The earliest historical data about Malcesine can be traced back to around 500 B.C. and it refers to the Etruscans as the first settlers.

It is estimated that Malcesine’s famous landmark castle has been built, destroyed, and subsequently re-built within the next millennium, around 509 A.C, following conflicts between the Longobards and Franks. The castle, which sits atop a rocky promontory overlooking the lake, was restored and fortified by the wealthy della Scala or Scaligeri family in the 13th century.

Concierge did you know: Wolfgang Goethe, the famous writer, was imprisoned in the castle briefly in 1786, having been arrested on suspicion of spying when caught making sketches of the castle.

Situated at the foot of Monte Baldo, Malcesine’s cobbled streets and alleyways lead from the lakeside promenade and pretty Porto Vecchio past colourful houses, shops, cafes and delightful squares to the prominent Scaligeri Castle, which rises over Lake Garda and the charming medieval town.

With such a rich historic and cultural heritage, combined with captivating scenery, an abundance of outdoor activities and delicious cuisine, Malcesine attracts visitors from all over the world, including many who decide to tie the knot in its picture-perfect setting.

  • Take the cable car from Malcesine up to the summit of Monte Baldo to 1750 meters for breath-taking panorama of the lake and surrounding mountains.
  • Monte Baldo is also a popular spot for hiking and mountain biking, with numerous trails winding through the mountain.
  • As for aquatic sports lovers, both beginners and experts flock to Malcesine for excellent windsurfing and sailing facilities and wind conditions.
  • Walk along the promenade to picturesque Val di Sogno (1.8km each way) a superb spot for relaxing, lake bathing and water sports.
  • Tour the medieval Scaligero Castle and take in the stunning views from its ramparts,
  • Explore the town’s charming historic centre, with its narrow streets and ancient buildings.
  • Browse the stalls at the colourful Saturday market selling a variety of food, clothes, shoes, household goods and more (08:00 – 14:00 / 8am – 2pm)
  • Go lakeside town-hopping aboard the local ferries with routes from Malcesine to Riva del Garda, Limone sul Garda and the rest of the lake.
  • Visit medieval Palazzo dei Capitani, which houses the Town Hall and a museum on the history of the town and the surrounding region. Beautiful garden and great lake views.
  • Malcesine hosts a range of cultural events, including music festivals, art exhibitions, and food fairs throughout the year.

Tabasko Bar –  Piazza  Cavour, 3

Vagabondo Bar – Via Porta Orientale, 1

Active Bar – Via Gardesana, 272


Ristorante La Voglia – Localita’ Val di Sogno, Malcesine (restaurant photo)

Ristorante Pizzeria Italia da Nikolas – Via Portici Umberto, 5

Vidoc – Via Dosso, 1


Val di Sogno – in Localita’ Val di Sogno a short walk from Malcesine direction south, free entry pebble public beach with bars and restaurants nearby

Lido Malcesine (Paina Beach) – a free, pebble public beach located beneath the castle and approx. 200m direction north.

Spiaggia di Posterna – a small, free entry concrete beach just beneath the castle. 

Spiaggia di Navene – a free entry pebble beach situated next to the Fraglia Vela Malcesine, 4 km to the north of Malcesine.

Spiaggia di Campagnola – a free pebble and rocky beach situated 3 km to the north of Malcesine.

Local lake transport is an important means of commuting for the locals, and many visitors to Lake Garda use Navigarda ferry services as a fun and inexpensive way to take in the stunning lake scenery and to explore the lakeside towns.

Malcesine has two ferry embarkation points – Malcesine Centro and Malcesine Traghetto.

Malcesine Centro is located just to the south of the old town, in the port / Porto Vecchio. This is a passenger ferry service which navigate north towards Limone, Torbole and Riva del Garda.

To the south, ferries head across the lake towards Gardone Riviera and Salò, before crossing back to Garda and Bardolino.

Car ferries also depart from Malcesine Centro, however only for passenger embarkation.

Malcesine Traghetto is located to the north of the town along the coastal road. This a car ferry service to Limone Traghetto on the northwestern shore of the lake. The car ferries also start in Malcesine Centro, however only for passenger embarkation.

  • The company that operates the service is NAVIGAZIONE LAGHI / NAVIGARDA
  • Some services are passenger-only and some services are car ferries
  • Tickets can be bought at the NAVIGAZIONE LAGO DI GARDA  / NAVIGARDA kiosks at the ports


* Concierge tip: if you are travelling out and returning to the same point of departure: it is best to purchase 2 single tickets per person (1 ticket per person for each way).

  • The main bus stop in Malcesine (Malcesine Autostazione) is on the main Gardesana road, by the large central roundabout and close to the Tourist Information point and the “Eurospar” supermarket.
  • There are other bus stops in Malcesine along the Gardesana SS240 main road
  • The company that operates the bus service is ATV Verona
  • The bus/route numbers to look out for are: *483 (*from 01.05.2024) and 484.
  • FERIALE LUN-SAB = Weekdays (incl. Saturday) Monday-Saturday
  • FESTIVO = Sundays, Bank holidays and National holidays
  • Tickets can be bought at most Tabacchi shops in Malcesine (look out for the T sign outside the shop).


Concierge tip 1: if you are travelling out and returning to the same departure point: buy 2 single tickets per person (1 ticket per person per way).

Concierge tip 2:  once you are on board the bus, don’t forget to stamp your bus ticket by using the validating machine.

Concierge tip 3:  the timetable currently displayed is valid until 09 June 2024. There will be an updated timetable available in due course / before 10 June 2024.


There are several parking areas in and around Malcesine.

  • Look out for the parking (P) sign
  • Parking prices are from € 1.80 – €4.00 per hour, depending on the proximity to the tow centre.
  • There are also free parking areas, look out for the  sign
  • This particular sign allows a maximum 90min stay between 8:30 and 19:00 (8:30am – 7pm)
  • If you do not have an Italian “disco orario” (parking disc) leave a note on the dashboard clearly indicating the time when you parked the vehicle.
  • Concierge alert: the centre of Malcesine is a Limited Traffic Zone (ZTL) monitored by cameras that control  vehicle entry into the town centre. Drivers who enter the centre without a permit risk a fine – which will follow the offender all the way home.