The signs of the Scala Family rule over Lazise, and whole Lago di Garda area, can be noticed everywhere. The mighty family have built several castles all around Lago di Garda, those at Sirmione, Lazise, Malcesine and Valeggio are the best known.
Porta San Zeno (the San Zeno Gate), a portition of the City Walls, is the main gateway into the old core of the town.
In case you are traveling by car, I suggest you to park your car on a huge parking place western side from this gate. There you can enter in the old core through Porta del Lion which is located next to the Castello Scaligero.
In the times when Venetian Republic ruled the place, the town of Lazise was the main fiscal port of Lago di Garda. Being so important place, the whole town was protected by the massive city walls which are very good preserved.
Via Rocca, what is the name of this street, leads you, turning left, into the direction of the parish church and Porta San Zeno.
The little church of San Nicolo is the ancient church on Lago di Garda. It was designed in a very simple Romanesque style dating back to 12th century.
Do not miss visiting the interior of the church because it preserved precious frescoes painted by the artist of great Giotto's school.
To enter to the city the easier way is through this gate called Door of San Zeno, following the street you will arrive to the main square that directs you to the lake and little port.
This castle is from the 11th century and in summer time you can attend to night concerts on it. We did not visit inside, we just walked along the little streets and the walls that surround the city.
The castle built in 9th century gave protection against the Hungarian invasions, it was modified and reinforced over the centuries.
The coats of arms of Bartolomeo and Antonio Della Scala are still visible on the two entrances, even though Emperor Maximilian had them defaced. "La giustizia del mondragòn la ghe dà torto a chi g'ha rasòn' (The justice of the dragon punishes he who is right) was what the people of Lazise used to say. This proverb, which referred to the coat of arms with the dragon that was displayed on the castle walls, aptly expresses their distrust of tyranny.
Ok meandering back down to the piazza now but a quick stop to look at the church before some lunch. This elegant white squarish church was on a small piazza with narrow roads around, so difficult to get a wide angle pic. It was a pleasant change to see this style compared to all the gothic ornate churches we had seen in Verona. The church is dedicated to Sn Zeno, the patron saint of water and fishing.
Follow the narrow lane alongside the walls and you will soon come to the entrance gateway to Lazise - from the road end as opposed to the harbour. From here it then heads past the church and back down to the piazza..
On foot visitors come in through the small town of one of the three city gates in the well-preserved city wall with battlements. Worth seeing is the impressive Scaligeri fortress with six towers and steep walls in the park of Villa Bernini (both privately owned).
In the evening, the pressure in the town because the many campers come strolling along the promenade or in the cozy harbor.
They eat a delicious Italian ice cream in one of the ice cream and a drink or eat a delicious pizza or pasta in one of the cozy bars and restaurants.
Peace and quietitude.
Too repaired and clean to Italy, well preserved, I'm sure that locals do love their home town.
And I did too.
The town of Lazise is surrounded by fortified walls built by the Della Scala family in the 14th century.
Instead of going through the gateway there is a narrow lane on the left hand side which gives good views of the walls.
Just to the left of the entrance gateway, set in the wall, in this beautiful mosaic. Obviously some nobleman , probably connected to the Scaligari family. Anybody know any more ?