Parma is a city in the province of Parma, part of the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.
- I Tourist information
- II Get in
- III Get around
- IV See
- V Do
- VI Eat
- VII Drink
- VIII Where to stay in Parma
- IX Go next
- AT di Parma (City Tourist Office), Piazza Garibaldi, 1 , ✉ email@example.com. Daily 09:00-19:00.
- Parma Point (Office of the Province of Parma), Strada Garibaldi 18. 9:30-19:00. Also sells souvenirs, postcards and other Parma related memorabilia as well as a nice collection of books of local interest.
- Aeroporto “Giuseppe Verdi” di Parma (approx. 3 km NW from the city centre). The airport is served by Ryanair flights from London Stansted Airport, Cagliari (Sardinia), and Trapani (Sicily).
The other close airport is in Bologna. There is a shuttle service from the Bologna airport to the Bologna Centrale train station.
From the train station it is an easy walk into the historic city center.
- Stazione (Train station), Piazzale Carlo Alberto dalla Chiesa, 11/B. A train ride from Bologna to Parma takes about one hour, Milan is in a 45-minute train ride on freccia bianca intercity trains.
- Autostazione (Intercity bus station).
Milan is less than two hours north of Parma along the A1 autostrada.
Virtually everything in the historic city center is within easy and leisurely walking distance. Sites across the river require a little more walking but still not too much. The terrain is flat and biking is very popular among the locals.
Taxis are easily available at the train station and across the street from the Governor’s Palace (Palazzo del Governatore) in the center of town.
There are rental cars at the small airport just outside town. Parking can be a challenge downtown. However there are several parking garages outside the city center, the largest of which is behind Teatro Due. The city has an access control system which limits entrance to the city center to local tagged vehicles only. This system is generally switched off after midnight. There is an extensive local bus line.
Palazzo del Governatore
A historical centre of the city.
- Piazza Duomo.
- 1 Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta (Duomo), Piazza Duomo. The cathedral and the adjacent baptistery were built in the late 12th century. The frescoes inside the building are very moving, as well as the relief sculptures on the interior stone. The painting inside the dome of the cathedral is one of the most remarkable paintings of the Renaissance. Entitled Assumption of the Virgin by Correggio, it shows the Virgin Mary being taken up to Heaven. For dramatic effect it is superior to the Sistine Chapel and Titian himself is reputed to have acknowledged that he could not have achieved this effect. Unfortunately the prior who commissioned the work was rather conservative and Correggio never worked in Parma again.
- Battistero di San Giovanni. The baptistery was designed by Benedetto Antelami and is constructed from a pink marble called rosso di Verona. The marble appears to change color depending on how the sun hits it. It is one of the most recognized medieval structures in the country.
- Palazzo Episcopale (Palazzo Vescovile), Piazza Duomo, 1. The Bishop’s palace has a Romanesque appearance. Its construction began in the 11th century, then continued in th 15th, with some restorations made during the course of the 20th century.
- Palazzo della Pilotta. The palace was named after the Basque ball game pelota once practiced in one of the courtyards, is a 16th-century complex of buildings constructed as court to the famed Renaissance Farnese family. It was said to be one of the finest in all of Italy. The Palazzo della Pilotta houses a number of museums:
- Galleria Nazionale (National gallery), Piazza della Pilotta, 9/A. Tu-Sa 08:30-19:00 (14:00-19:00 for reduced visits), Su 08:30-14:00. Combined ticket for Gallery, Farnese Theatre and National archaeological museum €10 (14:00-18:30 €5).
- Teatro Farnese. Tu-Su 08:30-14:00. A historic Baroque style theatre. See Galleria Nazionale.
- Museo archeologico nazionale (National archaeological museum).
- Biblioteca statale Palatina (Palatina national library).
- Camera di San Paolo (Chamber of Saint Paul), Via Melloni, 3/A. Tu-F 08:30-14:00, Sa 08:30-18:00, Su 08:30-14:00. A part of a former apartment of the abbess of the Benedectine Convent of Saint Paul. It’s decorated by distinctive Renaissance frescoes. €2.
- Palazzo di Riserva. During the Bourbon times it was a palace for important guests. Currently it hosts Poste centrale (central Post office), Società parmense di Lettura (Parma Literary society) and the Museo Glauco Lombardi.
- Museo Glauco Lombardi, Strada Garibaldi, 15. Sep-Jun: Tu-Sa 09:30-16:00, Su 09:30-19:00; Jul-Aug: Tu-Sa 09:30-16:00, Su 09:30-14:00. The museum is a particularly interesting and well done. It is documenting the life of Maria Luigia (Marie Louise), the second wife of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Duchess of Parma. The museum is very personal and engaging with many artifacts and belongings of the gifted, talented and well educated Maria. Well worth the visit. €5.
- Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi (Garibaldi Square). It is there the a forum of the Roman Colony, founded in 183 BC. The square served as a hub over Via Aemilia, the ancient Roman road. Today the modern square contains shops and restaurants.
- Palazzo del Governatore (Governor’s Palace). With a façade dating to 1760 and an astronomical clock.
- Palazzo del Municipio (Palazzo Comunale). The 13th-century town hall.
- Monastero di San Giovanni Evangelista (Monastery of San Giovanni Evangelista), Piazzale San Giovanni, 1. M-W F Sa 09:00-11:45, 15:00-17:00. The church has a Baroque facade, while the convent and it’s cloisters are in Renaissance style. Free admission.
- Chiesa di San Giovanni. Monday – Saturday 08:30-11:45, 15:00-17:30, Su 15:00-17:30.
- Antica Spezieria di San Giovanni (San Giovanni Old pharmacy), Borgo Pipa, 1/A. Tu-Sa 08:30-14:00. An old pharmacy of the monastery. €2.
- Basilica di Santa Maria della Steccata, Piazza della Steccata, 9. 07:30-12:00, 15:00-18:30. A prominent Renaissance church.
- Orto Botanico (Botanical garden), Via Farini 90. M-Th 09:00-13:00, 14:30-17:00 (summer 18:00), F 09:00-13:00. Admission free.
Oltretorrente is historical district at the western side of the Parma stream.
- Parco Ducale (Giardino Ducale). Nov-Mar: 07:00-20:00; Apr-Oct: 06:00-24:00. The Ducal park was founded in the 16th century. In 18th century it was converted into a French park. On the western end of the park there is Peschiera, a fish-pond with a Baroque fountain Fontana del Trianon. A bit north-east of the pond there is rotunda of Tempietto d’Arcadia (aka Tempietto di Diana) and a bit further east a sculpture Sileno ed Egle (1765) by Baptiste Boudard (like all the other statues in the park).
- Palazzo del Giardino (Palazzo Ducale del Giardino), Parco Ducale, 3 (presumably you need to wait by a security gate to the right of the palace for a palace’s guide to collect you). Closed to visitors until further notice (was Monday – Saturday 09:00-12:00). The palace was built in 16th century for Ottavio Farnese. In the 18th century, it was expanded. It’s the headquarters of the Command of the Carabinieri Legion of Parma.
- Palazzetto Eucherio San Vitale, Parco Ducale, 87/A. Apr-Oct: Sa Su 10:30-13:00,15:00-18:30. It is an interesting example of Renaissance architecture. There is a fresco there attributed to Parmigianino and walls painted by Cosimo da Piazza. Free admission.
- Ospedale vecchio, Strada D’Azeglio, 45/A. check the opening times of the Historical archive and the Oratory of St. Ilario. A rare example of hospital architecture. Today the building is home to numerous cultural institutions including the Municipal Archives State Archives, the Public Library , the Library Bizzozero, the Municipal Newspaper Library, the Balestrazzi Library and the Municipal Library. Free.
- Oratorio di Sant’Ilario, Via D’Azeglio, 43. Th 09:00-12:00, 15:00-17:30. Free.
- Chiesa di Santa Croce. A Romanesque church with 17th-century frescoes.
- Chiesa della Santissima Annunziata. A Baroque church of an unusual form.
Out of city
- Castello di Torrechiara (16m S from Parma). A massive 15th-century castle.
The Lungoparma. Parma is divided in two by the Parma Stream.
Attend the opera at the gorgeous and world-famous Teatro Regio, known for its passionate and critical local opera aficionados. Buy tickets early as the opera is extremely popular in Parma and tickets sell out early. The Festival Verdi celebrates the famous and adored Parma resident Giuseppe Verdi throughout the month of October every year.
Prosciutto di Parma, one of the foods that made Parma famous
If you are in Parma, your trip is not complete until you try a hunk of its eponymous cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano. Known the world over, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese owes its quality to its source. The cows that produce the milk graze only on grass and hay in fields around the city. The cheese is made and aged from 18 months to over 30.
Another food you must try in Parma is the local cured ham, Prosciutto di Parma. Parma’s Prosciutto is the gold standard for salumi. The hams are cured and aged in temperature and humidity controlled rooms for at least 10 months. The result is a salty, sweet, piece of meat that is sliced razor thin and can be eaten all by its self, or as a part of many regional dishes. It is delicious served simply over a plate of summer melon. As far as salumi goes though, Culatello is king. Unfortunately government regulation on the production of Culatello has driven it nearly to extinction, but there are still rogue producers who cure the meat in cellars. Culatello differs from Prosciutto in that it is made from the fillet cut of the ham as opposed to the whole ham. If you can get your hands on some genuine Culatello, do it, because it is next to impossible to find in the U.S. and can go for around $60 a pound.
Parma is also known for its delicate stuffed pastas and outdoor markets. Be sure to take advantage of the fresh seasonal vegetables that Parma has to offer.
- K2 (behind the cathedral on the right). An ice cream shop. The nuns make a gelato in the shape of a flower in seconds.
- Trattoria I Corrieri, Via Conservatorio 1 (near the law faculty of the university). A typical restaurant to have dinner. Try some torta fritta, and prosciutto di Parma and all the other salami and coppa specialities from that region as a starter, followed by the typical tortelli. If you take Tris di Tortelli, you will enjoy that special type of pasta, one filled zucca (pumpkin), radicchio and ricotta e spinaci (spinach & cheese).
- Osteria del Gesso, Via Ferdinando Maestri 11 , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Osteria del Gesso is a small, quaint restaurant down a narrow street in historic center city. The menu is based on the typical cuisine of the region. The food is well prepared and delicious, particularly the tortelli di erbetta and crespelle di grano. The staff did not speak English, but are helpful and provide excellent service.
- La Forchetta, borgo San Biagio 6. Excellent ristorante just off the Piazza del Duomo serving typical regional cuisine. Superb tortelli di zucca and a very interesting and creative appetizer of gelato of Parmesan cheese with a fig preserve and balsamic vinegar.
- Trattoria delTribunale, Vicolo Politi 5 , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Excellent traditional restaurant in the city center recommended by the Slow Food editors. The guanciale (pork cheek) diavolo was tender, sweet and succulent with just the right amount of spiciness. The local specialty, anolini in brodo was also excellent.
- Hotel & Ristorante Leon D’oro, V.le Fraiit 4a. A family-owned restaurant that has been around since 1917. They serve traditional food near the train station and are more of a local place as opposed to a tourist location. They are known for their salumi and handmade pastas, as well as their extensive wine list.
- La Forchetta, Borgo San Biagio 6/D , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Great food and wine in nice setting both inside and outside. €45 including wine.
An aperitivo in Via Farini is something you should not miss. There are several bars in that little street where you will find a lot of people standing outside with a Martini or a Sprizz con Aperol at around 6pm, enjoying the free buffet that is offered when you buy a drink.
Try a bottle of the local sparkling red wine called Lambrusco, great on its own and perfect with much of the local cuisine. It can be purchased in virtually any bar or corner shop and is very inexpensive.
Where to stay in Parma
- Hotel Button Parma, Borgo della Salina, 7 (angolo San Vitale) (Parma) , fax: , ✉ email@example.com.
- Hotel Ponte Parma, Via P.le Asolana, 89 (Colorno) , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Inaugurated at the end of 2011 and boasting its own private parking facilities, this friendly and courteous hotel is run by the Ghezzi family, which truly knows how to welcome its guests, providing information about major events in the area. From €40 per person.
- Villa Franci, Via Segalara, No. 2 43038 Talignano di Sala Baganza, tel +39 335 6830676, email@example.com, . From €32 per person. This is a beautifully decorated bed and breakfast about 20 minutes away from downtown Parma in the countryside bordering a national park. The ancient road between Rome and Canterbury, Via Francigena, runs right outside the villa. An excellent place to stay if you have your own transportation. The owner is an outgoing, friendly local with extensive knowledge of the entire region.
- Astoria Executive Hotel , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Via Trento. This 3-star hotel is in a central position of the city, a few meters from the train station and centre. Each of the hotel’s 88 rooms is soundproofed. Also offers events organization, dining in the characteristic San Barnaba restaurant or surfing the web from Internet points in the hotel reception.
- Dimore d’ epoca , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Via Valenti 5/c. Short walk from the centre, in a large park, the villa belonging to a noble family of Parma has been open to guests since 1987. Hotel, quality restaurant and modern convention halls.
- Hotel Torino , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Borgo A.Mazza 7. In centre, an ancient monastery bombed during the Second World War. In the 1960s it was partially rebuilt and used as a hotel. Today, it continues its tradition of hospitality after a thorough restructuring aimed to revive the feeling of staying in nice home’s atmosphere.
- Palazzo Dalla Rosa Prati , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. 7 Strada al Duomo. Centrally located, with a number of elegantly appointed suites. The Palazzo is on the quiet and historic Piazza del Duomo. It is located in a pedestrian zone but the owner or his assistant will make parking arrangements for you. The rooms are clean, elegant, spacious and comfortable with all modern amenities. The owner, Vittorio, and his assistant, Mattia, are gracious and helpful hosts. They speak English. In the evenings there is often an accordion player outside on the piazza playing great old classics.
- Sabbioneta — a Renaissance ideal town. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site on par with Mantua.
- Reggio Emilia
- La Spezia
Lombardy Coronavirus Covid-19 Update – Cases Quarantine Deaths Stats to Italy
Lombardy or Lombardia is a northern region of Italy, and with 10 million people is the most populous one. Producing 1/5th of Italy’s GDP, it is also the mightiest economically. Geographically, Lombardy encompasses both Alps and Prealps in the north, and relatively flat plains in the south along the river Po and its tributaries. Between them there are many scenic lakes, and the alpine backdrop makes even the low-lying cities picturesque and the air rather fresh.
- I Cities
- II Other destinations
- III Understand
- IV Get in
- V Get around
- VI What to see in
- VII Do
- VIII Eat
- IX Drink
- X Where to stay in Lombardy
- XI Stay safe in Lombardy
- XII Go next
- XIII Current Covid-19 Infections in Italy, Lombardy
- XIV Timeline of Covid-19 Infections in Italy, Lombardy
Lombardy is heavily industrialized, although most of the industry is actually not heavy, but rather mid-sized specialized machinery-building and other assembly and engineering firms, as well as consumer industries such as foodstuffs and apparel. The regional capital, Milan, is Italy’s second-largest city and the foremost centre of commerce and a global fashion capital. Smaller cities also have considerable economic might, and have had so for many centuries, hence Lombardy is the region of Italy with the most UNESCO World Heritage List sites – and simply, a lot of history and scenic views to explore and enjoy.
- Lombardian Alps and Prealps (provinces of Bergamo, Brescia and Sondrio)
- Lake Como (provinces of Como and Lecco)
- Southern Lombardy (provinces of Cremona, Lodi, Mantova and Pavia)
- Grande Milano (provinces of Milan and Monza and Brianza)
- Milan (Milano, the capital of the province) – shares with Paris the title of fashion capital of the world, and is Italy’s second city.
- Bergamo – a fairytale pastel-coloured city perched atop a hillside, and the gate to Bergamo Alps
- Brescia – a major industrial powerhouse since the Ancient Roman times, and a UNESCO World Heritage List
- Como – the city that gave the name to the popular lake
- Cremona – home of Stradivarius violins, but also a wealth of ornate romanesque architecture
- Lecco – a little and charming city situated on Como’s lake.
- Mantua (Italian: Mantova) – the Ducal Palace has a cycle of frescoes by Mantegna that no art lover should miss.
- Sondrio – the northernmost provincial capital situated amidst alpine mountain ranges
- Varese – capital of the namesake province full of lakeside resorts, just 30 minutes from Malpensa airport
- The magnificent lakes of Lake Como – take boat trips in the shadow of the Alps to the picturesque villages of Bellagio, Varenna and Tremezzo – Lake Maggiore, Lake Garda and Lake Lugano.
- The tiny village of Erbusco, home of the award-winning wines of Franciacorta and L’Albereta, the country inn of Gualtiero Marchesi, one of Italy’s premier chefs
- The peninsula of Sirmione, on the south shore of Lake Garda
- The Caves of Catullo, an archaeological site of a former Roman villa situated on the tip of the Sirmione peninsula
- The Sirmione Spa, the largest privately owned thermal treatment centre in Italy
- Val Camonica : UNESCO heritage site, medieval towns, castles, holy art in churches, roman sanctuary and theatre/amphitheatre, ski sports.
- Oltrepò Pavese : Wine region in the utmost southern part of Lombardy, 70km from Milan, part of the Pavia province, medieval towns, castles, stunning views.
The Longobardis occupied the Peninsula in the 6th century, and the territory has been named after them ever since.
Lombardy is a prosperous region with fertile soil and a temperate climate. As in Piedmont, the Po Valley is the site of much heavy industry. High mountains in the north, marking Italy’s frontier with Switzerland, provide excellent skiing and climbing.
Three of Italy’s four busiest airports are in Lombardy:
- Milan Malpensa Airport is an intercontinental airport, and Italy’s second aviation hub after Rome Fiumicino. It has multiple direct connections to Africa, Asia and North America, as well as across Europe, where it is served by both full-service and low-fare carriers.
- Milano Linate is Milan’s city airport, served by business-oriented flights to European major commercial centres, as well as a dense Italian domestic network.
- Bergamo Orio al Serio Airport is served almost exclusively by low-fare carriers, taking advantage of its proximity to both Milan and the Alps.
Despite only Linate being in the city and province of Milan, all three airports are marketed as serving the city. One can easily get to other destinations in the province from them, without necessarily changing in Milan. There is also a small airport in Brescia, which in recent years has seen next to no scheduled traffic.
Travel by train to Lombardy
Road and train links connect the region with Switzerland. As Switzerland is not part of the EU, there is a possibility that you will be delayed by checks at the border, although these are infrequent and usually not rigorous. Remember your passport.
There is a relatively dense railway network connecting cities and towns in Lombardy, although the layout is intricate and getting from one place to another may not be straightforward. You should be able to reach your destination within 1 or 2 hours by train. Otherwise, buses and minibuses link important destinations, especially those popular with tourists. Hubs are usually in regional centres, as well as near major railway stations and airports; you can try to change there if there are no direct connections. Regional train network is entirely managed by Trenord.
Regione Lombardia offers a good travel planner that lets you query the whole public transportation system.
If you plan to travel a lot, it might be worth buying a io viaggio ovunque in Lombardia pass ticket. Those tickets let you travel without limit on the entire public transport system in Lombardy, including regional trains, buses and city public transportation systems, but excluding some ferry boat lines. Although expensive, they can easily be a cheaper option than regular tickets if you travel long distances. Passes are sold at railway stations (at ticket box or automatic vending machines) and at ATM automatic vending machines. You can buy 1, 2, 3 or 7 day passes (16€, 27€, 32.5€, 43€ respectively – February 2020).
The railway company Trenord offers some good travel packages, under the Trenord Free Time name. The package usually includes a ticket to an attraction or a trip proposal and a train ticket to get to the destination. Most of them are really useful only if you depart from Milan. It’s worth to take a look at the offers as they can also suggest you some new or lesser known itinerary that you may like.
As the Autostrada A4 runs across Lombardy, with the road system radiating from its junctions, you can get around by car as well. The A4 frequently gets congested though and traffic jams can be long and excruciating, especially around Milan. Be aware that Italians drive fast and make no allowances for foreigners, so be sure you are OK with keeping up with the traffic and occasional displays of impatience from other drivers.
Milan, Bergamo and Brescia have efficient and extensive public transportation systems.
What to see in
- Milan Fashion Weeks draw crowds of fashionistas to Milan every year.
- La Scala in Milan is a mecca for opera aficionados.
- You can enjoy water sports or more relaxed boating on the lakes.
- The Alps offer opportunities for hiking or skiing.
Lombardy’s most famous culinary inventions are minestrone soup and osso buco (literally “ox knuckles”). To the west of Milan lie miles of rice fields, where the rice for risotto alla milanese is grown. Other typical dishes of the area include salumi (cold cuts) and polenta.
As in many other areas of Northern Italy, the aperitivo (pre-meal drink with appetisers, for which a small supplement might be charged) is very popular.
The wineries in Franciacorta, around Erbusco, produce many excellent wines. The region has been elevated to the status of DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita). Other remarkable zones for wine are Oltrepò Pavese (which is the zone around Pavia on the south banks of Po river) and the countrysides around Garda Lake.
Valtellina also produces excellent wines, famous for their strong taste and flavour.
As every big city in the world, Milan has also many high quality restaurants, wine bars and Enoteche (wine store) where you can find high class wines from all over the world.
Where to stay in Lombardy
Large cities, like Milan, Bergamo or Brescia, are important business centres, so they have sizeable bases of business-oriented hotels. They are local hubs with connections to destinations within their provinces, and getting between them is also reasonably quick via a variety of means of transportation (trains, express buses or cars across the A4). Do note that accommodation in Milan is generally expensive, and prices skyrocket during major events or fairs, such as the Milan Fashion Week.
Destinations along the lines of the lakes, as well as those in the Alps, are popular with tourists, so you will find a variety of accommodation options there, from luxurious resort hotels to simple B&Bs.
While Milan features many of the usual tourist traps and con acts, as well as sizeable number of pickpockets due to the number of tourists there, other destinations are generally safe, and you can feel secure and welcome there. Do note, however, that in case you need to contact the police they can have very limited English skills and also may not be able to help foreigners much.
To the east is Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto, to the south is Emilia-Romagna and Piedmont is to the south and west. Switzerland lies to the north.
Current Covid-19 Infections in Italy, Lombardy
Timeline of Covid-19 Infections in Italy, Lombardy
Lake Garda Coronavirus Covid-19 Update – Cases Quarantine Deaths Stats to Veneto
Lake Garda is a lake in the north of Italy, and the surrounding region. It is a popular holiday location.
- I Understand
- II Cities
- III Talk
- IV Get in
- V Get around
- VI See
- VII Do
- VIII Eat
- IX Where to Drink at Lake Garda
- X Where to stay at Lake Garda
- XI Stay safe at Lake Garda
- XII Lake Garda Photo Gallery
- XIII Go next
The lake is situated at the border of the Po river plain, with the north part stretching into the mountains.
The north of the lake seems to be more suitable for the people who enjoy a quiet, peaceful holiday, but a bell rings from the Northern most town of Riva Del Garda often early in the morning. The south has a theme park and a few man-made beaches so is for the more outgoing, adventurous person.
Lake Garda map
There is a handful of small towns scattered all around Lake Garda. Some of the towns from the north clockwise to north-west are:
- In Trentino-Alto Adige
- Riva del Garda
- In Veneto
- Malcesine – for Monte Baldo – a ski resort in winter, and trekking site in summer
- Brenzone sul Garda
- Torri del Benaco
- Garda – among its attractions: Villa Albertini – one of the most splendid villas on the lake
- Bardolino – a home for homonymous vines
- Lazise – a small picturesque town with a tiny old harbour and a medieval castle
- Peschiera del Garda – see an old Austrian fortress, and the river Mincio – the main outlet of the lake
- In Lombardy
- Sirmione – located on the peninsula to the south is has a 13th-century castle and the ruins of a Roman villa, attributed by some to the famous Roman poet Catullus
- Desenzano del Garda – the largest town on the lake. It has good ferry connections to other destinations on the lake
- Salò – is a nice lake-side town notoriously known for being a capital of the Republic of Salò at the end of WWII
- Gardone Riviera – a small town known for Vittoriale – an eccentric (like its former owner) estate of Gabriele d’Annunzio with a large park. Giardino André Heller is another place worth a visit.
- Limone sul Garda – gets its name from lemons! Lemon trees grow throughout it, and is a lovely view
NB: Bear in mind that the town of Riva del Garda at the north tip of the lake is different from Garda, which is near the other end of the lake.
All people speak Italian as a first language but basic English is known. Many locals also speak fluent German as this area is a popular tourism destination for Germans and Austrians. As with anywhere in the world, it is good manners to learn some basic phrases in Italian.
Fly to Lake Garda
Verona Airport is the nearest airport, located 15km away to the south. Brescia-Montichiari is 30km to the south-west. Bergamo airport is 80km away. Milan Linate Airport, Milan Malpensa Airport and Venice airports are 100km away. Brescia-Montichiari is served by charter flights, while the others have many regular connections.
Cheap Flights to Verona
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Palma de Mallorca
Desenzano del Garda and Peschiera del Garda are the closest railway stations on the South of the lake. The closest station on the North is Rovereto.
- Nothern shore is connected by a number of bus services with Trento and other destinations in Trentino including the railway station of Rovereto. But also some buses from the eastern and western shores arrive to Riva del Garda, Arco, Nago-Torbole.
- Eastern shore is mainly served by ATV Verona. In Verona buses towards destinations on the lake leave from the railway station Porta Nuova or from Corso Porta Nuova (the boulevard just south of Piazza Bra). It takes about 2–3 hours, depending on lakeside traffic (which can be heavy), to reach pretty towns of Malcesine or Torbole. Get a timetable (orario) from the tourist office. Tickets can be bought from a tobacco shop down the road or on the bus.
- Western shore is covered by Trasporti Brescia. In Brescia buses towards the lake depart from Autostazione SAIA. For schedules check Arriva site or use a route planner at the Muoversi in Lombardia.
- A few locations at the south could be also reached by bus from Mantua.
Perhaps this is the most convenient kind of transportation for the locations along the lake shores. Gestione Navigazione Laghi provides regular ferry services in the area. A fast ferry takes about 2½ hours to cross the lake from the South to North. For schedules and tariffs check their online search service or get a schedule from the download page.
A car ferry connects Torri del Benaco at the E shore of the lake with Toscolano-Maderno at its W shore. In summer another car ferry connects Malcesine with Limone sul Garda.
Boat taxis are also available. Perhaps it’s a better option than a regular taxi, as the later one will cost you more money and it will take longer to travel.
See Get in section for connections by bus around the lake.
Rental bike service companies, easy biking itineraries at Garda Lake Region. The northern part of Lake Garda offers Europe’s probably most spectacular offroad trips, mostly on rough military roads from the First World War. Riva del Garda is a fine starting point, with trips ranging from easy to the most demanding and rewarding, like Tremalzo.
At the Isola del Garda
There are many historical places and buildings around the lake. The architectural style is mostly traditional Italian vernacular, which is very picturesque. There are also many classical-style churches, grand houses and castles. There is a large church is located at the northernmost end of the lake.
- Isola del Garda (near S. Felice del Benaco, just a short boat trip from Salò and Gardone Riviera). only by guided tours, see tours schedule. It’s a private island with a villa and a beautiful garden. €27 – €35 (including a boat trip).
Peddle boats or peddlos are available to rent throughout the lake although there are boundaries you must stick to as you are given a certain amount of time and that life guards are regular throughout the water.
In Malcesine take a cableway to Monte Baldo. Beautiful views can be seen from the top, and a small shop/restaurant is there. For those who get a re-instated fear of heights going up at the start, fear not, as there is a halfway stop.
In Bardolino you can visit the Zeni Winery and Wine Museum, to see the museum, and then, of course, buy some wine.
In Sirmione try famous sulphur springs or enjoy its beaches.
On the south of the lake in the vicinity of Peschiera del Garda there is big theme park Gardaland. It is a theme park for everybody, whether it be thrill-seekers, kids at heart, or just stressed out parents.
As per usual, fine Italian cuisine is sold. This consists of pasta, pizza and many other traditional Italian dishes. But other options are available such as German, American and British style foods. Italian ice-cream is fresh and homemade- great for those who have a sweethtooth. Ice-cream shops are common, with some sprouting out of shops and restaurants. Some “gelato” (ice-cream-like treat usually made in the shop) shops have 50+ flavors. Smaller shops with only a half dozen flavors might be more enjoyable. These seem to focus on the flavors they offer, and making the decision on which flavor to choose will take much less time. Breakfast is not the same as English or American breakfasts so be careful when you ask for full board. Breakfast at Le Paul in Sirmione, has English and American style foods. They even offer cereal.
Where to Drink at Lake Garda
Always drink plenty of water or other fluids as weather can be very warm.
One of the most popular summer drinks in the area is the Aperol Spritz. Obtained by mixing Aperol, Prosecco wine and sparkling water. Usually served in a glass with ice cubes, and a straw. Can be garnished with a slice of orange, and served with green olives.
Where to stay at Lake Garda
Many shops have outdoor stands and stalls, even if a shop is indoors, so always carry the receipt with you. Bag theft is not uncommon as in theme parks, lines often have a bag drop off point, which in turn is left unattended. If your bag is stolen it is usually left in the street with just your wallet or camera/phone stolen.
Lake Garda Photo Gallery
Veneto Coronavirus Covid-19 Update – Cases Quarantine Deaths Stats to Italy
Veneto is a region in north-eastern Italy, with its capital in Venice. It was an independent republic until the invasion of Napoleon in 1797.
- Venice – with St. Mark’s Square, the Great Lagoon, the gondolas on the Grand Canal, Venice’s Carnival together with great architecture, artistic masterpieces, particular narrow streets, the Biennale, the Marine Republic, but Veneto is not only Venice.
- Castelfranco Veneto – is a walled city, with its medieval castle still in nearly-perfect condition.
- Cortina d’Ampezzo – in the province of Belluno, is part of the Veneto as well. A place with spectacular views of the South Tyrol where you can relax and walk in summer and go skiing in winter. The Olympic Wintergames in 1956 helped Cortina d’Ampezzo to become a city known anywhere in the world.
- Padua , the ancient and learned city with its Basilica del Santo that houses the relics of Saint Antonio is one of the major attraction points for millions of pilgrims every year.
- Verona – The city of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. If you plan to go to Verona you should at least try to get one of the rare tickets for the opera in the Arena.
- Lido 10 minutes from Venice, the golden beach
- Bibione – seaside town
- Eraclea – seaside town close to Jesolo
- Jesolo – large seaside town near to Venice
- Quarto d’Altino – situated about 15 minutes, by train, from Venice’s main island
- Valpolicella – world famous wine region north of Verona
- Lake Garda- the largest Italian lake, and a well known tourism destination
Get a map of Venice with the water bus routes. You can see major parts of the city just by getting on and traveling the canals around the major islands.
Just sit in St Marks Square and watch the pigeons, listen to the music, watch the people go by.
The Venetian glass is beautiful.
Be careful about the time of year you go to see Venice. It is under water some times. Planks are put out to walk when the sidewalks are not walkable. If you go the right time of the year, it is a beautiful city and well worth the trip.
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