Lake Garda

The hinterland

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The hinterland south and south east of the Olive Riviera consists of a series of gentle morainic hills studded with small lakes, townships and villages steeped in history. Leaving Peschiera and following the River Mincio with "La Lugana", once woodland but now vineyards, on your right, you reach Valeggio with its historic centre concentrated around the square of the townhall and with its Scaliger castle built in the 10th century but completed by the Visconti Family: a fortress which, in its time was considered a prime example of the defence system called "Il Serraglio" (a defence wall) with a length of 16 km interspersed with 200 towers and linked up to the bridge and dam at Borghetto (600 m long it was built by order of Gian Galeazzo Visconti) with the castle of Valeggio, Gherla, Villafranca and Nogarole. An area steeped in history, one example is Salionze, famous because Pope Leone Magno managed to stop the advancing Attila, King of the Huns, there in 452 A.D., or one simply recalls the battles of the Renaissance period in Sommacampagna, Custoza, Villafranca, etc. Continuing towards the lake crossing dells carved out by the rivers Mincio and Tione and the morainic formations now covered with vineyards and cypress trees, you come past a string of houses and villas (Villa Sigurta with its garden), and pass through Custoza, Sommacampagna, Sona, San Giorgio in Salici, Palazzolo (the Santa Giustina Church is an important monument in Romanesque style) and Castelnuovo. The latter is said to have been the home of Count Carmagnola from 1427 to 1431 when he was sentenced to death by the Venetians for suspected treason. The Napoleonic Route runs south of Lake Garda and before reaching the valley of the River Adige it touches on the park "Natura Viva" which is not only a haven for rare animal species threatened with extinction but also a didactic centre and a bureau for information and research. It also hosts interesting collections of plants and animals from all the continents. Pastrengo, situated on the hilltops near Bussolengo (the churches of San Salvar, San Valentino of the 11th century and Villa Spinola and Benati) made history with the battle of 30th April 1848 between the Piedmontese army and its Austrian counterpart. In the distance the East face of Mount Baldo is visible with Cavaion (Villa al Ciriel, Villa Trabucchi, Villa Bonazzo, Palazzo Ravagnati and Trombetta, villa and small church of San Martino) and Affi (Villa Poggi, Villa da Persico, the church of San Bartolomeo alla Caorsa and Villa Fracastoro and the church of S.Andrea of the 12th century at Incaffi) in the foreground, situated at the foot of Mount Moscal these two localities are increasingly gaining importance for tourism in the Adige Valley, Lake Garda and Mount Baldo area. The hinterland of the Olive Riviera stretches from Lake Garda to the River Adige and from the morainic hills, the East face of Mount Baldo to the plain of Caprino comprising the morainic amphitheatre of Rivoli (the Napoleonic Museum and La Rocca) and the Adige Valley; you can admire a variety of landscapes characterized by its agriculture, such as olive trees, vines, peach trees, kiwi plants, vegetables (asparagus and peppers), woodland berries (raspberries, blackberries) and chestnuts, and its local trades (marble works) and commercial industries. Central point of the road network is the motorway toll gate entrance and exit of Affi, which allows fast passage between Garda, Valpolicella, Verona and the Adige Valley. The area served by the "Azienda Promozione Turistica" (Tourist Information Office) of the Olive Riviera is of great interest to nature lovers; the localities are steeped in tradition and history and hence offer a great variety of trips and excursions: the various peaks of Mount Baldo, the nature trails, the sanctuary of the Madonna della Corona, La Rocca di Rivoli, the morainic hills, the fortified castles and the trenches of World War I, with pleasant interludes to savour the local cuisine in places where you can enjoy the authentic traditions and recipes of the Garda region and the Veneto.

At Lake Garda, there is tourist accommodation available in hotels, farm holiday, farmhouse, residence self-catering accommodation, b&b, rooms for rent, holiday homes, camp sites and tourist villages.