On an alluvial fan in the central part of Lake Garda, Toscolano-Maderno is on the lake's west coast in a sunny spot. It is actually composed of two towns that merged into one in the 1920s, separated by the Toscolano River where it flows into the lake. While there are still distinctions, they form a united front on a flat spur that reaches into the water, offering a lovely atmosphere backed by hills and mountains. Rising behind the lofty peak of Mt. Pizzocolo with a height of 1582 meters (5,190 feet). At the shore is the pretty port, with colorful boats and ferries that ply the waters to other towns.
Toscolano has a history of paper making and printing, so a trip to the Valle delle Cartiere (Valley of the Paper Makers) is in order, to view the old mills. Meanwhile, Maderno established tourism as its primary industry as far back as the turn of the century, making it a hospitable place. All around are stately cypress trees, vineyards, olive groves and lemon orchards, all obedient to the mild climate found here, despite its northern position and nearby mountains.
There are the remains of a castle and a nice botanical garden to meander. The waterfront church of Sant'Andrea has paintings by Veronese and Celesti, while San Pietro and Paolo, built in 1584, holds some wooden sculptures and large paintings by regional artists. The charming Santuario of the Madonna del Benaco was built in the 11th century, making it one of Lake Garda's oldest houses of worship. It was built over the ancient temple of Jupiter, with some of the original columns still standing in front.
The main attraction, however, is the great outdoors, and the beautiful views. There are some nice beaches here, a choice of water sports, and lots of activities in the hills and mountains for cyclists, hikers and climbers.
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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".
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.
Manerba del Garda is on a spur in the lake with a panoramic point that leads right out to the water.