We are in the small village of Villavetro di Bogliaco, an hamlet of Gargnano. One of the best preserved villages of the Upper Garda, with ancient paths and enchanted gardens to discover.
Starting from here you can enjoy wonderful walks, on foot or by bike or on horseback. You can explore the landscape or taste local products. Not far away the sixteenth-century Church of S. Pier d’Agrino with works of the seventeenth-century Venetian painter Andrea Celesti. Within walking distance with a nice little path, the Church of Supina, another jewel of the fifteenth century. In a few minutes’ walking you can reach Bogliaco Golf, the oldest one on the lake, with 18 holes.
On the way to Gargnano you can admire the eighteenth century Palazzo Bettoni with its scenic garden, imitating the Schoenbrunn Castle. Not far, you find the port from where the legendary Centomiglia, an important international sailing competition, is held annually in September. Continuing, you cross the village of Villa di Bogliaco with its small harbor surrounded by small restaurants. You can stop to enjoy the local cuisine or simply to have a drink at sunset. Continuing you reach Gargnano with a nice promenade on the lake and a small center with shops and restaurants. Do not miss a visit to the Cloister dating back to the XIV century, admirable art example with sculpted capitals reproducing citrus. Once lemons and oranges were a big production here. Guided tours to the lemon garden “La Malora” or, during the feast “ Giardini d’Agrumi”, you can visit other private lemon gardens.
Continue the walk up towards the end of the village to reach Villa Feltrinelli, once the residence of Mussolini during the Repubblica Sociale Italiana, now converted into a luxury hotel. Pass and arrive to the Romanesque Church of S. Giacomo di Calino, enchanted and magical place, where you can see the few fishermen of the lake they still live and work here. The church conserves great frescoes on the outside walls with a large St. Christopher, patron saint of pilgrims and motorists. Here once the road ended. To go further was necessary to embark on small boats to reach the other side of the lake. The Gardesana Occidentale Route was built only in the ’30s.
For more news and info on local events, visit the website of Gargnano
Nearby to the south, a few kilometers, you find Toscolano Maderno, best known for the jewel of the Romanesque church in the center of Maderno, the Roman Villa of Nonii Arrii dating back to the first century A.D. and Paper Mill Valley, a valley that offers pleasant walks and the Paper Museum, a must to visit. For more news and information on locations and events visit the website of Toscolano Maderno.
Not to be missed in the surrounding area:
In Gardone Riviera amazing is the museum and gardens of La Fondazione del Vittoriale degli Italiani, where Gabriele D’Annunzio, a poet and Italian soldier, lived from 1921 until 1938, the year of his death. Info: www.vittoriale.it
Also in Gardone: The Botanical Garden by Heller. Info: www.hellergarden.com/it/
Salò, it si considered the busiest shopping center in the area. To visit the Dome of the ‘400 and the Palace of Magnifica Patria. Recently opened a new museum called Mu.sa.
From here you can also easily visit the other centers of the lake by public boats.
Also convenient for visiting Brescia, Mantua, Verona and Venice.