Malcesine Things to Do Tips by iandsmith Top 5 Page for this destination
Malcesine Things to Do: 29 reviews and 64 photos
Note the boats just beneath the cliff
A catabatic wind is one that comes from frozen parts on high and cascades down through channels to the lower areas. Such a wind occurs frequently here, tumbling down the valley and across the head of the lake at Riva.
Thus, as far as sailing is concerned, this is a favoured lake and it is rare when there aren't sailing boats afloat somewhere.
While we were there a regatta was taking place and I tried every day to get a decent shot but it was on the last day when I snapped this one. I thought it highlighted how wonderful the scenery was and how special a place this is to sail.
One of the altars
This is the Church of Saint Stephen, patron Saint of Malcesine, and it was erected on the site of an ancient pagan temple dedicated to Isis.
The church is mentioned in documents dating back to the 9th Century
The facade you see today was reconstructed in the 18th Century (1729-1739) in a neoclassical -Baroque style.
Impressive if you see it against its mountainous backdrop to the east, it has also got quite a bit to see in its cool and airy interior.
It features the following:
The altars of St Benigno and St Carlo (1769)
Altar of Seven Joys - Sette Allegrezze- (1771)
A 15th Century cibarium
Paintings by Felice Boscarotti, Giuseppe Antonio Valentino and Girolamo dai Libris noted 'La Deposizione'
Outside are some impressive stone figures, displayed in niches and pillars
The small marina inside the town
Other sights include the pieve of St. Stephen (8th century), the church of Santa Maria di Navene (11th century)
Behind Malcesine rises the 1750 m-high Monte Baldo. Its summit is reachable through funivia, or cable car.
Malcesine is a hive of innocent hedonism in summer, packed with pottering holidaymakers gorging on ice cream and sunseekers draped along the lake shore. It's not all laziness, however, as the town's ferry connections to other lakeside resorts make it a good base for sightseeing and the cable-car running up to Monte Baldo is a magnet for cyclists, walkers and paragliders.
Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy, and Malcesine lies towards the narrow and mountainous northern end, often compared to a fiord. The town is situated at the edge of the Veneto region, in the province of Verona. 'Malcesine' is a good exercise in Italian pronunciation: the name is pronounced approximately MalCHESinay.
There are four principal tourist activities for visitors to Malcesine: wander the town's lanes; catch the boat to Riva, Limone or other lake resorts; take the cable-car up to the heights of Monte Baldo; eat ice creams. The town is a lovely place to stroll for an hour or so, with picturesque medieval lanes winding up the slope from the lake. There are pretty little squares, cafes and restaurants, gelaterie and shops selling handbags, shoes, limoncello and clothes. The main harbour is typical of Lake Garda: small, attractive, filled with boats and lined with cafes. A short distance away is the old port, the Porto Vecchio, a quieter spot with good lake views, curious sculptures and more restaurants.
Sturdy yet dreamlike, with its 31 metre high pentagonal tower it dominates the north part of Malcesine and the surrounding area. Its background is served by the chromatic blue of the lake and green of the Monte Baldo mountains.
The original building date is not documented and though it is believed to have taken place during the reign of the Longobards it has had many modifications, restorations and additions to the original edifice made over the centuries. The castle was destroyed by enemy armies and rebuilt with emphasis on the defensive position of the castle for the town. The name Scaligero has its roots in the name of the noble family Della Scala from Verona, who dominated the area in 1280 and whose name is also on the famous castle at Sirmione.
The castle then fell into the Lands of the Venetian Republic who improved the defensive system on the lake front.
Then came the French followed by the Austrians in 1780 who made important modifications to the entire structure, culminating in the castle we see before us today.
Having strolled through the picturesque cobble stoned alleyways of the town you reach the entrance to the castle having passed through the gateway into a courtyard you see on your left the “Casermetta”. At one time the guardhouse this building is now home to the Natural History of Garda and Monte Baldo museum.
Taking the stairway to the right you reach the “Polveriera” room, built by the Austrians and now called the “Sala Goethe”. Inside is a brief resume of the pictures and drawings that this great poet-artist dedicated to Lake Garda and Malcesine during his Italian journey.
Crisscrossing the castle courtyard you will find a well and many walkways looking our from the castle walls. The next room is the “Residenza Scaligera” (the scaligera residence) which houses and interesting exhibition dedicated to the history of fishing on the lake. Under the paving two rooms have been discovered on the floor below, though their use remains unknown.
Continuing up the stairs your reach the “Sala Congressi”, (Congress hall) which houses art exhibitions and the tower. Stair to the top of the tower pass through platforms which allow time to pause and rest before continuing the climb. The original tower was much longer than now. The fifth floor has six windows carved into the thick stone walls, which give a taste of the fantastic views from the top of the tower. Here you will also see a large bell manufactured in 1442 and positioned in 1909 by the town hall as a time piece striking the hour for the towns people.
The prominent tower
Castillo Scaligero is situated on a rocky outcrop that looks over Lake Garda that offers splendid views over the lake.The castle is clearly signposted wherever you are in Malcesine,and is well worth a visit. However, do check times as it is not always open.
Once you enter the courtyard to your left there's public rest rooms, a small gift shop and the entrance to a fascinating interactive exhibition which describes flora and fauna of the region,how the lake was formed and the social and political history of the Lake Garda region. Exhibition descriptions are multi lingual and there is enough to keep you entertained for an hour or two.
The pretty gardens are full of modern art sculptures and as you go further up into the castle itself there is a permanent Goethe memorial exhibition which describes the noted man's love of the region (he did a famous painting of the castle), an exhibition of artifacts from a great sailing ship which was purposely sunk to prevent the Venetians from gaining a grip on the area around the 15th century.
The clock tower offers great views across the lake towards Limone,Torbole and Riva del Garda.The castle also offers a popular wedding service.
The entrance fee is very reasonable but I suggest you also keep an eye out for the performances in the theatre behind the castle-the theatre nestles in a natural basin in the rock and sits around 400 people. It is wheel chair friendly, unlike the castle.
View from our hotel window
Just being there is enough reason to visit. It's such a pleasant place I made sure to include it in my itinerary the third time I went to Italy.
The feature of the place used to be the Scaligeri Castle, and it still is prominent but these days the town is growing and the castle is nestled in a side alley, but still sticks out when you approach the town from the north.
Directions: North eastern side of Lago di Garda
iandsmith's Related Pages
Malcesine Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "My favourite place on Lake Garda"
- "Malcesine - position, position, position"
- "Malcesine - A historic little town on Lake Garda"
- "lake garda"
- "Malcesine, Lake Garda - best town to be in"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Malcesine
- Hotels in Malcesine
- Transportation in Malcesine
- Restaurants in Malcesine
- See All...
Explore the World
- Tilbury Hotels
- Chianciano Terme Hotels
- Onomea Hotels
- Otok Zlarin Hotels
Badges & Stats in Malcesine
- 12 Reviews
- 38 Photos
- 2 Forum posts
- 3 Comments
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (92)
Have you been to Malcesine?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Malcesine
Photos in MalcesineSee All Photos (38)
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Australia Intro, 220 reviews, 527 photos, 5 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination State of Tasmania Intro, 128 reviews, 448 photos, 4 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Sydney Intro, 140 reviews, 333 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Newcastle Intro, 151 reviews, 296 photos, 5 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Italy Intro, 165 reviews, 253 photos, 5 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Blue Mountains National Park Intro, 88 reviews, 259 photos, 4 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination State of Western Australia Intro, 75 reviews, 230 photos, 5 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Brugge Intro, 72 reviews, 209 photos
- New England Range Intro, 97 reviews, 167 photos, 2 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Coffs Harbour Intro, 73 reviews, 183 photos
FriendsSee All Friends (118)
Travel InterestsSee All Travel Interests (5)
Latest Malcesine hotel reviews
- Hotel Paina
- 60 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Oct 9, 2013
- Hotel Capri
- 214 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 3, 2013
- Hotel Rosa
- 21 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Oct 22, 2013
- Hotel Cristallo
- 113 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Oct 28, 2013
- Hotel Ariston
- 60 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 4, 2013
- Hotel Castello
- 236 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 13, 2013
- Villa Lisa Hotel
- 17 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Oct 5, 2013
- Hotel Dolomiti
- 66 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Oct 16, 2013
- Hotel Gardesana
- 9 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 16, 2013
- Val di Sogno
- 57 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 9, 2013
- Malcesine Hotel
- 69 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 29, 2013