The editorial staff of GardaConcierge starts a new guide series for your food and wine holiday, presenting folklore and festivals on Lake Garda. Various events are held on Lake Garda throughout the year. During these, visitors can get to know the traditions and taste the products of Lake Garda.
“Prim’Olio” Tasting – Manerba del Garda
Our taste tour around Lake Garda starts in Manerba on the western shore of Lake Garda. The “Prim’Olio” event in March and April offers a tasting of extra vergin olive oil, “Olio Garda DOP” olive oil and wines of the Valtenesi region. The event is held on a weekend, during which visitors can get to know and taste top products from regional cuisine with local wines.
“Fish & Chef” – Malcesine and the Eastern Shore of Lake Garda
On the other shore of Lake Garda, the “Fish & Chef” event dedicates itself to the best of award-winning cuisine in April. During the event, the best Michelin star chefs offer unique and complex dishes at various locations in the Lake Garda area, using local products: fish from Lake Garda, olive oil, herbs, cheese and flavours from Monte Baldo.
“Pane, Vino e Pesciolino” Village Fête – Riva del Garda
The traditional “Pane, Vino e Pesciolino” village fête is held in Riva, on the northern shore of Lake Garda, in May. During the event, the upcoming summer is celebrated with a fish menu, including fish which is not from Lake Garda. Musical entertainment and children’s games complete the event.
“Italia in Rosa” Wine Show – Moniga del Garda
A few weeks later, generally at the beginning of June, the “Italia in Rosa” wine show takes place at Villa Brunati in Moniga del Garda. It is dedicated to Italian rosé wines. Tastings of Chiaretti, Rosati and other rosé wines are held from morning to night during the three-day event. There are also talks and conferences for industry experts and journalists. The “Italia in Rosa” wine show has the privilege of being the first and most important show of rosé wines in Italy.
Chiaretto Contest – Bardolino
On the other side of the lake, in Bardolino, the “Palio del Chiaretto” chiaretto contest is held every June. The Bardolino Chiaretto Doc is presented every year on the occasion. It is the rosé version of the famous Bardolino wine and made from the same grapes. Bardolino’s old town is enlivened by music and entertainment during the tastings, directed at wine lovers and interested parties.
“Sardinata” Fish Festival – Sirmione
The “Sardinata” fish festival is held in the Piazzale del Porto in the town of Sirmione (province of Brescia) in the early summer. During the festival, visitors can taste grilled fish. A complete fish menu is offered on one evening, usually at the weekend.
“Aolata” Fish Festival – Sirmione
The traditional “Aolata” fish festival is also held in Sirmione, but in the month of July. Visitors can taste the small bleaks typical of Lake Garda, also known as “aole” during the event, which lasts one evening. The bleaks deposit their spawn not far from the lakeshore in June. Even though the “Aolata” fish festival in Sirmione is dedicated to this famous fish, it also offers other specialities for tasting.
“Sardellata al Chiar di Luna” Fish Festival – Garda
The “Sardellata al Chiar di Luna” fish festival is held at about the same time on the eastern shore of Lake Garda. This festival reenacts the traditional sardine fishing on Lake Garda that is documented in the Museum of Lake Garda. It was created to recall the fishers’ habit of cooking the sardines directly after catching them – a tradition that lives on during this event.
Frittitaly – Torri del Benaco
The “Frittitaly”, an event dedicated to food and wine, is held in Torri del Benaco at the end of August. Here, deep-fried food in all its forms plays the starring role! The events during the “Frittitaly” take place over the entire weekend, during which visitors can taste fried food (not only fish) and local wines. The event is held in the so-called “PalaFrittily”, a pavilion built on the harbour of Torri. Some restaurants also offer fried dishes during the event.
“Choco Night” – Gardone Riviera
Gardone Riviera dedicates the “Choco Night” (Notte Fondente) to the poet Gabriele D’Annunzio who resided here. The event, usually held at the end of August, offers an opportunity to taste wine and chocolate in the town’s streets and gardens. Music will also be played.
“Festa dell’Anitra” Duck Festival – Desenzano del Garda
The “Festa dell’Anitra” duck festival in Desenzano del Garda, on the southern shore of Lake Garda, is traditionally celebrated at the beginning of September. The event, one of the oldest in town, commemorates John the Baptist, the patron saint of the Capolaterra parish. The festival was later named “Festa dell’Anitra” because of the tradition of settling disputes between landowners by giving away the most beautiful animal of the chicken run. Visitors can discover local products and enjoy sports events and exhibitions during the festival.
“Sagra della Lumaca” Snail Festival – Riva del Garda
The “Sagra della Lumaca” snail festival is held in the northernmost town of Lake Garda, in Riva del Garda, in the Pernone Park of the Varone district. The event is all about snails: there is a variety of dishes and wine from the Trentino, offered by firms in the area, thus guaranteeing quality and freshness, while safeguarding the environment. Apart from food stalls, there is also music and entertainment.
“Festa dell’Uva” Wine Festival – Castelnuovo del Garda
Castelnuovo del Garda in the province of Verona celebrates the “Festa dell’Uva” wine festival in mid September. The weekend is dedicated to wine, culture, sport and fun and will usually be opened by a gala dinner, followed by the traditional cutting of the ribbon by dignitaries. Wine and food tasting and aperitifs follow concerts and music shows, cycle and footraces, as well as cultural exhibitions. The event usually ends with fireworks on the last evening, the so-called “Incendio della Torre” (Fire of the Tower).
“Festa dell’Uva e del Vino” Grape and Wine Festival – Bardolino
Another event boasting a long tradition is held every year between the end of September and the beginning of October in Bardolino – the “Festa dell’Uva e del Vino” grape and wine festival. The production of one of the most famous wines on Lake Garda, Bardolino, starts during vintage. It is also the occasion for one of the most important festivals organised by the town. Food and wine from the region attract enthusiasts and wine experts who use the festival to participate in events on the topic, among them conferences and meetings. There are also exhibitions and concerts for young and old.
“Sagra del Tartufo” Truffle Festival – Tignale
The “Sagra del Tartufo” truffle festival is held on the western shore of Lake Garda, in Tignale, from the end of September to the beginning of October. Visitors can taste truffle and olive oil dishes, as well as cold cuts, cheese, honey and jams at food stalls during the event. During a walk, participants will learn how a truffle hunt works. In addition, a cooking class is held, during which truffles also play the starring role!
For detailed information regarding the dates of the single events, we recommend a visit to the GardaConcierge website.