Over 200,000 visitors every year stop in Gardone Riviera, a well-known tourist resort situated on the western coast of Lake Garda between Salò and Toscolano Maderno, to visit the famous Vittoriale degli Italiani, a unquestionably fascinating site. Learn why.
Vittoriale degli Italiani, known also as “Vittoriale”, is a monumental complex commissioned by Gabriele d’Annunzio starting in 1921. The famous poet, journalist, military man and patriot from Abruzzo, after living in Gardone Riviera and falling in love with Laka Garda’s landscape, decided to buy the property where Vittoriale stands today and turn it into a memory journal of his exceptional life and of the Italian people during World War I. The project was commissioned to architect Giancarlo Maroni, a friend of “sommo poeta”.
Gardens, roads, streets, squares, house, library, water streams, amphiteatre: when you visit Vittoriale for the first time, you donàt really know what to expect. Indeed, every corner hides a surprise.
Vittoriale is a small, yet grand, separate world perfectly set in the lake environment. Every indoor and outdoor area conveys the peculiarity and fantasy of D’Annunzio’s personality, who gathered as many keepsakes as possible: sculptures, army medals, relics, thousands of books, and works of art of all styles. This is truly a house-museum to the utmost extent. In addition, here is what you will never expect to find, sprinkled around the whole complex: a SVA plane, Puglia military ship, a MAS96 submarine.
The surprising atmosphere is clearly perceived also in the exterior parts of the complex, where you will find luxurious gardens, the lemon grove with Belvedere terrace, Portico del Parente porch dedicated to Michelangelo Buonarroti, and the splendid amphiteatre overlooking the lake which even today hosts renowned summer music events and concerts of world famous artists.
On top of Vittoriale stands the mausoleum, an imposing monumental grave where D’Annunzio rests: the greatness of an “unmatched life” that is remembered still today.
Find out more here for your next visit.