza Malvezzi and Porto Vecchio are the hearth of the city, where you can find traditional taverns, cultural events and art expositions.

Our hint: you should get lost in Old Town, walking among the alleys and the monuments, as a jump back in time for a priceless emotion.


We keep our promise and we are ready to give you the bonus point: the wooden pier of our Desenzano Camping Village.

It is a wooden boardwalk on crystalline lake water that brings to our restaurant.

You can taste fish specialities and traditional dishes in a suggestive atmosphere and in the coolest location on Lake Garda.

A romantic place to make unforgettable your stay in Desenzano.

    New Restaurant in 2016:
    tastier menus and many pizzas!


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