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Torbole sul Garda - Love at First Sight

View from above Lake Garda

Torbole sul Garda has a prime position on Lake Garda. Yes, there are lots of lovely little towns dotted along the lake shores, but none has quite such a perfect setting.

It is absolutely breathtaking.

Surrounded by huge mountain peaks and with a view looking south down the entire lake, you can't help but fall in love with Torbole.

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Walking through Torbole

Once you've arrived, don't go rushing off. Rather, base yourself here for three or four days and explore what Torbole and the surrounding area can offer. 

There are some amazing sights in store for you. 

Before I get to those sights, though, let's find you a place to stay. My recommendation would be the Hotel Villa Claudia.

Our Tip: You'll need a car to explore the surrounding areas properly.  You can find the best car rental rates here.

Don't Miss

View of Torbole and Lake Garda from the Hills

A drive up to the hill above the town is a must, The view out across the lake, framed by huge cliffs, is one of the best on Lake Garda. Only the view from the top of Mount Baldo is better.

To get there, take the SS240 and head away from the lake; you'll see the parking area on the left, around five minutes after leaving Torbole. It is just after a bar (situated on the right-hand side of the road). To make it easier for you, I've marked it on the map further down the page; the view point is called the Marmitte dei Giganti.

Don't miss out on the old town of Torbole. It may be small; however, a walk around the narrow streets is enchanting. I love browsing the many little stores and chatting in the cobblestone squares with new friends and old ones. It's a great place to enjoy a morning cappuccino while watching the world go by.

Relax on the Beach 

Beach in Torbole

I've written about those Lake Garda beaches I love the most elsewhere on the website - (click here for the article) and Torbole sul Garda beach is on that list too.

If it were not for the fact that it is gravelly (most of Lake Garda's beaches are), it would be pretty close to perfect. Sitting here on a bright summer's morning, gazing away at the dreamy, dream come true, view is pretty much as close to perfection as it gets.

If relaxing isn't your thing, then sign up for one of the kitesurfing or windsurfing schools.

Torbole is a mecca for both experts and beginners; apparently, the wind conditions and calm waters make it a perfect place to learn, and it really is a lot easier than I expected. I was no expert after one day's lessons, but I fell down a lot less than when I started out. There are a number of schools, and Kite Segnana has a good reputation.

Pizza or Seafood?

Try both while you are here. When it comes to pizza, there's a great little pizzeria called Pizzeria al Porto; they do a masterful job with both pizza and seafood. Good value too.

For a special occasion or a little romance, I've found just the place: La Terrazza. The views of the lake, the taste of freshly caught seafood (well, lake-food actually), homemade pasta, and the traditional desserts all go together to make for a memorable evening. Definitely the best restaurant in Torbole.


San Colombano

The 11th-century San Colombano church and hermitage (the Eremo di San Colombano) is so unusual that you think you are seeing things when you first glimpse them through the trees. It seems to be a part of the very cliff it stands upon.

Legend traces the hermitage's origins to the 8th century, when the Irish monk St. Colombano sought refuge in the rugged hills of Italy. Drawn to solitude and contemplation, he established a humble abode here, where he could commune with nature and the divine.

Among the locals, there exists a story that speaks of a dragon who once roamed the hills. According to the tale, the dragon guarded hidden treasures within the hills, bestowing fortune upon those who approached it with pure intentions.

Legend has it that St. Colombano encountered this dragon during his time of solitude at the hermitage. Instead of clashing in a battle of wills, as so often happens in dragon lore, a unique bond formed between the hermit and the creature. Quoting from local lore, "St. Colombano's heart was as vast and open as the lake itself, and this tamed even the fiercest of creatures."

Throughout the centuries, Eremo di San Colombano became a beacon of faith, drawing pilgrims from far and wide. Its strategic location, overlooking the shimmering expanse of Lake Garda, added to its mystique. Locals speak of the hermitage as a place where time moves differently, where the boundary between heaven and earth seems to blur.

One tale speaks of a miraculous healing spring that flows near the hermitage. According to legend, the waters possess the power to cure ailments of body and soul. Pilgrims would make arduous journeys to partake in this rejuvenating elixir, seeking both physical and spiritual renewal.

You will need a car to visit; it's a pleasant 35-minute drive from Torbole. I love the way the scenery and vegetation change from the typical Mediterranean of the lake shores to almost Alpine as you head up into the mountains where the church is.

When to Visit

Check beforehand by emailing them at or checking on the official website.

Car Rentals

Beseno Castle

Beseno Castle is one of the biggest castles in all of Italy. High on a hill, it dominates the entire valley below and can be seen from miles away.

Kids will love it as you get to helmets and armor once worn by knights, they can feel the weight of history settling upon their shoulders. The castle ignites their imaginations, transforming them into brave knights on a quest to defend the realm.

But the adventure doesn't stop at dress-up. Thrills await as young archers take hold of crossbows and aim their rubber-tipped arrows towards targets that echo with the echoes of ages past.

To get there, take the A22 and exit at Besenello. You can find out more about the castle here.

Riva del Garda

Riva del Garda is a five-minute drive away and has lots to see. The market, held every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month, is a great place to pick up bargains, and the town is a pleasant place to pass a day wondering about the old town and browsing the many fascinating stores.

If you've got a lot of energy, climb up to the top of the 13th-century Torre Apponale. It'll cost you 3 euros for the "pleasure" of walking up the nearly 200 steps, but the view from the top (offering views of the lake, mountains, and Riva del Garda rooftops) will make all those aches and pains worthwhile.

After a day spent exploring, shopping, and climbing, settle down to an aperitivo at one of the cafes along the promenade.

Cascata Varone

The spectacular Cascata Varone waterfall is another sight you really don't want to miss. It's only a 12-minute car ride away from Torbole. The waterfall is impressive, and so is the botanical garden you walk through to get there.

Cascata Varone by AnjaCascata Varone

Torbole FAQ

What makes Torbole a popular destination on Lake Garda?

Torbole's charm lies in its harmonious blend of natural beauty and outdoor activities. With the stunning backdrop of Lake Garda and the surrounding mountains, it's a haven for watersports enthusiasts, particularly windsurfing and sailing. The mild climate and gentle breezes make it an ideal spot for these activities year-round.

What are some must-visit attractions in Torbole?

Torbole offers a mix of historical and natural attractions. You can't miss the picturesque medieval village, with its narrow streets and quaint buildings. The Ponale Trail, a scenic hike along the lake's cliffs, offers breathtaking views. And, of course, the town's vibrant waterfront is perfect for relaxing by the lake.

Are there family-friendly activities in Torbole?

Absolutely! Torbole isn't just for thrill-seekers. Families can enjoy leisurely strolls along the lake, rent bicycles to explore the surroundings, or take a boat tour. The nearby Busatte Adventure Park is a hit with kids, featuring treetop paths and ziplines.

Where is Torbole?

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