DESENZANO DEL GARDA
Desenzano is one of the most important municipalities of Lake Garda, and also one of the richest in history, life and places of interest: this town is also known as the capital of Lake Garda.
Desenzano is located on the south-western side of the lake, is easily reachable by train or by car, and it is the starting point of many tours of the lake: from here you can easily reach the eastern coast of Lake Garda, towards Lazise, Bardolino, Garda, or Torri del Benaco.
Desenzano extends over a fairly large area, that includes beaches, parks, a Roman Villa and shopping centers; the well known hamlets of Rivoltella and San Martino della Battaglia are also part of the Municipality of Desenzano. Come discover the capital of Lake Garda!
The centre of Desenzano is ideal for relaxing with a romantic walk along the lake, or for shopping in the Italian way, through the streets of the town centre, among shops and boutiques, perhaps enjoying a good ice cream.
The very heart of the city is Piazza Malvezzi, just behind the Old Port built by the Venetians: from this square you can take Via Stretta Castello to the famous Castle of Desenzano, built in the 11th century and still very well preserved.
Inside the Castle are often hosted exhibitions and conferences, but the main attraction is certainly the walkway on the walls with access to the tower, which allows you to enjoy a spectacular view of Desenzano and the whole lake: without a doubt, one of the most beautiful panoramas of Lake Garda.
To the north of Piazza Malvezzi are located Piazza Duomo and the baroque Church of Santa Maria Maddalena, which boasts frescoes by venetian master Giambattista Tiepolo.
If you want to go shopping in Desenzano, you’ll be spoilt for choice; the old town is teeming with boutiques of clothing and footwear, jewelers, but also little shops with local food and wine.
Tuesday is the day when the local market takes places in the streets of the town center: take a walk through the colors and scents of its stalls!
Just outside the city there is also a big shopping mall called Le Vele, open every day from 9 am to 8 pm, with also a supermarket inside.
Near Desenzano there is also one of the biggest mall of the area, Il Leone Shopping Center: it is located in Lonato, more or less 10 minutes by car from Desenzano, and it is open every day from 9am to 10pm.
If you want to buy a true local product, you can visit one of the many wineries and farms in the area: Desenzano and Southern Garda Lake are well known for Lugana, a white wine ideal for aperitifs and perfect with lake fish.
A few tips for your stay in Desenzano
Desenzano boasts one of the most important roman Villas in Northern Italy.
This Villa was probably built in the 4th century a.C., but some parts of it date back to the 1st century b.C.; it remained unknown until 1921, when excavations in the foundations of a house brought to light mosaics.
It was a very impressive Villa, with pools, thermal baths and a terrace overlooking the lake. The whole villa can be visited, and there is also an Antiquarium where all the finds from the excavations are exhibited.
- Full price ticket: € 4,00
- Reduced ticket: € 2,00
- Free entrance: every first sunday of the month, children <18 years old
- From March 1st to October 31st: 8.30 am – 7 pm, from Tuesday to Sunday
- From November 1st to February 28th: 8.30 am – 5 pm, from Tuesday to Sunday
- The Villa is closed on Mondays.
Desenzano is very close to Verona and its famous amusement parks: you can easily reach them by taking the A4 highway towards Peschiera del Garda.
The most famous adventure park is certainly Gardaland , in Castelnuovo del Garda, well known for its roller coasters, trains, 4D shows and a whole area dedicated to younger children. With all the attractions of the park (divided by age and category), and the Aquarium Gardaland Sea Life, Gardaland will satisfy any need.
Not far from Gardaland there is also Movieland, the Hollywood themed park. Here you will see Cinema turning into a 3D adventure, and you can try Pangea, the first attraction where you are the driver!
If you visit Peschiera in the summer, you can find relief from the heat in Caneva Aquapark, with its water slides and swimming pools. Take a look to our guide to the Amusement Parks on Lake Garda!
Desenzano is the starting point of many boat tours on Lake Garda: for example, you can cross the lake from desenzano to Limone and Riva del Garda with the ferryboats of the local public transportation service. The pier is a little south from the Old Port.
Desenzano is well known also for its many beautiful beaches, all with pebbles: Desenzanino beach, to the north, one of the most visited; Feltrinelli Beach, a little south from Desenzanino, with sunbeds and sun umbrellas.
In the hamlet of Rivoltella there are two other beaches: Porto Rivoltella, that often hosts parties and events, and Golden Beach, with a restaurant, a bar and a disco. Finally, to the north of Desenzano there is also a nude beach called Spiaggia dei Canneti.