While staying in the nearby village of Torbole years ago and taking a short drive through Riva, I quickly realized we were hanging out in the wrong town. Riva del Garda is elegant and ritzy and gorgeous. On the southern edge of the Italian Alps, near to the Dolomites, and nestled on the shores of Lake Garda in Italy, this harbor town has everything.
It's elegant and ritzy, but besides your lodging and dining, you don't have to spend much money in Riva because just strolling the winding streets of old town and walking alongside the lakefront is enough enjoyment to last for at least a couple's days' stay.
The municipality really takes care to beautify the town with flowers and trees and benches to enjoy the views and serenity.
Families with kids will enjoy the beaches and parks as well as the annual Fairy-Tale Nights festival every August, celebrated with music, dance, theater, and a fireworks display. Other activities are windsurfing, hiking and biking in the surrounding mountains, or taking a pleasure cruise on the lake.
Many pleasure cruises are available on Lake Garda.
Ferries across Lake Garda to neighboring towns are frequent and affordable. A terrific day trip from Riva is to the town of Malcesine. Malcesine's majestic 13th century Castello Scaligero with its medieval tower is a prominent landmark on the lake.
From Malcesine, you can ride a cable car with rotating cabins up to the top of Monte Baldo, a 7,276 foot summit with astounding views of Lake Garda.
Explore Lake Garda by ferryboat, catamaran, or hydrofoil!