My romantic dinner at an Italian fortress

Since I was a little girl I have always been fascinated by castles. I used to imagine  elegant ladies dressed in their big gold encrusted gowns elegantly dining in glorious rooms.

This dream never really went away. As I grew up I was still fascinated/obsessed by castles. I visited several in the UK, these places have a mystery in them, there is an air of grand and elegance that takes you back to the olden days.

So when I was taken to a fortress on lake Garda for dinner I could not stop screaming: “OMG a castle! A castle! I am going to dine in a castle!!”

I was firmly told: ” Sorry this is a fortress not a castle”. I said: “Castle or fortress this is just so beautiful!”

Call it whatever you like but this ristorante called Al Forte Alto situated on Nago on lake Garda is just so fascinating. The fortress was first built in 1861 as a military defence and after being recently restored it is in excellent condition.

Ristorante Forte Alto

As we made our way there it was raining but that made the atmosphere inside even more magical.

walking to the restaurant

As I walked in there were interesting things to look at on the walls some old books as well.

inside the restaurant

The bare walls typical of fortresses and castles radiated a sense of peace, style and elegance at the same time. I was actually so excited to be there! I could not stop photographing the place.


As dusk was approaching the candles on the tables were lit. It looked so romantic!

candels on the table

tables at the restaurant

From the windows you could see in the distance lake Garda.

Dining in a fortress

We were greeted with a flute of Trento Doc local sparkling wine.

Our starter was fried zucchini flowers with a froth of sardines from the lake, parsley and local olive oil. This was served with Altemasi Rose’ wine. Delicious.

fried zucchini flowers

Very much in tune with the place the next starter was served in a mess tin/billy can (how cool!). It was ham with slow cooked apples on a cream of broccoli from Torbole with apple vinegar from Val di Non.

mess tin or gamella

This was followed by cannelloni filled with lake fish and cherry tomatoes with black olives and lemon zest.


White asparagus soup with shortcrust pastry parcels filled with lard and potatoes with crunchy sunflower seeds.

white asparagus soup

A sorbetto with bergamot, ginger and vodka helped cleanse the palate.

Beef roulade with asparagus and potato gratin served with Marzemino Grigoletti wine was our last course. I enjoyed it very much.


The dessert was a large plate full of several types of cakes: from apple cake, to millefeuille, fruit cake, chocolate salami and fresh fruit. It was perfect with a sweet Moscato Madonna delle Vittorie wine.


What a great evening. Great place, great food and great company too!

Dining in a fortress

But hey, most importantly who was behind of all these great dishes?

Let me introduce you to Chef Marcello Franceschi a brilliant chef indeed! Thank you Marcello for the great evening!

Chef Marcello

Thanks to:

Ristorante Al Forte Alto

Via Castel Penede 26 -38060 Nago (TN)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

18 Responses to My romantic dinner at an Italian fortress

  1. Chiara

    che belle foto, l’atmosfera che si respira in questo luogo è magica e il menù molto appetitoso, segno l’indirizzo! Un bacione

    • Alida

      Si un ottimo posto per una cena speciale!

  2. gloria

    REally beautiful. I love castles too !!!
    Love the chef too :))
    Un bacione cara!

    • Alida

      Grazie Gloria ciao!

    • Alida

      Yes it would be. I got married last year so no chances for me!

  3. Julie

    Whatever they call it, it looks amazing to me!

    • Alida

      I agree 🙂

  4. GottaEat

    Alida. what an Amazing day and meal you had!! I have Always loved castles, too. The one pictured is Beautiful! Tell me Alida, how often does the average Italian drink wine with dinner? And, how many glasses during a dinner meal? I think wine is the most tasty drink to have with any meal! 10 stars if I could vote again for this blog-Thank You for sharing!

    • Alida

      Italians usually have a glass of wine with their meal as wine helps enhancing the taste of the food so there is always a specific wine that goes with a meal. For instance white wine goes well with fish and red wine is great with red meat. There is also a sweet wine to go with the dessert as well.
      My grandad used to have 2 glasses of wine a day: one at lunch and one or two at dinnertime and he lived until the good old age of 96. I would say Italians drink one or two glasses with their meals.
      Thanks so much for your lovely comments!

  5. Dottie Sauchelli Balin

    Dear Alida,
    So lovely! What a place to eat this wonderful meal. I love castles as well..I think almost every young girl adores the thought of being in a castle and finding the prince of her dreams. A fortress or a castle I agree it is still a castle to me. Love your photos especially the one with the window showing the mist outside. Very romantic indeed. Clearly you had a meal fit for a queen or princess. Chef Francischi did an awesome job of preparing such a tasty meal but the desserts are what I was drooling over.. Awesome! The wines sound like they were perfect to go along with each course. I love your description of this outstanding old fortress and your experience. Thank you for sharing this fabulous post…Have a great rest of the week. Ciao!
    Hugs Dottie 🙂

    • Alida

      Dining in a fortress or in a castle makes the all experience so much fun and if the food is good as well than that is just perfect. I am hoping to go back to this place again one day. Ciao!

  6. Alida

    Si decisamente un bel posto.

  7. uno spicchio di melone

    Come mi piacerebbe andarci…però sola con mio marito! I bimbi a casa! 🙂 Ps. mi fa piacere sapere che condividiamo anche il fatto di essere mamme! 🙂
    Un bacione!

    • Alida

      Si il blog e’ perfetto per pubblicare le ricette che facciamo a casa tutti i giorni!

  8. Sudhakar

    Compliments to the chef on the dessert plate.

    • Alida

      Yes these cakes were really delicious indeed.

  9. elisabetta

    What a perfect setting for a special dinner. Superb meal and spectacular view of the lake, I’m really happy for you.

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