Isola del Garda-The Legend

When Brescia was invaded by the Longobards and razed to the ground, the lord of the city Marco Nonio and his son Antonio were kept prisoner on the island.

When Vitilde, the daughter of the Longobard King Vitolfo, visited the prison, she fell in love with Antonio and married him in secret. When Vitolfo discovered what had happened he was furious: he ordered that Vitalde be relegated to the Island and that Antonio be put in the dungeons on the Rock of Manerba which is opposite the Island.

Many years passed but finally one stormy night Antonio, helped by chance, managed to escape and was shipwrecked in the storm, on a rock where he found his beloved.

So as not to be discovered by King Vitolfo, the young man decided to live for a long time in the Islands grottoes and the story of the two lovers continued.

Fishermen who were saved many times by Antonio during stormy nights began, to love and respect him like a saint and they called him the Hermit of the Island-Alberta Cavazza

Why Visit Isola Del Garda

This is just one legend of many about the Island which has a history going back to 234 AD, when it was said to have been separated from the mainland by a catastrophic ‘terramorte’. The history since then includes kings, queens and emperors, St Francis of Assis, Dante Alighieri and Benito Mussolini.

The island was inherited by Camillio Cavazza in the early part of last century and it is his decendents who now are gaurdians of the Island and who wish to share the wonder of Islands. It is not just the amazing history which makes the Island a ‘must see’ on a holiday to Lake Garda, but also beauty of the Island. There are the immaculate gardens which combines English and Italian landscaping, and are full of lush vegetation, rich in exotic plants, rare species of trees and flowers. Palm trees from the Canary Islands grow next to the Neo-Gothic Venetian style villa which was designed by the architect Luigi Rovelli, while the lower terrace is thick with fruit trees such as persimmons, lemons, pomegranates, orange, grapefruit, jujubes, capers and prickly pears, also of course olive trees.

Book A Tour Of Isola Del Garda

It is possible to book a guided tour of the island lasts two hours and if finished off with an apperitivo.

A tour of the Island is recommended by the Tourist Coop of Valtenesi as the number one thing to do on a holiday to Lake Garda.

The tour includes:

  • Transfer from your chosen port

  • Guided tour of spectacular gardens and Venetian villa

  • Aperitivo in the tower where you can experience magnificent views


Tuesday: Barbano 09.30 | Gardone 09.35 | Portese 09.40

Thursday: Barbano 09.30 | Gardone 09.35 | Portese 09.40

Friday: Maderno 10.30

Sunday: Salò 10.00 | Porto Torchio 14.00 | San Felice 14.10

Click here to view the dates and book tickets in our Love Lake Garda Events Calendar.

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About the Author:

I have been visiting Lake Garda since 1998 and have grown to love the region so much that when I come here it is like coming home. Needless to say I am very familiar with the region and I would like to share what I know with you. As you may from my pages my particular passions are the local food and wine.


  1. zain May 29, 2015 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    Hi There…

    My family and I will be visiting Italy this September, and we plant to spend one day in Lake Garda….But we are not sure which town to visit… Every sight/town we search all have their splendid identity, we are now confused!
    I have a soft spot for Torbole, up north, but i worry its quite far for us to travel there if only for one day… I think its the Dolmites that look so magnificent. Please do advise us. We have two options, one being we go from Verona, earlier on in the trip or we go from Bergamo/Brescia, towards the end of out trip. Thus why we are not sure which town to visit.

    please help!

    Thank you.

    • admin June 1, 2015 at 1:22 pm - Reply

      I’m a bit biased, I would always recommend Salo because it is the town that made me fall in love with Lake Garda. For me it is the most beautiful, least touristy and lots to do. You could park your car at Desenzano, take a ferry to Salo. Or if you want to see a lot of towns in a short space of time then you could take the ferry to Sirmione, Bardolino, Garda, Lazise.

      You can check the Ferry timetables here.

      If thats too much travelling and you want to spend more time relaxing I would suggest you get the bus to Salo from Desenzano and you could walk around the bay, have lunch then get the ferry back to Desenzano late in the afternoon.

      I don’t know which day you are coming but you can check out the timetables to Isola del Garda here.

    • admin June 2, 2015 at 2:54 pm - Reply

      Hi Anna, I hope you received my email response and it was of use to you?

  2. Christine January 9, 2016 at 8:34 pm - Reply

    Hi! I would like to know your opinion on where to visit the Lake Garda region. We’ll be driving from Verona with no children.

    Thank you

    • admin February 17, 2016 at 10:56 pm - Reply

      Hi Christine,

      Of course it depends on your interests, but I would recommend and visit to one of the hundreds of cantinas, also check out our 20 places to visit in Lake Garda page. Isola del Garda is a great option.

  3. Driving In Lake Garda - January 19, 2017 at 9:28 pm - Reply

    […] outstretched arm away, with far reaching views across the lake and the iconic Lake Garda landmarks, Isola Del Garda and the Rock of Manerba clearly visible. The distinct peak of Pizzoccolo seems to slide right down […]

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