Active or super relaxing holiday? Whatever your choice, Tignale on Lake Garda has a myriad of activities ready for you, from the most relaxing to the most energetic to experience a 360° holiday on the largest lake in Italy.
The municipality of Tignale extends from the Port of Tignale on the shore of the lake up to the 1600 meters of the peaks that overlook it. A predominantly mountainous territory with splendid alpine and sub-alpine panoramas.
What to see in Tignale.
The 6 villages.
Tignale is made up of 6 small villages with picturesque corners and breathtaking views. Each village has kept its historic center intact, characterized by a church and covered alleys, enclosed between houses, called in dialect “landrùne“.
It is the first village you come across when going up from the lake. Located in a sunny position overlooking the lake, it offers the visitor an enchanting historic centre, various panoramic points and the church of San Marco, a saint celebrated in the village festival on April 25th each year.
Nestled among the olive trees, this charming village with its narrow streets, the small church of S. Rocco (saint celebrated on August 16) and the ancient wash houses, bears witness to the style of life in past centuries.
Main village of Tignale, seat of the Town Hall and the main services (pharmacy, doctor, dentist, banks, shops). The heart is represented by the historic centre, enclosed between via Campello and via Castello, in which it is possible to find evident traces of what was the ancient fortified area. To visit we have the Tignale Oil Mill, the Parish Church of Santa Maria Assunta and the Longobard Church of San Pietro.
Located directly above Gardola, small and characteristic, it is renowned for its alleys and courtyards, as well as for the church of San Lorenzo, a saint celebrated during the homonymous festival on August 9 and 10.
Easily reachable from the capital Gardola (easy walk suitable for everyone). Near the church of S. Bernardo, an ancient stone mill for grinding olives can be visited.
Headquarters of the Alto Garda Park Museum, the municipal swimming pool open to the public, the small church of San Zenone and the ancient alembic where the famous “Rugiada delle Alpi” grappa is produced “, so baptized by Gabriele D’Annunzio.
Limonaia Pra dela Fam Ecomuseum.
The beautiful lemon house of Pra dela Fam is a vast greenhouse located on the lake shore, upstream from the Garda state road, among the sheer rocks. It will enchant you from a landscape and architectural point of view. It can be visited and you can also buy typical products. To learn more about its history and get info on opening hours and entrance tickets, we refer you to the official site.
If you also want to do a nice tour of all the lemon houses of Lake Garda, click here.
Fun fact: the origin of the name Pra dela Fam.
When the fierce winds and storms of Garda forced boatmen and fishermen to land on the debris beach carried to the lake from the mountains of Tignale by the floods of the Baès stream, and if they stayed for several days, hunger came to keep them company.
At Prato della Fame (in Tignalese dialect Pra dela Fam), today the port of Tignale, there was a lack means of sustenance and one could only leave as one had arrived: by lake. The high rocky walls prevented the passage and the connections with the inland villages. Before the Gardesana was built (in 1931) the goods traveled on the water and there were many boats that plowed the lake.
Sanctuary of Montecastello.
One of the most iconic symbols of the Tignale area is certainly the Sanctuary of Montecastello; dating back to the 17th century, it is located on a rock spur about 700 meters high with a crazy view of the lake. In fact, the gaze opens up to the high peaks of Monte Baldo up to the peninsula of Sirmione, enjoying all the landscapes that embrace the intense blue of Lake Garda.
Built on the ruins of an ancient temple, it houses the “Holy House” , a small temple presumably dating back to 800 AD.
In the rich and frescoed interior (frescoes by the Giottesque school), one of the many largest ex-votos in Europe is kept, dating back to the early 1600s.
The Sanctuary of Montecastello is also commonly called the Madonna della Stella Sanctuary; a legend has it that it owes its name thanks to the miraculous appearance of a “Star” which put an end to a bloody battle that took place in Tignale in 1200.
For information on how to reach it and the various treks in the surrounding area click here.
Flying Frogs Adventure Park.
This fun adventure park has a path for the little ones (from 3 years old), one for older children (from 6 years old) and another more adrenaline-pumping one for adults and children; to then get to the “Big Zip”, a long and exciting cable car.
The area, away from busy roads and immersed in the greenery of the woods and meadows, is ideal for enjoying a picnic in total relaxation. The path area, built around the two frog lakes, is always pleasantly shaded and breezy. For more info, we refer you to the official site.
The Museum of the Alto Garda Bresciano Park.
This museum is an information, environmental education and promotion center for the Garda hinterland. It aims to provide elements of understanding of the territory, keys to understanding the landscape, insights into history and traditional cultures, stimuli for comparison with similar situations, also offering practical tools for moving along oriented paths, according to thematic tracks and levels of interest different. The heart of the Museum consists of an original exhibition itinerary, which winds through images and sounds, the evocation of landscapes and the reconstruction of environments, naturalistic collections and collections of old work tools, short films and interactive stations. For more info click here.
Trekking in Tignale.
Cima Piemp is located at 1160 meters above sea level. and offers an incredible view of Lake Garda and Mount Baldo in every season and, on the other side, towards the mountains of Valvestino and Trentino. On the top, there are a Refuge, which has a small bar, and a small church built by the Alpine troops of the Tignale Group in the 1980s. For groups of at least 10 people, it is possible to book dinner and overnight stay with a sleeping bag. Tel: 333 3418529 – 39 338 625 7411
Cima Piemp can be reached from Gardola (550 m a.s.l.) by car or by mountain-bike along the paved cart track (sign Way n. 253), steep in some stretches, which crosses Olzano (625 m a.s.l.).
Alternatively, through a series of paths, among which the most popular with hikers are: trail markers no. 246 and no. 249, no. 256 and no. 255; this, breaking away from the previous one near La Forca, arrives in Acqua Sinega, just before Roccolo di Traval (1089 m), and joins trail no. 253, the now unpaved cart track that connects Passo d’Ere with Piemp.
Along the route, the numerous caves dug by the Italian military during the First World War for the second line of resistance are still visible.
This small but super fascinating waterfall is part of the hidden and lesser-known waterfalls of Lake Garda (click here to know them all).
The round trip to reach it starts from the fraction of Aer. Take path no. 265, immersed in the woods (pay attention to some passages with a fixed rope) which leads directly to the waterfall with a beautiful natural pool in which to cool off. Shoes and socks off!
On the way back, the path begins to climb with steps where it meets the watercourse again with some river potholes. Arrived at the top of the path n. 265, turn right taking path no. 251 – direction Aer with viewpoints over the river. Finally, the path becomes asphalted again to reach Aer.
If you want to go on excursions and guided walks to discover the area, take a look at those organized by the Tignale tourist office by clicking here.
Beach of Tignale.
Porto di Tignale offers one of the most beautiful beaches on the lake; reachable from the plateau with a comfortable daily shuttle bus or on foot along an ancient path. Once you reach the port, you will find both the equipped beach and the free one, part of which is dedicated to our four-legged friends.
At the beach there is a bar with small restaurant, a boat rental and a water sports school with related equipment rental. Here the wind blows briskly and sunbathing or sailing is always delightful!
Typical gastronomic products of Tignale.
Organic extra virgin olive oil.
The Cooperativa Latteria Turnaria of Tignale produces oil from organic farming of the highest quality. The olives are harvested by hand from the “Casaliva” and “Gargnà” variety plants. Once harvested, the olives go straight to the mill: the cold-extracted oil has a golden color and a fruity flavour. You can visit the oil mill, buy and taste the product, and get information on the processing stages and the organoleptic characteristics of the oil.
Another flagship of the Tignalese flavors is the precious “Rugiada delle Alpi” grappa, produced in the ancient Bettanini distillery since the mid-19th century, following ancient and expert distillation methods. The “Rugiada delle Alpi” (which means alpine dew) grappa was thus named by the poet, Gabriele D’Annunzio, his illustrious admirer.
Every year Tignale dedicates the last week of September and the first week of October to a highly prized fruit of the earth: the truffle. The food and wine review offers the opportunity to learn about its history and enjoy its delicious flavour, as well as taste the typical products of the area.
As you have read, Tignale on Lake Garda has much more to offer than you expect. Festivals, adventure parks for the more adventurous, panoramic trekking, mtb routes, beaches, water sports, and all the hospitality of the where to sleep and where-to-eat to spend a holiday on Lake Garda with a thousand nuances.
See you next time dear Outdoors!
Silvia Turazza – Garda Outdoors Editorial Board