|5 km - Toscolano Maderno
Museo della Carta (Paper Museum) - www.valledellecartiere.it
This museum displays relics and machinery from centuries of production, and photographs and engravings recounting the history of this flourishing local industry. The valleys carved by the Toscolano river have provided the ideal location for paper production since 1300. The river has provided hydraulic energy through the years and the dry, windy climate is ideal for drying the paper.
|12 km - Gardone Riviera
Il Vittoriale degli Italiani - www.vittoriale.it
The poet Gabriele D’Annunzio lived in Gardone Riviera until his death. Here he created a home and a monument – the Vittoriale degli Italiani – to the daring undertakings of the First World War. The result was this structured complex of buildings surrounded by vast grounds.
|15 km - Salò
Isola del Garda – www.isoladelgarda.com
The Isola del Garda, also known to the Italians as Isola Borghese Cavazza, is near Salò on Lake Garda. It is now owned by the Cavazza family, who live there all year. Their home is a beautiful, historic building, built at the beginning of the twentieth century in a Venetian Neo-Gothic style, surrounded by lush vegetation and Italian- and English-style gardens.
|15 km - Tignale
Santuario di Monte Castello (Sanctuary) - www.santuariomontecastello.org
Tignale’s most famous monument is the Santuario di Montecastello, which is just under the summit of Monte Castello, perched on a limestone crag overlooking the lake. Recently restored, the sanctuary is one of the most esteemed and renowned sacred places of Lake Garda, especially for the historical events of which it played a major part, and its architectural and artistic heritage and the beauty of the surrounding landscape. Resting on the ruins of an ancient temple, then transformed into a castle, it guards the "Casa Santa", a small temple dating back to 802.
|20 km - Magasa - Cima Rest
Museo Etnografico della Valvestino (Ethnographic Museum)
Staged in a characteristic hay barn in the hamlet of Cima Rest, this museum offers visitors the opportunity to understand the Valley and its features, which have gradually been added over time, like a mosaic. The objects displayed in the museum were chosen for their symbolic value, as well as their cultural and artistic heritage. The latter value is not always obvious, but lies in the difference between the objects’ modern meaning and what they represented in the past: this significance is worthy of the ‘artistic’ label, as it provokes emotions, and invites observers to ‘reconstruct’ a bygone world in their minds.
|25 km - Lonato
Fondazione Ugo da Como - www.fondazioneugodacomo.it
The senator Ugo da Como commissioned the renovation of the Casa del Podestà, the palazzo that housed Venetian rectors from the 15th century. The museum was open in 1942 by the Foundation and is staged in the Casa del Podestà (15th century), restored in 1910 by Antonio Tagliaferro. The house has two storeys, and you can visit the gallery, senator’s study, red room, ladies’ parlour, ancient hall, dining room, pewter room, study, kitchen, senator’s bedroom, bedroom of Signora Maria, office and garden. Each room is filled with valuable period antiques and objets d’art of various styles. In the museum is the library, which holds more than 50,000 volumes, 411 incunabula, 469 manuscripts and finely detailed codices, parchments and illustrated prints from the 16th to the 19th centuries.
|25 km - Lonato
Towering over Lonato, the Rocca Viscontea once protected and defended the town. It was probably built in the 10th century to defend inhabitants from Hungarian raids. Wells provided water. After the destruction of Lonato in 1339, the Visconti family rebuilt the castle with high walls and deep pits. The castles scattered around various areas of the southwestern part of the lake (the area known as ‘Valtenesi’) provide evidence of this period. Many are still there (Padenghe sul Garda, Soiano, Moniga, Polpenazze and Puegnago).
|30 km – Desenzano del Garda
Museo civico Giovanni Rambotti - www.onde.net/desenzano/citta/museo/
The museum of Desenzano has a geographical setting in an area full of historical evidence of Bronze Age lake-dwellers. Its main role is to offer a wide view of prehistoric cultures in the Lake Garda region. The rare conditions of the area, probably the most significant in Europe with regards to humid areas of archaeological interest, stem from the anthropic deposits submerged some distance from the shores of the lake or stratified in the peat bogs of the basins between the Morenic hills. The anaerobic conditions here have helped preserve the items in organic material. The most famous example of this is the Lavagnone plough.
|30 km - Desenzano del Garda
Villa romana - www.onde.net/desenzano/citta/indvilla.html
The Villa of Desenzano is now the most important evidence in Northern Italy of the grand, late ancient villas. The building is just north of Via Gallica and enjoys an excellent environment and landscape along the southern shores of Lake Garda. To get a clear idea of the entire villa, imagine large, distinct blocks of those buildings dating back to the early fourth century AD among the ruins, and try to ignore those parts that were added later.
Upon entering the villa there is a small museum. Its three rooms display material from digs, including the remains of statues and portraits as well as a press that once was used for grapes and olives.
|40 km - Sirmione
Villa Romana - www.sirmioneonline.net/grotte-1.htm
The Villa Romana of Sirmione, traditionally known as the Grotte di Catullo (Catullo Caves), is the most grandiose example of private buildings in Northern Italy. The name of caves stems from its underground environment. Ancient legend has it that the villa belonged to the Latin poet Catullo, who died in 54 BC. In reality, the building can be dated to between the end of the 1st century BC and the start of the first century AD, and the name of its ancient owner is unknown. The villa, in a panoramic position in the large olive grove at the tip of the peninsula, is built on three levels that follow the incline of the rock.
|40 km - San Martino della Battaglia
La Torre - www.solferinoesanmartino.it
The Tower evokes the victorious (but bloody) battle of the Risorgimento of June 1859 between the Franco-Piedmontese and Austrians. It is 74 metres high and was built in 1878 in a neo-gothic style on the hill of San Martino. The bronze statue of Vittorio Emanuele II, by the sculptor Dal Zotto, is in the entrance. The walls were painted by the Venetian painter Vittorio Bressanin. There is a breathtaking view of the lake and surrounding hills from the top.
The museum at the bottom of the tower contains documents, weapons, uniforms, flags and other items from that battle.
Not far from the monumental complex is the ossuary that hosts and displays the bones of 2,619 soldiers killed in battle.
|45 km - Brescia
Castello e Museo delle Armi - www.bresciainvetrina.it/bresciaarte/museoarmi.htm
The museum has the prestigious, charming location of the Mastio Visconteo (Visconti Donjon), which is the most important surviving monument to the imposing defence equipment with which the Visconti family fortified the city in the mid-14th century. A typical example of late-medieval military architecture, the Donjon was built on the remains of a Roman temple and dominates the city from the height of the Cidneo hills, with the cylindrical tower Mirabella. The carefully restored complex has displayed one of the richest collections in Europe of weapons since 1988. Cutting and thrusting weapons, armour, parade weapons, and firearms are divided by period and type. The main nucleus consists of 1090 pieces and is made up of the precious collection of Luigi Marzoli, which documents Milanese and Brescian production in the 15th to the 18th centuries. It was bequeathed to the museum in 1965. Another 300 pieces belong to the civic collections (especially firearms from the 19th century). The main works offer a panorama of the museum’s patrimony, considered one of the most comprehensive and homogenous of its kind.
|45 km - Brescia
Museo di Santa Giulia - www.santagiulia.info/museo_di_santa_giulia/index.htm
Founded in 753 AD on the remains of a Roman residential site on the order of the Longobard king Desiderius and his wife Ansa, the monastery was subject to many interventions to extend and improve the original structure in the centuries that followed. The stratifications of the place clearly show the history of the city of Brescia, from its origins to the present day. The Monastery of Santa Giulia is the ideal location for the city’s museum. The opening of the museum in this monument was a major event for Brescia. Visit its halls to see centuries of art and history first-hand.
|45 km – Brescia
Museo del Risorgimento - www.bresciainvetrina.it/bresciaarte/museorisorgimento.htm
The Civic Museum of the Risorgimento was founded in 1887 and is found inside Brescia Castle, in the Grande Miglio, a former grain shed dating back to 1597-98. It is one of the most important in Italy: the collection consists of documents from bequests, donations and purchases, displayed in two large halls, comprising a fascinating account of the Risorgimento up to 1870. The journey takes us from the final period of Veneto domination in Brescia (second half of the 18th century) via the Brescian Republic, the Napoleonic period, the wars of Independence, the “Dieci Giornate” (Ten Days) of Brescia, not to mention the ‘expedition of the Mille’ and the Zanardelli era (main works: paintings, letters, announcements, proclamations, decrees, prints and antiques).
|45 km – Brescia
Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo - www.museiarte.brescia.it/html/Pinacoteca_f.htm
Opened in 1851 in Palazzo Tosio, the first picture gallery was formed with the rich art collections left by Count Paolo Tosio in 1832, and with paintings and objects from other bequests and suppressed or demolished sacred buildings. In 1884, Count Leopardo Martinengo da Barco bequeathed to the municipality the library, scientific and art collections and his palazzo (a 16th century building, restructured in the 17th and 18th centuries). In this palazzo, the two picture galleries merged to become the Tosio Martinengo in 1908. The western façade opens on to the square where work by the sculptor Domenico Ghidoni was erected in 1898 as monument to the Brescian painter Alessandro Bonvicino, known as il Moretto. The collections were restaged in 1994, and the result is almost a new museum. Restoration campaigns and later purchases and deposits means we can now examine the history of Brescian art from the 14th to the 18th century. The museum pays homage to Paolo Tosio, with a selection from his collection (including Raphael and other Italian and foreign artists), and the main works offer a journey culminating in the great season of Brescian Renaissance, from Foppa to the generation of Romanino, Moretto, and Savoldo. For the 17th and 18th centuries, local painters are hung alongside important foreign contributions: portraits and genre painting are particularly well documented.
|45 km - Brescia
Museo della Millemiglia - www.museomillemiglia.it
During 2004 the Millemiglia museum has been opened. The collection, with a restaurant and a gadget shop take place in an old monastery.
|45 km - Rovereto
MART Museo di Arte moderna e contemporanea - www.mart.it
The museum of modern and contemporary art of Trento and Rovereto promises to be a major player in its field. It is the first permanent cultural space dedicated to modern and contemporary art from 1988, when Prato’s Pecci Museum was opened. The architect Mario Botta designed it, supported by the work of the engineer Giulio Andreolli. The Museum is roughly the size of San Francisco’s modern art museum, and this is surprising considering the modest size of a city such as Rovereto. Nevertheless, the new building is in one of the most elegant streets of the city, Corso Bettini. Although it is not in the historic centre, the area is prestigious, with 18th century buildings, a convent, a museum, the university and the two Alberti palazzos between which, in a certain sense, the MART is set. Rovereto is a cultural hub. Part of the Italian futurism and architectural rationalism have their origins here, and it was a "hinge" city during the Austro-Hungarian domination. Therefore, the city bears the signs of its ancient role. Rovereto also boasts a library, which opened in 1764 and has over 370,000 volumes.
70 km - Villafranca di Verona