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Canals and bridges, stunning cathedrals and old buildings, fortifications, and little docks where boats dock are just a few of the attractions. Here's what you can see in a day in Peschiera del Garda, a one-of-a-kind lake town facing Lake Garda's southernmost shore, in a wind-sheltered location on the banks of the Benaco and Mincio rivers.
This town is a few kilometers from Verona, but it is also easily accessible from Milan, not only by vehicle, but also by train, which takes just over an hour. For individuals who live in these locations, it is thus an ideal place for a short excursion out of town, even if only for one day.
Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit the village each year, drawn by the beauty of the lake it overlooks and the surrounding area, which includes Gardaland, one of Europe's most famous amusement parks for its attractions and numerous events.
If you just have one day, here's what you should visit in this lakeside community.
Tour of the historic district by foot
If you are visiting Peschiera del Garda for the first time and are unsure what to see, the charming old town is a must-see before heading into the natural splendor of the area. We recommend doing it solely on foot so that you can take in all of the sights and sounds of the city center.
In fact, you'll find a plethora of boutiques and restaurants, as well as exquisite ancient buildings, squares, churches, and intimidating military fortifications, among the passageways of its walls.
The Rocca, or Fortress of Peschiera del Garda, is a modest architectural gem encased in towering pentagonal walls dating from the sixteenth century, complete with majestic bastions and imposing gates.
The river Mincio, an emissary of Lake Garda, runs all around the town, its natural course altered by the construction of the fortress, which defined three branches that depart the lake and meet south of the town.
The pedestrian bridge outside the citadel, which crosses the canal, is one of the most atmospheric parts of town. The Porta Brescia, the historic fortress's western gateway, is then particularly intriguing.
An historic patrol walkway connects the Tognon and Feltrin bastions just above Porta Brescia: don't miss it because going along it will allow you to enjoy the entire fortress from above, revealing views that you would otherwise miss.
Once within the fortress, follow the walls to Bastione Tognon and Piazza Betteloni, which are directly next to the little port where boats embark for journeys on the lake and to nearby villages.
Continuing north, one eventually reaches Bastione Querini. The old Palazzina di Comando della Piazzaforte, or of the Presidio, more widely known as Palazzina Storica, stands in front of it, in the widening beyond the canal. After Caporetto's fall, the magnificent resistance on the Piave River was formed here. The room where King Vittorio Emanuele III and the Allies gathered for the momentous Peschiera Conference has been preserved since then. The lovely Catullo Park surrounds the neoclassical edifice, which also houses the Military Museum.
The Bastione San Marco lies just beyond Porta Verona, and just in front of it is the Caserma dell'Artiglieria, which is open to the public following a painstaking repair. The Historical Archives and the Civic Library are housed in the great arsenal, which Radetzky built in the fortress of Peschiera between 1854 and 1857. It also hosts theater and musical performances, as well as exhibitions, shows, and exhibitions.
We reach the enormous Ferdinando di Savoia square, commonly known as Piazza d'Armi, near the Bastione Cantarane, as we continue our trip south of Peschiera del Garda, back towards Porta Brescia. The long edifice of the military jail and the parish church of San Martino, both overlooking the plaza, are located near the remnants of a Roman colony, which were discovered near the end of the first century BC.
When you arrive in Piazza D'Armi, take a stroll over the sixteenth-century Ponte dei Voltoni, which features exquisite terracotta arches and overlooks the Canale di Mezzo, where the boats of Peschiera del Garda dock.
The "crib of the lake”
Like every year, at the point where the waters of Lake Garda flow into the Mincio River, you can admire the now famous underwater nativity scene.
The first underwater crib was created in 1980 by the Sub Club Peschiera del Garda in honor of Lake Garda, and it has since been revived as the first example of an underwater crib made with the specific goal of being visible to everybody. In fact, because to the presence of the nearby Ponte San Giovanni, which serves as a panoramic balcony open to the public, it may be appreciated without the need to dive.
The installation consists of 26 metal sculptures proportioned to human height, molded with a blowtorch, sprayed with reflective paint, and placed at the canal's bottom.
The placement of the Baby Jesus completes the Nativity tableau on the evening of December 24. The Baby Jesus is put into his manger at the foot of the Canale di Mezzo, accompanied by choirs and Christmas carols, with the help of the Peschiera Sub Club.