In collaboration with Italy M.S.T.ravel
Lake Garda is the largest lake of Italy. To the South of the lake there are the morenic hills, left behind by the thawing of glaciers; on the Northern, more narrow side, the lake is surrounded by tall peaks and mountains, that give the body of water its peculiar shape, reminiscent of a fjord, and which protect it from the elements, allowing for a meek and Mediterranean climate.
All around the lake are picturesque hamlets and towns, coves, beaches and small ports, but also lively communities, parks and natural reserves.
As you follow the edges of the lake and its shores, there are plenty of reminders to the area’s history and culture, as one after the other you’ll encounter towns, castles, monasteries and old villages filled with monuments and museums.
Surging along the shores of Lake Garda, complete with a breath-taking view of one of the most picturesque landscapes of Italy, Garda by Bike is the first segment of the bike trail of the Garda. Opened in 2018, it’s already considered to be one of the most beautiful trails of Europe. With a width of 2.5 meters and nighttime illumination, you can also take a stroll along it; the sensation is that of walking over water, all the way to Capo Reamol, where you can have a complete view of the lake in its entirety.
With this cable railway, you’ll experience a blue-tinged dream as you go from Malcesine to the peaks of Mount Baldo. The light blue of Lake Garda merges with that of the beautiful sky, for an incredible panorama that you cannot miss: from the snow-dappled peaks of the Alps to the stark profile of the much nearer mountains, all the way to the soft curves of the plains. And so, the funicular “flies”, in a handful of minutes, all the way to 1800 meters of height, and its rotating booths can always evoke new emotions.
The “Vittoriale degli Italiani” is the monumental Citadel that Gabriele d’Annunzio had built and subsequently lived in during the 1930’s in Gardone Riviera. The citadel features an incredible and unparalleled complex of buildings, streets, squares, theaters, gardens, parks and waterworks. Construction began in 1921 under the supervision of architect Gian Carlo Maroni, and it celebrates the “one-of-a-kind life” of the soldier-poet and the endeavors of Italians during the First World War. The Vittoriale is now a foundation, open to the public and visited by about 180.000 people every year.
In the area of Garda towards Brescia the wine-making tradition is a part of the local history, culture and territory. The vineyards, extending from the lake and towards the gentle hills all around it, are a recognizable feature of the landscape here, for a stunning vista. There are different varieties of wines produces in the area, from North to South, but every one of them is different from the next in its uniqueness and quality.
The area of Garda Trentino is an especially favorable region for the production of wine, due to peculiar micro-climate conditions found here. There are several varieties of wine made here, using both local and international grapes.
A red wine made from the native vineyard of Valtenesi, the variety is grown in soil which, thanks to the micro-climate found in the area, makes for an optimal aging process of the grapes harvested. The traditional wine-making process involves 6-7 days of ripening, 10 to 12 months of aging in steel vats, and 3 to 4 years of aging after bottling. The Groppello looks ruby red in color, with intense fruit notes if drank when still young, and spiced undertones when aged for longer periods of time. It has an intense body, with a slightly bitter and herbal aftertaste. It’s great when paired with red meat-based dishes, especially with stews and polenta, mushrooms, barbecued and roasted meats.
Native of the lands of Trento, the Marzemino has become one of the most important wines of the territory, due to its quality and historic roots. Made from high-quality grapes, it has a dark red color with claret hues, and the scent is that of wild berries, wood violet, along with vaguely balsamic and spiced notes. Known for being a soft and sweet wine, it’s perfect along with red and white meat. Unparalleled when paired with polenta and mushrooms, or with roasts.
This dessert wine is made from Tocai grapes, collected with a late harvest. Characterized by a mild acidity, and a fresh, dry and round taste, it has a slight almond aftertaste and an intense, complex scent profile. Very sought-after, this wine is remindful of honey, dried and candied fruit, and has an unexpected personality where balance and contrast complete and improve each other. Perfect as a discovery at the end of the meal, paired with dry desserts and confections, blue cheeses or drunk by itself to fully explore its profile. Perfect with local long-aged cheeses.
On the shores of Lake Garda converge the different culinary traditions of three regions of Italy – Trentino, Veneto and Lombardy – for a cuisine that looks to refined tastes and genuine ingredients, sourced from local fishermen, farmers and stockbreeders from the Garda area.
Here are a few traditional dishes that you can’t miss out on.
Typical dish from the Trentino area of Garda, the meat can be enjoyed raw as carpaccio, or grilled and eaten with a side of beans or marinated vegetables. The preparation is achieve by removing the fatty and stringy parts of the cut, usually a beef round, which is then cut is large sections and rubbed with salt and sugar; it is then put in a container with salt and herbs, doused with wine, and let to rest and marinate for about 30 days.
Among the traditional first courses of the area, a staple is soupe made with local lake fish: lean meats are used (trout, lavaret, burbot), and they are fileted, cut into cubes and marinated in white wine for a few hours before being fried and added to a vegetable-broth soup along with tomato sauce and sautéed vegetables. It’s served with bread croutons.
Preparing pike fish with the traditional Garda recipe is simple, but required high-quality ingredients: freshly caught pike, capers, lemon and extra virgin olive oil from the Garda region. A freshwater predator, the pike has lean meat (with about 1-3% fats) and a good serving of minerals and vitamins. The fish has a bold taste, enhanced with this recipe that blends Mediterranean tastes and perfumes to perfection.
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