Holidays » Culture


Roman villas, castles, churches and historical homes for a cultural stay

Brescia’s part of Lake Garda jealously safeguards the signs of its past. Landscapes shaped by man, traces of history and testimonies of art offer an infinity of interpretations of this territory. Indulge yourself in a cultural holiday on Lake Garda to learn about our land’s history.

The spectacular prehistoric pile-dwellings of Lucone in Polpenazze, San Sivino in Manerba, Lavagnone in Desenzano/Lonato e Lugana Vecchia in Sirmione date back to Bronze Age. They became a World Heritage in 2011 and are under the protection of the UNESCO . The remains of ancient Rome are extraordinary: the large villa at the tip of the Sirmione peninsula, which is the most magnificent example of a private building in all of northern Italy and probably belonged to the Latin poet Catullus; the archaeological sites of Desenzano del Garda and Toscolano Maderno, sites of a compelling thematic course dedicated to ancient history. Equally charming is the path that leads to the discovery of Romanesque churches: Sant’Andrea in Maderno, Sant’Emiliano in Padenghe, San Francesco in 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 Madonna in 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 faith, there are medieval castles, defensive strongholds of the ancient Benacensi villages. Exceptionally preserved are the castle of Valtenesi, in Moniga, of the lake and the Scaliger castle of Sirmione are splendidly preserved. The paths of man’s work are exceptional and unique, 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 which are unique in the world. History is written in the places where the Battle of Solferino and San Martino, one of the largest and bloodiest battles of the Risorgimento took place, or on the mountains of the Alto Garda, along the old border line which, until 1918, separated Italy from the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, full of testimonies of the first world war. A more recent historical journey takes us to the Italian Social Republic, which went down in history as the "Republic of Salò"; the Italian Vittoriale, final resting place of the poet Gabriele d'Annunzio and his greatest masterpiece; also the Ugo Foundation from Como to Lonato, the museum centres, the interesting architecture, the testimonies of liberty that tell of the magnificence of the "Belle Epoque", the permanent exhibitions, the nearby cities of art such as Mantua, Brescia, Verona which are only 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.

The Botanical Garden
Sites of interest at Toscolano Maderno
Church of the Madonna della Neve
Churches at Moniga del Garda
1-30 September
Folk at Desenzano del Garda continue
1-30 September
Music at Desenzano del Garda continue
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