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In the heart of Riva del Garda
Riva del Garda
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A short urban itinerary to discover the historic centre of Riva del Garda, perfect for anyone who is on their first visit to Garda Trentino and has yet to get to know the town.

Riva del Garda is a small town with about 17 thousand inhabitants at the northern end of Lake Garda. It definitely dates back to pre-Roman times but its origins are uncertain. From the Roman period onwards it has grown largely thanks to its strategic position for military defence, trade and, in more recent times, tourism.  A closer look reveals that the town centre with its painted house fronts overlooking the old harbour still bears numerous traces of its colourful past.

This itinerary links up the main sights in the historic centre of Riva del Garda in an easy walk which is really suitable for all, even for baby buggies.

The more active might like to finish off the visit with a hike up to the Bastione, a Venetian fortress and spectacular viewing point towering above Riva.

Further information and useful links
  • There is documentary evidence of a settlement on the northern end of Lake Garda since Roman times (1st century). Some traces of it remain to the north of the historic centre: the Roman Baths, which can be seen in Via Roma, the necropolis in San Cassiano (currently closed to the public), and the sarcophagus which was moved to the Giardini Verdi park.
    The medieval part of the city (Rocca, Apponale tower, harbour) is spread out between what is now viale Dante and the lake. This difference of position is explained by the fall in the water level of the lake between Roman times and the Middle Ages. Basically, the medieval quarter was built on land which in earlier times had been partially or completely under water.
  • The Lungolago D'Annunzio promenade is dominated by the mass of the hydroelectric power station of Riva del Garda (see itinerary “Giancarlo Maroni, the architect of the lake”). Dolomiti Energia offers guided tours of the Ponale hydroelectric station. The tours, which must be booked in advance, are held all year round in Italian (and from spring to autumn in English and German). For bookings and information: Garda Trentino Tourist Offices and www.hydrotourdolomiti.it
  • For more information on routes, activities, events and accommodation at lake Garda:  APT Garda Trentino, Tel. +39 0464 554444 - www.gardatrentino.it
Route info
Route number
2,8 km
Activity time
45 min
Altitude difference (+)
4 m
Altitude difference (-)
15 m
Technical skills
Physical effort
Highest point
84 m
Lowest point
65 m

This tour can be combined with the itinerary "Il Marocco, in the heart of Riva del Garda" for a more complete tour of the town centre as a whole.

Safety guidelines

The telephone number for the emergency services is 112.

The information on this chart is subject to inevitable variations, so this means that none of the indications are absolute. It is not entirely possible to avoid giving inexact or imprecise information, given how quickly environmental and weather conditions can change. For this reason we decline any responsibility for changes which the user may encounter. In any case,  the hiker is advised to check the conditions of the places, environment and weather before setting out.

Punto di partenza
Info point Garda Trentino - Riva del Garda

Part One:
from the Tourist Office in Largo Medaglie d'Oro head down via Maroni to Fraglia della Vela and the beach Spiaggia degli Ulivi. Continue in the direction of the historic centre and follow the channel of the Rocca as far as the entrance to the museum Museo Alta Garda in piazza Battisti. After visiting the museum, continue on down via Maffei past the mermaid fountain, passing through first Piazza delle Erbe and then Piazza 3 Novembre where you will find the Apponale tower and Palazzo Pretorio, now home to the Town Hall of Riva del Garda. Leaving the portico of the Town Hall on your left, go through Porta Bruciata, the “burnt door” which leads you into Piazza San Rocco. Here you pass under a portico to reach the landing stage in Piazza Catena. It is only a short walk from here to the promenade Lungolago d'Annunzio which has a marvellous view of the historic centre.

Part Two:
from Lungolago d'Annunzio to the Inviolata. Head back towards the Town Hall and cross the upper part of Piazza 3 Novembre then turn into via Fiume, a narrow picturesque laneway which takes you to Porta San Marco (the “Venetian gate” of Riva). Turn right and follow Viale Dante for a stretch to then go back into the historic centre through the next gate (Galleria San Giuseppe, in reality, the apse of a deconsacrated church). Turn left immediately onto via Disciplini which leads to Piazza Cavour, where you will find the parish church of Santa Maria Assunta and the Porta San Michele gate. Go through this gate and head straight down via Roma (on your left you will see the archaeological digs for the Roman Baths), in the direction of the church of the Inviolata, where the itinerary comes to an end.

Optional extension to the Bastione:
From the Inviolata (in Largo Marconi) continue on down to the left along viale Canella as far as the roundabout at the mouth of the ring road tunnel. After the roundabout, shortly after the start of the downhill stretch, cross the road and turn onto the trail SAT 404 which in about 20 minutes takes you up to the Venetian Bastione. Note that this stretch is not suitable for baby buggies.

public transportation

The towns in Garda Trentino - Riva del Garda, Torbole sul Garda, Nago and Arco – are connected by a number of urban and intercity bus lines which will take you to the starting point of the trail. For up-to-the-minute information on timetables and routes: www.gardatrentino.it

You can also get to Riva del Garda and Torbole sul Garda by the public ferry service. For up-to-the-minute information on timetables and routes: www.gardatrentino.it

How to get there

Getting to northern lake Garda / Garda Trentino: www.gardatrentino.it 

Where to park

Free parking in Riva del Garda at the old hospital (via Rosmini) and the old cemetery (Viale D. Chiesa).

Pay parking at the Public Gardens Porta Orientale, Roman Baths,  Viale Lutti (Ex Agraria), Monte Oro, Blue Garden.

This excursion is quite simple and presents no particular difficulty. However, we still recommend you to wear suitable footwear, a hat, sun screen and sunglasses. And be sure to bring water!
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