MARKET DAY: Friday
PORT: Porto - Lungo Lago Regina Adelaide, 36
PHARMACY: Del Garda - Corso Italia, 78
HOSPITAL: Ospedale Orlandi di Bussolengo - Via Ospedale, 4/6
Garda, despite its only 31 km, its gulf enclosed by Mount Luppia and its medieval village, is one of the best known tourist centres on the lake.
The place name Garda derives from the Germanic word Warte meaning 'guard' and refers to the town's fortress. Remains from the past such as pile dwellings and rock carvings from the Bronze Age indicate that it was inhabited in ancient times, but the character of the town asserted itself especially during the Longobard era with the construction of the four castles, the most famous of which was 'la Rocca'. Garda increased its centrality when in the 10th century it became the centre of the Giudicaria and later of the Corporazione degli Originari, an association founded in 1452 that claimed fishing rights to the ancient natives of the place.
These rights were respected even during Venetian and French rule. Even today, on St Bernard's Day, shares of the proceeds from the fishing lease are distributed among the members.
Of particular artistic importance are the ancient Pieve di Garda dedicated to St. Mary, rebuilt after the earthquake of 1117, which retains the cloister of the bell tower and the vicar's house, and the Hermitage of the Camadolese of San Giorgio sulla Rocca dating back to the 15th century.
Garda was a holiday resort for the nobility in the past, so it is rich in villas and palaces, the most beautiful and important of which are the Palazzo dei Capitani, located opposite the harbour, Villa Albertini and Villa Canossa.