Limone guide

Limone sul Garda trip planner

A vacation guide to the resort town of Limone sul Garda on Lake Garda, Italy

Limone sul GArda, Lago di Garda
Limone from a limonaia. (Photo by Zorro2212)

The first place DH Lawrence and his lover Freida settled during their European peregrinations was on the shores of Lake Garda, in little Limone sul Garda, in the winter of 1912-13.

Three years later, hard up for money, he compiled his notes on those happy first months in Italy and wrote Twilight in Italy.

Sleepy Limone sul Garda
Limone sul Garda. (Photo by Renata F. Oliviera)
Today, little Limone remains tucked into a cliffside cove, with a long beach, small harbor, dozens of hotels catering to sun-seeking vacationers—and little else.

You come here to relax, not to sightsee—though it does make a pretty convenient base for exploring up and down the west shore of the lake.

Limone's lemons

Lemons in the Limonaia del Castel, Limone sul Garda, Lago di Garda
Lemons grow once again in the Limonaia del Castel. (Photo by AmandaK)
Limone's name may derive from the Latin limen—and it certainly feels on the "border" of inhabited lakeshore (it was accessible only by boat until 1931)—or from the Italian for lemon, which were famously cultivated here commercially until the late 19th century thanks to Limone's famously mellow climate.

Limone owes its sunny microclime to a perfect location on the inside curve of a shallow bay, which allowed it to soak up the southerly sun while simultaneously sheltering it a bit from the cold winds comring from the north.

This ideal spot is said to have nurtured Europe's very first lemon trees, imported by monks in the 13th century. By the 1700s, it had become a booming local industry, and limonaie—covered greenhouses built on terraces above the lake—proliferated all up and down this stretch of Garda's shores.

An old Limonaia in Limone sul Garda, Lake Garda
An abandoned limonaia. (Photo by AmandaK)
However, upon Italian unification in the 1860s, large scale citrus production moved to Sicily, where the growing season was even longer and the sun more favorable. Garda's remaining greenhouses were ransacked for materials during World War I, and a freezing winter in the 1920s killed off most of what remained of the lemon trees.

These days, only a few token lemons are still grown on the (largely abandoned) terraces, now graveyards of spindly cultivation columns ranked in rows.

Limonaia del Castel, Limone sul Garda, Lake Garda
Limonaia del Castel.
These ghost gardens were described by DH Lawrence as standing like "ruined temples… forlorn in their colonnades and squares… as if they remained from some great race that had once worshipped here."

Limonaie you can visit

The Limonaia del Castel in the center of town (above the Lungolago between Via Orti and Via Castello; tel. +39-0365-954-008 or +39-0365-954-720; has been acquired by the comune and turned into a small interpretive center on Limone's agricultural history. It's open mid-April to mid-October from 10am to 10pm.

Limonaia Prà de la Fam, Tignale, Lago di Garda
Limonaia Prà de la Fam near Tignale. (Photo by Giuliano Borra)
If you're intrigued, an even larger and better preserved lemon terrace/small museum called Limonaia Prà de La Fam (tel. +39-036-573-017 or +39-331-152-0622; lies south of town on the shores just below Tignale.

(Blink and you'll miss it. It lies in the brief break between Galleria Vesta and Galleria Rainelli tunnels, you'll see the "Albergo Risotrante Bar Al Prà" with green shutters. The limoniaia's attached to that.)

Pra de La Fam is open daily early April to early October from 10am to 5pm. Guided tours with tastings (upon advance booking) are offered Wednesdays at 7pm (in July and August also on Fridays at 11am). Adm.

Tips & links


Limone sul Garda tourist office
Via IV Novembre
tel. +39-0365-954-720

Hotels in Limone sul Garda
Tourist offices

You can also contact the Pro Loco tourist office for nearby Tignale (where Pra de La Fam is located) at tel. +39-0365-73-354 (—or the greater Garda mountain area tourism authority of Comunità Montana (tel. +39-0365-71-449;

How to get around Lake Garda

If you don't take a tour or have a rental car (recommended), the easiest way is by bus ( or by boat (

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Limone sul Garda tourist office
Via IV Novembre
tel. +39-0365-954-720

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