In Gardone Riviera everyone can enjoy the view of the Garda Lake and the many floral gardens and opulent villas that surround this beautiful town. Gardone has a lovely promenade normally decorated with flowers from the area with its gelaterias, bars, restaurants, pizzerias, and cafes. Also, Gardone Riviera is an elegant and sophisticated resort with its warm climate and exclusive atmosphere.
As the ferry arrives at the terminal, the first building you will see is the Grand Hotel which was a very popular holiday location for Winston Churchill. The hotel still looks as splendid and attractive now as it did before. Winston Churchill frequently spent his summers in Gardone Riviera, enjoying his less well-known pastime of painting.
The parks and gardens at Gardone are very special. If you are following the roads and paths away from the lake, you will get to the gardens and former home of the poet Gabriele d’ Annunzio called Vittoriale degli Italiani. There you can explore the eclectic range of buildings and gardens, which include his ancient car, the airplane he used to drop leaflets in the First World War, and even the prow of the ship on which he served.
If that wasn’t enough chlorophyll for one day, there is also the Botanical Garden of Arthur Hruska. He was dentist to a Russian Tsar which is now owned by an Austrian multimedia artist! It now consists of an interesting combination of modern sculpture and the trees, shrubs and attractive flora of the original gardens including camphor trees, bamboo plants, water lilies.
As an excursion, Salo is not to be missed but much nearer is the little village of San Michele. There are some wonderful views from this little village, but it is an hour uphill on foot so consider taking one of the buses that leave from Gardone. Once there though, this is a great base for further hill walking to see the springs and waterfalls of the surrounding hills. Also in case you just can’t get enough of the green stuff, you can check out the Parco Alto Garda Bresciano, which is actually at Gargnano a little further North on the Lake.
Gardone is not a large shopping center but nevertheless has a small selection of rather nice shops to browse away and hour or so.
Gardone is naturally very well known for growing sweet-smelling lemons and in addition to Churchill, it was visited by various writers and poets including Goethe, Ibsen, and Lawrence, but probably not all at the same time!