Torbole and Windsurfing
Torbole is located on the northern tip of Lake Garda, in Trentino region. The town lies astride the Sarca, the only tributary of Lake Garda, right where the river valley meets lake shore. Today Torbole is an important tourist centre, famous all over the world among sailing sports enthusiasts thanks to the Peler and the Ora, the strong and constant thermal winds that blow in this part of the lake.
How to get to Torbole
You can get to Torbole by car or bus along the Gardesana
Orientale (SR 249), the road that runs along Lake Garda
connecting all the villages on its shores. Coming from the south, in the
Veronese territory, passing through Garda, Torri del Benaco, Malcesine,
you can admire how along the way Lake Garda radically changes its look.
From placid and wide, surrounded by low and gentle hills, it becomes
narrower and narrower, closed by rocky and steep mountains more and more
imposing. A landscape that is awe-inspiring for its magnificence.
Alternatively, you can reach Torbole from the A22 Modena-Brenner motorway which runs along the Adige Valley. Exit at the Rovereto Sud exit and continue in the direction of Nago-Torbole, passing by Lake Loppio, where the Venetian galleys were transported in the 16th century. You then descend along a winding road to Torbole, enjoying an extraordinary panorama of the lake seen from above.
In both cases, most of the road is only one lane in each direction, overtaking is difficult, and in summer, with the great flow of tourists, there are often traffic jams and long queues.
Peler and Ora
Lake Garda is an immense mass of water that connects the Po Valley to the
south and the mountains of Trentino to the north. In summer all these
areas heat up in different ways and at different speeds, creating great
pressure differences that generate intense, constant and very
predictable winds. The upper lake is like a narrow valley closed by steep
mountain slopes and the winds are channelled there.
In the morning the wind blowing from north to south is called Peler.
Towards midday the Peler loses its intensity, and after a moment of calm, in the early afternoon the Ora starts to blow from south to north.
Windsurfing and Sailing sports
These climatic conditions make Torbole a world famous "spot" for kitesurfing,
windsurfing and other sailing sports. When the conditions are
ideal, seen from the top of the panoramic road, the rippling surface of
the lake appears completely dotted with sails of all shapes, sizes and
colours. In the evening, young people of all nationalities gather in the
numerous bars and clubs of Torbole to tell each other their day's
achievements in the water.
Throughout the area there are numerous sailing schools and fully equipped yacht clubs where you can take courses, rent or put your boats and equipment into the water with ease.
During the year there are numerous regattas, some of them of international level.
In order not to put sailors at risk, throughout the entire stretch of the lake north of Malcesine, motor boats are not allowed except for official transport service.
The conformation of the territory in this area of the lake makes it an
ideal place for those who love to spend their holidays practicing sports
immersed in nature. Here you will find trails for mountain biking,
hiking, trekking, canyoning,
Obviously there is no lack of every type of accommodation: hotels, camping, residences, holiday homes.
Food and Wine
Torbole is located in Trentino and therefore the food and wine of this
area are different from the rest of the Veronese shore of Lake Garda. In
restaurants and delicatessens you can find many typical dishes of the
Trentino tradition such as Carne Salà (salted meet), made with
rump of beef or horse preserved in salt and herbs for a period ranging
from two to five weeks. It can be enjoyed either raw or lightly grilled
with rocket salad and cheese chips or with stewed beans.
The wines are those of the nearby Adige Valley where you can find typical grape varieties such as Marzemino, Teroldego, Schiava, Lagrein for the reds, or Pinot Grigio, Muller Thurgau, Nosiola for the whites.
The Valdadige has always been the natural link between Central Europe and
Italy across the Alps. From here, in addition to armies and merchants,
travellers who came to Italy for the grand tour also passed through. Among
them were also many artists such as Goethe and Mozart
who made stops in these territories.
Goethe visited Torbole in 1786, during his trip to Italy, of which he left a detailed written record.
Mozart, still a teenager, came here 17 years earlier, in 1769, stopping in Rovereto and Ala before continuing on to Verona with his father who had organized a training trip to Italy for him. Legend has it that a few years later, writing Don Giovanni, it was the memory of the Marzemino he had tasted in these areas that inspired him to write a passage from the opera:
"Pour the wine. Excellent Marzemino!"
Don Giovanni orders to his servant Leporello.
Arriving in Torbole from the south along the Gardesana, the road that
runs along the Garda, just before entering the town, paying a little
attention you can see on the right what looks like the entrance to a road
tunnel, but which opens directly onto the waters of the lake. This is the
exit point of the Adige-Garda tunnel, a 10 km tunnel dug under
the mountains, which connects the Adige river with Lake
Garda. It is an engineering work of great importance, which
allows to save the city of Verona from the devastating floods of
the Adige River, unfortunately recurring, such as those of 1882
The work began in 1939 and, after the interruption due to the war, was completed twenty years later. The cold and muddy waters of the Adige River, when they flow into Lake Garda, have a serious environmental impact, so the tunnel is opened only in case of extreme necessity. In total it has been used 11 times, the last time in October 2018.
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