It was once a destination for mass tourism from northern Europe. Nowadays the shores of the Verona side of Lake Garda offer relaxation, excellent cuisine and fabulous wines imbued with culture and passion.
Bardolino encapsulates all that the lake represents. Appealing architecture and a touch of history with elegant houses where the wealthy came on holiday last century, a little port with sailing and motor boats, and a ferry.
A historic yacht waits to slip its moorings to take visitors on a trip and offer them a glass of local bubbly. Because Garda is known for its hospitality. Here welcoming and taking good care of tourists is a tradition that some families have handed down from one generation to the next.
Like the Tedeschi, the owners of Hotel Regina Adelaide at Garda, where the gourmet restaurant Regio Patio is located, with chef Andrea Costantini.
And also the Stockers at the Caesius Thermae & Spa Resort at Bardolino, a spa and ayurvedic centre that enjoys the cuisine of Alessandro Salandini, whose dishes combine healthy wellbeing and local ingredients. These destinations are only a short distance from the railway station of Peschiera del Garda, which is linked to the main lines.
Boats on the lake ply convenient routes to enjoy scenery that continues to boast, even outside summer, unique landscapes and truly interesting food and wine experiences.
The great protagonist of the traditional dishes, including those that have been revisited by gourmet cuisine, is local fish: zander, tench and alborella. The typical flavour of Garda cuisine is sweet and sour, used in marinades and especially “carpione” ones.
Fresh filled pasta has featured on these tables for generations. Without forgetting the top quality olive oil that is produced here, softer and more delicate than other oils in Italy, but with a well-defined structure.
Boats on lake Garda ply convenient routes to enjoy unique scenery and interesting food and wine experiences
“It is good to come to Bardolino to enjoy the benefits of the spa waters and treatments, or to enjoy convivial events such as the Grape Festival in October”, says the mayor, Ivan De Beni.
Wine is not a mere accompaniment to local cuisine, but one of its main features. The area is home to the wineries that produce Amarone and the consortium that promotes local rosé and sparkling wines.
Every year in summer, Bardolino hosts the event Aperitif under the Stars, organised by the De Gustibus association and the town's restaurants. This opportunity to draw attention to excellent local products attracts over two thousand people.
Form here, one can travel along the shores of lake Garda where the open air tables at coffee shops echo the atmosphere of central European holidays.
© Andrea Radic
The kingdom of pizza is at Caiazzo
Gourmet fans from all over the world flock to the small town in the Upper Caserta region. Thanks to Franco Pepe and his Margherita Sbagliata
What to eat in Naples
From street food to award-winning restaurants, from fried pizza to babas, a walk for food and wine lovers through the streets of Naples