Art and Culture

Lake Garda and its province is an area rich in history where the past has left its mark in every corner

From Napoleon’s Museum to town fêtes: all is culture in Garda Veneto

If you love culture in all its forms, I’m sure we’ll be able to surprise you. How? With the opera season of the world famous Verona Arena, or the events at the Scaliger city’s Roman Theatre, but also with the thousands of itinerant concerts, shows, exhibitions and events which enliven the historical towns and the lakefront of our towns, especially during the good season.

Or you can visit the museums that are the pride and joy of our towns, like the Napoleonic Museum in Rivoli Veronese, to be seen together with the so­ called Napoleonic Monument, built on the remains of a 20 metre high column, later destroyed. Napoleon himself had it built to celebrate the victory over the Austrians at the Battle of Rivoli in 1797, an event after which the very central Rue de Rivoli in Paris is named.

It is also worth visiting the museums dedicated to our traditions, e.g. fishing and olive and vine farming, like the Museo Etnografico Mantovani, in the centre of Castelletto, near Brenzone sul Garda, or the Museo della pesca e delle tradizioni locali (fishing and local traditions) in Peschiera del Garda.

We also like organizing events, meetings, workshops and tastings in special places, where you can also buy the best of our land’s products, like the Museo dell’Olio in Cisano and the Museo del Vino in Bardolino. Have you ever been there?

And speaking of traditions, if you want to experience something impressive, don’t miss the Living Stations of the Cross of Castelletto near Brenzone sul Garda at Easter, or the celebration of the Patron Saints Benigno and Caro, in Malcesine at the end of July, with the fireworks of Sant'Anna on the lakefront!

And which flag will you support when the nine teams will start rowing in mid August, at the next Palio delle the Contrade di Garda (race of the boroughs), the fishermen’s historical celebration?

A waking dream: from Punta San Vigilio to the Madonna della Corona Sanctuary

There are places that leave us awed, as when looking at a work of art. This may have happened to Gustav Klimt, who fell in love with Malcesine and the church of Cassone, which he painted in 1913; or to Literature Nobel prize winner Andrè Gide, who lived in Torri del Benaco from July to September 1948, because he loved the place and the people there.

And Borghetto of Valeggio sul Mincio, with its windmills and 14th century Visconti bridge, is it not a true plein­air gem?

And so is Punta San Vigilio, in Garda, among the most evocative sceneries of the lake, so much so as to have always attracted famous visitors. So enchanting, in fact, that Winston Churchill chose it as his retreat from public life. Seen from the lake, you can sail past the 16th century Villa Guarienti Brenzoni and its private park, a small church that is only open to the public once a year on April 25th, a café and a 16th century inn that is now a hotel and restaurant.

If you want San Vigilio to surprise you, walk up Monte Luppia: there you’ll see, at a place called Brancolino, some of the most famous stone carvings of Garda and Monte Baldo, like the Pietra delle Griselle, picturing a boat with some steps, or the Pietra dei Cavalieri, featuring 12 knights carved into the stone slab!

The Medieval churches of Brenzone sul Garda, the Eremo di San Giorgio (retreat of Saint George) in Bardolino and the Madonna del Frassino Sanctuary at Peschiera del Garda are also certainly worth a visit. And have you ever visited the Madonna della Corona Sanctuary, in Spiazzi? It was built in a recess of a Monte Baldo cliff overlooking the Val d’Adige!

And don’t miss Bussolengo, which is known as “Pagus Pictus”, or painted town, for its heritage of church paintings. Its most famous church is undoubtedly San Valentino, the patron saint of the town since 1100.