Malcesine, Lago di Garda
Malcesine is the starting point of the funicular up to Monte Baldo. But its landmark is the pictuersque castle. Goethe, the most famous German poet who was visiting Italy twice wanted to keep his memories of the nice place not only by writing, he liked it also to paint and to draw and when the police observed him drawing the castle they arrested him because they suspected him being a spy (the frontier was at that time immediately north of Malcesine). But he came free almost immediately after that.
Malcesine lies on the eastern side of the lake. This town is the most important one on this side of the lake and also one of the most beautiful ones on the whole of the lake. The town is framed by the mountains behind and facing others on the opposite side of the lake. The little town still retains its picturesque medieval centre.
It is a modern tourist resort with many lovely hotels and beautiful little houses. There I also a lovely small harbour and castle.
"The intense light, the sun dancing on the crests of the lake and the radiant sunsets arouse unique and unrepeatable sensations.
Lights and shadows define the imposing masses of the steep slopes that rise almost menacingly above the deep, inaccessible gorges of Mount Baldo, the ancient testimony of chaotic and devastating cataclysms that shaped a rough and difficult environment, in stark contrast with the small inhabited area, the fruit of landslides that the Mediterranean climate and the slow work of nature and man have softened, with hillsides rich with olives, cypress trees and oleanders.
Many gardens still host lemon trees laden with fragrant flowers and golden fruits, which stand out among the intensely green fronds, the remains of more ancient and vaster lemon-houses, which time and urban expansion have irretrievably cancelled."
Do you need more than this to be inspired to go there??? :-)
Beautiful and huge Scaligeri castle dominates whole the town of Malcesine. It is situated on the top of the hill which offers the magnificent view over whole area of Lago di Garda. Make sure you have enough space on your memory card or film, because when on the top of the castle tower you wont stop with shootings.
Malcesine is lovely place which looks more like an Mediterranean townlet. The old core of the town, around the castle and the port, is very pitoresque. There is a network of short and narrow streets and many small squares with fine cafe-bars and restaurants.
Malcesine is one of the most visited towns on Lake Garda, and has many 'tourist' attractions. Its landmark is its 13th C. castle -Il Castello Scaligero, where You can climb its towers for views over the lake, and visit its museum.
Another popular attraction is the cable car that takes day trippers and hikers to Tratto Spino near the summit of Mont Baldo
The harbour bustles with visitors arriving or departing on the many ferries, or sitting enjoying an ice cream or meal at one of the harbourside restaurants.
Away from the harbour are more restaurants, shops, churches, shady squares, green parks, promenades and beaches.
Market day is Saturday.
Art exhibitions, concerts, theatre, festivals offer plenty for those staying in Malcesine.
The Tourist Info office has details of events, Walks, maps etc
Malcesine can be reached easily by road or ferry.
The nearest train station is Rovereto (35km)or Peschiera.
Verona airport is 60km and Bergamo airport is 140 km away
I guess this is for many the picturesque resort on Lake Garda with the imposing castle - a wedding venue when we visited! Little cobbled alleyways leading to small little piazzas, quaint cafes and with views of the lake, the old port and the newer port.
Then of course there is the cable car to whisk you up the hills of Monte Baldo for wonderful views over the Lake and town too - hope eventually to have more on its own page ...but a few pics for now on here.
This fortress is one of Malcesines landmarks. Its medieval tower can be seen above the harbour as the ferry approaches this bustling town
The town developed, spreading out from the castle and nearby Captains Palace. You pass through the ancient winding streets as You walk uphill from the harbour - follow the yellow signs and the crowds!
The della Scala family added the fortifications in the 14th century. Austrian and Venetian architects have also added their work during the years.
13th September 1786, the German poet Goethe was arrested as a suspected spy here - he was making sketches of the castle, which had inspired his creativity in his drawing and poetry. The former powder room is now dedicated to Goethes work and is quite interesting -plenty of sketches of this area, quotations and poetry by this artist.
Many castles on Lake Garda are called Scaligero, including the one in Sirmione.
This castle is worth visiting
-it has an interesting museum with natural history and ethnographic sections.
-remnants of an Etruscan tomb.
-an open air theatre
-art exhibitions - when I visited there were larger than life size resin figures of African figures
-weddings take place here - I saw one during my visit.
-walls and towers to climb for longreaching views over the town and lake
-a balcony over the lake - again good views
Open April - November 0900 - 19.30
December -March - Weekends and holidays 1000 - 1700
Admission charge - included map of the castle and a booklet of the art exhibitions.
I'm afraid I can't remember how much this was - having one of those senior moments ;-)
and my ticket doesn't display the price.
More tips about this castle to follow soon!
Malcesine is probably the second best place to visit after Sirmione! To our surprise there were so few tourists! And this makes Malcesine more beautiful and magical! Here are marvellous flowers as well...(see the other photo). You can go to Malcesine Monte Baldo a panoramic cable way to Mount Malcesine. The ticket costs 15 euros...a bit costly but worth it. I enjoyed it so much.
The museum is next to the ticket office at the entrance, it is housed in part of the Venetian palace. Rooms are on different levels, and the exhibits are labelled in Italian and English, with interesting information
Geology, flora, fauna, local history, and customs are all covered in the various displays. I particularly enjoyed the displays about the daily life of the locals in past times and items that were used in their homes and work.
For info re opening times, etc please see my previous tip
For a romantic view over the lake, head to this balcony. I think this was originally an artillary platform or revelino
The Balcone sul lago or Balcony over the Lake is a popular place for couples to take photos of each other with the Lake as a romantic backdrop, so You might have to wait a while to take Your turn!
Please see my tip on the castle for info re address phone numbers etc
As I mentioned in my previous tip, I came across these African sculptures in the open air theatre of the Castle. Apparently, they were an exhibition called African icons and were by a Nigerian sculptor called Sunday Jack Akpan. He was born in 1940, and originally was a mason, but became interested in working with concrete that later was painted. He specialises in tribal chiefs and Matrons.
S J Akpan is recognised as one of the most interesting African and world wide artists, and has exhibited his work in various countries around Europe and America. He was part of the Venice Biennale in 2001.
My first picture shows statues known as Obong Ekong (in red) and Oboikpa a 146cm figure of a female. They were created in 2001
My second photo is of Obong Anwan -a Matron in blue robe with an interesting headpiece (I think this was my favourite piece) and behind her is Obong Ntinya, a tribal chief. Again they were created in 2001. Between them is a bust of Goethe, the German poet, who was inspired by his visit to the castle and Lake Garda in 1786. A trip he wouldn't forget as he was arrested on suspicion of spying.
My third picture is the same as in my previous tip re weddings at the Castle (and Lake Garda/ Verona) and shows Obong Ekong and Obong Anwan in more detail.
I'm afraid this exhibition ran from the 2nd June to 15th October 2007, so has finished now, but it might have moved on somewhere else. I've tried to find a webpage for this artist, but haven't found one yet. For more info about his work in an article please Click
For info about castle Scaligero opening hours, phone number, address etc please see my Malcesine Castello Scaligero tip
Head to Malcesine which is a beautiful town at the bottom of Mont Baldo. The town in itself might be a consideration for somewhere to stay, but we just headed here to take the cable car up the 1800 feet to check out the views. In summer you can take a walk and take in the stunning scenery and in winter you can take the car up with your skis and go for a skiing session!
Malcesine is situated on the Eastern bank of Lake Garda. It still preserves evidences of its medieval origins, especially the Scaligero Castle .
The climate is always mild and you can have wonderful walks up the hills or the slopes of mountains, through olive groves and typical mediterranean vegetation. But on the other hand in this part of Lake Garda you are apt to find bad weather conditions more often than in the south....
That is what happened to us: we had a real rainy day when we finally decided to go see a little more of Lake Garda than just Lazise. Still we spent a wonderful day on the Lake and when in Malcesine we walked up to the castle, enjoyed the delightful museum and the view over the rooftops! Plus we discovered a real nice restaurant/bar where we loved the atmosphere, the wine and the appetizers! I will never forget that!