Travel Guide of Bardolino, Veneto, Italy

Bardolino is an Italian town in the province of Verona in Veneto. Bardolino is located on the eastern coast of Lake Garda, an established tourist resort, city of wine and encounters. Characterized by a fascinating landscape and by the many colors that distinguish it: the clear blue of the lake; the green of the surrounding hills, with the characteristic olive groves and vineyards, which makes it one of the liveliest villages on Lake Garda.

Like the other towns of Lake Garda, Bardolino enjoys a mild climate due to the presence of the lake itself and its proximity to the mountains, such as the Baldo mountain range that dominates the north-central part of the Veronese shore. The mildness of the climate favors the growth of the Mediterranean flora: olive trees, cypresses, oleanders, vines thrive on the hills that surround the center that extends towards the lake with two characteristic points formed over the centuries by two streams.

Bardolino, once an ancient fishing village, is now one of the main tourist destinations of Lake Garda. The main riches are tourism and local products with excellences such as Bardolino wine and Garda DOP oil. In fact, a long tradition of hospitality characterizes this locality and refines the traditional agricultural economy. Typical products such as wine, oil, fish, guarantee a traditionally genuine cuisine offered by restaurants, agritourisms and typical places scattered in the hinterland.

And wine is also the absolute protagonist of important events such as the Bardolino Chiaretto Wine Festival in May, the Bardolino DOC Grape and Wine Festival in October, the Novello Wine Festival in November and, during the harvest period, the famous “Grape Care”.

Bardolino is the ideal place for those who love an active holiday but also relaxation. Countless possibilities for water sports but also excursions on foot, by bike or mountain bike.

Blends with an excellent food and wine repertoire, Bardolino is a lively village, also thanks to the shops scattered around the streets of the center where you can go shopping, places to sip an aperitif overlooking the lake, bars and discos open until late.Restaurants, farmhouses and trattorias offer traditional cuisine and there is no shortage of pizzerias, coffee-pastry shops, ice cream parlors. There are many catering proposals, which make use of local products: Bardolino wine in its various types extra virgin olive oil and Lake fish.

Throughout the year, Bardolino offers many events, some now famous, such as “The Bardolino Grape and Wine Festival” held every year in October, the “Palio del Chiaretto”, the Christmas markets with the party ” From six to six “, the curious” Sagra dei osei “in Cisano and many others.

Archaeological excavations have proven the presence of humans in the area since prehistoric times, in the area of Cisano. There also traces of ancient Romans, though the modern settlement dates to the early Middle Ages, when Berengar of Italy (983) had a castle built here. In that period the area was under the suzerainty of the Bobbio Abbey.

In Bardolino, Lungolagoreperti from the Roman era are abundant. It is said of King Pepin’s visit above Malcesine to Saints Benigno and Caro, in one of those trips the king destined the church of San Zeno and all its appurtenances to the abbey of San Zeno in Verona.

Between 859 and 856 there was a dispute between Verona and the towns around the lake. The Veronese towns of the lake became a single administrative entity based in Garda. The first castle was built in the 9th century, authorized by Berengario in order to constitute means of defense against invasions, permission granted to all the communities of the lake. In Bardolino the castle was enlarged until it formed a single fortress for the whole town with the Scaligeri.

In the 12th century Bardolino is mentioned as a free commune, and later was under the Scaliger of Verona, who enlarged the fortifications to encompass the whole village. After their fall, it became part of the Republic of Venice which had a marine base here.

Under the Lombardy-Venetia, it was an Austrian administrative center: in 1848 it revolted against them in the wake of the first Piedmontese victories in the First Italian War of Independence. However, later the Austrians retaliated with ravages and shootings. It was annexed to the newly formed Kingdom of Italy in 1866.

Today Bardolino’s economy is mainly tourist, oriented to all forms of hospitality. As facilities there are hotels, campsites and second homes, the food and wine offer and attention to creating sporting events in order to increase the demand for tourism are also important. The wine production with the denomination of Bardolino wine which takes its name from the town.

Main Attractions
Bardolino is one of the best known towns on the Veronese shore of Lake Garda, with its large dock, residences, numerous shops, bars and restaurants. The city, famous for the production of highly valued wines, is also an important summer resort located on the shores of Lake Garda. During the summer it was animated by a lively nightlife with discos and live music clubs. Over the years it has progressively oriented itself towards a more laid-back tourism for families but it still remains the cheerful and lively atmosphere of the past.

The mild climate, the lake and the fertility of the hills have always been the riches of Bardolino. It was these riches that made emperors, monks and noble families live in this land in the past, who built castles, buildings and convents. An extraordinary historical and artistic heritage has been formed over the centuries.

In Bardolino it is pleasant to walk through the center and along the picturesque lakeside promenade, which goes from Punta Mirabello to Punta Cornicello: two small strips of land that extend from the town into the waters of the lake. Furthermore, it is possible to visit ancient churches and museums.

In the picturesque history and culture of the Gardense area, the houses in the historic center of Bardolino, built and inhabited by fishermen, were built in a herringbone pattern, one after the other starting from the first one that rises on the beach which today make the center even more characteristic. The streets were built perpendicular to the coast to facilitate the transport of boats safely in front of the house. The paved spaces in front of the exits of these ancient houses, the narrow streets full of flowers, today full of souvenir shops, ice cream shops and clubs.

The castle of Bardolino was built towards the end of the 9th century, when King Berengar authorized the inhabitants of the lake to build protective fortresses. Subsequently the Castle was continuously rebuilt and modified for the changed needs. In a map of 1439 existing in the State Archives of Venice, the local topography is already clearly delineated with the square walls open towards the lake, four towers on the four sides, two doors.

Bardolino offers all water sports, sailing, rowing, windsurfing and for the most restful holiday sport: swimming in crystal clear waters and sunbathing on one of the beautiful beaches. Bike or walking enthusiasts cannot miss the lakeside promenade that connects Bardolino to Lazise with about 6 kilometers of cycle and pedestrian path. The local trattorias offer menus that include ancient recipes with the freshest lake fish, surrounded by vegetables from the surrounding hills seasoned with olive oil

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Teast the local wine: the fabulous Bardolino, some say the best wine of Italy. The Olive Oil Museum in nearby Cisano is also worth a visit. For young people there is no shortage of large discos and crowded night clubs for fun while and a few kilometers away there is Gardaland and other water and theme parks. Fans of walking or cycling should not miss the new Way of Bardolino, a walk through the vineyards of the area.

Religious architectures

Church of San Zeno
Among the main monuments of Bardolino it is certainly worth mentioning the Church of San Zeno which is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful Carolingian churches in Italy. This church is considered among the most important historical monuments of Carolingian origin in Italy. It has a Latin cross plan with barrel vaults above the arms and, in correspondence with the lantern, cross vaults. The most significant remains of the ancient decoration are found in the side apses. The Church of San Zeno outside the walls has very evident similarities with the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna, it constitutes the great historical-artistic heritage of Bardolino.

Church of San Severoit
Church of San Severoit is built in pure Romanesque style of the 12th century, although the original nucleus of the church dates back to 893, as indicated by the foundations of the apse uncovered. The tripartite façade is very beautiful and has a small cusp portico placed to protect the entrance and a high bell tower. Inside you can admire a cycle of frescoes from the 12th-14th century and the crypt of the original nucleus of the early medieval church.

Monastery of San Colombano al Monte
Monastery of San Colombano al Monte, founded in the Lombard period and rebuilt in the 11th century, dependent on the abbey of San Colombano di Bobbio. Inside there is a painting, circa 1960, depicting the Virgin and San Colombano, the work of Leonardo Peretti.

Church of San Colombano al Borgo
Church of San Colombano al Borgo, abandoned at the end of the 18th century and demolished at the end of the 19th century.

Pieve di Santa Maria
Pieve di Santa Maria, built in Cisano in the twelfth century on a previous church of the late seventh century in turn built on a pagan temple. The interior was redone, irreparably damaging the structure in the 19th century.

Church of San Vito
Church of San Vito, prior to the 13th century, in the locality of Cortelline. Despite the renovations of the choir and the facade which took place in 1714, it still retains parts of its early medieval structure.

Church of San Nicolò
Church of San Nicolò, built on a project by the architect Bartolomeo Giuliari between 1830 and 1847, replaced San Severo as a parish.

The Sisàn Museum, opened on 10 May 2009, is dedicated to the fish and peasant ornithological traditions of the Garda area. The main purpose of the museum is the dissemination of ornithological knowledge and historical-artisan traditions related to the activities of hunting and fishing widely practiced in the past in the Lower Garda. Also in Bardolino, in 1991 at the behest of Gaetano Zeni the Wine Museum was established. It is divided into thematic areas, each dedicated to a different aspect of the processes of the wine chain, from cultivation in the vineyard to the bottling phase. The exhibits are for the most part original and therefore actually used over the years.

Bardolino is located in the center of a large basin that slopes gently from the low hills to the east towards the coast of the lake. The south-west exposure and the loose and fertile soil have made it an ideal place for hillside crops: vines and olive trees. Both in the town and on the hills of Bardolino there are numerous wineries and oil mills where you can take guided tours and tastings.

In the fascinating eastern moraine amphitheatre of Garda Lake a bright red wine is produced: it is called Bardolino. The gentle course of the moraine hills and the particular influence of Garda Lake have made these territories suitable for the cultivation of vine. There are very ancient traces of it from the Bronze Age.

Wine production has always been so important that the town has given its name to the symbolic wine of Lake Garda: Bardolino DOC, produced on the hills east of the coast. Bardolino is a light, fruity and pleasant red wine, also in the Chiaretto variant, that is rosé. Perfect for summer dinners with a lake view.

This wine is particularly drinkable and can easily be combined with a great variety of food. It is made mainly from corvina grapes from Verona with addition of rondinella grapes and sometimes other less important vines. Many events on Garda Lake and surroundings bring back to the present popular traditions in which grapes and wine are protagonists. They represent very good occasions to taste Bardolino wine on its own or as accompaniment to lake fish dish.

Olive oil is also an important product of the Bardolino hills, covered with the silvery green of the olive trees. The quality of the area is protected by a protected designation of origin: Garda DOP. In addition to the numerous oil mills where you can tour, taste and shop, in Cisano, between Lazise and Bardolino, there is an oil museum where you can learn everything about this extraordinary product.

Behind Bardolino we find Cavaion Veronese, land of vineyards. The chroniclers of the Four Hundred believed that the best Italian wines came from here. There, a small museum collects precious prehistoric and Roman remains.

Cisano, which overlooks the lake and Calmasino, in a hill area. The very recent archaeological discoveries in Cisano area explained in the origins of the territory. Cisano hosts the ancient Romanesque church of Santa Maria. Cisano host the Sisan museum, which dissemination of ornithological knowledge and traditions related to hunting and fishing practiced in the past. Another museum is the Oil museum, which tell about one of the oldest production of olive oil.

Bardolino is an ancient village surrounded by olive trees and vineyards. From the parvis of the parish church, you can see the hills, Lake Garda and the peaks of Monte Baldo.

Morainic hills of Lake Garda
On the first corrugations of the Po plain that becomes a hill, where the large lake basin of Lake Garda begins, the route touches towns and cities that were the domain of Gonzaga, Venice, Scaligeri, and later became theater of the bloody battles of the Risorgimento that were the prelude to the unification of Italy. To the tourist, historical and naturalistic importance the area combines an oenological interest as an area of production of the wines of the hills, tokai, merlot and chiaretto.

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