Destination Guide

Lake Garda

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With jagged cliffs carved by the last Ice Age, Lake Garda boasts one of Europe’s most dramatic landscapes, and yet it is often overlooked in favor of the celebrity-adored Lake Como, which lies two hours west by car. What Lake Garda lacks in movie star glitz, it more than makes up for with a slower pace of life that emphasizes relaxation, authentic Italian living and an atmosphere that transports visitors to an era when literary legends (Catullus, Lord Byron, Ezra Pound) frequented its calming shores.


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large outdoor pool with view of pink stucco villa behind

Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli

Built in 1892 for a wealthy Italian family, the waterfront Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli has since become one of Italy’s premier five-star properties.

Exterior View - Villa Arcadio, Lake Garda, Italy

Villa Arcadio

In a place like Lake Garda, where so much of a visit should be about the water, it is quite a bold move to build a hillside hideaway—and turn it into one of the most desirable properties in the region. But with Villa Arcadio, the gamble paid off, and the 18-room retreat offers a different vantage point than most hotels, allowing guests to take in the sweeping views of Salò below and the lake in the distance.

Set on nearly 30 acres of lush gardens and olive groves, the former convent opened as a hotel in 2006, after years of careful restoration by its owners, an Italian textile dealer and his wife. Originally intended to be their home, the hotel exudes the coziness of a cared-about family estate, with warm, personal service.

The farmhouse-style main building houses all of the rooms (including four suites), as well as the restaurant, where all meals are served. The cuisine is simple but elegant, and highlights regional specialties like lakefish and homemade pasta (Indagare Tip: Cooking classes can be arranged upon request). The charming courtyard terrace features vibrant lanterns and vine-covered overhangs, and has stunning sunset views. While the rooms are simple, with a minimalist aesthetic—neutral colors, bare walls, beamed ceilings—the stars of each room are the 14th-century frescos that are leftover from the villa’s time as a convent.

When not sunning by the infinity pool, guests can explore the grounds using the many hiking and mountain biking trails on property, or venture into the surrounding region. Salò is a 10-minute drive from the hotel, where Villa Arcadio docks its vintage Riva boat, available for full- or half-day rentals. Those wishing to disconnect will appreciate the pampering onsite amenities, including a fitness center, Finnish sauna and spa with massages and Ayurvedic treatments. The hotel can also arrange for yoga and Pilates lessons.

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