PLACESGarda Veneto


Welcome to the first municipality of Italy.

by Marco Ghirello

The town of Lazise lies on the eastern shore of Lake Garda, between the towns of Bardolino to the north and Castelnuovo del Garda to the south.

The name Lazise derives from the Latin word "lacus", meaning lake village, and some pile-dwelling remains dating back to the Bronze Age were found in this place. This discovery explains that this area was already settled in ancient times.

Over the centuries, the town of Lazise passed under various dominations, always enjoying a certain commercial and military autonomy. During the reign of Italy by Berengario I° and Berengario II° it became a "villa libera", which means it was not subject to any feudal lords and depended directly on the sovereign.

Curious fact - In the year 983, Emperor Ottone II of Saxony granted the community permission to fortify itself and to impose transit and fishing rights. For these reasons, the town of Lazise is considered the oldest or first free municipality in Italy.

During the 13th and 14th centuries, were built the castle and dock under the leadership of the Scaligeri, lords of Verona, and also suffered the siege and subsequent conquest by the army led by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan.

Afterwards it passed under the dominion of the Serenissima Republic of Venice, in which period it suffered numerous sackings, then to Napoleon's Cisalpine Republic, to the Kingdom of Italy, to the Austrian Empire and finally in 1866 with the end of the third war of independence, it became an Italian territory.

The economy of Lazise was therefore based over the centuries on agriculture and fishing, typical activities of all the lakeside villages, until the end of the Second World War. It was from this period that a rapid change favoured by foreign tourism began. The first hotels and campsites were built, with a constant increase in the number of visitors that have today consecrated Lazise as one of the main tourist destinations in Italy.

Festivities and markets
Patron SaintSan Martino
Feast day11 November
Weekly marketWednesday

What to see in Lazise

The historical centre is characterised by the presence of the imposing Scaliger Castle. Today, the guard towers, a good part of the defensive walls and the three gates to the city still remain well-preserved; Porta Nuova or Cansignorio in the northern area, Porta Superiore or San Zeno in the eastern area and finally Porta Lion in the southern area.

Entering the heart of the town, we are greeted by the majestic parish church dedicated to Saints Zenone and Martino, then continuing to the central Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II and finally to the lakefront with its Porto Vecchio.

It is here that you will find another symbolic building of Lazise, the Dogana Veneta. Built in the Scaligera era, it was initially used as an arsenal by the Venetian Republic and eventually as a customs house for the payment of duties for goods coming from the Lombard shore. Recently restored, it is currently used as a location for congresses, cultural events and weddings.

Right beside it stands the splendid Romanesque church of San Nicolò, dating back to the 12th century, the most characteristic and certainly the most photographed by tourists.

From this point begins the scenic Marconi lakeside promenade, with its typical wavy paving, up to the Porto Nuovo. Nearby is the bronze statue of the Little Mermaid of the lake.

Other religious structures also include the churches of San Giorgio and Madonna della Neve in Colà and the church of San Giovanni Battista in Pacengo.

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What to do in Lazise

The town of Lazise is undoubtedly a charming village rich in history, an ideal place to spend a holiday on Lake Garda.

The presence of numerous hotels, campsites, restaurants and other accommodation facilities makes it suitable for both those seeking a relaxing holiday by the lake and those looking for a dynamic holiday in the company of friends or family.

During the summer period, many people choose this location for the presence of some of the largest and most renowned Italian campsites, a true paradise for those who love to stay in the open air. Of course, there is no shortage of beaches for those who love sunbathing, some with gravel and some with sand.

The Lazise area lends itself very well to being explored on foot or by bicycle, crossing wide green areas that lead, for example, to the nearby hamlets of Pacengo and Colà.

Heading towards Colà, it is possible to spend a relaxing day at Villa dei Cedri, one of the best known and most popular spa and wellness centres in the province of Verona.

Due to its favourable geographic position, Lazise can be easily reached from all the main road and railway arteries, such as the nearby station of Peschiera del Garda. This is an undoubted advantage for those who choose it as a starting point for exploring the Lake Garda area.

Shopping enthusiasts will not be disappointed either. A number of large shopping centres, such as the Grand'Affi Shopping Centre, La Grande Mela Shopping Land and Le Porte dell'Adige, are within easy reach.

Image gallery

Click on the button below to open the Lazise image gallery.

Map of tourist sites

Click on the button below to open the detailed map of Lazise, where we have marked the main tourist sights of this place, sorted by typology.


Lake Garda Experiences

A world of activities made for you and your friends. Choose between excursions, guided tours, tastings and much more. Plan your leisure time in the best possible way and enjoy the exclusive special offers.

Other places on Lake Garda

Keep exploring other beautiful towns near Lazise.