Stilt Houses of the Alps in Garda Veneto

Stilt houses of the Alps in Garda Veneto

Of the 19 archaeological areas dating back to 5,000 and 500 b.C. discovered in Italy, which have become part of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in 2011, many were unearthed in Veneto, some in the province of Padua, others in that of Verona.

Those in the Scaliger area take their name from the places they were found, and are Belvedere (at Peschiera del Garda), Frassino (always in Peschiera del Garda) and Tombolo (at Cerea). However, many other stilt houses are Garda area. Some have been unearthed, some were destroyed, and some are still underwater.

Already at the beginning of the 20th century it was clear that the lakeshore in the Verona area was archaeologically rich and held many surprises in store, as in Cisano (a fraction of Bardolino): in the section of the lake right in front of it, the presence of a stilt house had already been pointed out in the 20s. Unfortunately it was largely destroyed in 1938 when the lake was drained to make a new harbour, while the part that is intact was dug up in 1986, and uncovered over 500 poles!

All of them are a unique testament of ancient civilizations that settled on the Alps between the Neolithic and the Bronze age. Of the stilt houses made of wood and canes, placed on poles secured on the shores of rivers, lakes, swamps, and sometimes on dry land, little is left that can be seen at first glance (though testaments like tools and crockery can be seen the Natural History Museum of Verona) but for the experts these sites are of the utmost importance to get information about daily life, farming and breeding, primary activities of the primitives.