Art and Culture on Lake Garda
22 September 2016
The Brescia side of Lake Garda jealously safeguards the signs of its past. Man-shaped landscapes, historic traces and art witnesses offer thousands of interpretations of this inland. Indulge yourself in a cultural holiday on the Garda Lake to learn about our land’s history. The spectacular timber pile dwelling sites of Lucone di Polpenazze, San Sivino di Manerba, Lavagnone di Desenzano/Lonato e Lugana Vecchia di Sirmione date back to Bronze Age. They became World Heritage since 2011 and are part of the serial transboundary UNESCO site Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps.. Extraordinary remains of ancient Rome: the large villa located on the top of the Sirmione peninsula, the most magnificent example of private building in all of northern Italy probably belonged to the Latin poet Catullus; the archaeological sites of Desenzano del Garda and Toscolano Maderno, stages of a compelling thematic circuit dedicated to ancient history. Equally charming is the path that leads to the discovery of Romanesque churches: Sant’Andrea a Maderno, Sant’Emiliano a Padenghe, San Francesco a Gargnano are just some of the extraordinary Romanesque monuments that you can find in almost every small village on the lake shore. The sacred paths lead us to the discovery of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Montecastello in Tignale, built on a cliff overlooking Lake Garda and the eighteenth-century lemon house of Tesöl, in Limone, the birthplace of St Daniele Comboni, evangelist and father of faith in modern Africa. In addition to the strongholds of the faith, here are the medieval castles, defensive ramparts of the ancient Benacensi villages. Beautifully preserved the castle of Valtenesi, in Moniga, of the lake and the Scaliger castle of Sirmione. Exceptional, often unique, the man-made paths, like the one you can go on in the Valle delle Cartiere and that of the ancient gardens of lemon groves, lemon houses, archaeological monuments of an architecture unique in the world. The story is written also in the places of the Battle of Solferino and San Martino, one of the largest and bloodiest battles of the Risorgimento, or on the mountains of the Alto Garda, along the old boundary line which until 1918 separated Italy from the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, full of testimonies of the first world conflict. A more recent historical journey takes us to the places of the Italian Social Republic, known to history as the “Republic of Salò”. All over the world, the Italian Vittoriale, final resting place of the poet Gabriele d’Annunzio and his greatest masterpiece. And again, the Ugo Foundation from Como to Lonato, the museum centres, the architectural interests, the liberty testimonies that tell of the magnificence of the “Belle Epoque”, the permanent exhibitions, the nearby cities of art such as Mantua, Brescia, Verona a few miles away. The memories of the past, the precious testimonies of art and culture of the area of the “Lake Garda – Lombardy” Consortium are a legacy to be discovered and an unmissable opportunity for those who, while on holiday, do not intend to give up the call of learning and fascination of art.