Peschiera, Lago di Garda
The name of Peschiera is linked to the idea of fishing as it means something like “fishing-pond”. It is a main port and a large parking spreads along the harbor. From Peschiera, it is possible to sail around the lake on a launch. Here, in the outer port, there is only one ready to sail. In July, there will be more … but more visitors too !
The entrance of the inner harbor is strongly defended. Built on several islets, five strong bastions defend the five corners of the city. The historical center of the city has kept most of its powerful fortifications, built between 1553 and 1556 following the project of Guidobaldo Della Rovere.
The old town of Peschiera is not very large. The main but narrow street runs across the island. It crosses smaller streets and in some places small parallel streets make a small but dense network of houses. Enlarge the picture to get a general overview on the shape of the city. The small blue part is a Roman remain. The green, most of the old city, was built by the Scaligeri, the purple by the Venetians, the brown by the Austrian and the black is recent building.
Peschiera is the easiest place to reach, together with Sirmione and Desenzano, as it's almost on the main highway Venezia - Milano. It's very touristic, and especially popular amogn Germans. The town itself is quite small, but very cute, it's both on the lake and river Mincio. There is a park with sports playgrounds on the hill above the town, a pier and a long lakeside promenade with beaches. However, the water is not very clean...
We had intended to start our tour of Lake Garda at Peschiera but somehow we missed getting off the bus in time and ended up in Lazise first - no bad thing as it turned out :-)
From all accounts Peschiera is a pleasant small resort situated on the southern part of Lake Garda and also being on the River Mincio. It has these defence battlements surrounding it - we glimpsed this on the ferry as we journeyed via here to Sirmione. Sights in the town itself are the city walls, with view over the bay and the nearby hills. In town the Piazza Bettotti with the Palazzo di Comando del Presidio and a small historical museum are worth a look. The church of San Martino dates from the 18-th century.
When in Peschiera a must see is the fortress of the "Serenissima Republica di Venezia", with its majestic walls still intact today.
The city walls are unique complex of ancient defensive techniques and of great artistic and historical importance. The walls date back to 16th century when the Venetian Republic was the indisputable ruler of the Garda Lake. Worthy of note are the Verona and Brescia Gates.
Peschiera is another lovely place on Lake Garda. It has a nice lakeside promenade and of course a beautiful medivial centre.
It's the most central of the lakeside villages and close to the amusementparks like Gardaland.
In my opinion a rather disappointing experience. The long cue of the cars waiting to enter, the price (70 euros for 2 adults and 2 children), and the little animals seen.
By the time our car entered the safari, the boys were already tired of sitting in the car. Not particularly interested in the animals unfortunately.
The car ride in itself was enjoyable, the animals spotted were well kept and it was nice to see they had space to roam free. However I don't think it was money well spent. The ride lasts only 40 minutes so you start a day already with 70 euro less in your pocket.. without consider that kids then are thristy, hungry and looks forward to a gelato.
There is also a walkable part, il Parco Faunistico, where you can see animals through glasses. I have not tried it myself but I have heard there is lots of hill walking so comfortable shoes are a must and I would not choose a hot day as the area can be pretty humid and very hot in July-August.
We spent most of our time in Peschiera del Garda wandering around the remains of its fortifications. Peschiera del Garda once had a fortress. It was situated on an island in the River Mincio not far from Lake Garda. This fortress played an important role during the Napoleonic wars.
In 1848 during the First Italian War of Independence, this fortress was captured from the Austrians by the Piedmontese.
Nowadays only walls, gateways, moats and the occasional cannon remains. We wandered around these remains, enjoying the views over the river, lake and town from the walls.
The fortress remains actually cover quite a large area. The remains were strengthened and added to at various points in history. In the middle of the sixteenth century the Venetians gained control of the town and strengthened its defences. At the beginning of the nineteenth century the Austrians expanded the fort and made it one of the corners of the Quadruple Alliance along with Mantua, Verona, and Legnano,
The streets of Peschiera del Garda are located among the fortifications. Many are on the banks of the river. There are narrow streets, some old buildings, lots of restaurants. The town has a pleasant atmosphere.
Peschiera del Garda has a small jetty sticking out into the lake from which I think you can catch some boats. I don't think it has a scenic lakeside walkway. It is more of a working town than a tourism town.
Peschiera del Garda had some interesting Christmas decorations. One was a rather large Santa Claus. There was also a small Christmas market, but I did not photograph it.