Lazise is an Italian town in the province of Verona, set along the south-eastern shore of Lake Garda. Since several year it has been ranked among the first 20 destinations in Italy and it is the #1 most visited italian lake destination.
If we talk about Lazise, we are not just talking about the historic center but also about the two hamlets that are part of it. The hamlets of Colà and Pacengo, loved and known for their extensive hilly agricultural landscape, a thermal hot spring, some famous amusement parks, historical buildings and villas that testify to the long history of Lazise.
More information about the parks in the area:
The first free municipality in Italy
The name Lazise comes from the Latin word Lacus which means “lake village“. A name that corresponds to the discoveries of remains of stilt houses, dating back to Bronze Age. The first documents confirming the existence of an important inhabited village in Lazise date back to the early Middle Ages. Among these documents there is also the imperial deed signed by Ottone II in 983 AD. In which he grants autonomy to the entire municipality, making Lazise the first free municipality in Italy.
The dragon of Mondragon
Near Lazise, there is a hill known as the Mondragon. Long time ago there was a castle in this area where, according to a legend, witches and dragons would meet each other. In fact, the emblem of Lazise, that goes back to the Venetian era, represents on one side blue and white rhombs (which remember Bavaria) and on the other side the Dragon of Mondragon.
The walled town of Lazise
The village is surrounded by a wall from the early Middle Ages and has 3 entrance gates to the center: one with access from the east called Porta Superiore and nowadays better known as Porta San Zeno. This gate used to be the main entrance to the city. We recommend stopping for a few seconds to observe the gate from the outside. You will surely notice that it is lower than the rest of the walls, towers and gates. The reason behind this particularity is a symbolic act of the Visconti and Gonzaga. In fact, after they finally won the battle against the Venetians in 1400, they felt the urge to humiliate their enemy and flaunt their superiority. What better way to do this than to lower their enemies’ knees and their gate?
The second gate is known as Porta Lion and gives access from the south. This gate is perhaps the most used entrance as it is connected, through via Rosenheim, to the main car park in Lazise. Via Rosenheim is the long street full of flowers and with a wonderful perspective on the castle, which you will certainly remember if you have already been to Lazise.
The third and last gate is located in the north and was called Porta Nuova before it was renamed Porta Cansignorio. The interesting thing about this door is that you still can see cannon impacts from the war between Venice and the Visconti on the external part of the wall.
Even today, the gates are connected to each other through the typically medieval walls, taking you back in time. What differs from the past is the absence of the fourth wall that overlooked the lake, closing the town completely.
It is curious to know that there was a period in which the historic center of Lazise looked like a little Venice. As you walk through the streets of the village, you will notice that some alleys still bear the name “calle” (waterway). Water once flowed in these alleys, making the houses directly accessible by boat. This being said, during your visit in this charming town, you will find something interesting in every corner. Streets full of shops and cozy bars, buildings and fascinating places such as the famous Dogana Veneta, Portovecchio, the Romanesque church of San Nicolò and the lake promenade.
The Castle of Lazise cannot be visited. However, history lovers have the opportunity to participate with our guided visit: Lazise Walking Tour by sending an email, in advance, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, GardaLanding offers every year, from April to October, the opportunity to book the Gardalake Tour, a bustour around the lake that also includes a trip by ferry. During this trip, one of our guides will take you to 4 fascinating towns on Lake Garda, among which the beautiful Lazise.
For those who prefer to admire Lake Garda from the water, there is also the option of participating (from May to September) with the South Gardalake Tour. A boat trip with swim stops and departure from Lazise.
Save the date
The events that are part of the “Lacisiense tradition” is the row competition: Regata delle Bisse, known as the Bandiera del Lago. The game evening inside the center, called Cuccagna del Cadenon, the Festa dell’Ospite, to celebrate its guests and the autumn honeyfestival “I giorni del Miele”.