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A holiday in Malcesine takes you to the shores of Lake Garda, in northern Italy. This fairy tale medieval town, with a backdrop of the lake’s ice blue waters and an imposing mountain range, is a favourite with couples attracted by the romance of its cobbled streets, colourful houses and relaxing beaches. Active holidaymakers will love hiking or cycling in the mountains, para-gliding at dusk or stand up paddle boarding across the lake. Adventurous travellers will love riding the cable car 7,000 feet up Monte Baldo, where you can look down through the clouds over the town and surrounding area.

The town rises from the shore of the lake, its steep cobbled streets leading to historic landmarks like Castello Scaligero, built in the 13th Century. The castle and grounds now house three museums and temporary exhibitions. Around the port, you'll find a selection of cafés serving spremuta (freshly squeezed fruit juice) and gelato, as well as the odd glass of wine. While away an hour watching boats sailing on the lake and cable cars heading up the mountain.

Explore Malcesine like no other

Here at Citalia, the leading Italian holiday specialist, we’ve spent almost 90 years creating unforgettable holidays for our customers, and our holidays to Malcesine are no exception. 

If you are a sailing enthusiast, Malcesine is home to an Olympic training facility and sailing school, at Fraglia Vela Malcesine. The yacht club also hosts around 20 regattas and events each year, and the marina caters for tourists who want to charter boats and sail on the lake.

Amateur photographers will love holidays in Malcesine, with spectacular landscapes just waiting to be captured. The Panoramic road is a 10km stretch above the town, and wherever you stop, you’ll be awestruck by the unforgettable imagery in front of you.

If you prefer to immerse yourself in the history and culture of the area, learn about the history of Lake Garda during a visit to the Museum of the Lake, which is located in nearby Cassone. Here you’ll find exhibitions featuring fishing and sailing memorabilia, along with paintings of the area and its boats.

Malcesine hotels and flights

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Things to do in Malcesine

In summer, take the cable car up to Monte Baldo and escape the heat. An easy 20 minute walk north, along a wildflower-covered ridge, brings you to a viewing point where you can look out over the lake and mountains.

Make the most of your holiday in Malcesine by exploring the sights outside the town. Venice is only 90 minutes away by train, so sit back and enjoy a trip through verdant countryside peppered with hilltop towns. Book a guided tour to see famous landmarks like St Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace, or take a gondola ride down the Grand Canal, passing under the canal’s oldest bridge, the Ponte di Rialto.

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Malcesine Specialities

The cuisine of Malcesine is rich and diverse, with restaurants offering a combination of traditional specialities, such as Zuppa di Valpelline (cabbage stew) Panna cotta, and fresh from the lake seafood dishes like sardines al soar (sweet and sour sardines).

If you're out for dinner, order a Venetian spritz as an apéritif, and some delicious Frico, which are melt in the mouth fried wafers of cheese such as Parmesan or Montasio. Pay homage to your holiday home with a local favourite, Yota. A hearty stew of beans, sauerkraut, potatoes and meat laced with garlic, it goes well with a bottle of local Amarone wine.

At least one meal on your holiday in Malcesine has to include the iconic Italian food, pasta. Every region has its own variation, and in Malcesine it’s Bigoli, which looks similar to Udon noodles. It is often made with duck eggs and has a rough texture which enables it to absorb the flavour of the accompanying sauce, usually duck ragu, or sardines. Pere San Martin al vino rosso (pears baked in red wine) is a must for dessert. 

Some of Italy's most exceptional wine comes from the Veneto region. Bardolino, a light red wine with good acidity, goes well with carb heavy dishes such as risotto and pasta. If you prefer a white, try Bianco di Custoza, a dry, smooth wine with fruity notes and a flowery bouquet. It's a match made in heaven with seafood. Alternatively, make a toast with a glass of crisp, sparkling Ferrari Perle Blanc Brut, or the Rosé version, a refined wine with notes of berries and orange peel.

Experience more of Italy by adding an excursion to your holiday

To pre-book one of our specially selected excursions, please call our Italy Experts on 01293 762410*.

Excursions in and around Malcesine

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Full-day excursion to one of Italy’s most enchanting cities.
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Full-day tour in Romeo & Juliet’s city, fair Verona.
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Dolomite Mountains

A full day’s excursion in northern Italy’s incredible Dolomite Mountains.
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Wine Tour

Taste some of Italy’s finest wines on this half-day tour.
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Lake Tour

A full day’s tour along the scenic Gardesana road in Lake Garda.
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A flying visit to Italy’s fashion capital, Milan.
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Mantova and Parco Sigurta

Explore the UNESCO-listed city of Mantua, before wandering the world-famous gardens of Parco Sigurta.
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