Torri del Benaco traces its legacy beyond the famous Renaissance that first brought Italy fame, which was born in Tuscany. That’s done nothing to detract from the old world charm of this destination though, whose handsome terracotta buildings are among the country’s finest.
The town takes its name from its three towers, however, and you’ve got the opportunity to sample those sites as you meander the languid narrow streets of Torri del Benaco. The lake invites refreshing breezes and the scent of pine all year round, while more enquiring minds can head to Scaligeri Castle.
Built at the tail end of the 1300s, and having withstood the centuries ever since, this magnificent structure pays homage to local culture. Within, you’ll find museum exhibits dedicated not only to the local olive farming tradition, but also to the prehistoric rock carvings that have been found in the surrounding countryside.
And what countryside it is. Torri del Benaco is tucked beside Lake Garda, as we’ve established, making boat trips out in the sunshine a given. Yet thanks to the lake and the open countryside around it, the climate here is a little less swarthy than further south in Italy, though not shirking blue skies in being so.
Beside Scaligeri Castle are rich forests of lemon trees, and if you choose, countless walks and trails will wind you through the olive groves of old, over hills and through dales as the Italian countryside sprawls in its appealing vistas on all sides. Definitely pack the camera.
Cycling makes for a more lively way to see the sights, whereas guided tours are plentiful if you want a more structured way to explore. Torri del Benaco is also superbly placed for those of you looking to make it a place to hang your hat between adventures in neighbouring towns and cities. For instance, easy and direct bus links to the city of Verona make for intriguing excursions.
Discover local culture through markets, cuisine and wine
Torri del Benaco has plenty to do in and of itself, of course, so you will be fully engaged even if you make the town itself the focus of your Italy holiday. Weekly markets see local artisans, performers and food vendors gather to ply their trade, offering authentic flavours in Italian cuisine alongside handmade trinkets to bring loved ones back home.
Seeing the remnants of Venetian influence on the town, together with the murals and frescoes left by those craftsmen, makes walking from place to place as engaging as it is inviting. And of course, cafes and restaurants by the harbour make for a sublime time indeed, promising the rustic interiors and warm welcomes you’d expect of Italian hospitality. Pizzas and pastas by the piazza are all well and good, but don’t miss out on the local gelato, where creamy flavours and fruity sprinkles make for top ways to cool down on a hot day.
And of course, if all of this sounds too far from the local tipples for you, make sure you get stuck into a wine tour, which will take you from this beautiful little town around the whole of Lake Garda. Learn how Italy’s finest vintages are grown, prepared and curated, and perhaps more importantly, grab a few bottles to tide you by if you’re dreading going home.