Limone sul Garda is one of the most popular destinations on Lake Garda. Limone sul Garda is not far from Riva del Garda along the narrow road that runs through the tunnels and gullies between the cliffs which fall directly into the water at this part of the lake. It is a dramatic scene with a town nestling at the bottom of steep mountain slopes, as if the Lake was carved out from between the mountains (which is probably was during a previous glacial movement!). Limone was originally a small and relatively unimportant settlement which it was only possible to reach across the lake. Its inhabitants lived from fishing and olive groves, although the name these days is inextricably linked with lemons. The name is not derived from lemons, however, but from one of two older words, either meaning border or elm(border is possibly more likely as it was and is close to administrative borders). Limone is a popular destination for day-trippers on the lake, but it is also a pleasant place to stay and has a good range of hotel accommodation both in the narrow alleys of the older part or near the olive groves above the main town. It is a very pretty town. There is a nice promenade with an interesting selection of surprisingly high quality shops interspersed with some other interesting shops including a rather unusual dried fruit store. There are some very nice restaurants and pizzerias particularly around the tiny little harbour area and a second street behind the promenade, its narrow gauge having a wide variety of shops selling unlikely items such as model cars and kitchen ware. Further around the harbour are some nice leather shops and clothing stores. One of the most distinctive sights approaching Limone on the lake is the view of the remains of the old lemon houses dotted amidst the houses and businesses. These limonaie were structures enabling the inhabitants to shelter the lemon trees from the frosts of winter. Lemon groves were brought to the shores of Lake Garda by monks in the 14th century, but it took until four centuries later for it to become established in Limone. Although lemon production flourished for centuries, it was finally hit by competition from groves further to the south.
There is an interesting lemon museum at the Castèl lemon house, which is open for visitors in the summer months. Limone’s heritage, in the form of the lemon houses and olive oil mill, can be visited (see more information in boxes) in the summer months, while the three older churches – St Peter (a small Romanesque chapel from the 12th century), St Benedict (17th century) and St Rocco(16th century) – are also interesting sights. Above the town is the area of the Tesol, which houses the centre for the Comboni Missionaries. This religious movement was founded by Daniele Comboni (who was born in Limone in the19th century and who was sanctified in 2003). There is a small chapel and museum on the site. A curious medical story also put the tiny Lake Garda town of Limone on the map: In the late 1970s, doctors in Milan doing a routine medical check-up discovered high levels of cholesterol in one of their patients (who was originally from Limone) but, surprisingly, none of the attendant damage or symptoms that they would normally expect. Researching it further, they discovered that three members of the family – and eventually a small proportion of the population of Limone – possessed a certain type of protein which apparently reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, despite what was hailed as a potential breakthrough at the time, a treatment based on the protein has not yet appeared on the market.