The town itself has just over 3000 inhabitants, so is one of the smaller towns bordering the lake. Gargnano is particularly picturesque with narrow, winding medieval streets, a small waterfront with a marina and a large church with an impressive spire.
The majority of the shops and restaurants are within a few hundred meters of the waterfront, but there are shops and hotels spread along the entire length of the main road that is set a little back from the waterfront.
Aside from its impressive history (there are buildings dating back to the 9th century), Gargnano is also renowned as a centre for sports, including athletics, sailing, archery and clay pidgeon shooting. It is sailing that Gargnano is best known for, as since 1951, it has been hosting the Centomiglia sailing regatta.
The area around Gargnano is littered with orchards, olive-groves, gardens and ancient lemon-groves. The lemon groves are idiomatic of the region; their huge stone walls (to reflect the heat) and tall stone pillars are easily recognisable on the hillsides and testaments to a once flourishing economy. Nowadays, they are now mainly relics tended by enthusiasts.
Regular ferries sail between all the major towns on the lake. Tickets can be bought from the small wooden ticket office on the quayside.
Just above Bogliaco (a little south of Gargano) is the church of San Pier d'Agrino, that boasts a 5th-century wooden statue of St. Peter and paintings by Pilotti, Brusasorci, Celesti and Ricchi. Nearby is a sanctuary where a wooden crucifix of the German Gothic school is venerated.
Along the lakeside is the 8th century villa Bettoni, which has very pretty gardens, and at the entrance to Gargnano is the former convent of St. Francis, founded in 1221. The centre of Gargnano boasts a town hall built by Traffegini in 1581.
Following the Via le Rimembrazana from the centre and heading North, a few minutes walk brings you to a park with a playground, a beach and a restaurant. Walking further, brings you to the Villa Fletrinelli, an impressive villa set in large grounds, where Mussolini lived during the period of the republic of Salo.
10 minutes or so further along this same road, passing picturesque gardens and lemon groves brings you to the tiny 12th century Romanesque church of San Giacoma in Cali. Hidden down a side street and lying next to a small harbour, it has some impressive frescoes of the 4th Century Veronese and Trento schools.
Along the Gardesana is the 11th century neo-classical church of San Martino, which was built on the remains of a Roman building. The church was enlarged in 1837 based on designs by Rodolfo Vantini which added two majestic domes. It has five altars with paintings by Andrea Celesti, Andrea Bertanza and G. Bettino Cignaroli. Inside there is also a ‘Last Supper’ by the Veronese School as well as other works by the Lombard School which date back to the 11th Century.
700 meters above Gargnano is the hermitage of San Valentino. San Valentino can be reached from Sasso (a village above Gargano), or for the more intrepid, there is a steep trek up directly from Gargnano, which includes a section on a via ferrata.
A few kilometers from Gargano, on the hill overlooking it, is the village of Navazzo, where the church has paintings by Bertanza and Muslone, fragments of frescoes dating back to the 4th century and a wooden madonna by Bussolo dating back to 1521.
It is possible to rent mountain bikes, wind surfers or sailing boats from oksurf, who are situated in the lakeside park a few minutes walk from the centre. They also provide sailing and windsurfing courses.
- Bar Pizzeria Centomiglia, Lungolago Zanardelli, 13 - 25084 Gargnano (Brescia) (Directly on the waterfront, next to the marina), ☏ . One of the best situated restaurants and with some of the best food.
- Hotel Baia D'Oro, via Donatori di Sangue, 13 - 25084 Gargnano (Brescia), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. €140-€320.
- Hotel Europa, via Repubblica, 38 - 25084 Gargnano (Brescia), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. €43-€73.
- Hotel Gardenia al Lago, Via Colletta, 53 - 25084 Gargnano (Brescia), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. €43-€148.
- Hotel Garni Bartabel, via Roma, 35 - 25084 Gargnano (Brescia), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com.
- Hotel Garni Riviera, Via Roma,1 - 25084 Gargnano (Brescia), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. €63-€98.
- Hotel du Lac, Via Colletta, 21 - 25084 Gargnano (Brescia), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. €52-€107.
- Hotel Livia, Via della Libertà, 42 - 25084 Gargnano (Brescia), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. €41-€65.
- Hotel Mariano, Via Sasso,8 - 25084 Gargnano (Brescia), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. €90-€110.
- Hotel Meandro, Via Repubblica, 40 - 25084 Gargnano (Brescia), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. €82-€200.
- Hotel Palazzina, Via Libertà, 10 - 25084 Gargnano (Brescia), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. €49-€61.
- Hotel La Terrazzina, via della Repubblica, 102 - 25084 Gargnano (Brescia), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. €35-€70.
- Hotel Tiziana, Via Dosso, 51 - 25084 Gargnano (Brescia), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. €37-€70.
- Hotel Villa Giulia, Via Rimembranza, 20 - 25084 Gargnano (Brescia), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. €145-€355.