+39 0365 520027

Lake Garda 2023: Highlights in culture, sport and culinary arts

6 min. reading time

A wealth of premium events throughout the year

The region around Lake Garda is not only one of the most fascinating landscapes in Europe and a popular destination for millions of tourists, but also a European cultural area par excellence and offers an extremely varied range of cultural events and activities. These are complemented by the very popular annual festivals around Lago di Garda. Many festivals and events had to be cancelled during the pandemic, so this year, celebrations and events are all the more intense!

Celebrating wine festivals in spring and autumn

Some of the most famous wines grow on the shores of the lake and the local area, so it’s no wonder that many wine festivals are celebrated in towns around Lake Garda. Like the very popular rosé wine festival in Bardolino – Palio del Chiaretto – on the lakeside promenade and in Parco Carrara Bottagisio on 26-28 May. The wine festival is also known for the dragon boat races in honour of Chiaretto di Bardolino. The flowery, summery rosé wine is also made into sparkling wine.

Another special wine highlight this year is the Franciacorta in Cantina festival. It will take place from the 16th till the 17th of September. Besides exquisite tastings in the popular wine region, there are also guided tours of abbeys, villages, monasteries, palaces, villas, and gardens, alongside picnics in nature and fun activities for children.

For those who want to delve deeper, Vinitaly, the most important European wine fair, opens its doors in Verona at the beginning of April, just 60 kilometres from Eden Reserve. At the same time, Vinitaly and the City in the heart of Verona’s old town invites you to events, meetings and many tasting opportunities.

The Lake Garda region: a culinary dream

Not to be missed is the “Giardini d’agrumi” lemon festival in Gargnano, a stone’s throw from Gardone Riviera and the Eden Reserve. For four days from the 22nd of April, Gargnano recalls the former tradition of the “limonaie”, the lemon gardens, whose characteristic buildings with stone pillars and walls helped shape the shores of Lake Garda.

Culinary connoisseurs and epicureans get their money’s worth all year round around Lake Garda. Johann Wolfgang Goethe is said to have spoken after a few days at the lake of a “Schlaraffenleben”, who casually lived there.

A very good insight into the delicacies from the lake region is offered by the “Ciottolando con Gusto” food walk in autumn, on 23 and 24 September, through the old town of Malcesine. There you can enjoy regional products, from fish and meat to vegetables and herbs, cheese and olive oil. The pleasure of this walk is twofold because Malcesine, with its Salierburg castle and Monte Baldo in the background, is already a great feast for the eyes.

The Milano Design Week in April is the most important international furniture fair and is always accompanied by many events. At Identità Golose Milano, an international centre for gastronomy, some of the most renowned protagonists of Italian signature cuisine also conjure up their menus on evenings during the event. Eden Reserve is also taking the opportunity to introduce potential guests to the cuisine of Eden Reserve chef Marco Carasi alongside the grandiose architecture of the hotel and villas ensemble (19 April, lunch for 40 people).

Premium events in pop and classical music all year

It’s not only the culinary delights that are celebrated all year round (and there’s not enough room here for all the highlights.) There’s also a huge range of cultural events, from classical to pop and guests at the Eden Reserve often don’t have far to go like to the Tener-a-mente festival in July.

Here, in the amphitheatre of the Vittoriale in Gardone Riviera, in the immediate vicinity of the Eden Reserve, international greats of the pop music scene are guests, including Herbie Hancock, Damian Rice, Kaleo and Fiorella Mannoia as well as Nick Mason presents the music of early Pink Floyd on one evening, and Stuart Copeland with his project “Police Deranged for Orchestra” on another. All this is on the most beautiful open-air stage in the Lake Garda region, with a breathtaking view far across the lake.

Classical music lovers should reserve 29 August. The Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano and Trento will perform at the Vittoriale under the direction of the young conductor Min Chung, who is booked worldwide.

Opera lovers will know that in the summer, the world-famous opera festival in the Arena di Verona, the ancient Roman amphitheatre, is calling.

Of course, things can also be small and refined, like at the evening harbour concerts in Malcesine in the summer. They are scheduled to take place every second Monday of the month from June to September. The stage is the historic two-master Siora Veronica.

Photo © Andrea Ripamonti

Cultural capital Bergamo/Brescia: events all year round

This year, the range of events and activities is particularly extensive, with Brescia and Bergamo playing a major role. The two cities are worth a visit in their own right, but this year they will be joined by a large calendar of events in Brescia, which is just 40 kilometres from Eden Reserve, and in Bergamo. With, among other things, art exhibitions, opera performances and music festivals.

Celebrating sports highlights, active and passive

Not only lake lovers, culinary enthusiasts and people who simply want to relax for a few days or weeks in the uniquely wonderful Lake Garda landscape come to Lago di Garda. The lake, the shores and the entire region are also very popular with active holidaymakers and sports enthusiasts, and this is reflected in the special events for various sports. Both passive and highly active sports fans get their money’s worth here.

Runners who want to run the Bassa Via del Garda Trail between Gargnano and Tignale should be well-trained. New for this year, on the 22nd of April, there will be a 55-kilometre trail run, with altitude differences of over 3,000 metres. It leads from the lake shore (68 metres) up to Cima Denervo (1,460 metres). But there are also routes over 23 and 42.2 kilometres to choose from.

For bikers, the Bike Festival in Riva del Garda is a highly interesting event. From 28 April – 1 May 2023, the entire European mountain bike scene will meet for the big season opener on Lake Garda.

On the 24th of May, the Giro d`Italia 2023 will touch Lake Garda near Salo, a feast for passive bike athletes.

Towards the end of June, the Tour Transalp reaches its destination in the picturesque town of Arco. The cyclists, always around 1,000, will then have 600 kilometres of Alpine roads and passes and 16,000 metres of altitude behind them!

What is fun for racing cyclists also works for mountain bikers. They arrive at the finish of the Maxxis Bike Transalp in Riva del Garda two days earlier, on 15 June, and will then have 500 Alpine kilometres behind them. It goes without saying that this will also be celebrated by passive bike fans at the finish.

There are several triathlons on Lake Garda in 2023. The International Triathlon of Bardolino (17 June) is incomparable and sees over 2,000 sports enthusiasts from two dozen countries swim five kilometres, cycle 40 kilometres and run ten kilometres. The event has always attracted around 8,000 spectators to the coastal resort, and for triathletes, the Bardolino Triathlon should be in a row with Barcelona, London, New York and Hawaii.

Mille Miglia: The most famous classic car race in the world

The classic cars of the spectacular Mille Miglia (13 to 16 June) are on four wheels. The most famous classic car race in the world starts in Brescia and also touches Lake Garda during the finishing stage between Sirmione and Salò.

On the waves of Lago di Garda

From 6 April, hundreds of white triangular sails will again contrast the lake’s tranquil blue at the Lake Garda Optimist Meeting. The Optimist class is very popular with young sailors, and the Lake Garda Meeting is even listed in the Guinness Book of Records as a sporting event. In autumn, the Centomiglia, the largest sailing regatta on Lake Garda, starts in the harbour of Gargnano, ten kilometres from the Eden Reserve. It is a great experience for spectators to see hundreds of sailing ships on the lake.

As a guest, you have to find the most interesting and suitable events from the huge range on offer. The concierge service of the Eden Reserve will be happy to assist you with anything that you would like to know more about.

Header: copyright Envato elements, nzooo