Ricette di viaggio Weekend con gusto

Sulle sponde Garda DOC per un weekend del bello e del gusto. Brindiamo!


Welcome to the Garda DOC shores of Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy
Let’s go for a weekend where beauty and taste wink at a seductive glass of wine, obviously Garda DOC!
Lake Garda is surrounded by the morainic hills which appear today arranged in large concentric semicircles opening towards the plain. They date back to the time of the last two glaciations, when Lake Garda was still a huge glacier.
Over the millennia, these deposits became real hills that time and the crystalline waters of the Mincio river shaped and covered themselves with luxuriant vegetation. The hills, left by the retreat of the ice and, in the highest and narrowest part to the north, surrounded by high mountain ranges that give it the shape and shape of a fjord and protect it by favoring a Mediterranean-type climate, to be precise, the most Mediterranean climate in Northern Italy.It is a mild and temperate climate, which favors the growth of harmonious Mediterranean vegetation: palm trees, cypresses, lemons, oleanders and oranges. Agaves in broom color the banks, while the plants offer fruit and fragrant citrus fruits.
Splendid olive groves produce the renowned Garda oil appreciated for the delicacy of its flavor, the fresh aftertaste of sweet almond, high digestibility and, as if that were not enough, presented and served with an exquisite welcome from the producers … who invite you to tastings on site .Are you ready? Let’s get in the car and let’s go!
A feature of the Venetian Coast is the presence of multi-level roads. From the Eastern Gardesana to a series of medium and large “corniche” to be discovered, sometimes so narrow as to allow the passage of a single car, alternating with comfortable flat roads that allow you to go from the hinterland to the coast.The Oriental Coast, also known as Costa Veronese, embraces the eastern profile of the great lake mirror, disseminating it with scenic beauty, cultural heritage and enological excellence. From Peschiera to the border with Trentino, it has a constantly changing landscape. From the passage inside the fortress of the Risorgimento city, to the soft morphology between vineyards and spas.The cuisine of Garda
The local cuisine tells us ancient traditions, stories of real life, unique products linked to companies that for generations have handed down recipes, advice and … exquisite dishes of pasta, vegetables, poultry and, of course, refined lake fish including pike, whitefish, pink trout, eel cooked with honey and soy, and bleak, here traditionally eaten in brine. Local (and very fresh) fish is the protagonist of many local dishes: bigoli with sardines and anchovies, tagliolini with whitefish, pasta with salmon trout, pike in “saor” with polenta, grilled Agoni sardines.

Una delicata trota rosata servita da Pratello

You can find exquisite cold cuts, excellent cheeses, the authentic casoncelli and the traditional roast rabbit with mashed potatoes that brings us back to the Sunday family lunch and finally the typical spongadì, donut-shaped sweets often accompanied by the precious groppello and lugana vines or delicious raisins.What in the glass?

Garda is a paradise of vineyards: 20 million bottles a year!
The harvest is carried out exclusively by hand, selecting the bunches and placing them in small boxes which are quickly taken to the cellar.
In addition to various native grapes, there are eight main goup varientals that populate this area, four whites: garganega, trebbiano, chardonnay, pinot grigio and four reds: corvina, merzemino, merlot and cabernet sauvignon and then the seductive rosé of marzemino, corvina and pinot black, chardonnay, and pinot grigio, all recognized by the Garda DOC ConsortiumDo you fancy a good glass of wine ?
Nothing better than a tasting in an authentic and historic cellar.
Here we are in Monzambano, in the province of Mantua, where we meet Luca Stefanoni who, with his family, is at the helm of the Cantina Ricchi 
Here wine has been a family passion since 1930 when Enrico Stefanoni’s foresight invested in an unexplored territory and managed to bring it to an enological paradise, now famous all over the world.
Tastes and aromas of that ancient passion still relive today thanks to the Ricchi Winery, where production ethics, respect for traditions and protection of sustainability coexist in the mission of producing impeccable wines.Meridiano indicate vintage stands out, an elegant white with golden reflections and an intense bouquet of ripe exotic fruit, pineapple, banana and honey. Perfect for white meats, fish, risotto with vegetables and the classic pumpkin ravioli, (it is no coincidence that we are in the province of Mantua …)

Nelle Cantine Ricchi

The producers of Garda DOC wines are champions of history, its beauty and biodiversity. Witness the care and preservation of the ‘pievi’, the ancient paths, the past architecture of the villages and the ‘marogne’ walls, witnesses of geological eras. It is an act of love towards ‘their’ lake. A love that exudes in the words, in the looks and in the irresistible sympathy of Naikè Bertola, at the helm of the cellar Pratello in Padenghe sul Garda, in the heart of Valtènesi, an area rich in vineyards, suggestive villages, sanctuaries of ancient devotion and castles dating back to the 10th century, famous for the beauty of the landscape and for the production of wines.

Naikè Bertola

Pratello is a real ‘universe’: vineyard, cellar, oil, olives, hospitality, restaurant with typical dishes of the area, orchard, vegetable garden, ancient fruit, native breeding farms in the wild and a spectacular “peasant shop” offering unique products and authentic, such as jams, confit, meat sauce, pickles, sweet and sour …

There is no shortage of unusual guests: two alpacas, extremely docile and respectful animals, live in the meadows. among the olive groves and feed on grass. Alpacas are known above all for their soft wool which Pratello processes and used to create warm and soft garments, rigorously handmade.
Un alpaca di Pratello

Pratello wines embrace both the territories of Valtenesi and Lugana, respecting nature, the biodiversity of the ecosystems of their vineyards in a family passion that has taken care of the land and its fruits for five generations.

Dalle Cantine Pratello

Among the prominent labels I would like to mention Opera a very refined rosé that I loved a lot and … a novelty: a vermouth based on wine, alcohol, absinthe, orange, angelica leaves, ginger, cinnamon, currant, basil, rose, water and sugar … a sophisticated blend but so vibrant … “to make you do somersaults” as assured by the boss Vincenzo Bertola or, as I add ,,, “to make you dance on your toes …”.
It is not by accident that it is called Ballerina!Last stop on our tour. One of the most beautiful villages in Italy: Soave. From the Lombard period, it had its splendor in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries under the aegis of the Serenissima. Triumphs the castle in which poet Dante Alighieri, tasting a local wine, seems to have exclaimed “What a sweet nectar”! … Hence the name.


Legend or not, certainly there are only 680 lucky inhabitants who reside in Soave, where stands up the Cantina Rocca Sveva  boasting evocative cellars, the ancient villa, the luxuriant botanical park and the experimental vineyard. All of them are a real tribute to the history, tradition and culture of wine.

Rocca Sveva has undertaken a voluntary program which, through 4 indicators (Territory, Air, Vineyard, Water) aims to analyze the sustainability performance of its work. The commitment is to limit the use of herbicides and pesticides in order to conduct agriculture that respects the environment and its natural ecosystems as much as possible. To get to know the world and Rocca Sveva wines, you can choose between different “Wine Experiences”: they are all available by reservation and in five different languages.TO BE SEEN
Peschiera del Garda, characterized by its fortified islands between the lake and the waters of the Mincio river. The town is famous above all for its proximity to Gardaland, the most famous amusement park in Italy.


Lazise, picturesque lakeside village adorned by the superb Venetian Customs House and the Scaligero Castle. Nearby discover Villa dei Cedri Thermal Park which awaits you with numerous pools and thermal lakes.

Il Castello di Lazise

A great idea is to take a boat ride, either by speedboat or by sailing ship. I have relied on garda.tours. The sunsets are sensational and a toast in the middle of the lake is truly unforgettable …
Torri del Benaco, characteristic lakeside village with a Scaligero castle overlooking the lake. Punta San Vigilio splendid Villa overlooking the lake. His famous inn has hosted a multitude of illustrious personalities, from Napoleon to Churchill to Prince Charles of England

Punta San Vigilio

Nearby the Villa stands the Baia delle Sirene, which offers a fantastic park overlooking the lake, ideal for a moment of relaxation, perhaps after a dip in the pool or in the blue waters of the lake.

La Baia delle Sirene

The spectacular villas, seen from the lake
If you have opted for the boat tour, you could start from Sirmione and circumnavigate the peninsula. You can admire the remains of the Grotte di Catullo, a noble residence from the Roman era, while. Crossing the lake towards Valtenesi, you reach the largest of the islands, Isola del Garda, where Villa Cavazza stands, inhabited since ancient times by the Counts Borghesi Cavazza. A dutiful selfie awaits you in front of the villa inhabited by the greatest opera singer of all time, the divine Maria Callas.

Grotte di Catullo

Heading west we find in Salò we find Villa Leonesio and Villa Simonini, built in 1905 in Liberty style, while in Barbarano you can admire Palazzo Terzi and in Gardone Riviera Villa Ruhland.

Villa Borghese Cavazza

Navigating towards ancient lemon houses, you will discover Palazzo Brunati – Bulgheroni and Palazzo Zani, while in Bogliaco, the eighteenth-century Villa Bettoni stands out. Our journey ends in Gargnano, where the two villas of the Feltrinelli family are located, who left a strong mark of their magnanimity with philanthropic and charitable works.

Villa Feltrinelli

Osteria Al Pescatore
Locanda alla Fassa
Ristorante Piccolo Doge
La Taverna da Oreste

Starred, trattorias, taverns … here’s where to eat on the shores of Lake Garda

Capriccio, Manerba del Garda
Giuliana Germiniasi and Francesca Tassi, mother and daughter at the helm of a starred restaurant that offers historical dishes such as Carnaroli rice creamed with Bagoss.
The Pheasant, Gardone Riviera,
Inside the Grand Hotel Fasano, the luxurious residence of the Austrian imperial family in 1888. Chef Matteo Felter respects the gastronomic tradition of the lake, revisiting it and rendering it with a clever game of flavors
From Rino, Manerba
Local and very fresh fish for territorial dishes: bigoli with sardines and anchovies, tagliolini with whitefish, pasta with salmon trout, Garda pike with polenta, grilled Agoni sardines.

The Sirmione rocket
In a suggestive alley, next to the Scaligero Castle. Proposals of lake and land, with a curious and attentive eye to local foods.
Casa Leali, Puegnago
Chef Andrea Leali pays great attention to local products in the menus of yesterday and today
Locanda alla Fassa Castelletto.
Recently built inn is located by the lake, grafted onto the cycle path and the Gardesana. It also has 5 carefully designed rooms, this structure is renowned for its catering which is rigorously carried out according to the particularities expressed in the Garda Green protocol.

Trattoria Pegaso, Gavardo
Meat and fish menu, solid dishes, welcoming atmosphere, a trattoria with an extra point.
Osteria Al Pescatore Castelletto di Benzone It overlooks the small harbor at an angle, where old and colorful fishing boats are moored that once plowed the lake by dropping long theories of nets for carp fishing, whitefish, trout, sardines … by day and at night, in summer and in winter.
Gattolardo, Desenzano
In the kitchen… the whole family! Starting with Chef Fabio Gozza to his cousin Matteo Silva who has personally supervised the careful search for wines for years. Super cozy atmosphere and a menu that cheers your soul up. Lake fish alternates with meat dishes, where territorial and regional references are not lacking: from the delicate Gardesena-style pike to the bigoli with whitefish and Garda sardines, a dutiful tribute to the lake.

Piccolo Doge Restaurant
Bardolino Specialized in lake fish. Furnished with taste and elegance, rich in details and paintings, an excellent setting for the carefully prepared and genuine dishes that will be the protagonists. In summer you will be welcomed on the splendid terrace located directly on the lakefront, from where you will enjoy the suggestive panorama of Lake Gard
The Taverna da Oreste
In the center of Lazise. Italian cuisine. well cooked sea bass, risotto and spaghetti with clams. To try: the semifreddo.

The stars of Garda

Lido 84, Gardone Riviera.
Riccardo Camanini’s starred restaurant, present in the prestigious list The World Best 50 Lover of historical research and a great scholar of the territory, Riccardo loves rediscovering products and tastes of his area, from walnut husks, to beans, to Gardone lemons, to coprifico, to tombea cheese, to the “poor” fish of its lake, the mullet.

Esplanade, Desenzano
Michelin star, spectacular lake views, refined setting, impeccable service without being too rigid. Chef Massimo Rizzardi delights and amazes with dishes that honor local products and traditions, cooking them with skill and serving them with imagination and elegance.
The menu stands out for the whitefish in cooking oil, herbs and cherry tomato sauce and caper confit, while the Oscar for taste and presentation goes to …. cold spaghetti with cuttlefish ink with squid tartare and marinated ginger “. Vote 10! Good Chef!

Hotel Caesius Thermae 4 stars S
A true labyrinth of outdoor and indoor pools, spas, wellness, gym, Ayurveda wellness center. Elegant rooms and suites in a contemporary style. Excellent gourmet restaurant, where I tasted a chicken breast cooked for more than six hours at low temperature: the result a fork tender delicacy … Ah, I forgot the super breakfast with every imaginable delight ….

CESARE ZUCCA Travel, food & lifestyle.
Milanese by birth, Cesare lives between New York, Milan and the rest of the world. For WEEKEND PREMIUM he photographs and writes about cities, cultures, lifestyles. He likes to discover both traditional and innovative gastronomic delights. Cesare meets and interview top chefs from all over the world, ‘steals’ their recipes in a ”
non touristy tourist ” style