Territory » Tignale » Point of interest » Lemon Grove of Pra de la Fam


Sites of interest at Tignale

Loc. Pra de la Fam - Porto di Tignale,
25080 Pra de La Fam – Tignale

Telefono: +39 0365.73354



Opening hours: From 20 March - Every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

What are these tall pillars that rise into the sky, all arranged in a row, encircled by white stone walls? Lake Garda, especially along its western Riviera from Limone to Salò, still offers visitors significant examples of architectural structures, not found elsewhere, such as tangible evidence of an era and civilization. They are the remains of the lemon houses, which impressed Goethe two centuries ago: "We passed through Limone, whose gardens, terraced and planted with lemon trees, create a rich and orderly image" (from the Travels in Italy, 1786). The origins of the lemon greenhouses, poetically called "ornamental gardens", dates back to the thirteenth century, when the cultivation of citrus fruits was also introduced on Lake Garda. These giant "greenhouse" properties arose, which were used to protect the valuable plantations against harsh winters. The inhabitants of the coast, up to that time had been tenacious farmers, rural boatmen or fishermen in order to survive, they became "gardeners". The overall economy felt the effect of it positively, as production was extensive, of a high quality and destined almost exclusively for export in the countries of Central Europe, thus ensuring a large profit. By the sweat of the brow and with perseverance the gardeners profited, year after year, from the experience gained. In order to improve the cultivation, they completed the structure of the lemon greenhouses and made them more streamlined and productive. Lake Garda therefore grew; the most northern area of citrus fruit production for commercial use in the world. Italian unification and the subsequent elimination of customs duties, the development of transport networks and the decline of the trees to the "gummy" disease led to the gradual abandonment of this agricultural activity. There still remains, albeit in decline, evidence of the buildings, only in their kind, of a very prosperous period for the economy of Lake Garda which considered the cultivation of citrus fruits a real industry. Today it tries hard to recover and preserve these treasures in order to honour the historical and cultural tradition and the population of the Alto Garda Brescia area.

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