• Lakes
    • Art & Culture

Lago di Garda: the shadow of D’Annunzio

This incredible town is home to the monument built by poet Gabriele D’Annunzio, the Vittoriale degli Italiani, in celebration of his life.

He retired to Gardone Riviera in 1921, where he bought the villa in Cargnacco, one
of the town’s districts. With collaboration from the young architect Gian Carlo
Maroni
, he gradually extended the property, adding buildings, gardens and even an amphitheatre. In the house where he then lived until 1938, visitors can today walk among his furniture and books, discovering the secrets of a life that was decidedly out of the ordinary.

The Vittoriale is also home to a collection of mementos dating back to the early
twentieth century, from the aeroplane in which D’Annunzio flew over Vienna
during World War One to the torpedo ram he received as a gift from the Italian
Royal Navy in 1923.

Paper trails
A must-visit in Toscolano Maderno is the Valle delle Cartiere, eroded by the river
that in medieval times was used to power the factories producing the hand-made
paper that was famous all over Europe, as is explained in the small museum here,
open from April to September. Closed to traffic, visitors can walk, cycle and horse ride
through the valley, rediscovering the old paper trails or arriving at the dam on Lago Valvestino lake, splendid at sunset with its weeping willows and peaceful waters. On the way back around the lake, there is the Basilica of Sant'Andrea, with its extraordinary multi-colour façade in marble, the oldest part of which dates back to the year
thousand.

Masterpieces in Salò
At the foot of Monte San Bartolomeo mountain, overlooking a wonderful gulf, Salò is a starting point for exploration of the romantic lakeside road, Lungolago Zanardelli. Twenty plaques mark the route, telling the history and the origin of the name of the town’s “contrade” or districts. Another must-see in the old town centre is the late Gothic
Cathedral
, built between 1453 and 1502 on the site of an older building, with its majestic Rinascimento-style portal testifying to the passage from one architectural style to another. Inside are masterpieces by Romanino, Moretto, Zenon Veronese, Paolo Veneziano and decorations by Palma il Giovane. Not far away, the recently inaugurated Mu.Sa. is also worth a visit. Opened in 2015, this museum explains the town’s identity, its treasures and contribution the history of Italy.

City-garden
Nestling between the lake and hill, Gardone Riviera enjoys a particularly favourable microclimate for plants, which have turned the town into a large botanical garden (not by chance referred to as the city-garden), where typicalGarda vegetation alternates with Central European, Mediterranean and sub-tropical species.
Visitors must see the Heller Garden, ten thousand square metres where three thousand botanical species from all over the world grow. From theHimalayan Alps, Mato Grosso, New Zealand, Japan, Australia, Canada and Africa, they create a plethora of scent and colour, orchestrated by the multimedia artist André Heller, who has also inserted installations and sculptures by famous artists such as Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, Auguste Rodin, and Joan Miró. Included on the list of Italy's most beautiful small towns, Gardone Riviera is home to countless buildingsand period villas.

One night wine
Chiaretto was one of the first Italian wines to obtain DOC (controlled designation of origin) recognition on 21 July 1967 after being invented in 1896 by Pompeo Molmenti, lawyer and history of art teacher at the Academy in Venice, who had a house and vineyards in Moniga del Garda. This rosé wine is made from black grapes with vinification in partial contact with the skins (just one night).


5 reasons for...

1. San Felice Benaco. The former pawn agency building (Monte di Pietà), with a five-arched portico and ashlar masonry pillars, currently hosts the local tourist office. The ruins of the Castle and Palazzo Rotingo (the present-day Town Hall) are also worth a visit.

2. Rocca di Manerba. Nature reserve, lake park, and archaeology museum, plus wineries
and oil producers offering a chance to taste typical local products. Everybody enjoys a visit to Rocca di Manerba on Garda.

3. Isola del Garda island. An extraordinary neo-Gothic Venetian villa surrounded by Italianand English-style gardens that slope down to the lake. Guided visits are organised for tourists by the Borghese Cavazza family, the owners of this property on Isola del Garda.

4. Romantica beach in Manerba. Ideal for families, Manerba beach is the biggest and best known in the area. It offers water sports and shady areas under the trees behind the lake. Between Porto Torchio and San Felice.

5. Oil from Garda. Olive trees are documented to have grown around the lake since Roman times and Catullus. The favourable Mediterranean micro-climate here (it is the
northernmost point in the world producing oil), makes it possible to produce a very fine, light, fruity oil rich in chlorophyll, tastyand harmonious.

On the same topic

Lago di Como: charmingly seductive

Described by Stendhal as ‘voluptuous’, the south-western branch of Lake Como charms with its gardens, villas and breath-taking views.
  • Lakes
Lago di Como: sedotti e affascinati

5 lakes to be explored

Not just big lakes: discover 5 other small stretches of fresh water in Lombardy
  • Lakes
Lago d'Idro

Canoeing - Rafting

The perfect activity for nature-loving people looking for excitement and spectacular landscapes
  • Lakes
Foto di Ass. Canoa Club Valtellina

Flying Over Lake Como

Bellagio and Varenna. The profiles of historic houses. Flying over Lake Como, departing from the historic Aero Club.
  • Lakes
Flying Over Lake Como

What to do in Lake Iseo

  • Lakes
What to do in Lake Iseo

From Como to Bellagio by Boat

Traveling between the two shores of the lake, between splendid coasts and the majestic frame of the Pre-Alps
  • Lakes
From Como to Bellagio by Boat

Lake Iseo From Shore to Shore by Boat

  • Lakes
Lake Iseo From Shore to Shore by Boat

The loveliest island in the Lakes

Visit the islands of the Lombard lakes: a dip in little enchanted worlds.
  • Lakes
The loveliest island in the lakes: Montisola, Isola Comacina, Isola del Garda

Centre of colico

Discover what to see in Colico, the pearl of Lake Lecco.
  • Lakes
Centre of Colico

Lemon Groves and Olive Oil in Limone del Garda

The small pearl of the Western Gardesana.
  • Lakes
Limonaie e Olio di oliva a Limone del Garda

Lago Maggiore Old stories

Finds from the Iron Age, evidence of the Ice Age, monuments of industrial archaeology, dolls from the eighteenth century to date: lower Lago Maggiore (the Verbano area)
  • Lakes
Lago Maggiore Storie antiche

the archaelogical palimpsest of Comacina

We explore the island of Comacina on Lake Como.
  • Lakes
Comacina Island, Lake Como

Brunate a view on the Belle Époque

Visit the "Balcony on the Alps".
  • Lakes
Outdoor trip to Brunate

Angling

If you like fishing, in Lombardy you will be spoiled for choice on where to launch the hook.
  • Lakes
Angling

Rabbit Island in Lake Garda

A very suggestive island, a small lake paradise.
  • Lakes
Discover San Biagio, the Rabbit Island in Lake Garda

5 Thing-to-do in Gravedona

Visit Gravedona ed Uniti, a cozy town in North Lake Como
  • Lakes
gravedona

Lago Maggiore Unspoilt landscapes

Monteviasco can only be reached on foot or by cableway from Ponte di Piero. This village is famous for its 18th century mills placed in a natural setting.
  • Lakes
Lago Maggiore Paesaggi incontaminati

Sailing

Sailing in the lakes of Lombardy with a sailboat is the best choice if you want to enjoy a breezy climate.
  • Lakes
Sailing

Lago di Lugano The Little World of the Past

A place of cultural interest indeed with the landscapes of Fogazzaro’s novels, the fossils of Monte San Giorgio, the fortifications of World War land the secret places of Ceresio
  • Lakes
Lago di Lugano Piccolo mondo antico

5 Thing-to-do in Colico

The perfect place for your outdoor holiday on Lake Como
  • Lakes
colico cose da fare