At a glance
Tie the knot in a fairy tale wedding
Scale the stone steps of a castle tower
Paraglide down Monte Baldo
Destinations in Malcesine
Top things to See and Do in Malcesine
The beach of Paina
The closest and one of the most popular beaches in Malcesine is located only 100m from the town centre and to the north of the castle. The beach of Paina is a free pebble beach with facilities including a swim raft, lifeguard service, beach volleyball nets and a sports field. There’s loungers to rent, and, if you get peckish, the nearby bars and restaurants offer a great selection.
The 'Bay of Dreams'
At the southern end of Malcesine is the commune of Val di Sogno – this translates into English as the valley (or bay) of dreams. Tall cypress trees, green vegetation, and peaceful in a protected bay. This free pebble beach is popular with wind surfers and sailors, so it’s great to watch them out on the lake. At the beach there’s sun loungers and parasols available to rent, and the nearby cafes and restaurants are great to grab drinks and lunch.
Fancy a dip?
Off the coast of Malcesine is known as the deepest section of the lake at over 300m. This does mean that the lake waters in the north are a little chillier than the south by approximately 6°C. Also, for getting in and out of the lake, the pebbles can be a little uncomfortable under foot. For this reason, we recommend taking lake shoes with you.
You’ll be sure to find a few bargains at the weekly market. Every Saturday morning from 8am, the market arrives in the town centre car park, outside the town hall (Municipio). Everything from traditional Italian pottery, clothing, leather goods, gifts and souvenirs are available for a reasonable price. It may not be as cheap as you’d expect a market to be, but the products are generally really high quality.
Malcesine has many shops and boutiques throughout the town offering everything from typical Italian clothing, gifts and souvenirs to local artwork. The shops in the town generally close in the middle of the day for a siesta – this is usually between 12.30pm and 3pm, but stay open later in the evenings.
While some shops in Malcesine offer some higher end brands and products, to get more of a choice, take a trip to one of the nearby cities. Verona, Milan and Venice are all home to Italian designers such as Gucci, Prada, and Dolce & Gabbana. See the glitz and the glamour, and treat yourself.
In true Italian style, take a wander down to the harbour for a drink in the evening. There’s several cafes and bars surrounding the harbour to get a spritz and watch the world go by. Many ice cream parlours also stay open as late as the bars – perfect for a wander by the water. After a good bar on the lake? Oasi on the lakefront has a great atmosphere and tasty cocktails.
Fancy a lively evening of culture and entertainment, book to see an opera at the Malcesine Castle during the summer months. Having fast become an extremely popular event in the town, it’s a wonderful introduction to Italian opera with a great atmosphere. Malcesine often hosts firework displays on the water, too. Make sure you find out what’s happening while you’re there.
Malcesine’s little harbour is lined with cafés – great for people watching beside the lake. But if you’re looking for something with a little more atmosphere, the sociable piazzas are filled with bars and restaurants and occasional live entertainment.
Award-winning choices at Al Gondoliere
The award-winning food at Al Gondoliere is great as an evening treat. They serve beautifully presented pastas, steaks, fish and desserts, and the popular choices include courgette gnocchi with shrimp and the octopus carpaccio with smoked salmon.
Al fresco dining at the popular Speck Stube
A few kilometres out of town, but well worth the effort is Speck Stube, delightful if you're looking for something a bit different. This fun German-style eatery has a great atmosphere with big wooden benches for al fresco eating, whether it’s roast chicken or ribs and chunky chips.
Authentic Italian with a stunning view at Al Bacio
Overlooking the lake is the Al Bacio Restaurant, which has beautiful views of Limone's mountains. The menu is small, consisting of traditional Italian dishes, but everything is creatively prepared. And watching the sunset from here is a real treat.