Malcesine sits at the foot of the majestic Monte Baldo between the lemon and olive groves of northern Lake Garda. The small, medieval town has a rich history and its cobbled streets are lined with bustling cafes that fan up to the famous castle. If you’re planning on visiting, here are our Malcesine must-dos…
Monte Baldo cable car
The Monte Baldo cable car is unmissable when you’re staying in Malcesine. At the halfway point it begins to slowly rotate so prepare your camera as you’ll soon have a panoramic, 360-degree view of Lake Garda, the mountains and the Italian countryside in the distance. Once you’re at the top, choose a walking path and admire Malcesine and the rest of Lake Garda from 1,790m. And when you start feeling peckish there’s a range of traditional mountain huts or restaurants around the cable car station – the tempting Italian dishes will put the hunger pangs at bay and you can rest your legs with a smooth Italian coffee.
The stone walls of Malcesine’s ancient castle were once home to the noble family of Scaliger, the lords of Verona. It’s one of five Scaliger castles on the lake and for a small entrance fee you can spend hours getting lost in the labyrinth of historic rooms and artefacts, including an incredible glass model illustrating the scaled depths of the surrounding water.
Make your way to the top of the lower tower to look out onto the lake and the town’s rooftops. And during summer the castle creates a unique setting for operas, so book ahead and delight in a musical evening under the stars.
Stroll down Malcesine’s cobbled paths to the harbour and hop on a ferry to Limone or Riva for the day. You’ll get idyllic views of the mountains surrounding Malcesine and can make the most of the gentle breeze coming off the glistening lake. You could choose to visit the south of the lake – it’s doable in a day and you can spend time by Peschiera’s bustling harbour or the clear waters of Garda.
Or lace up your walking shoes and head east along Riva’s lakeside promenade towards Torbole. You can do this in a day if you’re feeling active, but if an evening gelato on Malcesine’s promenade is calling you back, then the ferry from Torbole takes just under an hour.
A stay at the Hotel Vega
You’ll never be far from a view at Hotel Vega. Enjoy its lakeside location from the comfort your balcony and unwind by the sunny private terrace, whirlpool and in the restaurant overlooking the water. Its modern, chic interior creates a sense of sophistication and luxury throughout.