PLACESGarda Veneto

Torri del Benaco

The old town on Lake Garda and its castle.

by Marco Ghirello

The town of Torri del Benaco is located on the eastern shore of Lake Garda, between the towns of Brenzone sul Garda to the north and Garda to the south.

The earliest evidence of a settlement in this area dates back to the Bronze Age, as shown by the discovery of some ancient artefacts, traces of a pile-dwelling settlement, and the numerous rock engravings still visible today among the paths surrounding this place.

During the rule of the Scaligeri, it was built the splendid Castle that is still today the most representative building in Torri del Benaco. This fortification was built in 1383 at the behest of Antonio della Scala, on the ruins of an earlier 10th century manor, of which the west tower still remains.

Curious fact - In the subsequent period of control by the Venetian Republic, Torri del Benaco became the seat of a federation of municipalities known as the "Gardesana dell'Acqua". These municipalities enjoyed wide autonomy and covered an area from Lazise to Malcesine, over a period that lasted more than four centuries.

The economy of this area is predominantly tourism-oriented, like in all the other towns on Lake Garda. The particular land conformation and the mild climate have favoured the cultivation of olives over the centuries. Today, a production of remarkable quality is still obtained and marketed in Italy and worldwide under the brand name of Garda DOP Extra Virgin Olive oil.

Torri del Benaco can also be reached by ferry. There is a direct connection to the town of Toscolano Maderno, on the Brescian shore of Lake Garda, which also operates during the winter period.

Festivities and markets
Patron SaintSan Filippo
Feast day26 May
Weekly marketMonday

What to see in Torri del Benaco

The historic centre of Torri del Benaco is dominated by the majesty of the Scaliger Castle. Once you have parked your car in the proximity, continue along the lakefront to the small harbour where the fishermen's boats moor.

Inside the castle there is an ethnographic museum, divided into a route that passes through the medieval walls, starting from the ground floor up to the crenellated towers.

A visit to the Torri del Benaco Castle Museum begins with the first room dedicated to the Calafati, the ancient craftsmen who built and repaired fishing boats.

It continues to the second room, dedicated to the olive and in particular here are exhibited ancient working tools, including a small press and a transport sledge.

In the next third room there is an olive press, consisting of original stone parts dating back to Roman times.

The fourth room is dedicated to fishing, with a flat gondola in the middle and all around every type of fishing gear and net used on Lake Garda.

In the fifth section you leave the main building to enter the splendid limonaia, a greenhouse full of citrus fruits and leaning against the south wall of the castle.

The visit continues in the sixth section, where you ascend the steep stairs leading to the walkways and finally to the towers, from which there is a splendid panoramic view over the entire lake and the town.

The seventh room displays material illustrating the history and activities of the Antichi Originari di Torri e Garda fishing guild, founded in 1452 and still operating today.

The eighth room is the plastic model room, where is depicted the town in the early 20th century. The visit ends with the room of rock engravings, an illustrated section that explores a very popular history of this area.

In the northernmost part of the Torri del Benaco town is the ancient Clock Tower. This building has performed various administrative functions over the centuries, housing the Council of 24 inside. Beautifully preserved, it is now a private house.

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What to do in Torri del Benaco

A holiday in Torri del Benaco is the ideal choice for relaxing on the shores of Lake Garda, surrounded by a splendid natural landscape, rich in paths and routes suitable for all types of excursions.

A very interesting route both from a landscape and historical point of view is the one that leads to the path of rock engravings.

Climbing from the Gardesana road in the direction of the hamlet of Albisano, turn off at the first hairpin bend and continue slightly uphill towards an area of countryside rich in olive groves. There are numerous paths in the area, and keeping to the direction that climbs up the mountain, we see that the landscape changes again. We begin to see the first slabs of stone polished by the ancient glaciers, on which in some places we can still see some graffiti.

For the more adventurous, in the nearby hamlet of Pai it is possible to make a different but certainly exciting excursion. Here you will find Grotta Tanella, a cavity in the rock that extends about 400 metres into the bowels of Monte Baldo. Exploration requires some experience and suitable clothing.

Less demanding, but still exciting, is the excursion to the Tibetan bridge in Torri del Benaco. This suspended structure connects the locality of Pai di Sopra with the locality of Crero. With a length of about 34 metres and a height of about 45 metres, it is a fair test for those who fear the void.

The small village of Crero in particular worth a visit, due to its panoramic position on Lake Garda and the presence of the small, but picturesque church of San Siro.

Hiking in nature, but also sunbathing and diving into the lake. The most popular beaches in Torri del Benaco are the Sbocco Valle Randina beach, which is freely accessible near the Baia dei Pini. The Sunset Beach and the Lido Brancolino beach both charge an entrance fee.

Image gallery

Click on the button below to open the Torri del Benaco image gallery.

Map of tourist sites

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


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