I thought I'd write in more detail about the towns on the shores of Lago di Garda (Lake Garda). Today was a gorgeous day and with a 180 km + ride planned two days from now I took the opportunity to do an easy ride to Lazise on my Malagnini bike.
Lazise is located on the eastern shore of Lake Garda, about 25 km northwest of Verona, and is in the Province of Verona. Originally a group of stilt houses, Lazise was later occupied by the Scaligeri family of Verona during the 13th and 14th centuries. They encircled it with turrets and walls and built its castle. In 1405, Lazise came under Venetian rule until Napoleon conquered northern Italy. After the conference of Vienna (1815) it entered a period of Austrian rule, until 1866, when it became incorporated into the new Italian state.
You can enter the medieval center of the town through three gates in the wall that surrounds the town. The town is also accessible by the lake ferry system (http://www.navigazionelaghi.it/). The center is car free and there are many small shops, restaurants and bars. Away from the lakeside promenade there are narrow alleys to explore. One aspect that also makes each lake side town unique is the design of its harbor. Lazise's enclosed harbor is very pretty, lined with colorful buildings and restaurants.
The Romanesque San Nicolò Church is dedicated to the patron saint of sailors. Its frescoes, done in the 1300s, were painted by an anonymous artist of the school of Giotto.
Photos: one of the entrances to the old town, harbor, soldier's memorial at harbor entrance, promenade facing the lake, Chiesa San Nicolo