Archaeological sites

Petroglyphs - Torri del Benaco

The area concerning prehistoric past on Lake Garda ed is extensive.
Most of the petroglyphs are situated in the Torri del Benaco area that reaches from Crero to Brancolino and borders on Garda. In close proximity to Crero is the so-called Roccia Grande, the largest piece of rock covered with petroglyphs in the area.
The area around Brancolino features petroglyphs that were discovered in the 1960s and mostly depict boats. Drawings of weapons, which had been created much earlier around the 1st century B.C., were uncovered later.
The petroglyphs were made by engraving or bush-hammering with hard stone such as serpentine or quartzite. The petroglyphs are better visible in the morning light when wet.
To visit the petroglyphs in the Crero area, it is advisable to leave the car in Torri and follow the mule track leading to the Coi quarter. Brancolino is also best reached on foot. We recommend leaving one’s car in San Vigilio and walking along the Strada dei Catèi that was once the only connecting road between Torri and Garda.
Some of the most beautiful petroglyphs can be seen in the "Sala delle Incisioni" at the museum of the Scaliger castle in Torri del Benaco.


Pile-Dwelling Villages - Peschiera del Garda

Lake Garda is characterised by various prehistoric pile-dwelling villages.
These villages in Peschiera del Garda and at Lake Frassino have been added to the UNESCO world heritage list along with other places in the French, Swiss, Italian, Austrian, German and Slovenian Alps. The organic materials of the buildings have been preserved because of the surrounding water - in better condition than they would have been in the open air.
The settlement extending from Belvedere to Peschiera del Garda is one of the oldest of its kind and, counting thirty thousand square metres, one of the largest.
Underwater research has revealed that the area was inhabited throughout the Bronze Age.
The less extensive works at Lake Frassino brought to light finds that are well-preserved due to their origin in a peat pit. Finds from the pile-dwelling villages on Lake Garda can also be seen in the palaeoanthropological collection at Verona’s natural history museum.


Grotte Catullo - Sirmione

The "Grotte di Catullo" are located in Sirmione on the southern end of Lake Garda.
The remains of this North Italian manor house are impressive.
Despite the fact that the Roman poet Catullus had a property in the Sirmione area, it is by no means certain that this villa was it. Due to excavation works started between the two world wars and finished only recently, the underlying principle of the construction can now be seen. It is characterised by order and symmetry even when it comes to space distribution.
The villa has a rectangular layout, covering an area of more than two hectares.
For its construction, the ground had to be levelled on a wide area.
The main floor has suffered damage, while the middle and ground floor are well-preserved.
The villa was built during the Augustan age, more precisely, between the end of the 1st century B.C. and the start of the 1st century A.D.; it seems however to have been abandoned in the 4th century. After this era, the villa was uninhabited, and the building started to deteriorate. The associated museum is close to the excavation site, at the Piazzale Orti Manara. Further information is available on the website of the excavation site.