Place of Interest
Classy village at Lake Garda
When you enter Gardone Riviera, you will immediately notice that this is no ordinary resort. Villas and magnificent buildings line the streets. At the port, the venerable and very impressive Grand Hotel Gardone Riviera stands with its 300-metre-long lake terrace. For over 100 years the rich and famous have come here to hang around at the spa and enjoy the beauty of life. In 1880 the engineer Louis Wimmer and Dr. Louis Rhoden proclaimed Gardone Riviera as an ideal resort and attracted numerous kings and nobles to enjoy a holiday at Lake Garda. From Empress Elisabeth to Kaiser Wilhelm, Winston Churchill and the Egyptian King Farouk, many famous personalities spent their holidays here. Even today the town has only lost little of its former glory and is very well maintained – only in the off-season is Gardone Riviera pretty much extinct and offers little of interest.
Il Vittoriale degli Italiani – The victory monument of the Italians
What already sounds strange while reading and cannot be classified exactly is in fact not just a mere monument but a huge park. The builder was the poet and thinker Gabriele d’Annunzio, who settled in Gardone Riviera and left his mark on the town. The convinced fascist, patriot and war lover had his convictions, which also fed into his own work. Thus you can find in the park, between manmade lakes and lush vegetation, the entire bow of a cruiser, and in an oversized hall hangs a biplane from which d’Annunzio threw fascist leaflets over Vienna. War relics, antiques, art treasures and strange collectibles can also be found in the Villa Cargnacco, where d’Annunzio lived until his death. The body of Gabriele d’Annunzio is also buried on the property in a pompous, predominantly fascist mausoleum overlooking the lake.
Hruska botanical gardens
It is worth visiting the Hruska botanical gardens. It was here that the dentist Dr. Arturo Hruska realised a dream, bringing together the flora of the Alps with those of the tropics in a single garden. The alpine flora truly flourishes in the artificial Dolomites 20 metres above the ground, while below a bamboo forest sprawls and jungle plants are crowded around a swamp. A total of 2,000 different species of plants can be admired here – all of which served the doctor for research purposes.