Photo: Viktor Gladkov/Shutterstock

Italy’s Lake Garda Is a Serene and Less Expensive Alternative to Lake Como (and Looks Like Heaven on Earth)

Italy Outdoor Insider Guides
by Olivia Harden May 24, 2022

Perhaps you’ve been drawn to the serene Lake Como in northern Italy, which is known for its gorgeous views and celebrity atmosphere. However, Lake Como is not the end-all-be-all to special lake towns in northern Italy — Lake Grada is just as much of a bucket-list destination. Travel influencer Rosie Londoner recently posted a TikTok calling the destination “heaven on Earth” — and by the looks of it she’s right.


Lake Garda… just as lovely as Como but quieter & cheaper! ✨🇮🇹

♬ original sound – Rosie

Although offering visions of a peaceful utopia in the video, Lake Garda welcomes 22 million visitors a year to experience the regional tastes of Veneto, Lombardy, and Trentino. However, it’s the largest lake in Italy, so there’s apparently some space to spread out if you go to the right area on the right day. The TikTok invokes a dreamy Sunday afternoon as she makes her way through a path of five cypresses and over 500 olive trees before arriving at Parco San Vigilio. The 20,000 square meter (over 21,500 square feet) property was designed by French architect Rudy Ricciotti and features a tranquil pool and lake access, plus an amazing fire grill restaurant outside, where guests can enjoy fresh seafood. Parco San Vigilio is 20 euros during low season and 25 euros ($21-$27) during high season (meals not included).

If you’re interested in traveling to this slice of heaven, the best time to visit is from mid-April through September. Experienced travelers recommend flying into Verona or Milan and taking a 40-minute train ride to the region. If you like biking, consider investing some time to use the 87-mile Garda by Bike trail that’ll take you through Lombardy, Trento, and Veneto. Other recommended activities are sailing, windsurfing, horseback riding, golfing, kitesurfing, and paragliding. If you prefer to rest and relax, invest some time at the Sirmione Spas or the thermal park. Once you settle into the Italian lifestyle, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll never want to leave the magic behind.

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