Malcesine's most striking feature as you approach over Lake Garda is its historic castle, the Castello Scaligero, which is also the town's main tourist attraction. The building takes its name from the della Scala family, who owned it and made alterations in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries; the castle was being used, restored and adapted for military purposes up until the nineteenth century. Nowadays as well as being a tourist sight, the castle is also a wedding venue. The battlemented fortress is open to the public as a museum, called the Museo Castello Scaligero.
It takes a surprising amount of time to explore thoroughly, as it houses three small museums as well as temporary exhibitions. The smartest of these is a natural history museum with well-designed displays which should interest both adults and children (labelling is in Italian, English and German). There is also a room dedicated to the German writer Goethe, who visited Malcesine in 1786 and was suspected of spying when he sketched the castle, and an old-fashioned exhibition of local bits and pieces: boats, history and so on. There are great views from the ramparts and the chance to climb up the tower and gaze down at Malcesine's huddled rooftops.
For a spectacular view over Lake Garda there is nothing to beat a ride on the Malcesine cableway, which rises to 1600 m in just ten minutes and reaches an altitude of 1760 m at the top of Monte Baldo. On a clear day you can see the whole of the lake, from Riva to Peschiera del Garda: a breathtaking panorama! The Malcesine cable car is unique in the world: on the upper section the cabin slowly rotates offering a view of 360° and the sensation of flying…
At 7,277 ft the summit of Monte Baldo is the highest of all the Lake Garda mountains, it’s unmistakeable 40km ridge runs along the north east shore of the lake. Monte Baldo spans the two Lake Garda regions Trentino and Veneto, from the Loppio Valley in the north to the Caprino plains in the south. It’s location and altitude combined with he unique effect of the Alpine-Mediterranean geology and climate make a trip up Monte Baldo a ‘ must do’ on a Lake Garda holiday.