Torbole sul Garda has 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 due south down the entire lake, you can't help but fall in love with 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 onto those sights though let's find you a place to stay; my recommendation would be the Hotel Villa Claudia.
A drive up to the hill above the town is a must do, 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 little squares to new friends and old. It's a great place to enjoy a morning cappuccino while watching the world go by.
I've written about those Lake Garda beaches I love the most elsewhere on the website (click here for the article)and the Torbole sul Garda beach is on that list too.
If it wasn't 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 the the kite surfing 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 that when I started out. There are a number of schools, Kite Segnana is one with a good reputation.
Try both while you are here is my advice. There's a great little pizzeria near the beach called Bellavita . They do a masterful job with both pizza and seafood. Good value too.
For a special occasion or a little romance I've just the place: La Terrazza. The views of the lake, the taste of freshly caught seafood, homemade pasta and the traditional desserts all go together to make for a memorable evening. Definitely the best restaurant in Torbole.
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 it through the trees. It seems to be a part of the very cliff it stands upon.
It's a pleasant 25 minute drive from Torbole. I love the way the scenery/vegetation changes from the typical Mediterranean of the lake shores to almost Alpine as you head up into the mountains where the church is.
Park in the little town of Noriglio and follow the well marked pathway that leads to a stairway of 102 steps. Each stair was carved out of the rock itself by the hermits centuries ago.
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 try on the helmets and armor of the knights of the time. You can also shoot crossbows with rubber arrows.
To get there take the A22 and exit at Besenello. You can find out more about the castle here.
Riva del Garda is a five minute drive away and has lots to see. The market, held on 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 the old town and browsing the many fascinating stores.
If you've lot's of energy climb up to the top of the 13th century Torre Apponale. It'll cost you 2 Euros for the "pleasure" of walking up the nearly 200 steps but the view from the top (offering views of 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.
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 too are the botanical garden you walks through to get there.