Today we’re going to discuss a town I recently visited and had the most wonderful time getting to know, it’s called Riva del Garda. It is a popular tourist destination as it sits along the shores of the famous Lake Garda in Northern Italy. A town with much history starting around the days of the Venetian Republic, Riva only joined what is now Italy at the conclusion of the First World War in 1918.
With plenty of alpine terrain and one of the nation’s most popular lakes within easy reach, this town is best known for the recreation opportunities made possible by the nature that surrounds it. Many use Riva del Garda as a base to explore the incredible region which surrounds it.
Sailing, SUP and windsurfing
Equipped with two harbours and at least ten sailing schools, there are few better places in Italy to learn how to pilot a boat for the first time. Opposite the town of Riva del Garda, the Italian Alps rise precipitously from the water’s edge, providing an unbeatable backdrop for recreational and competitive boaters alike.
With regards to the latter point, Riva del Garda hosts a number of regattas over the high season, including the Fraglia Cup and the Lake Garda International Regatta, providing fans of races plenty of events to take in throughout the summer months.
Windsurfing is also popular, as the mountainous terrain in the area generates the steady and strong breezes needed to make this recreational pursuit possible. There are upwards of ten camps along its sandy shores, giving adventurous travelers plenty of choice when it comes to picking a place to teach them this exciting sport.
Another fun water sport which is gaining popularity around the world is SUP which stands for stand up paddle boarding is available. It’s a great leisure activity as it’s easy to learn and very relaxing for people of all ages and athletic ability. It’s also great for those that want to navigate around on the lake and take some time getting in it as well.
Hiking and mountain biking
Those that are not attracted to the waters of Lake Garda will still have plenty of options for outdoor recreation, as there are plenty of trails in the Riva del Garda area that will give avid hikers and mountain bikers something to do from dawn til dusk.
While there are numerous routes for those seeking a relaxing walk in nature, those looking for something more exhilarating should give via ferrata a try. Via dell´Amicizia is a well known route in the area, as the steel guide wires, ladders, and rickety platforms will grant you dizzying views of the lake and town thousands of feet below. The Ponale trail is also very well known and popular, it’s the hike we do in the video above.
There is up to 1,000 kilometres of mountain biking trails around Lake Garda, but if you want to stick close to Riva, we recommend giving San Giovanni Al Monte a rip. Located on the eastern outskirts of town, this track will take you through lush vineyards and outstanding lake views throughout the entirety of its run.
The quality of the food in Italy is among the highest in the world, as passion for well-crafted meals is strong in this country. Look for Merlot and Cabernet wines, extra-virgin olive oil, freshwater fish, and any dish containing lemon in it, as all these products are produced in the region.
There are many restaurants in Riva del Garda where one can find local food, but if you want to go high end, we suggest dining at several places to fully familiarize yourself with all the town has to offer. Many kitchens incorporate local lake fish into the dishes on its menu, and many local products can be found on the lengthly wine lists; there is something for every Italian food lover.
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