People on a striped walkway in Lazise, Italy. Restaurants and buildings on left.


Stunning Lake Garda is lined with lovely towns. How do you choose where to stay?

Bardolino, Lazise and Peschiera del Garda are my top 3 picks for where to stay on Lake Garda, not only because of their charm and beauty, but because they’re in an area packed with things to do. 

Stay tuned to find out what Bardolino, Lazise and Peschiera del Garda all have in common. You’ll learn reasons to stay in each of my 3 picks, and plenty more highlights and information about each town so you can choose the best place for your vacation. You’ll even learn how to pronounce each of them correctly.

Wherever you choose to stay on Lake Garda, don’t miss out on walking and bike riding along the lakefront promenade, or lungolago. Enjoy a swim in the lake’s glistening aquamarine water, take a boat ride, and discover charming little lakeside villages. Thrill seekers: don’t miss out on Gardaland, or one of the area’s many other amusement parks!


All three towns: 

  • are on the southeastern shore of Lake Garda
  • are in the Verona province of Italy’s Veneto region 
  • are all right on the lake
  • have a lakefront promenade for strolling and bike riding along the lake
  • have public beaches where you can go swimming in the lake
  • are closed to cars in the town center
  • have a range and variety of accommodation
  • have a weekly outdoor street market
  • are great to visit with kids
  • are 30- 40 minutes from Verona, 1:20 -1:40 from Venice, and 10- 20 minutes from Gardaland by car.



  • Clean, comfortable, public grassy beaches
  • Gorgeous, sweeping lakefront 
  • Elegant Venetian villas give a taste of the town’s illustrious past
Lakeside with wooden boardwalk on right. Ferry on water on left.


Once a fishing village, Bardolino sits on the southeastern shore of Lake Garda, The old town center, or centro storico, is filled with boutiques and cafès for people watching. 

Cars are not allowed in the old town center, which makes strolling and exploring the narrow streets even more pleasant. Look for the old stone walls of the village center, which are said to date back to the 9th century.

Bardolino is home to a grand total of 13 vacation villas of aristocratic Venetians from the Republic of Venice (15-19th century). Eight are right in the town center and along the lakefront. Even though they’re not open to the public, some you can admire from the outside, and even get a peak of their grounds and gardens. 

Bardolino’s charm continues right along Lake Garda. The lakefront promenade in Bardolino is especially panoramic, because the shoreline comes to a curve at Punta San Vigilio, offering dramatic sweeping views of the coast. There is even a ferris wheel right on the shore at Punta San Vigilio, and you can take a small train around town and along the lake.

Read more about Lake Garda with kids.

Grassy beach area with umbrellas and people enjoying the sun in Bardolino, Italy.
Bardolino beach

A big highlight for us is Bardolino beach. It is not a wide sandy beach but a long green stretch with plenty of grass and shade, north of town along the lakeside promenade. Since most of the lake’s other public beaches nearby are pebbly, this grassy stretch is a comfortable oasis. Nearby there is a large parking lot, and a multi-use park set away from the lake with a basketball court, outdoor workout apparatus, and a skate park. 

Bardolino gives its name to two of the area’s high quality red wines, Bardolino Superiore DOCG and Bardolino DOC. Bardolino Chiaretto DOC is the local rosé, or rosato, which makes a great aperitivo, or before-dinner drink. 

How do you pronounce Bardolino?

The pronunciation of Bardolino is: bahr-doh-LEE-noh

Listen to how to pronounce Bardolino here:



  • The town’s medieval walls feel like you’re in a real life fairy tale
  • The charming Porto Vecchio (Old Harbor)
  • Canevaworld amusement park
Kids entering archway in Lazise on Lake Garda


Lazise makes quite an impression, whether you arrive by land or by lake. As you approach the town by car from SR249, the main road, your first glimpse of the town will probably be the majestic Scaligero Castle and medieval walls that surround the town.

To enter the town center, try passing through one of the old gateways in the ramparts, like the one on Via Bastia, and feel like you’re entering a fairy tale castle. Once inside the old town, you’re greeted by charming narrow streets bursting with shops, cafés and restaurants.  Cars are not allowed in the old town center, which makes strolling and exploring the little streets even more pleasant. 

There are even more delights to discover along the water. Lazise has a wide, regal stretch of lakeside promenade called Lungolago Marconi with a special stripe stone pattern which looks like waves. Make sure to visit Porto Vecchio, or the Old Harbor, to feel like you are strolling along a canal in Venice (there’s no barrier or fence to keep you from falling into the water, so make sure to hold toddlers by the hand!).

Mermaid statue on Lake Garda shore in Lazise, Italy.
The mermaid of the lake

As you walk north along the lake, there are plenty of boats to admire, and families of ducks too. Look for the statue of the “Mermaid of the Lake”, and a small public pebble beach where you can go swimming. 


Lazise’s very own Canevaworld Resort boasts two exciting parks: Caneva Acquapark, full of water slides; and Movieland, a Hollywood themed park. Not only that, It’s also home to the Medieval Times restaurant and tournament show.  

How do you pronounce Lazise?

The pronunciation of Lazise is: lah-TSEE-zeh

Listen to how to pronounce Lazise here:



  • Drink and dine on the town’s aquamarine canal
  • The town center is in a Venetian fortress: a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Direct train service from Milan and Venice
Boys looking out at Canale del Mezzo in Peschiera del Garda. You can see boats docked along the canal and a green building in the background.


Peschiera del Garda is very convenient if you want to use public transportation to get there, and get around. The Peschiera del Garda train station has direct service from Milan and Venice, and there is a free shuttle bus that runs from the train station to Gardaland.

The town center sits a bit back from the lake on the other side of a road, inside a Venetian fortress!

Peschiera del Garda’s pentagon-shaped fortress, with its impressive ramparts and canals, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site has an impressive history, and was once an ancient Roman colony called Arilica. In the 16th century, canals were built and the site was fortified under the Republic of Venice, making it an important part of the Serenissima’s defense and military system.

Piazza in Peschiera del Garda. Buildings and people dining outdoors.
Piazza San Marco, on the canal in Peschiera del Garda

You can admire the ramparts on foot, take a guided walking tour, and even go on a boat tour. Wander through the old town’s cobblestone streets brimming with shops and you’ll come to the lovely Canale di Mezzo, a canal lined with restaurants and cafés. Cars are not allowed in the old town center, which makes strolling and exploring the narrow streets even more pleasant.


A fun way to see the fortress is by taking a bike ride along the Euro Velo 7, or E7, bike path. The path is flat, and runs south along the Mincio River, for great views of the ramparts. It’s a fun ride for the whole family, just be advised that there are no barriers or fences to keep you from falling off the path into the water, so it’s best for children with experience.

How do you pronounce Peschiera del Garda?

The pronunciation of Peschiera del Garda is: peh-skee-EH-rah dehl GAHR-dah

Listen to how to pronounce Peschiera del Garda here:


Lake Garda is not only sumptuously gorgeous, it offers all kinds of activities and is great for families with children. Make sure you:

  • Visit picturesque lakeside villages like Sirmione
  • Walk and go bike riding along the lakeside promenade. 
  • Go swimming
  • Take a boat ride
  • Go to an amusement park like Gardaland

For plenty of ideas and tips, read my guides to enjoying Lake Garda, and my tips for Lake Garda with kids

View of Gardaland kids area. You can see big tree and airplane ride.
Gardaland is fun for kids and kids at heart


Bardolino, Lazise and Peschiera del Garda offer every possible kind of accommodation, from luxurious exclusive hotels to campgrounds. I can only recommend where I’ve stayed personally!


This enormous campground complex on the lake in Peschiera del Garda has a variety of accommodation types, from onsite hotels, to bungalows, mobile homes, and campsites. What it lacks in local charm it makes up for with convenience, especially if you’re staying with kids. Camping Bella Italia has multiple restaurants, pools, and kids activities, and the grounds are well run and maintained by friendly staff. 

Enjoy your trip to Lake Garda!

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