Trekking - Rocca di Garda
History: La Rocca di Garda is a steep rock between the villages of Garda (in the north) and Bardolino (in the south) overlooking the underlying waters of the homonymous lake.
It consists of two main peaks separated by a hill: the Rocca Vecchia (291 m above sea level) and the hill with the hermitage of San Giorgio (306m above sea level).
The historical importance of this rock dates back to the 5th century BC, when a fortress (of which there are left only a few traces) was built on the summit during the Lombard period, which still today gives its name to the mountain. The toponym "Garda" derives directly from this characteristic fortress (from the old Germanic "Warda" or "Warte" or "guard", "fortress") and replaced the much older Latin name of Lacus Benacus. In 1193 Emperor Henry VI sold the Rocca di Garda to the City of Verona for 700 silver marks.
The fortress was completely demolished for unknown reasons by its own defenders at the beginning of the 13th century, probably under Emporer Otto IV.
The hiking tour on the Rocca is an easy six-kilometre route that leads through the moraine hills of the immediate hinterland to the Hermitage of San Giorgio and then to the Rocca Vecchia mountain. The enchanting path winds through woods, vineyards, farmhouses and fascinating archaeological, medieval and military remnants.
Route: Starting in Garda, we take Via Boschi to reach Località Dacia. From here we continue going uphill to the Hermitage of San Giorgio of the Benedictine monks Camaldolese, founded in 1663. As a consequence of the Napoleonic suppression in 1810 the Hermitage had been abandoned. Subsequently it was being inhabited by peasants until 1885 when a Camaldolese community returned there.
From the Hermitage of San Giorgio we go downhill to the 291m of the Rocca Vecchia, embedded in the typical "Lake Benacus" landscape with a rich Mediterranean vegetation. The Rocca Vecchia gives you a magnificent view in an oasis of peace and tranquillity.
It has a vast green area on top where you can relax or enjoy various viewpoints.
From the rock we descend along a path that winds through the hills between farmhouses and vineyards to reach the centre of Garda.