History and culture along the colourful streets
Malcesine is nestled along the northeastern shore of Lake Garda in the Veneto region of Italy. From our base in Limone Sul Garda, we could see the small town across the lake, so with a short 25-minute hop on a boat from Limone Sul Garda and we are in Malcesine.
In the morning, we were chatting to the owner of our hotel over breakfast, and we explained what we were up to for the day, and I said we were heading to Malcesine. This is where I had a quick lesson in pronunciation, as Malcesine for those of us who are none Italian speakers, we would perhaps say it as you see it, oh no.
It is pronounced ‘Malchesinay’, well I won’t make that mistake again.
Wonderful view down Lake Garda
We head down through the cobbled streets of Limone Sul Garda and find out that Tuesday is market day. Trying not to get too distracted by the lively market, we hustled our way to the water’s edge of Lake Garda to catch the boat.
Arriving in Malcesine
You can catch a ferry to Malcesine, from the various towns around Lake Garda, however, if you are staying in Limone, I would just pick a boat that runs direct. The return trip is €9 per person and takes around ½ hour (they run every hour), whereas it may take longer on a ferry depending on its route.
As mentioned, Malcesine is in the mountainous northern end of Lake Garda, and the backdrop is incredible. Even more so when you cruise across by boat. Slightly further north is Riva del Garda on the northern tip of the lake.
A helpful guide
If you're hooked like us and want to tour around the beautiful Italian Lakes in northern Italy, then take a look at this DK Eyewitness book.
This Top 10 Pocket Travel Guide is invaluable, I find them extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.
Go and discover
We jumped off the open top boat and strolled along the promenade into town. Malcesine is a beautiful colourful town, you can certainly see why it has become a popular tourist resort.
Heading into Malcesine
As we head along the main lane, the picturesque view of boats bobbing up and down in the harbour opens up before you, it is quite striking. The harbour is surrounded by restaurants and cafes, people of all ages relaxed and enjoying themselves, soaking up the hazy sunshine.
Amongst the lanes
As we wander further on, we spot an archway that leads out to a pretty lakeside garden. This garden is part of the fifteenth-century Palazzo dei Capitani. It was built in Venetian style, on what was once Roman remains. Palazzo dei Capitani used to be the headquarters of the Venetian rulers the, Capitani del Lago.
Palazzo dei Capitani
Following the cobbled streets along we head higher into the historical town passing boutiques and art galleries. Charming souvenir shops and locals encouraging you to come and taste their delicious cuisine.
Waiting for custom
Colourful homes along the lanes
Off to the castle
Heading further through the ancient town we come face to face with the base of the Malcesine’s castle.
The 13th century Castello Scaliger, is undoubtedly Malcesine’s most striking landmark.
The castle was once owned by the Scala family, hence the name, it really is quite eye-catching.
The beautiful castle is perched on the water’s edge, and you get an amazing view of it if you arrive by boat.
Castle from the lake
Understandably Malcesine can get busy through the summer months; however, if you head slightly off the main streets, you may even be able to find a quiet spot. Also, make the most of all the benches dotted around.
Have a well-earned break
Leading down to the lake side
In the garden of Palazzo dei Capitani
The following day we drove an entire loop around Lake Garda, and I must admit the northern region is stunning. I would never tire of the view of the incredible mountains reflecting across the shimmering lake. Take me back there.
View from Castello Scaligero to the western side of Lake Garda
When in Italy
Ok, so I have to confess that we visited one of Malcesine’s many ice-cream parlours, it would have been rude not to. Go on tell me you could resist an ice-cream?
An Ice cream - hurry up!
We had a fantastic few hours visiting Malcesine and highly recommend catching the relaxing boat across. That way you can have a little tipple with your lunch.
Would you like a little more?
We have created a little YouTube video of Malcesine
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Where we stayed;
We based ourselves in Limone-Sul-Garda for 3 nights while we toured Lake Garda and stayed at Casa Albergo Sorriso the location is wonderful. We chose a room with a lake view, and it was stunning.
The hotel has free parking just outside, it is only around a five-minute stroll down into the heart of the old town, although, a few minutes longer back up.
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