The Lower Garda and Upper Mantua region is rich in historical and landscaping attractions.

The Garda’s emissary river, the Mincio, which reaches from the lake to Mantua, forming the 3 lakes that surround the ancient city, constitutes by itself one of the main attractions and the backbone of a dense network of bicycle routes that expand across the gentle plain and connect small towns and villages rich in history.

Percorsi ciclabili nel basso garda

The area can be easily traveled by bicycle thanks to a dense network of low-car travel routes and especially thanks to the presence of the Mincio bicycle path (the Peschiera- Mantova), one of the most beautiful Italian bicycle paths, which for more than 40 kilometers runs along the course of the river, from Peschiera del Garda and reaches Mantova.

Short detours make it possible to touch on the various hill towns washed by the river and then graft onto the inland network, alternating slightly undulating routes with flat white roads, go into the woods or stay among cultivated fields and vineyards and along water channels. It is an opportunity for visiting the villages and their historical and cultural beauties.

With the end of the Roman Empire this whole area close to the Alps was constantly visited by barbarian peoples moving from the north. That is why from the Middle Ages the first protective fortifications arose, which later, rebuilt and enlarged first by the Scaligeri, lords of Verona, and the Gonzaga, lords of Mantua, and then by the Venetian republic, formed that network of Castles and Fortified Villages so frequent throughout this territory.

Starting from the Lower Lake, we find immediately after Peschiera del Garda, and already in the province of Mantua, the towns of Ponti sul Mincio, Monzambano and Castellaro Lagusello, which we now briefly present.

Ponti sul Mincio

Vista dall'alto di Ponti sul Mincio

Bordering Peschiera del Garda Ponti overlooks the Mincio valley. Probably of Celtic origin demonstrated by archaeological findings, Ponti is characterized mainly by the Scaliger-era castle erected with large pebbles from the river.

The castle is defined as an “enclosed castle,” polygonal and elongated in shape and enclosed within five towers, two of which are true buildings enclosed by walls, and the other three constituting recesses of the patrol walkway.

From the top of the castle there is a wide view of the valley below.


Perched on a hill and overlooking the Mincio Valley, Monzambano is characterized by its medieval castle (1200). Certainly the area was populated in Roman times as numerous archaeological finds confirm. Traces of pile-dwelling settlements and grave goods of Celtic origin, remains of Roman roads and rural villas have been found.

The medieval village probably consisted of houses leaning against the fortified wall in which to take refuge in case of attack.

There was no dwelling of the local lord in the fortress, so its function was one of protection, sighting and signaling.

The interior of the fortress has not long housed an interesting multimedia museum (not always open) that illustrates the history and life of the castle.

Castellaro Lagusello

Considered one of the most beautiful fortified villages in Italy, Castellaro Lagusello, in the municipality of Monzambano, stands on a rise next to one of the last small lakes left among the moraine hills after the glaciations. The lakes, which must have been numerous, gradually silted up, turning first into swamps and then into hygrophilous meadows.

The remains of a pile-dwelling settlement, arrowheads, ceramic and metal material, and amber artifacts have been found in the Castellaro area, which also testify to the intensification of trade.

The complex, which also contains the remains of a 12th-13th century Scaliger castle, is considered an incredibly intact example of a medieval settlement.

The ensemble is surrounded by cobblestone curtain walls with Guelph battlements, punctuated at regular intervals by square or rectangular towers, which are almost preserved for the entire perimeter.

The small heart-shaped lake is privately owned and is a protected nature reserve, providing shelter to several dozen species of resident, migratory and wintering birds.

In April (in 2024 from 25 to 28 April) the Flower Show is held in Castellaro. Exhibitors include floriculturists, creative craftsmen, floral installations and much more.

Numerous side events: exhibitions, creative workshops, multi-sensory performances, guided tours of the village, the Bell Tower and the Castellaro Lagusello reserve.