Visit Peschiera del Garda
The town of Peschiera del Garda is on the shores of Lake Garda, at the southernmost point of the lake where the Mincio river leaves the lake. It is in the eastern side of Lake Garda so falls within the Veneto region of Italy (the western part of Lake Garda is in Lombardy but the east is in Veneto).
A good part of the old town is surrounded by various canals and on 'islands' that are built up within the canals, so you are often walking along the waterside.
Exploring Peschiera del Garda
Italy This Way comment: there is less to see in the town of Peschiera del Garda than someof the resorts around the shores of Lake Garda, but it is still very pleasant to visit and it is interesting to see the harbour area and canals, which are quite different in character to most around the lake
The main focus of your visit to Peschiera is around the harbour and in the small historic centre, with a waterfront promenade along the lake and canals being the principal activities. You can enter the town centre across a bridge that crosses the canal that surrounds the historic centre - or you can pause here and have a gondola ride on the canal - although we only saw one gondola so you might have to wait!
The large defenses that you can see here were built by the Venetians and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site: it is easier to see in an aerial photo but these surround the whole town.
The main part of the historic centre has a large area of water with stone houses along one side, and cafes along the other side, and an old bridge of red bricks at one end: this is Voltoni's Bridge and it was built in 1556. Elsewhere in Peschiera del Garda town centre you can see a pedestrianised area of shops and restaurants, a large baroque style church and the excavations of a Roman villa.
After exploring the centre there are two notable historic monuments close to Peschiera del Garda which should be part of your visit:
The first is the fortress and associated defences, called Forte Ardieti and in the direction of Ponti sul Mincio from the town centre. The fortress dates from the middle of the 19th century, when it was an important part of the Austrian defences in the region.
You will also come across the 16th century Sanctuary of Madonna del Frassino as you leave Peschiera to the south). Best known for the artworks it contains the sanctuary was built on the site where the Virgin Mary was said to have made an apparition and is a lovely peaceful place which contains a cloisters with paintings on the walls, various mosaics, sculptures and paintings. The parrots in the cloisters are also nice to see!
One unusual local attraction is the pebble beach called the Spiaggia di Braccobaldo, which has been purposely established for people travelling with their dogs! You pay for your sunbed and parasol, as with most Italian beaches, but also get a dog bed and water bowl included. Those without dogs might find it a bit small and crowded though.
Wildlife enthusiasts will want to visit the Frassino Lake, well known by ornithologists for the migratory birds that are attracted here. The gardens at Sigurta Park a few kilometres south of the town at Valleggio sul Mincio are also very extensive (more than 50 hectares!) and well maintained, with a good mix of trees and formal planting, flower gardens, water features and natural highlights - allow plenty of time to explore thoroughly!
If that sounds a bit too quiet for you then heard for the popular theme park at Gardaland and Movieland just a few kilometres away and always very popular with children, or you can follow one of the cycle routes around the lake or along the Mincio Valley.
The most popular trip from Peschiera del Garda is to visit the peninsula with Sirmione, just a few kilometres north-east from the town, and we recommend you also visit the lovely town of Lazise while you are here.