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INTRODUCING GARGNANO

From the lemon groves dotted across the landscape to its beautiful lakeside spot, Gargnano is like a breath of fresh air. Home to the Centomiglia regatta since the 1950s, it’s the place to be for sailing and socialising. Get out and about strolling picturesque parks, or take to the water and try windsurfing. Wander around the grounds of grand villas, or enjoy a spot of dining al fresco. With a majestic backdrop of mountains and hills, it’s an idyllic place for a luxury break.

Churches and citrus groves in the Riviera dei Limoni.

Things to do

NATURE

With its beautiful lakes, mountains and valleys, the Gargnano region is the picture of romanticism. Walk around Valvestino Lake, marvel at the waterfalls at Tignale, or escape to the beach at Parco la Fontanella. Surrounded by olive trees and backed by snow-capped mountains, it’s a pretty place for a picnic, or to try your hand at sailing amid this majestic Mediterranean landscape.

HISTORY

This area is known for ancient lemon groves, and you can trace their origins to Chiesa di San Francesco. This 13th-century village church is where Franciscan monks began growing citrus fruits. Here there are also remnants of the Roman era in the shape of an ancient altar and a stone dedicated to Neptune. You could walk to the hillside church of St. Pier d’Agrino to admire its 17th-century organ case. Then visit the Sanctuary of the Crucifix, opposite.

 FOOD & WINE

A perfect culinary pairing, Gargnano is blessed with lemons and fresh fish in abundance. Rise early and you’ll be able to see last night’s catch being sold outside the old town hall. Then enjoy it in a dish made with locally grown capers, gargnà olive oil and, of course, citrus. Some of the lemon trees here are hundreds of years old – look out for the Maderno and Almanac varieties.

To see some impressive examples of Lake Garda’s mansion houses, make time to admire Villa Bettoni and Palazzo Feltrinelli – the latter was temporarily taken over by Mussolini in the 1940s.

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