Many archeological finds from the prehistoric, protohistoric, and Roman periods have been unearthed here. Garda was of strategic and administrative importance. During the Middle Ages, it was controlled by the Goths, Lombards and Franks. The Della Scala and Visconti dynasties and the Venetians later dominated the area of Garda.
A document of 1452 granted fishing rights to the "Corporation of Native Families" for several areas of the lake Garda
teeming with fish.
The 1630 plague was devastating. The epidemic decimated the population of the village, which dwindled to less than 200! The Camaldolensian Monastery was built on Mount San Giorgio in the 17th century. Under the Republic of Venice, Garda was a naval base, and its economy mainly derived from fishing and trade.
With the Vienna Conference (1815) Garda became part of the Lombardy Veneto region. At the end of the Third War of Independence in 1866, it joined the Kingdom of Italy.
From the days of King Theodoric the Great or maybe ever since the Roman period, a castle has sat high above the lake garda on a massive square rock 294 meters in height.
It was there in the 10th century that the adventure of Adelaide unfolded. The widow of Lothar, Queen of Italy and "later Empress and Saint", Adelaide was held prisoner in the castle.
Thus wrote the poet Giosuè Carducci:
In the distance, above the surface of Garda looms the shadowy castle, telling the tale of ancient buried cities and barbarian queens.
The Carlotti Palace in Garda is a large building with towers, external staircase and a loggia attributed to Sammicheli. It still preserves elegant 16th century style. Inside there are several beautiful doors and a great hall with an exposed beam ceiling.
Rising behind S. Vigilio, the rocky hill (418 m) covered with sub-Mediterranean vegetation is a favorite hiking spot. Its path leading from Castei to Brancolino, Albisano and Torri del Benaco
or towards the Senge affords spectacular views of the lake garda. Smooth glacial rocks with prehistoric rock engravings can be seen along the route.
Just 3 km from the center of the town Garda, it is one of the most famous and romantic spots on the lake garda. Once described by Riccardo Bacchelli as "the most radiant, airy place", it is dotted with cypress and olive trees. On it are the ancient S. Vigilio Church and the 16th century villa of Count Agostino Brenzoni that fully expresses the Humanist genius of Sammicheli, the architect of the project.
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