A picturesque tourist and climate resort of the province of Trento, Riva del Garda is located in north-western tip of Lake Garda, between Mount Rocchetta and Mount Baldo. It is a real oasis and features a beautiful lakeside scenery, a Mediterranean climate, a rich vegetation (mainly lemon, palm and olive trees), and long stretches of fine white sand beaches and, thanks to winds that blow, especially during the afternoon hours, is the ideal destination for lovers of windsurfing. For those who prefer trekking and being in contact with nature, there are several mountain trails and paths, to choose between in the surrounding areas. In the past it was the preferred destination of several artists of international fame, such as the brothers Mann, Kafka and Nietzsche, just to name a few.
The Upper Garda area was inhabited by the Gauls since pre-Roman ages, while, with the arrival of the Romans, it was assigned to the Municipium of Brescia. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the town was subject to the domain of several populations (Goths, Lombards and Franks), before passing under the control of the Bishop of Trento. Later Riva was assigned to the Scala family, the Visconti and also submitted the rule of the Venetians, a period which is recalled, in particular, "Galeas per Montes", the passage by land, in 1439, of an entire Venetian fleet which consisted of six galleys and 25 smaller boats, through the Valley of the Cameràs, after having sailed towards the source of the river Adige. An epic military achievement, if one considers the difficulty and that it took 2000 cattle and 15,000 ducats, which, in 1440, permitted the Venetian fleet to defeat the Visconti in the waters of Lake Garda.
The influence of the Bishop of Trento was followed by periods of Napoleonic and Hapsburg domination, till its annexation to the Kingdom of Italy in 1918.
Sites of Interest:
- La Rocca, today seat of the Civic Museum, originally built in the XII century, over the subsequent centuries was dismantled of its battlements, becoming, from time to time, the residence of the Bishops of Trento. In the XIX century it was transformed into barracks for the Austro-Hungarian troops;
- the Apponale Tower, built in the XIII century with stone blocks of different sizes, lies, with its 34 square meters of height, in Piazza III Novembre;
- the Praetorian Palace (XIV century), built during the domination of La Scala Family, features a portico under which justice was administered and where, currently, are proudly displayed Roman and medieval tombstones;
- the XVII century Church of the Inviolata, a splendid example of Baroque architecture. An octagonal plan building, which preserves within a series of wonderful XVII century paintings and frescoes, including a miraculous image of Our Lady;
- the Church of the Assumption, overlooking Piazza Cavour, in the center of Riva del Garda, which is in baroque style. Already mentioned for the first time in the XII century, it is full of altars, friezes, paintings and stucco decorations of great value.