Bardolino on Lake Garda

Bardolino sits on the eastern shore of Lake Garda and has beautiful lakefront views, much like any of the other towns on the lake. However, what sets Bardolino apart from the others is its fine winemaking. The Bardolino ‘rosso’ wine is well-known throughout the world, and when you visit you can enrich yourself in the winemaking culture that has existed here for hundreds of years.

Although Bardolino has only been a tourist destination for the past hundred years or so, it was inhabited in Roman times because of its magnificent climate. The large hills that surround the city now are home to hundreds of vineyards. The natural fortification of the hills made it very secure against barbaric invaders. Today, you can see what remains of the southern city gate from Roman times that was rebuilt in the 12th century. Bardolino also features a castle from those times that was rebuilt in the 14th century.

Bardolino Wine

But for most Bardolino visitors, it's the wine and not the architecture that draws them in. Wine lovers are encouraged to visit the Museo del Vino (Museum of Wine). Don't worry if you're not normally a museum person. This attraction isn't so much a museum as it is a detailed tour of how wine is made in the area. During your visit you'll be able to see how vintners take the grapes from the nearby hillsides and transform them into an award-winning beverage.

Bardolino's signature wine is the result of an expert blend of many different grapes. The Covina variety provides the body and the colour of the wine. Molinara grapes create the light and fruity fragrance, while Negrara grapes add to the freshness of the wine. Finally, Rondinella produces the crisp and clean flavour.

Understandably, there are many different wine cellars you can visit during your stay in Bardolino. You can take tours through several different cellars, but if you want the best then head to Cantina Caorsa. The grapes grown here account for two thirds of the wine made in Bardolino.

Bardolino Festivals

As you might expect, a region with such deep ties to wine and winemaking is bound to celebrate it! There are three festivals for you to choose from. In late September you can be a part of the Festa dell'Uva or Wine Festival. In addition to wine tasting there are fireworks, outdoor concerts and lots of food. Yearly attendance for this event is around 4000 people.

Although Festa dell’Uva is certainly the biggest, don't worry if you're visiting Bardolino at a different time of year. During May, you can attend the Chiaretto Wine Festival. In November, the city hosts the Novello Wine Festival.

Bardolino Attractions

Even if you're not visiting during a festival, there's plenty to explore in the streets of Bardolino. The narrow winding streets of the old town centre have lots of opportunities for shopping, eating or just soaking up the atmosphere. Bardolino is unique in that while it is a popular tourist location, most of the shops in the area are still used by Italians as well.

If you want something beyond the regular tourist fare, you've come to the right place. Quality leather goods, fine arts and designer clothing are just some of the surprising things you'll find in this quaint city. Every Thursday morning, you can buy produce directly from the farmers during the weekly farmer's market. It's a great opportunity to get your hands on some authentic yet inexpensive olive oil and other fresh local foods.

Bardolino Restaurants & Nightlife

Don’t worry if you miss the farmer’s market because you'll never be at a loss for new restaurants to try in Bardolino Centro Storico, the city centre. Local produce is the star at the restaurants and cafés of the area. Menus include fresh fish, regional olive oil and, of course, Bardolino wine. Many of the restaurants have lakeside seating where you can enjoy your meal while gazing out across the water. Sunsets over Lake Garda from the shores of Bardolino are truly something to be seen.

Once the sun goes down, the city's nightlife springs into action. Primo Life Club at Via Marconi offers a restaurant, dancing and a separate piano bar. Club Mezzo and Barr La Strambino have bars and live music, plus many of the hotels in Bardolino offer live music and entertainment on a regular basis.

So no matter what time of year you choose to visit, Bardolino offers the traveler the perfect Lake Garda experience.