Lake Garda is the largest, and some say most beautiful, body of water in Northern Italy. Located halfway between Verona and Trento, this Alpine region brings together breath-taking heights with laidback countryside glamour. The name Garda comes from the Germanic word warda, or "place of observation" - a fitting name for a spot that poets and politicians, dreamers and dictators, have been drawn to for centuries.
Relaxation is truly paramount here, and applies to whether you’re drinking a glass of Prosecco with the cosmopolitan crowds of the north shores, or vineyard hopping in the south. No trip, however, would be complete without visiting the local Valtenesi farmhouses or spa towns, the most popular of which are Sirmione and Bardolino.
Arco is the beating heart of the northern Lake Garda region. Set against soaring mountain peaks at the southern end of the Sarca River valley, its insulated position creates a mild climate year-round. The city’s crisp air and lakeside position were not lost on Archduke Albert of Habsburg, who, after a visit, was inspired to build his winter residence in Arco. Today the area draws a steady trickle of visitors with its lush, exotic plant park, called the Arboretum, and former Hapsburg-era gardens, villas, and palaces. Just make sure not to miss Arco’s jewel: the Medieval castle and hilltop convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, which houses a rare 15th century wooden statue of the Virgin Mary.
Be prepared to put your visual settings on WOW – each of these little style nuggets has a location that will remain in your thoughts for an eternity (well at least until you return home).read more