Torri del Benaco is one of the showpiece fishing villages that are dotted along the shore of Lake Garda, and Gardesana, the former harbour master’s office, is in a plum position. It is a treat to tuck into the chef’s specialty fish soup on the delightful first floor dining terrace that overlooks the central piazza, 14thC castle and bustling port. The wrought-iron balustrade is decked with cascading geraniums, the tables are elegant, the waiters smartly uniformed, and the food, particularly the fish, fresh and delicious. It makes a perfect vantage point for watching the boats come and go, and the changing colours of the lake. Drinks can also be taken on the ground floor terrace, which extends out on to the piazza.
The building has a long history, as its exterior would suggest, with its stone arches and mellow stucco walls; but the entire interior has been smartly modernized in recent years to produce an essentially modern and very comfortable, if simple, hotel. The green and white bedrooms are almost all identical: wooden floors, wooden furnishings, soft fabrics, plenty of little extras. If you can, try to book one of the corner rooms; these have the advantage of facing both the lake and the piazza; otherwise choose a third floor room, overlooking the lake with balcony.