Riva del Garda Travel Summary

Riva del Garda occupies a spectacular spot, surrounded by sheer rocky cliffs on three sides and the serenity of Lake Garda on the other. Riva del Garda is the northernmost town on Lake Garda and oozes Italian charm, with an historic old town full of winding passageways, a glamorous lakefront promenade and outstanding position.

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The Riva del Garda Travel Summary is segmented into 2 key travel themes to immerse you into everything Riva del Garda:

  1. An introduction and brief history to this wonderful town;
  2. What to See;

Hope you enjoy it!  Carpe Diem!


1. An introduction and brief history to this wonderful town:

Surrounded by olive trees, lemon trees and palms, this atmospheric town of winding streets and waterfront squares, was once part of Austria, giving it a truly unique feel. The surrounding majestic mountains and lake offer a wealth of sporting opportunities meaning here, there really is something for everyone.

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There’s plenty more to see and do, including visiting the fortified town museum and taking a stroll along the picturesque promenade. The town has a great laid-back vibe, and you will find many locals and visitors indulging in some downtime by enjoying gelato at the lake’s edge, or perusing some of the quaint shops dotted around the streets.


Torre Apponale, Riva del Garda Rocca is the fortress on the waterfront that is surrounded by a moat, now used by small boats. This fortress was founded by the Scaligeri lords from Verona in the 14th century then restructured by the Venetians in the 15th century and also later by the Lords from Trento.



You can now explore the the Città Vecchia (Old Town), the historical centre of Riva del Garda where you can see some interesting baroque style palaces. Enter the old town by the “Porta-Torre of San Marco” or the “Porta-Torre of San Michele”. There is a baroque style church in this part of Riva del Garda called the Church of Santa Maria Assunta that has a typical baroque interior.  In the old town’s main square you will find the Torre Apponale. This impressive tower, standing at 34 meters tall, is worth the climb to the top for the spectacular views across Riva and the surrounding lake.

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Other buildings in both the Renaissance and Baroque styles can be seen along the “Viale Roma” including the most impressive church in Riva del Garda, the Church of the Virgin, on the northern edge of the old town. Little more than one room with a dome, the interior is flooded with light and resplendent with marble columns and paintings on every surface.

2. A comprehensive lowdown of What to See:


Torre Apponale:

AllThingsTravel Top Pick:

  • The Apponale Tower is 34m on the east side of Piazza III Novembre
  • The Tower was built in the thirteenth century with stone blocks of different sizes to guard the port and the square
  • In the 1920s the tower was affected by structural changes that led to the replacement of the roof Nordic-inspired onion tower, with the current one.
  • You can walk up the 165 steps that lead to the top where you can enjoy magnificent views over Riva and across Lake Garda



Rocca Castle:

AllThingsTravel Top Pick:

  • Rocca Castle is a medieval castle with quadrangular bastions bounded by a canal with drawbridge
  • Built in 1124, it was the fortress of the noble family Scaligeri, who became the Lords of Verona
  • It was rebuilt several times and it was used by the Austrians as barracks in the 18th century
  • The castle houses the Museo Alta Garda which has exhibitions focuses on archaeology and art

The Bastione:

AllThingsTravel Top Pick:

  • The Bastione is a castle situated at the foot of Mount Rocchetta
  • It is a 20-minute walk from Riva’s harbour, along a road that winds through the black pinewood of Rocchetta
  • The bastion has recently been subject to conservative restoration by the Superintendence of Architectural Heritage of the Autonomous Province of Trento
  • The views from the Bastione are fantastic and well worth the walk

Piazza 3 Novembre:

AllThingsTravel Top Pick:

  • The lively Piazza 3 Novembre is right at the heart of Riva’s old town overlooking the pretty harbour
  • The square houses the medieval Apponale Tower as well as the Pretorio and Provveditore Palaces
  • It is a great place to dine or take an Aperitivo and watch the world go byPiazza 3 Novembre, Riva del Garda

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