After entering the memorial complex, there is a stone monument, just before entrance to the park leading to the tower, where you can read (in Italian of course :))) in a very poetic way, what happened at the battle.
Inside the church, behind the altar, there is a section with sculls and bones from the soldiers who died at the battle of San Martino, at 24 June 1859. Nobody knows who they are, they are unknown heroes, and they rest in peace there. It's a bit scarry, and many of the sculs have evident traces of bullets and destruction. :( Bones are all at one pile. Wars are the worst thing that can happen... In Serbia, in Nis, we have a scull tower, but it was made by Turks as a punishment for the uprising against their occupation, they decapitated Seriban soldiers and made a tower out of them. But there, these people are "buried", and their remains exposed to witness the terror of the war.
NOTE: If you have a weak stomach, don't go inside.
This is the church where the bones and sculls of the soldiers killed in the battle are kept. There are inscriptions in several languages, including Czech and Hungarian.
A lovely path full of flowers and monuments is leading towards the church, which is quite small.
San Martino museum
This is the museum of San Martino battle, seen from the top of the tower. There are three big rooms with lots of pictures, books, weapons, clothes, maps, canons, and other items from the war as well as the description what happened.
Behind are the fields and horseriding paths, if you click to enlarge the photo you'll see the horse and a rider. :)
San Martino battle memorial
This is a monument to the big and famous battle from the 19th century, between Italians, French and Austro-Hungarians. It was very bloody and many people died, and thus they built this memorial tower, called Vittorio Emmanuelle II tower, with a museum and church with bones of people killed in the battle.
Climbing up to the top of the tower is easy because there are no stairs, but flat uphil! There are several photo galleries along the way, and a statue of Vittorio Emmanuelle right at the entrance.
From the top you can see a panorama of lake Garda, which is just behind the corner.
The tower edmission fee is 4 euros.
Chiesa di San Martino at Peschiera di Garda
Chiesa (the church) di San Martino is one of the oldest churches in the Verona diocese. It was first mentioned in the document from the 11th century.
The church underwent extensive renovations in the 15th century. Afterwards, the church was demolished and rebuilt in 1822.
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Sirmione: Panorama walk
Walk through the city gate and pass the entrance to the castle. Then take right, there's also a sign for the panorama walk. You walk through an old building/ruin. I wish I knew what it was called. Then you reach the beach (although not a good place to swim). There's also some café here. Along the walk, we saw many ducks and swans, as well as big fishes in the sea! After a while, you reach a bigger complex where you can eat also. This is a good place if you want to go swimming. There was also some well with healthy water. Lots of people were sitting in it. Don't know more about it unfortunately. We turned around after a while, so I don't know if you can get all the way to Grotte di Catullus.
Pieve di Tremosine
The area of Tremosine is a few small villages ranging from Lake Garda level to an altitude of 600 meters.
The village in the photo is Pieve di Tremosine, this little place is still only accessable by boat, apparantly there are steps down the cliff to it, but I would be surprised, it seems far to shear.
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I've droped here only by chance, driving from Valeggio sul Mincio to Castellaro Lagusello. First, I was attracted by the remains of the medieval castle which stands on the top of the hill above the place. Unfortunatelly, there wasn't much to see. Then I saw, from the road, very huge and attractive building of the local church. It looks very nice and certainly it worth to be visited.
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Castellaro Lagusello, another little gem in the surroundings of the Lago di Garda, is situated only a few kilometers of Valeggio sul Mincio. Here you can see another huge medieval castle built in the era of Scaligero rules. The castle is situated on the shore of an small lake, and it is among the most beautiful castles which can be seen in the area of Lago di Garda.
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How Curageous Are You???
My husband was curageous enough to have his hair cut at a place, that was a little off the beaten path! The hairdresser didn't know any English or German, and our Italian was more or less non-existant!
.... I did recognize him later, in fact, he looked like Don Johnson of Miami Vice!!!
From the top of San Martino memorial tower you can see the fields and vineyards surrounding the lake. On this side, there is the plain and thus a lot of plants. It's a very beautiful sight!
Inside the museum you can find a lot of things from the battle, there are several vitrinas with lots of exhibited items, including these with clothes and uniforms, helmets and weapons of all sorts.
Vittorio Emanuelle II
This is the monument to Vittorio Emanuelle II, inside the hall of the memorial tower. he is one of the most famous Italian rulers, and has almost as many "landmarks" as Garibaldi :)
Ponte di Veja
Ponte di Veja, located some kilometeres east of Lago di Garda, is the entrance of an old "Karst" (will look up the English word soon!) cave.
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