We drove both sides of the lake – beautiful, narrow, probably very slow in summer, but relatively traffic free in winter. Worth the time! You may recognize this twisting road from the opening sequence of Bond flick Quantum of Solace, in which 007 tears along cliff faces and canyons with the bad guys in hot pursuit and a prisoner in the trunk of his Aston Martin. More on the road here:

Expected to be completed in 2021:


A cute town. The approach to **Arco is a little lackluster (industrial district), but the old town is fun to walk around in and the castle above is quite a looker. We walked to the top (worth it for the exercise, perhaps less so for the castle itself, which is more impressive from a distance).


Roberto’s recommendation for the best Kite Surfing (choke point that increases the winds). Note: the entire Garda area is very windy in summer, water is cold, known for kite and wind surfing.

Riva del Garda

***Riva del Garda: we loved it! This would definitely be my pick of cities to stay. Big enough, scenic, great old town, lots of history. We drove through quite a few and didn’t love anything else along the shores. Central towns on the west side of the lake looked more appealing than the east side.

Food & Lodging:

  • ***Parc Hotel Flora, Viale Rovereto, 54, Riva del Garda, IT, 38066. Excellent place to stay. A little out of town, but walking distance (<1 mile), with parking and easy beach access. It’s not waterfront, but the garden is lovely. Big spa (pool, sauna, etc.) and a good breakfast. Rooms modern and very clean. (Note: I’d stay here if you have a car. If you don’t, a hotel in the old town may be a bit more convenient.)
  • **Ristorante al Volt, Via Fiume 73 (Riva del Garda): excellent food in the old town. Interior is rather over the top in a “elegant grandmother’ sort of way – lots of bows and crochet. Reasonable prices, 10-20 Euros/dish.
  • **Ristorante Al Vaticano, Via S. Maria, 8 (Riva del Garda): another very decorated pick off a main square in the old town. Good food, very friendly, festive environment. Felt slightly more local, no other non-Italians eating.

***Ristorante Al Rustico, Via Str. Granda, 133 (Torbole). I wouldn’t have found this place, Roberto’s pick, back in the living areas of town. Best food we had, all homemade, very regional.

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