There is proof that Gargnano already existed during the ancient Roman era; following the barbaric invasions of 973 it passed to the Cathedral of Verona. During Venetian rule, from 1427 to 1797, it became part of the Magnifica Patria. The most important facts in the history of Gargnano are certainly those that date back to the Second World War and the birth of the Italian Social Republic (R.S.I.). After Trentino Alto Adige had been occupied by the army of the Third Reich, Mussolini decided to establish himself in Gargnano at Villa Feltrinelli in 1943. He chose the area between Gargnano and Salò to establish the Italian Social Republic as it was easy to defend and at the same time it was easy to reach the territory of Limone which was part of the German territory, what is more, he chose this town for the various buildings that were already there and where the main exponents and offices of the Italian and German armies could be installed. With the death of Mussolini on 28 April 1945, all the territories occupied by the Italian and German armies were handed back to their legitimate owners.
Villa Feltrinelli is located a few hundred meters north of Gargnano and is the most celebrated Gargnano building. It was built between 1892 and 1899 with design attributed by some to Francesco Solmi and, to others, to Alberico Belgiojoso. Inserted in a magnificent park, it is surrounded by other buildings that, in the past, were used as the residence of the caretakers and peasants who looked after the stables and the lemon groves. The façade overlooking the lake is the most sumptuous part of the villa, while the park behind the building includes precious tree species. Between October 1943 and April 1945 Villa Feltrinelli was the residence of Benito Mussolini, who resided there with his family during the days of the Republic of Salò. Currently the building has become the luxurious Grand Hotel at Villa Feltrinelli.
The Church was erected in 1289 by the Franciscan friars, who arrived in Gargnano at the behest of the Bishop of Brescia. The exterior retains its Romanesque imprint, interpreted in the Franciscan way, that is, in a simple and poor style. On the façade, in the shape of a hut, there is a votive statue (1301) depicting the image of St. Anthony of Padua. The interior of the church, which houses paintings by Giovanni Andrea Bertanza and Andrea Celesti, was originally divided into three naves, later demolished to be reduced to one, probably between the century. XVII and the sec. XVIII. On the right side of the building stands the Cloister of the ancient Franciscan convent. Built in the first half of the century XIV, it looks like a small square-shaped courtyard, surrounded by a portico with bent arcs of Venetian origin, resting on the capitals of the cylindrical columns. The Cloister also houses two ancient traces of Roman age, found in Gargnano: a plaque (found in 1837) is dedicated to Neptune, while a small ara honors Revino, local deity. Still in the cloister you can see with surprise the fifteenth-century marble coat of arms of the Municipality of Gargnano, identified by the initials C.G.: Communitatis Gargnani. The coat of arms represents a rampant lupa holding a lily between its legs, surmounted by an inverted crown. In 1879 the convent became the property of the Società Lago di Garda, which adapted it to the warehouse of citrus fruits; only in 1912 did the Italian government recognize the national monument church.
As soon as you arrive in Gargnano you can see the lemon groves, high pillars that point the sky, all in a row, enclosed on three sides by white stone walls, evidence of an economy once unique and flourishing, today museum relics kept alive by the Parco Alto Garda and a few enthusiasts who grow lemons. The lemon groves were built to make the cultivation of citrus fruits possible in relatively cold climates. Around the years 1850/1855 in Gargnano were concentrated about half of the lemon groves present on the entire coast.
Discover all the points of interest in the city.
Festa di San Martino 11th November
Ospedale di Arco Viale dei Capitelli, 48 Ospedale di Salò Piazza Sergio Bresciani, 5
FARMACIA – CREMASCHI DR.A GIULIANA Lungolago Zanardelli, 3
SPIAGGIA FONTANELLA SPIAGGIA DELLA GIAL , DOG FRIENDLY SPAGGIA GIALLO LIMONE , Via della Libertà 51 SPIAGGIA CASTELLO , Vicino a Palazzo Feltrinelli
PORTO CENTRALE – Piazza Feltrinelli