Torbole sul Garda and Nago were inhabited since prehistoric times. Intensely colonized during the days of Imperial Rome, during the Middle Ages they formed a city-state, which was confirmed in 1647 by the Tyrolean counts. The ruins of the medieval Castel Penede, which was owned by the counts of Torbole sul Garda, are still visible. Stormed by Gattamelata in 1438, the castle was pillaged and destroyed in 1703 by the troops of the Duke of Vendome. In Torbole, typical fishermen's houses cluster around the port and customs house, which are evidence of the Venetian domination (1440-1510).
Torbole and Nago were ruled for many years by the Torbole and Castelbtorbole families. The Hapsburgs reigned from 1810 to 1918. After J.W. Goethe's visit to Torbole on lake Garda in September 1786, many Germans from the cultural world were attracted to the town. The tourism industry began to develop at the beginning of the 20th century, but grew only after construction of the Gardesana road (1929). After World War II, many more foreign tourists arrived in the area.
J.W. Goethe (Frankfurt 1749 - Weimar 1832) was in Torbole on lake garda on September 12, 1786. Here is what the great German writer wrote:
"I went for a stroll in the cool evening. Now I am truly in a new country, in a very unfamiliar place. The people lead a carefree life here in the Land of Plenty. First, the doors have no locks, but the innkeeper assured me that I don't have to worry, even if I brought nothing but diamonds with me; second, the windows are covered with oil paper instead of glass; third, they lack certain necessary comforts -- in fact, they live in a rather primitive state...The women chatter on, squawking all day, yet they all have something to do or look after. I have yet to see a lazy woman here.
...I adore the fruit - figs and pears. Little wonder they are so delicious, as this is the place where lemons are grown."
An asphalt road starts out from Nago (222 meters above sea level), traveling 15 kilometers through olive groves, thickets, beech trees and meadows to Malga Zures (600 m a.s.l.) and Dos Casina (1000 m a.s.l.). Mount Altissimo (2078 m a.s.l.) can be reached on foot. The Damiano Chiesa refuge sits on top of the mountain peak. The route along the way is dotted with grottos, bunkers, and trenches from World War I. The view is breathtaking, and many local plants are quite interesting.
Thanks to the "ora", a wind that from early afternoon until evening blows constantly from the south at 10 - 12 m per second, Torbole sul Garda has become a windsurfer's paradise.
Picturesque sails dot the lake garda in front of the town all year round. The sport is favored because motor boat Navigation is prohibited in this part of the lake garda. The Surf Torbole Club organizes many international windsurf competitions from May to September. Windsurf schools can be found at Parco Pavese, at Conca D'oro and at the Paradiso and Lido Blu Hotels.
Corno di Bo, which is also known for its "Lizard Beach", is 2 km south of Torbole sul Garda on the road to Malcesine. A favorite spot of free climbing enthusiasts, it has a sheer wall above the lake and a slope of about 200 m with easy and intermediate climbing paths of various lengths equipped with pitons and stirrups. Due to the mild weather, climbing can be performed all year round.
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