Peschiera Del Garda is a charming town located on the southern bank of Lake Garda in the province of Verona. The town is very popular among tourists because of its lovely canals and bridges, beautiful churches, historic buildings, fortifications, and small docks with colorful boats.
Also, it is one of the few places with a train station and a motorway exit a couple of kilometers away from the historic center, so you can very easily reach this place.
Because of the walls, there are two different parts of Peschiera, the old town that lies inside the walls and the newer area outside the walls. In 2017, The Fortress of Peschiera del Garda was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, making this town more recognizable and more popular among the tourists. Here are all the things to do in Peschiera del Garda:
Stroll along Mazzini lakefront
You can easily walk along the lake on the well-kept Mazzini lakefront and go further until you reach the area with the beach. The lakefront has many benches to stop and enjoy the enchanting view, as well as restaurants where you can sit and relax after the walk.
Visit Fortress of Peschiera del Garda
When you come to Peschiera, the first thing you will see is a massive pentagonal-shaped fortress built by the Republic of Venice between the 16th and 17th centuries. It encloses the whole historical center and is entirely surrounded by water. Along the fortress walls, you can see many picturesque canals and gates that allow access to the historic center.
There are few gates to the historic center along the fortress walls, of which the most preserved one is Porta Brescia. It is the gateway to the fortified center through a beautiful flowery bridge over the right branch of the Mincio river. The gate was built in 1770, and it leads to the magnificent Bastione Tognon. Porta Verona is another gate worth visiting, which is not a pedestrian zone like Porta Brescia.
Explore the historic center
At the time of the Roman Empire, Peschiera del Garda has a very important and strategic position in defense of Lake Garda. Nowadays, there is no more need for defense and fortresses for protection. Therefore, the historical center inside the walls is only a popular tourist attraction.
While wandering around small alleys, you can see a bunch of small shops restaurants, as well as beautiful historic buildings, squares, churches, and imposing military structures.
If you come to the historic center through Porta Brescia, keep walking to the left along the walls, and you will arrive at Bastione Tognon and Piazza Betteloni. They are both located right on the small harbor from which boats depart to reach the other towns on Lake Garda.
If you turn right from Porta Brescia and continue along Via XXX Maggio, you will come to Piazza Ferdinando di Savoia with its lovely water fountains. There you can see the Church of San Martino Vescovo, built in 1820 but the origins of the church date back to 1008. Right next to the church are the archaeological excavations of the ancient settlement of Arilica from Roman times that are worth visiting.
Sanctuary of the Madonna del Frassino
Sanctuary of the Madonna del Frassino is the most visited church in Peschiera del Garda. It was built in a Renaissance style at the beginning of the sixteenth century and is very beautiful and evocative both inside and outside.
Many families with children are coming to see this lovely building because of the two cloisters with beautiful flowers that also have cages with birds and a fountain with fish and turtles.
If you come inside the sanctuary, you can admire the eight altars, the two chapels, and beautiful frescoes on the walls. According to local stories, there is a legend that the Madonna intervened to save a farmer bitten by a snake. The place of the apparition is marked by an ash tree on which today you can see a statuette of the Madonna and Child.
Ponte dei Voltoni
Ponte dei Voltoni is located in the northern part of the historical center, and it is known as the symbol of Peschiera del Garda. This bridge with characteristic five terracotta arches was built in 1556 and is nowadays one of the most popular places for taking wonderful photos.
It overlooks the Canale di Mezzo, where you can see many small fishermen’s boats. This bridge is best seen from a boat trip, so you can book a thirty-minute cruise around the fort which will also go under the central arch.
Peschiera del Garda beaches
If you are visiting Peschiera del Garda in the summer months and want to cool yourself in the lake, there are few public beaches near the town. The two main beaches in the town are Spiaggia dei Cappuccini and Spiaggia dei Pioppi.
The most popular beach is called Braccobaldo Beach, which is located a bit outside of the town. You can also sunbathe in Porto Bergamini, Porto Fornaci, and along the banks of the Mincio river.
Spiaggia dei Cappuccini
Spiaggia dei Cappuccini is a clean beach located directly on the lake promenade, very close to the center of Peschiera del Garda. It is well-maintained, equipped with umbrellas and sunbeds for rent, showers, and pedal boats, and there are often live music shows in the evening. The beach is full of pebbles and rocks, so it is advisable to wear swimming shoes.
Spiaggia dei Pioppi
Spiaggia dei Pioppi is a mall beach located a few minutes from the center of Peschiera del Garda, walking along the lakefront. It is a clean pebble beach with many shades, so it is perfect for families with kids. The beach is also equipped with paid sunbeds and umbrellas, showers, and padel boats. Near the beach, there is a small bar for refreshments with quite reasonable prices.
Braccobaldo Beach was one of the first beaches for dogs in Italy. It is equipped with sunbeds, umbrellas, showers, dog bowls, and plenty of restaurants. Also, nearby you can park your car for free, which is pretty rare in Italy. The stretch of beach is completely covered with pebbles, so bring your swimming shoes.
Art galleries in Peschiera del Garda
If you are an art lover, you must pop into a few art galleries located on some of the small side streets in Peschiera del Garda. You will be amazed at the gems you can find in the small, hidden-away galleries. Italy has a lot of very talented artists, and even if you don’t have the budget to buy a few pieces, you should still spoil yourself by spending a whole day just browsing through the galleries.
If you decide to buy a painting, most galleries will have an option for you to have it wrapped up and shipped to wherever you want. This is great, especially if you are still going to travel and are not on your way home yet. No one wants to have a big piece of art that they need to drag around everywhere, worrying that it might be damaged somewhere along the line.
Mincio cycle path
Those who are staying for at least a few days in Peschiera del Garda should explore the Mincio cycle path. It goes along the Mincio river towards Mantua, and by bike, you will have to cycle for around 3 hours to reach your final destination. This 43 kilometers cycle path is perfect for having an active holiday in Peschiera del Garda.
Peschiera del Garda nearby attractions
The Venetian side of Lake Garda is the favorite of those traveling with children because of the many amusement parks that you can find near the towns. But, adult travelers also have a lot to visit nearby Peschiera del Garda. Here are the best nearby attractions:
Very close to Peschiera, there is something to get the adrenalin pumping and your heart beating. A great amusement park! Gardaland is the largest amusement park in Italy and also one of the largest in Europe. There are rides for only the brave, such as Blue Tornado and Raptor, but they also cater to those who prefer something not to action-packed.
You can enjoy discovering the ruins of an ancient oriental temple on a rubber dinghy or take your children to enjoy the Fantasy Kingdom. Most of the bigger rides have a height restriction of 1 meter, and they have a special offer that lets you go into the park for free if you are under 1 meter or over 60 years old. This amusement park near Peschiera del Garda has 11 different shows every day and 5 theme restaurants that you can go to for a delicious lunch or snack.
The other fun resort on Lake Garda is CanevaWorld, which includes the Caneva Aquapark with wave pools, swimming pools, and other water games, as well as Movieland, a theme park with attractions inspired by Hollywood films. A combined ticket is available for the two parks, but you can visit them separately.
Inside the resort, there is also Medieval Times, a rather atypical restaurant where diners become spectators of a medieval tournament. This dinner show is perfect for bringing together children who are bored at the restaurant and parents who want to swallow generous portions of food!
Parco Giardino Sigurta
About 9 kilometers south of Peschiera, signposted Valeggion sul Mincio is one of the most beautiful gardens in the world called Parco Giardino Sigurta, which is open from March until October. The park was established in 1617 and now extends over half a million square meters. There are five flowering seasons throughout the year, known as the tulips, irises, roses, lilies, and asters.
Also, the park offers numerous highlights of landscape architecture like the avenue of roses, the labyrinth, a horizontal sundial, the herb garden, and water gardens. Because of its size, you should plan at least half a day for the visit. The tickets for the park costs 12 euros for adults and 6,50 euros for children.