My camera and I fell in love with a place: The picturesque village of “Limone sul Garda”. It is located on the western shore of Lake Garda at the famous scenic road “Gardesana Occidentale”. The place is small with only about 1,000 inhabitants. So you won’t find it in every Italy guidebook. Nevertheless, the pretty village has become famous because of the longevity of its inhabitants. The average life expectancy is among the highest in the world. Meanwhile it has been found that a gene mutation is mainly responsible for it. The construction of the Gardesana Occidentale connected the village with the world outside in the 1930s. Before, it was only accessible via difficult mountain trails or by boat. But it seems that also the way of life contributes to the longevity in Limone. What is more, the people are happy here. What are the specific conditions in Limone and what makes this village worth living?
1. Healthy local products
In Limone all possible plants grow. As anywhere at Lake Garda olive trees are omnipresent. The plantations beckon with walking and the oil can be incredibly tasty, depending on quality. Limone is the northernmost point of Europe, where citrus fruits are grown. The tradition of lemon cultivation goes back to the renaissance period. Otherwise Limone lived on healthy products like lake-fish and olives – before tourism arrived. The delicious local products can be tested in the restaurants here. There are also some stores that have specialized in local produce. So there is not only Limoncello to buy, but also for example smoothies with herbs and lemon.
My favorite breakfast cafe is the “Pasticceria Piva”, the only pastry shop in Limone. The family business has been around since 1960. You will find there homemade cakes and great other things with typical ingredients from Limone: lemon candies at the store or lemon Spritzer in the café. The ingredients come from farmers from the local region. HERE you will find even more information.
We found the tastiest food in the restaurant of Hotel Monte Baldo. There we tried typical local dishes, such as Pasta with a fine lemon sauce.
I recommend a visit to the Limonaia del Castel, a historic lemon grove dating back to the 18th century. A visit not only gives you a deeper understanding of the interesting history of Limone, but also a fantastic view over the city surrounded by Lake Garda. The lemon grove invited to be photographed:
2. Steep alleys and stairways
Limone sul Garda is both a mountain village and and lakeside resort: There is a special atmosphere. For me it feels dramatic and cozy at the same time. I’m pretty sure that I have seen them: 100 year old people, bravely climbing up steep stairs.
Here are some impressions of this dream location:
5. The special climate in Limone
It has a particularly mild climate, also in winter. Therefore, many Mediterranean plants are grown here, although the mediterranean is still quite distant.
4.Community spirit rules here
Despite the 10,000 tourists who come here every day, Limone sul Garda has still a functioning village life. People know and help each other. Despite the mass tourism, the locals are incredibly nice to guests. I had very nice conversations with them. It is not expected, but much appreciated, if you speak a little Italian. The locals are patient with your speaking. Pleasant characteristics that make a place very much worth living and also beneficial to health.
I’m not the type who stays in one place long. But this relaxed village impressed me so much that I want to go back still this summer. I am looking forward to a nice breakfast with espresso and fresh brioche in the old alley…priceless.
This post is also available in de_DE.