Lago di Garda : Michelin's recommendations
Leave Garda and head towards Bardolino, famed for its red wine. Continue towards the village of Peschiera del Garda and then head southbound to the vast Parco Giardino Sigurtà at Valeggio sul Mincio. On the way, pause at Solferino where the French-Piedmontese troops defeated the Austrians on 24 June 1859. Back on the shores of the lake, go as far as Sirmione, an important resort renowned as a spa. Its houses cluster around the Rocca Scaligera. A visit to the excavation site known as the Grotte di Catullo is well worth the time. Continue on towards Desenzano del Garda and admire a fine Last Supper by Tiepolo, housed in Santa Maria Maddalena, and the Roman mosaics in Via Scavi Romani. The road then takes you to Salò, the seat of the Social Republic of Italy proclaimed by Mussolini in 1943. Look out for the large gilt polyptych (1510) in wood inside its 15C Duomo. You will then reach the elegant resort of Gardone Riviera, home to the Vittoriale, an estate which belonged to the poet Gabriele d'Annunzio (1863-1938). Next on the route is the picturesque village of Limone sul Garda surrounded by lemon groves. Stroll through the streets of the old town of Riva del Garda on the north bank of the lake, before coming to Malcesine, dominated by the Castello which belonged to the Scaligers of Verona (13-14C. From the summit of Monte Baldo, enjoy the grandiose panorama of the lake, with the ranges of Brenta and Adamello to the north. End with the romantic headland of Punta di San Vigilio.