Holidays to Bardolino, one of the most popular towns on Lake Garda, will let you spend sunny days drifting between independent shops, pavement cafés and pizzerias.
Winemaking, medieval churches and 12th century city walls - Bardolino has lots to offer for everyone. It's well known for its lakefront presence and excellent transport links on and off the water. The stunning sunsets aren't to be missed either.
Lazy Bardolino days centre around its cosmopolitan promenade. It stretches for 3km along the lakefront to neighbouring Garda and is dotted with welcoming coffee spots. On summer evenings, it comes alive with locals and visitors watching street entertainment and listening to music, while enjoying an ice-cold spritz or a glass of local wine.
Drink in the sights
The vineyards surrounding the town are a clue to Bardolino's world renowned wine industry, which dates back to Roman times. And a visit to the wine or olive oil museum is a great way to learn more about the area’s past. Or just drink in the local history by wandering Bardolino's pretty streets - you'll pass the ruins of a 14th century castle, medieval city walls and beautiful churches dating as far back as the 9th century.
Out and about
• Lakeside promenade
• Lake bathing
• Boat trips
• Local ferries
• Bike hire
• Lakeside cycle paths
• Open-air concerts
• Wine tasting
• Olive oil museum
• Theme parks
• Historic churches
Things to See and Do in Bardolino
Bardolino's pebble beaches
Bardolino is a great spot for lake bathing. There are no sandy beaches here, but there is a mix of pebble and grass areas, often with showers too, located towards Lazise or Garda. Most beaches are free to visit, and a few have sun loungers to rent. From Bardolino, the sun sets on the opposite side of the lake, so you can enjoy the sunshine well into the evening, and stay to watch an incredible sunset.
For extra comfort, the Lido Mirabello is a great option. You can rent sun loungers and parasols for the day on the well-kept grass lido. Relax under the palm trees, take a refreshing dip or jump in from the jetty. Located just 2 minutes’ walk from the harbour, the lido also has a bar and restaurant – perfect for drinks, food and ice creams throughout the day.
One of the best sandy beaches around Lake Garda is just outside Lazise centre, a short taxi ride or bike ride from Bardolino. The beach was man-made by the local commune, with plenty of soft sand. Sun loungers are available for extra comfort, and the nearby campsite has a bar where you can get drinks and food during the day.
Every Thursday morning, the promenade is transformed into the weekly market – the second largest on Lake Garda. It’s a great place to get souvenirs and typical Italian products to take home. Prices are not as low as you may expect, but the quality of the goods is very high. We recommend grabbing an ice cream from Cristallos on the way through, too.
Bardolino town has many shops and boutiques towards the centre of town, away from the lakefront. El Bothegernoo is a great place to pick up local chutneys and preserves, plus they offer over 200 types of wine that can be shipped back to the UK. Clothing and leather goods stores are common in Bardolino, too.
For your designer buys, Verona is the place to visit. It’s just 40 minutes from Bardolino, and it's known for its excellent shopping. Via Mazzini’s marbled walkway is lined on both sides with designers and brands that feature among the most well-known in the world. Feel like a star as you browse Prada, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana.
Bardolino's shops, cafés and ice cream parlours often stay open as night falls, so the town centre is ideal for a gentle evening stroll. Sip a spritz at one of the lakefront cafés, or wander along the promenade with an ice cream from the famous Cristallos. The Munus courtyard, set back from the lake, is perfect for a relaxed drink under the stars.
Bardolino’s streets are often buzzing with activity throughout the summer months, but it's certainly at its liveliest during the annual wine festivals. The Palio del Chiaretto in early June is dedicated to rosé wine, and Festa dell’Uva e del Vino in late September is for all Italian wines. Cantinas from across the country come to proudly show off their produce, and you can marvel at stage performances, fireworks and shows as you sip the best wines Italy has to offer.
Bardolino's promenade is full of cafés, gelaterias and restaurants, and if you head up its little cobbled side streets, you’ll find more cosy little eateries here too. Local produce is used in a lot of cooking in Bardolino, so you’ll get to experience the best ice creams, meats and wines the region has to offer.
Traditionally tasty at Biri
The charming, family-run Biri is great for authentic Italian dishes, and the fillet steak with peppercorn sauce comes highly recommended. It’s just off the main street in Bardolino and the food is tasty and reasonably priced. You can even sit in the courtyard and enjoy a spot of people watching.
Authentic extras at Caprice Pizzeria
The oldest pizzeria in Bardolino, Caprice Pizzeria, is located in the heart of the old town. It's a proper Italian, serving amazing fish dishes, pizza and pasta. They also make their own olive oil and balsamic vinegar for an even more authentic taste. What's more, you'll receive a complimentary drink when you arrive.
Spaghetti ice cream at Gelateria Cristallo
On the lakefront, in the harbour, is the famous Gelateria Cristallo. They whip up a whole variety of homemade ice creams in different flavours and styles. The spaghetti ice is a favourite – vanilla ice cream topped with whipped cream, strawberry sauce and shavings of white chocolate.
Bardolino is on the southern part of the lake so the paths are relatively flat, making it an easy place to walk around. There are numerous pavement cafés as well as a cosmopolitan promenade for you to wander along.
The ferry from Bardolino stops at various resorts, including Riva and Garda town, and is a relaxing way to admire the beauty of the lake. The port is located by the Piazza Catullo. You can reach Garda in 15 minutes, with boats leaving six times a day, and Peschiera in 55 minutes, with boats departing twice a day.
The nearest station to Bardolino is in Peschiera, which can be reached in 30 minutes by bus. From Peschiera, you can journey to Venice in 1 hour and 30 minutes and Verona in only 20 minutes. Trains are pretty regular too, which is a bonus.
Bardolino’s bus station is located just off the main road next to the tourist office. Two types of buses operate from here - the first is a local bus that runs around Bardolino and the outskirts to Cisano, and the second is a public bus that covers the east coast of Lake Garda. You can reach Garda town in just 5 minutes.
Nestled on the shores of stunning Lake Garda, Bardolino conjures up images of long, lazy days on the water – but there are still plenty of ways to stretch your legs. The 3km-long lakeside promenade goes all the way to Garda town and can be taken at your own pace – either all in one or with plenty of stops for drinks and ice cream. Or head the opposite way to Cisano and Lazise. You could spend the day getting lost in Bardolino’s maze-like alleyways or climb to La Rocca for fabulous views across the lake and town.
Stroll to Lazise
Start from the ferry point and head right along the idyllic lakeside promenade towards the beautiful town of Lazise, a walk that generally takes about an hour and a half. The terrain is gentle and differs between flat paths and pebbled beaches. Plus, there are plenty of restaurants and cafés where you can stop for lunch, a drink or an indulgent ice cream and just watch the world go by.
Madonna del Pino and La Rocca
Stroll along the promenade to Garda town and head towards the main church. From there, you can follow the footpath to the statue of Madonna del Pino, which is also a fantastic spot for seeing the whole Bay of Garda. Carry on up the path to the top of the Rocca Vecchia and take in even more magnificent views, as well as the Eremo dei Camaldolesi monastery – and definitely remember to bring your camera.
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