Lazise, Venetian atmospheres by the lake

Castello Scaligero in Lazise, photo credits © Javen/
Castello Scaligero in Lazise, photo credits © Javen/
Lazise is a must for those who love the lake, beach life and water sports, but also for its particular Venetian atmosphere, the delightful promenade and the many historical and cultural treasures.

Lazise is located on the eastern shore of Garda Lake, in the province of Verona. Thanks to its geographical position of great scenic allure, its lakefront, its Scaliger castle (the best preserved of the whole Garda), the historic center that recalls the Venetian one and the presence of several amusement parks, Lazise ranks first among the most visited lake resorts in Italy. Founded by the ancient Romans, in the Middle Ages it was the first free commune of Garda and in the 10th century a particularly flourishing commercial center. Among the historical remains not to be missed is the imposing Scaliger Castle, accompanied by the original walls with thirteen towers and three gates, which still surrounds the historic center. Probably built on Roman foundations around the eleventh century when the territory was ruled by the Venetian Republic, over the centuries it suffered several sieges, reporting some damage and was repeatedly remodeled. The most ancient nucleus preserves the original medieval aspect, with a square plan, five towers and a keep.

The picturesque old town of Lazise leaves enchanted, with its small harbor, occupied as usual by the boats of fishermen, the arcades along which face houses, bars, restaurants and small stores, which continue even in the alleys, some of which have retained the name of “calli”, as in Venice. The architectural style of the lakeside promenade, considered by many to be the most beautiful in the whole of Garda Lake, is reminiscent of Piazza San Marco in Venice. Among the main points of historical and cultural interest in Lazise is the Dogana Veneta, a massive building constructed in the fourteenth century, near the ancient port, as a control point for commercial traffic in and out of the Venetian territory. The boats had to enter it passing under the mighty arches of its facade, before being able to access the port from a side opening. It then had different destinations, depending on the historical period: it was an establishment for spinning cotton, then market, then arsenal and, during the Second World War, Casa del Fascio. Today it is used as a location for events and conference center. In front of the Customs House stands the main religious building of the town, the thirteenth-century Romanesque church of San Nicolò, dedicated to St. Nicholas of Bari, protector of water and fishing, which contains the remains of numerous fourteenth-century frescoes unfortunately almost completely faded.

In Lazise, those who love beach life can choose from several beaches where they can also practice all the traditional water sports, while both adults and children can have fun in the nearby water parks and theme parks, such as Caneva Aquapark and Movieland.  Finally, lovers of wellness can not miss a break in the thermal park Villa dei Cedri, a natural spa of 13 hectares surrounded by ancient trees, where to relax between lakes, pools with Jacuzzi, fountains and waterfalls, all with hot thermal water that flows from two layers at 200 and 160 meters deep.