Holidays to Maderno can be full of relaxation or action, with everything from beaches to hiking, and centuries of history to explore.

Twin towns

Dating all the way back to Etruscan times around 900 BC, this was actually once two towns – Maderno on one side of the river and Toscolano on the other. They officially came together in 1928, and the united town now spreads over a headland on the western shore of Lake Garda. Beaches line the shore and it’s surrounded by vineyards, lemon groves and olive trees, and backed by the tree-covered slope of Monte Pizzocolo.

Time travel

History fans will really be in their element here. The very first paper mills in Italy were built here in the 14th century and there’s still one left today, making maps and speciality pages for customers all over the world. Walk among the ruins of the other mills and visit the Paper Museum to see photos, machinery and tools, and have a go at making your own sheets. There are also historical spots around town too, from the remains of the Nonii Arii Roman villa to the 12th-century Church of Sant’Andrea. If you’re more of a nature lover, take a stroll around the Ghirardi Botanical Garden, where they’ve been growing and studying medicinal plants since 1964.

Get active

Keen walkers and cyclists can head into the hills behind town to find loads of trails, or you can even hike to the top of Monte Pizzocolo at 1,582m high if you’re up for it. Drawn to the water instead? Hire a rowing boat, canoe or paddleboard from the beach, or let someone else take the helm on a sailing trip. And if you’ve got a head for heights, get the best view of the town, lake and mountains on a paragliding adventure.

Out and about

  • Lakeside promenade
  • Boat trips
  • Local ferries
  • Paragliding
  • Cycle routes
  • Lake bathing
  • Sailing
  • Wine tasting
  • Botanical garden
  • Roman villa
  • Museum

At a Glance

  • See Roman ruins and ancient paper mills
  • Take a dip or bob in a boat at a lake beach
  • Taste local recipes and sweet treats