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Peschiera del Garda, Province of Verona, Veneto

25 km west of Verona, the town rises where the Mincio river leaves the lake. The course of the emissary was changed to build the fortress, making three separate emissaries which surround Peschiera and then join again south of the town. Today the area is included in the Mincio Natural Park, whose fascinating landscapes can be enjoed also thanks to a long cycling route following the course of the river from Peschiera. The economy is today mostly based on tourism and wine production, especially the Lugana white wine.

Info

  • Altitude: 68 m a.s.l
  • Population: about 8,000 inhabitants
  • Zip/postal code: 37019
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 045
  • Patron Saint: St. Martino, celebrated on 11 November
  • Frazioni & Localities: Broglie, Dolci, San Benedetto di Lugana.
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Provinces of Veneto

History - Antiquity

A transit point between the Alps and the Po Plain, Peschiera was always of great strategic importance and a trade center. Human settlements on stilt houses were found in many areas, at least seven villages, in 1851, by German archeologists Keller and von Sacken, who named from the area a period of the Bronze Age, the Peschiera-Zeit.

In Roman times there was vicus named Arilica, described by Plinius the Elder for its wealth of fish, which probably gave rise to the town's coatofarms, two eels with a gold star. At the time of the Barbarian invasions, Pope Leo I stopped here Attila in 492.

History - The Middle Ages

In the 8th century the name was changed to Peschiera. In the following centuries the town followed the destiny of Verona, and was a key center in the city's military system. In 1387 it was conquered by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, lord of Milan and son of Regina della Scala, then in 1440 Francesco Sforza delivered it to the Venetian Republic.

In 1815 the congress of Vienna delivered Peschiera to the Austrian Empire, who turned it into one of the four corners of a strategic system of defence. In 1866 it was included in the Kingdom of Italy.

What to see

  • Sanctuary of the Madonna del Frassino, built on the spot where a local peasant, Bartolomeo Broglia saw a statue of the Virgin Mary appear on 11 may 1510 among the branches of a tree. A year later Robert Stuart, son of James Stuart of Scotland, placed the first stone to build the sanctuary. It contains a great number of works of art, 2 paintings by Paolo Farinati, 12 by Bertanza from Salò, a painting by Zeno from Veronaand 4 by Muttoni the Young, as well as a wealth of frescoes, and a fine wood-carved choir of 1652.
  • From 1549 the town was surrounded with defensive walls, following a plan design by Guidobaldo della Rovere, and later Michele Sammicheli and Anton Maria Lorgna. The wall system is an example of military architeture among the most complex in Italy, with the further feature of being surrounded by waters.

Where to stay