Malcesine stands on the East side of lake Garda, just around the Scaligeri Castle and the historic Palace of the Captains. The mild climate allows people to have walks in the mountains in every period of the year, enjoying the characteristic Mediterranean vegetation.
The village climbs several meters, from the lake coast to the top of Mount Baldo. The name “Malcesine” derives from the Latin “Mala Silex”, mishapen stone.
Height: 89 m on sea level
Surface: 68,19 km2
The village dates back to the Bronze Age, as pointed to by the finds at the beginning of the XX century. Later on Malcesine was dominated by the Romans; as a matter of fact numerous bronze and copper coins and graves were found during the construction of the school. When the Empire fell, Malcesine had to cope with the Ostrogothes, the Alemanni and the Lombard people, who probably built the castle. In 774 the village started being dominated by Carlo Magno who gave the Reign of Italy to his son Pipin.
Then it was absorbed by the feud of the Bishop of Verona; after the Investiture Conflict (1049-1122), he eventually lost his power in favour of a greater freedom of the population. During the Scaligeri domination, Malcesine got the right of using its own coins and measures. The Scaligeri family obtained the Captaincy of the Lake from the Emperor Carlo IV of Boemia.
In 1351 Gardesana dell’Acqua was born: a federation of 10 councils of the East cost of lake Garda. It lasted till the Italic Republic (1802).
After the Scaligeri’s, it was the time of the Visconti family and the Republic of Venice. Venice resisted till the arrival of the French and Austrian troops fighting for Lombardy. Afterwards the Cisalpine Republic started. When Napoleon fell, Malcesine was absorbed by the Lombardo Veneto Reign till 1866, when it became part of Italy.
What to see
- Church of S. Stefano – VIII century
- Church of S. Maria di Navene – XI century
- Church of SS. Benigno and Caro Oratorio di Cassone – XV century
- Church of Madonna della Fontana – XVI century
- Church of Ss. Nicolò and Rocco in piazza del Porto – XVII century
- Church of Santo Stefano – XVIII century
- Church of the Discipline
- Church of S. Michele
- Church of S. Zeno in Monte
Not far from Cassone, suburb of Malcesine, the island of Trimelone raises. Fortified in the X century, the fortalice was destroyed by Federico Barbarossa in 1158 and eventually rebuilt by the Scaligeri’s. During the second world war, it was used as a military deposit.
Palace of the Captains
It was built on behalf of the Scaligeri’s between the XIII century and the XVI century. It was destroyed because of an earthquake and eventually restructured by several owners. In the 1477 the building already showed the characteristic Venetian style. Under the pressure of the Republic of Venice, Verona bought the palace in 1618 and used it as the residence for the lake Captain. In 1897 the council of Malcesine became the exclusive owner of the palace.
It was built by the Lombard during the first half of the I millennium a.C.. It was destroyed by the Frankish in 1590 and then rebuilt. In 1806 the King Pipin lodged here when he went to Malcesine to visit the Lords Benigno and Caro. In 1277 the village was dominated by the Saligeri’s and the castle remained under them till 1387. The restorations of this period gave the name to the present denomination. On the 22nd of August 1902 it was declared national monument.
Museum of natural history of Baldo and Garda
The museum is hosted by the Casermetta of the Scaligeri Castle. The basement is arranged to give the impression of being into the deep water of the lake, and it’s connected to other 8 rooms on the ground floor through diorama and reconstructions; moreover, it’s possible to read scientific sheets about: the geological formation of lake Garda and Mount Baldo; the lake environment with the reproduction of a canebrake; landscape and vegetation; history and fauna of the mountain and the reconstruction of a typical restaurant to surround visitors with every typical element of the area.
Lake Cassone Museum
The museum of the lake of Cassone is near the harbour and contains a rich exposition of tools for fishing: hooks, nets and photos of old sailing boats.
Outside the museum there are two big tanks containing water of the river Aril, chubs and trouts. This is the reproduction of how the building looked like when it was used as an incubator.
Malcesine is connected to the top of Mount Baldo by a cableway. It takes about 10 minutes to climb up to 1700 metres. Several sports can be practiced: trekking, hang-gliding, paragliding, extreme biking and skiing in winter.
Mount Baldo is really close to lake Garda and links the mountain environment and the maquis due to the mild weather. In the XIX century this Mount was called “Garden of Europe” because of a great variety of typical species.
In summer many concerts are organized at Lacaor theatre, a charming natural theatre at the foot of Scaligeri Castle.
Celebration of S. Anna
On the day dedicated to S. Anna the Saints Benigno and Caro are celebrated with firefighters on the water. They are co-patrons of the village.
International contest for treble voice choirs
It’s an important contest organized every two years. The best Italian and foreign groups take part to it.
In Malcesine it’s possible to practice sailing, water-skiing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, golf, paragliding, mountain biking, tennis and skiing.
Fraglia Vela Malcesine
Fraglia Vela Malcesine promotes prestigious outstanding sailing competitions every year
Ski Club Monte Baldo
Household names connected to Malcesine
In 1913 Gustav Klimt stayed in Malcesine and painted two important pictures: one portrays the church of Cassone and it is contained in the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome. The second portrays Malcesine and was destroyed during the fire of the Immendorf Castle near Vienna.
Malcesine was visited and described by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe during his journey to Italy.
Franco Vegliani (1915-1982), a very sensitive writer, died in Malcesine in 1982.
The favorable climate and the good soil of lake Garda make of Malcesine the perfect place for the cultivation of olive trees.
Virgin olive oil of Malcesine is characterized by lightness, low acidity, delicate smell and an intense golden green colour.
Thanks to the slow ripening of the olives, the product is characterized by a unique taste that makes it perfect to match with salads, vegetables, meat and fish.
Virgin olive oil of lake Garda has a strong antioxidant property thanks to the presence of unsaturated fats which are good for the cholesterol level.
Fee paying camper park at the cableway parking of Malcesine Malcesine.
Retellino parking. It’s an unsurfaced shared area along the lakeside for campers and busses. It’s visible from Gardesana road. Night staying is not allowed.
Parking inn via Navene (Loc. Campagnola) , about 2,5 kms far from the centre. Fee paying parking.
Tourist information office A.P.T. MALCESINE
Via Capitanato 6/8