San Felice del Benaco
In the hills that rest between Lake Garda and the mountains, the town of San Felice del Benaco offers the best of beaches and land-based sports. It sits just inland among olive groves and vineyards and woods, before the hills give way to the surrounding mountains. Down the road is a promontory between the Gulf of Salo' and the Gulf of Manerba, making this one of the prettiest parts of the lake.
San Felice del Benaco has ancient roots, with a Roman presence here, still seen in some archeological ruins. Later, Franciscan monks established a community here. The town developed after the castle of Scovolo was destroyed when Brescia wrestled it from Verona. The inhabitants moved to seek safety and established San Felice del Benaco. Their own castle was built and then later destroyed by the French, after which the town was placed under the dominion of the Republic of Venice.
The town also comprises the hamlets of Portese and Cisano. Porto di Portese is the lakeside section with a pretty marina and shore-side promenade, nice beaches and pretty views. You'll be able to sail, surf, swim or canoe. Inland are hiking trails and horse riding spots, bike paths and lofty places where you can look down toward the lake.
The church of the Madonna del Carmine is a Gothic-Romanesque church that is a pilgrimage spot that also has a convent with a lovely peaceful cloister. There are some palazzi and villas scattered around. The historic center is a lovely stone district with archways, narrow lanes and loads of charm.
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Explore nearby towns
Salò is a lovely and lively town on the shores of Lake Garda, the gateway to the area known as "the lemon coast".
Manerba del Garda is on a spur in the lake with a panoramic point that leads right out to the water.
On an alluvial fan in the central part of Lake Garda, Toscolano-Maderno is on the lake's west coast in a sunny spot.