Desenzano combines a lakeside setting with a lively atmosphere. The centre's thriving with bars, cafés, pizzerias and an impressive pedestrianised shopping area. Mingle with the locals as you walk around the narrow streets, stopping to browse the unique items found in some of the family-run boutiques. Stroll a bit further and head uphill to the medieval castle that overlooks the town – you’ll get some of the best views of the lake from up here.
If you want to get some sun, we recommend heading to one of Desenzano’s three public beaches. There's sun loungers and parasols to rent as well as lake-view cafés where you can stop for a drink. The lakeside comes alive in the summer evenings with trendy bars welcoming tourists and locals.
One of the best things about Desenzano is how easy it is to get out and explore. The ferries leave regularly so popular towns like Garda, Peschiera and Sirmione are easy to get to. The town's station has regular trains to both Verona and Venice, which are perfect for day trips. But if you’ve already been or fancy escaping the crowds, we recommend heading to Padua. It’s a small, energetic city that doubles as a museum with the Basilica of St. Anthony’s extraordinary frescoes and a jumble of architecture from Gothic to Renaissance.