There's an abundance of little nooks and crannies to explore on holidays to Lazise, a charming, thousand-year-old town.
Character and history
On the eastern shore of Lake Garda, nestled in-between the larger resorts of Bardolino and Peschiera, and at the foot of the Morainic hills, is Lazise, a small resort known for its unique character and rich history.
Bursting with life
Enter the 12th century fortress through a medieval archway and explore the maze of alleyways that make up this shipyard town. An array of history can be found within its walls, from the Scaligeri Castle to the Romanesque church of St Niccolo. Lazise, originating from the Latin translation for ‘city on the lake’, is also home to some of Lake Garda’s very few sandy beaches, so if you’re down for soaking up some sun, you can do so with soft, warm grains between your toes. As the sun begins to set over the glistening blue waters, the famous lakeside boulevard fills up with locals and tourists on their evening strolls, and the pavement restaurants and bars buzz with chatter over good wine and delicious delicacies.
Exploring and relaxing
Head outside of the town walls and you can explore significant Roman villas, like the Villa Pergolana, revitalise with a visit to the thermal spa in Cola or take a walk in one of the many vineyards in the area. Or if you don’t feel like venturing far, it's equally mesmerising to get lost in the narrow, pedestrianised streets that wind through the lakeside town, lined with charming houses adorned with colourful hanging baskets.
Out and about
• Lakeside promenade
• Lakeside path
• Lake bathing
• Boat trips
• Local ferries
• Rowing boats
• Lakeside cycle paths
• Wildlife park
• Cycle routes
• Open-air concerts
• Wine tasting
• Olive oil museum
• Fishing museum
• Theme parks
Things to See and Do in Lazise
Lazise's best beach
Lazise is known for its quaint harbour and lakefront promenade. Built right to the water, there’s no central beach, but it’s a short walk to the pebble beaches either side of town. The best beach is just in front of the Spiaggia d’oro camping site, south of the town centre. It’s a mixture of pebbles and sand, and while there are no facilities on the beach, visitors often head to the campsite café for food and refreshments.
A beach for everyone
Head along the promenade towards Bardolino and you’ll find many pebble beaches, jetties and places to rent sun loungers for the day. In the hamlet of Cisano, the Palafitte Lounge Bar has a man-made sandy beach area with sun loungers to rent, and a large grass area for bathing. There’s a small children’s play area here, too, with some swings and climbing frames to keep the little ones busy.
Going for a swim?
The sandy beaches here are all man-made, so it can be pebbly underfoot once you're in the water. Take some lake shoes to protect your feet as you wade in - or just find an area with a jetty and jump straight into the deep.
Every Wednesday morning, the market takes place in Lazise town centre. Confined within the castle walls, there's a great atmosphere as you stroll around the array of stalls and pick up a few bargains. While the market does not necessarily offer rock bottom prices, you’re often able to haggle a little, and the products are usually high quality.
The promenade of Lazise is full of cafés and restaurants making the most of their lakefront locations, and the back streets are filled with smaller shops and boutiques offering a great variety of products. Pick up some Italian leather, clothes, pottery and gifts at a reasonable price.
If you’re looking to really treat yourself, Verona is surely the place to visit. With brands such as Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and Prada lining the marble walkway of Via Mazzini – the most popular shopping street in the city – you’re sure to find just what you’re after. Getting to Verona is relatively easy and cheap by public bus.
The surrounding castle walls lend a great atmosphere to the evenings in Lazise. The town is filled with people enjoying an ice cream or spritz, or simply gazing out over the twinkling lake. Take a stroll around the shops, which generally stay open quite late, or head along the promenade, the longest on Lake Garda.
Lazise is often buzzing with activity and a great social atmosphere. If you’re after a lively bar, then Cortes mojito bar is the one to find. Located in the back streets, it has an outdoor courtyard and claims to make the best mojitos on Lake Garda. For something a little livelier, head to the nearby towns of Bardolino or Garda for live music, philharmonic orchestra concerts and the annual summer wine festivals.
Lazise has plenty of bars and quaint little restaurants ideally situated around the port and along the waterfront, which include a plethora of fish and seafood restaurants. If you venture down the little side streets, you're also bound to find lots of hidden gems.
Every flavour at La Cremeria di Lazise
Alongside the old harbour is La Cremeria di Lazise, an extremely popular hole-in-the-wall gelateria with a wide variety of flavours - including fig, nutella, Baileys and banana. Each ice cream is presented in huge, appetising peaks and the service is always fantastic, even with the constant queues.
Spectacular seafood at Alla Grotta
Just next door is Alla Grotta, a charming seafood restaurant overlooking the harbour. Open since 1951, this modern and elegant eatery enjoys the bustling atmosphere of the port and nearby customs house. Make sure you reserve a table though as it's pretty well-renowned.
A meal to remember at La Boheme
A little way out of the town walls, but totally worth the trip is La Boheme. An authentic Italian restaurant in a magical poolside setting, with gazebos and vines. Their range of Italian dishes is divine, and everything is both delicious and well-priced.
This southern resort is known for its relatively flat, cobbled side streets that weave between buildings encased in the medieval walls. The lakeside promenade is open and wide, with lots of places to sit and enjoy an ice cream.
Board a ferry at the Porticciolo, or Little Harbour, and visit some of the many glorious resorts dotted around the lake. The boats depart around once an hour and can take you to Peschiera in 30 minutes, Bardolino in 15 minutes and even Maderno in under 2 hours - and wherever you're headed, you're guaranteed beautiful views.
The nearest train station is in Peschiera, which can be reached by bus in 15 minutes from the bus stop just outside the walls of Lazise centre. From Peschiera, you can get to Venice in an hour and 30 minutes or Verona in just 20 minutes.
Buses from Lazise run up and down the eastern shore of the lake, and you can catch them from the main road just outside of the resort walls. Once aboard, you'll arrive in Bardolino in just 10 minutes and a journey to Verona takes just one hour. You can buy tickets from the bus driver or from any of the Tabac shops in resort.
Sitting comfortably on the south-west shore of Lake Garda, Lazise has the best of both worlds. The long stretch of waterfront promenade allows for relaxing walks at all times of day - you can even wander up to Bardolino if you fancy - with the sound of lapping water on one side and the clinking of cutlery on the other. The winding, cobbled alleyways that meander between the Mediterranean-style buildings offer a multitude of hidden corners to explore. If you decide to venture outside the resort walls, you'll be treated to walks along wide, flat roads surrounded by an expanse of green, open spaces.
From the Little Harbour in Lazise, head north along the waterfront and follow the path towards Bardolino. It will take about an hour and a half to get there, but don't let that put you off - there's lots of cute little gelaterias and cafés for you to stop off in along the way. If you're feeling extra motivated, carry on up to Cisano and grab some lunch by the lake before hopping on a ferry back to Lazise in the late afternoon, where you can watch the magnificent sunset from the water.
Alongside the River Mincio
This lovely walk follows a trail by the river as it flows south from the lake into the countryside. The walk starts in Peschiera, so jump on a bus down to the resort and head to the main port area. From here, walk along the river bank through the 18th century walls and underneath the motorway bridge, and lose yourself in the beautiful rolling countryside filled with vineyards, fruit and olive groves on both sides of the water. If you carry on following the path, you'll arrive at Valeggio, one of the prettiest villages in the area.