Out and about in the north of Italy
By Lorna Heatley
2 November 2017
Lake Garda is one of northern Italy’s most famous, and favourite, tourist spots, and how could it not be?Read more
Set on Lake Garda's southern shore, the quiet town of Desenzano is one of the lake's most charming towns, and boasts a long history. The area is known to have been inhabited for several thousand years, as recently the remains of a pre-historic pile dwelling were discovered on the outskirts of the town (note that this site is not open to the public). The town has been a popular tourist destination since about the 1st century BC; wealthy families from Verona - then north-eastern Italy's main city - began to visit the lake for holidays.
Today the town continues to attract visitors, due in no small part to the beautiful views of the Alps to the north, and the clutch of pretty beaches at the lake's shore. The town itself is a delight to explore. The compact centre consists of a series of interconnected squares, along which there are various pavement cafés, ice cream parlours, shops, bars and restaurants. The medieval castle on the hillside and the picturesque waterfront are some of the more popular attractions. The ruins of a Roman villa can also be found in Desenzano, complete with a mosaic and a small museum about the building. Other highlights include the archaeological museum, which tells the fascinating story of the town's long history, and the magnificent 16th-century Cathedral of St. Mary Magdalene.
Picturesque, peaceful and perfectly placed for our visits to Verona and Venice, the lakeside town of Desenzano forms the ideal base for a wonderful holiday with a delightful setting on the shores of tranquil Lake Garda - one of Italy's best-loved lakes.… see more
10 days from £1,395 ppView tour details >
Enjoy the festive period in two of Europe's most spectacular settings on this truly memorable rail holiday. Innsbruck at Christmas is enchanting, and Lake Garda is the perfect place to enjoy a fantastic New Year.… see more
13 days from £2,495 ppView tour details >
Enjoy a leisurely, relaxed holiday to some of Italy's most beautiful sights. We join the MS Michelangelo for a magnificent cruise through the spectacular Venice Lagoon, admiring the tiny islands of this attractive archipelago, before exploring fashionable Milan and the many attractions of Lake Garda.… see more
13 daysView tour details >