Desenzano, Lago di Garda
Desenzano is the departing point of the lake navigation service covering the lake longitudinally. The town was founded in the Roman Era. In the 15th century Desenzano flourished as a duty free fishing port and a seat of one of Italy's major cereal markets. In the beginning of 20thcentury it became a tourism, commerce and industry center (especially for food). Rich in expressive architecture, the city has an old port surrounded by a 16th and 17th century buildings. There is also a mediaeval fortification, Castello, foundation reconstructed in the 1300-1400. Also worth seeing is the 16th century cathedral with several paintings inside including Giambattista Tiepolo's Last Supper. There are ancient ruins of Villa Romana, an important archeological complex rich with mosaics (I-II and IV century.)
Desenzano is one of the most popular destination on Lago di Garda. The town is situated on the western lakeshore, about twenty kilometres north of Sirmione. It has interesting old core of the town, very pitoresque old port which makes a part of the city centre and beautiful long promenade along the lakeshore.
Beautiful and very attractive promenade of Desenzano is several kilometres long. It incluses pitoresque village of Rivoltella, which makes a part of Desenzano community. There are very good beach resorts on the northern end of the promenade, towards the direction of Salo.
Situated at the south-west extremity of Lake Garda - the other side of Sirmione to Lazise - is Desenzano.
This is one of the principal towns of Lake Garda and had more of a working town atmsosphere as well as resort. Good promenade walk around the outer harbour and the main piazza has an inner harboutr too. It does have the advantage of a train station to make access easier - albeit - along uphill road from the lakeside.
We really only had a very rushed look around Desenzano. On our walk from the train station to the lake I suddenly spotted the castle, so we took a slight detour to visit. I have read you can go in, but it was closed when we got there. There were lovely views over Desenzano from the castle.
Desenzano Castle dates back to the year 1000. It was enlarged at the end of the fifteenthth century. It was most recently renovated in 2007.
Desenzano has a picturesque harbour. Apparently the tourist office is located here. It had a nativity scene on display in the harbour and I love nativity scenes, but I found this one rather over the top with life size figures standing on boats and located in some windows around the harbour. Too much!
The houses around the harbour are colourful and there were several little boats bobbing up and down on the waves.
Although there is a busy road to one side of you, there is also a walkway along the lakeside at Desenzano. There are many large ships around. I believe you can take a boat from here to Sirmione and other places around the lake.
Some of Desenzano's streets were quite picturesque narrow, winding streets with colourful houses. One of the main streets was lit up by a Christmas light show after darkness fell.