Arrive by car or train to Peschiera del Garda at 10:00 am. Peschiera is a town built inside a Venetian fortress from the 1400s built to protect the Mincio River, an estuary of Lake Garda. After a guided tour through the streets of this ancient Venetian fortress , now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, we will descend the river to the town of Borghetto sul Mincio, one of the most beautiful villages of Italy. The 10 km separating the two towns, which can also be traveled by car, crosses the border with the Lombardy region known for the production of squash and a white wine called Lugana DOC.
After breakfast at the hotel, a guide will accompany you to visit Malcesine Castle, its museum, its history as well as its myths and legends, this tour will continue all the way to the old port of the city.
Around noon a private tasting will await you in an oil mill where you will be able to learn the secrets of the production of Garda DOP, a renowned quality extra virgin olive oil, you will also learn about other delicious oil specialty products.
If you are still a little hungry you can visit the alleys of the village in search of some typical specialties such as sardines from the lake in “saor“, polenta with pike or carpione, trout in “salmi” or other typical local recipes.
Do not overdo it, however, because in the afternoon, by moving on foot or with an electric bike that will be available until the next morning, you can reach the splendid beaches of the town for an unforgettable swimm in the shade of the beautiful castle.
For those who have chosen the bicycle, or those who have their own vehicle, it is recommended to travel the 12 km south that separates Malcesine from the village of Brenzone to dine at the Alla Fassa restaurant, one of the best restaurants on Lake Garda.
The two villages are linked by a beautiful cycle/pedestrian path on the water, which would be a shame not to explore. For those who wish to stay in Malcesine, we recommended the restaurant inthe Hotel Capri with its incomparable panoramic terrace. Whatever your choice, a tasting dinner will be organized to make you enjoy the gastronomic uniqueness of the lake which, with its waters, is able to offer excellent fish dishes but also, thanks to its hills, can also offer fine wines, oils, cheeses, authentic charcuterie and as well as chestnuts and truffles.
After a breakfast, we will spend the morning at Monte Baldo. In the village of Malcesine there is a modern panoramic cable car that climbs the 1,800 meters above sea level from Lake Garda to the top of the mountain. The same cable car was used by James Bond during the initial shooting of the SkyFall movie. This experience is perfect for leaving the warm beaches to climb in a few minutes and admire the lake from above before continuing the tour to discover the secrets of the lake.
After a guided tasting of typical charcuterie and cheeses from the region, the return to the valley is scheduled at 2:00 p.m. to leave the hotel and reach Torri del Benaco in about 30 minutes. Once you have checked in to a new room, a few hours of relaxation are recommended until about an hour before sunset. This is the moment when the castle and the prestigious medieval port take on the brightest colors and offer visitors unforgettable views.
A table will be waiting for you for dinner at the Del Porto restaurant where the chef and his team will offer you a tasting menu accompanied by some gourmet pizzas, all based on the local Gardesana fish and on traditional recipes. These pairings and guided wine tastings will be the perfect end to a special evening.
After breakfast at the hotel, from the ancient port of Torri, we will leave with a Venetian motor boat to discover Garda island and its mysteries. We will discover a private island which has been a place of spirituality since ancient times. Starting as a Roman hermitage, then a Franciscan monastery, then a private residence which was then abandoned and transformed into a villa in the 19th century, today the island is a private residence which will open its doors to you, also, according to legend, the island is the refuge of the “Mostro del Garda”.
Sirmione. The discovery of an important thermal spring has made it a popular destination since Antiquity. The Roman poet Catullus, born on these shores, as well as the most famous Virgil who accompanied Dante Alighieri in the Divine Comedy in the circles of hell. It is located on border between the regions of Veneto and Lombardy, it was fortified by the Venetians and today its castle in the lake offers an incredible experience to those who disembark on its shores. You will have free time for lunch and to get lost in the history and beauty of this place. At 3:00 p.m. the visit to the Castle is scheduled and the departure for Torri del Benaco will be at 4:00 p.m., where we will dock after about 1 hour of sailing along the coast to admire the many villages and towns overlooking Lake Garda.
Breakfast, departure and transfer to the hotel in Bardolino will happend at 11:00 am. The chosen hotel will guarantee you an early check-in and a parking space and two electric bicycles available for exploring one of the two largest towns on the lake (but it can also be explored on foot)
Bardolino is connected to the north by a 3.5 km cycle-pedestrian path to the town of Garda, the one that gives its name to the lake. The lake takes its name from the fact that centuries ago the largest fortress on the lake stood here “avangarde”. Today, the fortress hardly exists any more, absorbed by the shops and restaurants of the historic center, but the charm of history remains intact. If you cross the whole country still going north, you will come across the castle built by the Savoy family, former Kings of Italy, still owned by the family.
If, on the other hand, from Bardolino you continue towards the south, still with the same pedestrian and cycle route, you will first reach the town of Cisano, where the important oil museum is located and then the most populous town in the region, Lazise. The village is completely surrounded by the walls of the castle which is today the largest in Lake Garda and is still intact.
Bardolino, however, highlights above all, its oil and wine specialities. It is from thisname that the famous DOC red wine produced on the shores of the lake was born, it is from the skillful processing of these grapes that excellent products such as rose and chiaretto are born. The same lands that give rise to the grapes also produce olives and therefore production of extra virgin olive oil, which is of the highest quality and regulation.
At 6:00 p.m., in the splendid setting of the Guerrieri Rizzardi courtyard, a complete tasting of the Garda wines awaits you, meeting the producers and sommeliers who work every day to guarantee and improve the quality of the products.
Free time for dinner and return to the hotel.
Breakfast and departure with transfer by private car to the nearby city of Verona, retracing the footsteps of the family who inspired Shakespeare for his Romeo and Juliet play. This 22 km route will cross vineyards and hills, between Austrian forts and Roman and Renaissance ruins until reaching the heart of the romantic city of Verona.
This city of Roman origin still retains its amphitheater and theater in operation today and hosts world opera performances renowned for their quality and prestige.
When was the last time you had dinner in an Italian restaurant in Canada and you thought you were dining in Italy? That’s exactly how “Ospitalità Italiana Certified”restaurants want you to feel when you visit their fine dining establishments.
Ospitalità Italiana is an official certification from Unioncamere, Italy’s federation of local Chambers of Commerce and Industry, that tells you that the food you are enjoying is unquestionably Italian: products are authentic, ingredients genuine and recipes true to the thousand year history of Italian cuisine.
Canada is home to some leading Italian Chefs. Passionate and innovative, many have refined their skills and advanced their knowledge directly in Italy. In addition, Montréal boasts a fabulous cooking school ITHQ where young aspiring chefs learn Italian technic and Italian traditional recipes from the masters.
So the next time you make reservations for an Italian dinner in a Montreal restaurant, ask if they’ve received the Ospitalità Italiana seal of approval. You will enjoy the true Italian taste.