Lake Garda Museums
Art and culture of a wonderful land.
Over the years, Lake Garda has gained an important position on the Italian and international tourist scene. Thanks to its temperate climate, its favourable geographic location that makes it easily accessible, and a natural environment of rare beauty, it has been able to conquer an ever-increasing number of tourists. An important role in this success is due to the numerous museums in the Lake Garda area. Let us see in more detail which are the best known, the main features and where they are located.
Museo Civico Archeologico G. Rambotti
Located in the municipality of Desenzano del Garda, the museum is entitled to Giovanni Rambotti, the first mayor of the Brescian town. It houses a rich collection of archaeological artefacts found in the area, with a focus on the prehistoric period of Lake Garda and the Lavagnone pile-dwelling site. In 2011, the latter was included by UNESCO in the transnational serial site of "Prehistoric pile-dwelling sites of the Alpine arc". Of considerable importance is the presence of a plough dating back to the Bronze Age, found in 1978 in the Lavagnone area.
Il Vittoriale degli Italiani
Located in the municipality of Gardone Riviera, it was the home of the famous poet Gabriele D'Annunzio. Consisting of several buildings and a large park, it also houses an open-air theatre, home during the summer period of the Tener-a-mente music festival. Built in 1921 under the guidance of architect Gian Carlo Maroni, today it is among the most visited tourist destinations on Lake Garda. Among the many relics that can be admired there are the bow of the Nave Puglia, the motorboat MAS protagonist of the "Beffa di Buccari" and the Ansaldo SVA aircraft used for the flight over Vienna.
Fondazione Museo Il Divino Infante
Located in the municipality of Gardone Riviera, this museum was created by the German-born collector Hiky Mayr to house a large selection of statues of the "Gesù Bambino" and in some examples "Maria Bambina". A museum tour of absolute importance that focuses the visitor's attention on the restoration of these splendid works.
Museo Casa del Podestà
Located in the municipality of Lonato del Garda, this splendid museum is managed by the Fondazione Ugo Da Como, which also takes care of the nearby Rocca di Lonato. It is housed in a building constructed in the mid-15th century, once the home of the Podestà, the person appointed by the Republic of Venice to control the territory. It houses one of the most important book collections in Italy, consisting of around 50.000 volumes.
Museo Civico Archeologico della Valtenesi
Located in the municipality of Manerba del Garda, it houses an interesting number of archaeological finds from the surrounding area. Artefacts dating from the Neolithic period, the Copper Age, the Iron Age, the Roman period up to the Middle Ages.
MuSa - Museo di Salò
Situato nel comune di Salò presso il monastero e la chiesa di Santa Giustina, ospita al proprio interno un grande percorso museale costituito da diverse sezioni. Si cammina in grandi e ariosi spazi suddivisi tra storia, arte, archeologia, scienza e tecnica. Nella sezione archeologica del MuSa intitolata ad Anton Maria Mucchi, sono presenti numerosi reperti provenienti dalla necropoli del Lugone, un'antica area cimiteriale di epoca romana.
Grotte di Catullo e Museo Archeologico di Sirmione
Located in the municipality of Sirmione, it consists of a vast archaeological area where an ancient Roman villa once stood. The remains of the villa are called Grotte di Catullo and in the nearby museum there are some valuable architectural elements, mosaics and other artefacts found at the Grotte di Catullo. Among the latter are the remains of the fresco and stucco decorations that were part of the decorative elements of the ancient Roman villa.
Museo della Carta
Located in the municipality of Toscolano Maderno, this important museum tells the story of the Valle delle Cartiere and its evolution through the centuries. The museum consists of the rooms of the ancient paper mill of Maina Inferiore, where the different processes of paper production are illustrated. There is also a section dedicated to archaeological finds from the Valle delle Cartiere and a selection of precious volumes printed in Toscolano in the first half of the 16th century.
Museo del Turismo
Located in the municipality of Limone sul Garda, this small but interesting museum was created with the aim of documenting the economic and social changes that occurred in the town of Limone after the opening of the Gardesana road. Inside are posters, tourist guides, calendars and souvenirs from various eras. There is also a space dedicated to San Daniele Comboni (a native of Limone sul Garda) and a focus on the Apolipoprotein A1-Milano, a beneficial genetic mutation discovered in the blood of some inhabitants of the town.
Museo del Parco Alto Garda Bresciano
Located at Prabione in the municipality of Tignale, it offers an interesting route to learn about the mountain territory in the north-western part of Lake Garda. An exhibition made up of images, sounds, environments, naturalistic collections, ancient working tools and interactive stations.
Museo del Risorgimento di Solferino e San Martino
This museum is divided between two locations in the lower part of Lake Garda: the first is located in Solferino in the province of Mantua, while the second is in San Martino della Battaglia in the province of Brescia. A visit to both is essential to understand the Risorgimento period and in particular the events surrounding the famous battle of San Martino and Solferino, which took place on 24 June 1859.
MAG - Museo Alto Garda
Located in the northern part of Lake Garda and more precisely in the municipality of Riva del Garda, this museum is housed in the rooms of the splendid Rocca, an ancient building that once served to defend the town. It houses an interesting itinerary divided into different thematic areas ranging from painting, archaeology and history, as well as hosting important temporary exhibitions.
Located in the hamlet of Cisano in the municipality of Bardolino, it houses a rich selection of historical tools related to oil production. An interesting itinerary that helps visitors understand what techniques were used in past centuries, up to the most recent and modern processing techniques.
Museo del Vino
Located in the municipality of Bardolino inside the F.lli Zeni winery, it shows an interesting journey through time and the agricultural traditions behind wine production. Divided into various thematic sections, the museum illustrates the stages of the process that begins with the cultivation of the vine up to bottling.
Located in the hamlet of Cisano in the municipality of Bardolino, it is a reference point for the diffusion of ornithological knowledge and activities related to hunting and fishing on Lake Garda.
Museo del Castello di Torri del Benaco
Located in the beautiful location of the Scaliger Castle in Torri del Benaco, it offers an itinerary through various themed rooms. From ancient fishing boat building and repair techniques to olive oil production methods, with a special focus on the rock engravings found among the paths and in the caves surrounding this locality.
Museo Territoriale del Lago di Garda
Located at the Municipality of Garda, it collects a vast selection of tools used until the first half of the 20th century for fishing, agriculture, carpentry and the daily life of local inhabitants. The material on display comes from a number of private donations, but above all it is the result of the recovery work carried out over the years by Prof. Luigi Bertamè.
Museo della Pesca e delle Tradizioni Lacustri
Located in the municipality of Peschiera del Garda, it is housed in the Radetzky Room at the Caserma d'Artiglieria at Porta Verona. The museum features interesting photographic documentation and some important boats used in the past for fishing and hunting on Lake Garda.
Museo etnografico Madre M. D. Mantovani
Located in the hamlet of Castelletto in the municipality of Brenzone sul Garda, this museum is housed in the birthplace of Madre Maria Domenica Mantovani, co-founder, together with Blessed Giuseppe Nascimbeni, of the Istituto Piccole Suore della Sacra Famiglia. Inside is a multi-level itinerary that reproduces a typical late 19th-century dwelling, with furnishings and utensils used in fishing, sheep farming, olive growing and silkworm breeding.
Museo del Lago di Cassone
Located in the hamlet of Cassone in the municipality of Malcesine, this small museum displays a selection of tools used in the past for fishing on Lake Garda and other everyday objects. On the walls there are some photographs of old sailing barges, once used to transport goods. The building was originally a hatchery; on the outside are two tanks with trout, eels and chubs inside.
Museo di Storia Naturale del Baldo e del Garda
Located in the beautiful Scaliger Castle in Malcesine, this museum has an itinerary where visitors can observe the environment, the territory and the wildlife present on Lake Garda and nearby Monte Baldo. The latter is also called the "Garden of Europe" for the extraordinary biodiversity present and the many endemic species.
Located in the municipality of Villafranca di Verona, just a few kilometres from Lake Garda, it houses a vast collection of automobiles, motorbikes, bicycles, aeroplanes, musical instruments, typewriters, cameras, engines and mechanical objects from various eras. A unique itinerary that provides a deep look into the history of technology and mechanics.
How to get to the Lake Garda Museums
Click on the button below to open the detailed map of the main museums on Lake Garda.