The resort town of Sirmione has a lot on offer. The fairytale 13th-century castle dominates the scenery and marks the dramatic entrance to the historic centre. It is also considered to be one of Italy's best-preserved castles so is well worth a visit. Sirmione is also well-known for its thermal waters, attracting visitors since classical times, so it is the perfect place to unwind at one of the town's several spas.
For an abundance of Italian charm, visit Riva del Garda, where the historic old town will take you back in time. Riva del Garda sits between the mountains and the water, and is a fantastic combination of medieval old streets and glamorous gardens and promenades. Indulge in some downtime by enjoying a gelato at the lake's edge, or perusing the quaint boutique shops dotted around the streets.
Located toward the mountainous northern end of Lake Garda, Malcesine offers breathtaking scenery. Attracting locals and tourists, the medieval town rises from the shore of the lake, and its cobbled streets lead to historic landmarks like the 13th-century Castello Scaligero. If you're feeling adventurous, take a ride on the cable car 7,000 feet up Monte Baldo, where you can look down through the clouds over the town and surrounding area.
One traditional dish of Lake Garda that you must try on your visit is bigoli con le sarde del Garda. This classic dish uses bigoli, a fresh egg pasta, and a simple sauce of sardines fried with a little garlic, dried chilli flakes and parsley.
After the bigoli con le sarde, there is another dish that is traditional in the region, risotto con la tinca. Using the freshwater fish tench alongside Swiss chard and local courgettes, and of course the premium risotto rice that's grown around the lake, it is another succinct taste of Lake Garda.
Lake Garda is also one of Italy's best wine producing regions and the mountains and fertile soils around its shores are ideal for vine growing.
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