Desenzano del Garda: the small village on the banks of Lake
Desenzano del Garda is a small Village in the province of Brescia, in Lombardy, it lies at the edge of its lake and it’s just 12 minutes far from the “Camping delle Rose“.
It’s the right place to rediscover history, thanks to lots of museums and archaeological sites, you can also admire the historical “Porto Vecchio” and you can relax on the beaches of the Lake.
The origins of this small village are very old, as we can see by the findings of lots of household materials dating back to the second millennium before Christ. But the most important discover the oldest plough in the world dating back to the Bronze Age (2000 a. C.) which is reserved at the Giovanni Rambotti‘s museum.
Over the possibility to rediscover history, Desenzano del Garda offers the possibility to admire the old “Porto Vecchio” anche the possibility to relax on the beaches of the Lake Garda.
Places you have to see at Desenzano del Garda
1 . ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM GIOVANNI RAMBOTTI
The museum, dedicated to Giovanni Rambotti, preserves an extraordinary archaeological heritage which allows to relive the Bronze Age.
In the museum findings from the pile-dwelling site of Lavagnone are exposed, one of the little lake basins of glacial origin characteristic of the landscape south of Lake Garda.
The first discoveries (between 1880 and 1886) were due to peat quarrying, but the first and real scientific research started after one century (between 1974 and 1979) thanks to the archeologist Renato Perini, in collaboration with the national museum Luigi Pigorini.
This excavations brought to light household equipment (plates, amphorae, pots, etc.) dating back to the second millennium BC and the installation of a pile-dwelling, but the most important discovery was the plow with part of the yoke that represents the only existent specimen in the world dating back to the Bronze Age (2000 a. C. circa).
The plow of Lavagnone
Plow of Lavagnone was discovered in 1978, wedged between the poles of the pile-dwelling settlement dating back to about 2000 B.C.
It’s the oldest plow that comes to us, it was completely with oak, and it’s still very well preserved thanks to archaeological deposit characteristics that doesn’t permit the wood’s decay.
Moreover in 1989 the University of Studies of Milan resumed searching and this mission is still in process.
The area covered by the UNESCO site extends over the entire basin, easily accessible from the nearby road that leads from Desenzano to the hamlet of San Pietro.
2. ” VILLA ROMANA”
Villa romana of Desenzano del Garda is the most important archeological witness of the ancient Northern Italian villas
Nowadays The archeological site is around 70 meters far from the lake but once this villa overlooked the lake with its quays and docks.
The remains, discovered from 1921 still 1923, are famous for the particular pavement made of lots of mosaics which represent scenes with harvesting cupids or chariots running, maenads and satyrs, wild animals, allegories, ect.
It’s possibility that the owner of the villa was Flavius Magnus Decentius, emperor Magnenzio’s brother, from which the city of Desenzano is supposed took the name.
The complex of buildings that composed this villa extends by over an hectare. One of them was dedicated to crop products’ transformation activities, for example the crushing and fermentation of grapes to produce wine, and the milling and extraction of olive oil.
Close to the buildings there was the noble owners’ residential building where they showed off their richness and refinement with their sumptuous decorations and furnishings.
The remains left till now are the witnesses of the splendour in which they lived.
The building was large, complex and equipped with heated spa, an open porch on the lake, coloured apsies, an internal fountain adorned with niches and statues and painted frescoes partially restored.
In the small museum remains of furniture as lamps, cups, plates, ceramic pans and bronze utensils are preserved.
One of the most interesting is a glass cup engraved with a Christian subject, indicating the spread of this new religion in the late antiquity
3. PALAZZO TODESCHINI
“Palazzo Todeschini” is located on the ancient Darsena, it was designed by the architect Giulio Todeschini like a town hall. It’s a sixteenth-century building, composed by fifteen stone arches ending with the stone “of the unemployed” the point where the bankruptcy convictions were proclaimed in the XVI century.
Nowadays “Palazzo Todeschini” is venue for conferences, exhibitions and temporary exhibitions.
In 1806 began the construction of the pier and lighthouse in Nordic style, which still characterizes the lake panorama, while the Venetian bridge is the work of the 30s of the last century
4. DUOMO DI SANTA MARIA MADDALENA
The current church, dedicated to S. Maria Maddalena was built between 1596 and 1611 on Giulio Todeschini‘s project.
The facade is characterised by baroque decorations, while inside it presents a basilica plant with three naves and it’s one of the best examples of the late Renaissance in the province of Brescia.
Andrea celesti’s artworks stand out in this dome. He was leading representative of the Venetian painting of ‘600.
Examples of this important painting are the “Resurrezione” and a pictorial cycle dedicated to S. Maria Maddalena.
In the chapel od SS. Sacrament we can admire “L’ultima cena“, a very known G.B Tiepolo‘s work of art of 1738.
In the small village of Desenzano there are many other churches, among which:
- Maria Immacolata’s Church
- S. Maria del Carmine’s Church
- Sant’angela Meriai’s Church
- S. Michele Arcangelo’s Church
- S. Martino Vescovo e Martire’s Church
5. THE CASTLE
The castle that dominates the city originated in the Early Middle Ages, it’s characterised by an irregular rectangle plant and by the tower that rises at the entrance, on the north side.
Of the ancient castle some stretches remain of curtain walls with battlements crumbled between the four angular towers cut off, with the exception of the one on the northeast corner that, until 1940, worked as a specola. From its terrace you can enjoy one of the most beautiful view of Lake Garda.
Probably the castle rose on the foundations of a Roman castrum. It never became a military fortress but it continued to be a refuge to the population.
In the inside of the castle there were homes of private citizens that were always ready to welcome those who lived outside the walls in case of danger.
Following the castle lost the function of refuge, but it continued to be inhabited by the families. In the castle there was also a church, called S. Ambrogio‘s church, which was used as a private house.
The original structure was subject to numerous changes, moreover in the last century a stretch of wall was demolished to the east to the east to allow the view of the panorama anche the building of the officers’ quarters was emptied to install a reservoir of the municipal aqueduct.
6. PORTO VECCHIO
The “Porto vecchio” is one of the most characteristic and suggestive corner of the zone.
In 1806 was built the jetty e and the lighthouse in nordic style and the bridge in Venetian style was realised in 1937.
After the establishment of the Republic of Venice the port was completely renovated by the construction of a quay and some rocks to restrain the stormy lake.
Was also realised
An external dam was also realised to facilitate the arrival of boats and tugs, and a tramway that connected the village to Castiglione and Mantova.
As tradition every year Porto Vecchio becomes the location of the crib on the water which preparations engage all Desenzano‘s the citizens form November.
This “floating nativity scene” is composed by old restored mannequins, but San Giuseppe and Madonna are represented by people flesh and blood which are escorted to the lake by divers few days before Christmas.
During this days the Porto Vecchio is animated my lights, Christmas carols, little girls dressed as angels, etc. till the night of 24th December when the torch will accompany the divers who, passing under the bridge, bring the Baby Jesus.
What to do in Desenzano del Garda
From the Desenzano’s port always depart numerous ferries that allow you to reach the many tourist towns along the shores of the lake or there is the possibility to rent boats.
If you prefer to stay along the coast there are lots of marine centres that offer sailing courses for adults and children, beginners and experts.
You can do other sever sport activities, this small village is equipped by excellent facilities for tennis, rubgy, football, horse riding, bowling, water skiing and surfing.
One of the recent news of the “Camping Delle Rose” is the electric bike rental service that gives you the possibility to do lots of cycle routes admiring the beautiful Lake Garda.
In addition to activities on the water and in the saddle you can relax and enjoy the landscape, Desenzano del Garda is full of beautiful beaches.
For people preferring nightlife there are also lots of clubs and discos.
There is the famous “Art Club“, during summer to dance by the shores of lake there is the “Coco Beach“, and for people preferring a more refined club there is that of “Sestino“.
Meanwhile the Chiosco Madai is perfect for the Italian “aperitivo”, there are the chairs which almost sink into the lake, enjoying the sunset.
To continue you can have a romantic dinner with a breathtaking view on the beautiful terrace of Fraglia Vela.
Desenzano del Garda’s events
Desenzano del Garda is full of activities and events:
- Colnago Cycling Festival includes cycling competitions with different types of routes, in which children can participate.
- Chocolate festival: it shows the chocolate market and offers educational workshops for children.
In short, in addition to places to visit and activities to do Desenzano is also rich in many traditional events.
Typical products of Desenzano del Garda
- Oil and fats → The production of oil has ancient origins in the territory of Brescia, which still today produces two major types of D.O.P. on Lake Garda and Lake Iseo.
- Wine →This province is a land of renowned and famous wines all over the world: from Franciacorta to Garda, from Cellatica to Botticino
- Pasta and cereals → The flour most widely used in this area is known as the flour for polenta from Bergamo
- Grappa and distillates
- Fruit and Preserves → Peaches and apples represent the local fruit. With peaches you get the persicata, a jam made with peaches of Collebeato, which, harvested at the end of the season, have a particular consistency of the pulp compared to other more common. Similar to persicata is quince, a solid compote made from quinces that is cut into slices.
- Sausage and meat → Among the most famous Caren cuts of the province of Brescia there is the roe deer rét, sausage of swine origin, large, prepared with meat cut with a knife tip and flavored with sage, rosemary and lemon peel; the salséesa, a dialectal way to indicate the common sausage; the salasme cotto di Quinzano, particular sausage to be enjoyed both cooked and raw.
- Chesse and milk → Grana Padano is one of the most amous cheese, protected by the homonymous consortium for the protection of Grana Padano cheese.
Typical dishes of Desenzano del Garda
- Cauliflower with black butter: cauliflower boiled and trimmed in butter, with the addition of egg, parsley and pepper.
- “Costoletta alla milanese”:obtained from the veal rib passed in the egg and then in the breadcrumbs and finally fried in butter
- Mascarpone chocolate cake: soft chocolate cake spread with mascarpone, sugar and coffee.
- Hare in tart: hare cooked on a spit wet with cream, sprinkled with grated amaretti.
- “Uccelletti with cheese”: cheese rolls browned in butter.
Camping in Desenzano del Garda
If you are looking for an accomodation in Desenzano del Garda, the “Camping delle Rose” is only 12 minutes aways.
It offers different types of accomodation:
In addition to the classic accommodation, the campsite offers:
- Lodge at lake: 2 bedrooms, 1 loft bed, 1 sofa bed, 1 private bathroom, 1 kitchen and a large terrace. Moreover there is an outdoor veranda with lake view and lots of services (free wi-fi, Air Conditioning, Induction Cooker Hob and a vault)
- Luxury mobile homes: 2 bedrooms, 2 private bathrooms with shower and bidet, 1 single sofa bed, Kitchen and a large terrace. There are mobile house directly at the Lake with a large terrace, wi-fi, hairdrye, dishwasher, air Conditioning and a cable radio.
- Suite Superior:2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms with hydromassage shower, cable radio system, strongbox, internet connection, internet tv, air conditioning, heating and a large terrace
- ModelConfort: 2 bedrooms, 1 large bathroom, internet connection, internet tv, air conditioning, heating and a large terrace
The Camping delle rose faces on the Lake Garda, it’s just 1km far from Moniga del Gard and just 12 minutes far from Desenzano del Garda.
Moreover several accommodation it offers a beautiful and large beach, with a kiosk, a pier and slide for boats.
For a nice and relaxing stay the campsite has a relaxation area with wi-fi, salt water swimming pool and a jacuzzi and for the little ones there is a good playgroung.
While for those who prefer to keep active there is the possibility to rent sup boards and electric bicicles and doing funny water games.
To and the day with a delicious dinner at the restaurant with pizzeria which offers appetizers,homemade first courses and wines of the region, in addition to homemade wine.
Take advantage of the latest availability to effect a seasonal rental of a bungalow at our campsite in Moniga del Garda!