Castelnuovo del Garda is a town that developed at crossroads of two important communication routes: the one that crosses Po valley (from east to west) and the one that connects Alps with the Po valley (from north to south). The name derives from Latin Castrum Novum (New Castle) that derives from reconstruction of a medieval castle. The territory of the town is located mostly at natural after glacial hills of Garda and faces the lake with three beachfronts equipped for visitors: Campanello, Gasparina and Ronchi. In the last one the largest Italian theme park Gardaland is situated, next to which you will find Gardaland Hotel and Sealife Aquarium. Apart from that the territory of Castelnuovo is filled with historical sites: roman finds, parish churches, medieval castle tower, villas from times of Venetian Republic, Austrian forts, monuments and gravestones of Risorgimento. Two thousands history concentrated in a unique and fascinating territory between lake and hills.
It is a symbol of the town: a witness of times when the original castle was built in 1387 by Gian Galeazzo Visconti. It was a fortified tower enclosed by a double wall. The estate was constructed on a prior fort, probably from the XII century. The bell tower was added at the end of 1700 and it holds one of the most popular bell concerts in Verona area.
Church of Santa Maria Nascente
The parish church of Castelnuovo is a neoclassic building constructed in 1808 on a project of Luigi Trezza, an architect from Verona. There are an exquisite altarpiece by Felice Brusasorzi, a painter of the Renaissance, and a pipe organ by William George Trice from 1884 shielded inside. It was outraged and plundered during Austrian massacre of 11 April 1848. Next to the parish church there is a primitive church with a bell tower from 1200.
Saint Phillip and Saint Jacob Church (Cavalcaselle)
The parish Church of Cavalcaselle may be considered one of the most interesting churches by Adriano Cristofoli. Its construction began in 1755. You can find an altarpiece of Saint Mary with Saint Phillip and Saint Jacob by Antonio Cavaggioni inside.
Church of Santa Maria Assunta (Oliosi)
The church of Saint Mary in Oliosi was built in XVIII century as a Camuzzini Family’s chapel. Its hut shaped façade faces west, the bell tower is attached to southern walls of presbytery. Saint Andrew’s parish Church The earliest written testimonies of Saint Andrew’s church (this is where the village’s name comes from – Sandrà) are included in scrolls from 843 and 856. Nevertheless it may be speculated that the church had existed at least since VIII century and it was built on rests of a previous one from roman age. Some of roman and Longobardic gravestones’ remains are set into outside southern wall. During the XII century the Medieval church was reconstructed in Romanesque forms, while the present neoclassical church was rebuilt between 1753 and 1770 and it shields an altarpiece of Saint Andrew’s martyrdom.
On June 24th 1866, same day as famous Custoza battle, “Forlì” brigade heading to Castelnuovo was attacked by Austrian cavalry. A group of soldiers occupied the house of Benati family in Oliosi, fighting and resisting until the Austrians put the house on fire. Before they surrendered the “Forlì” brigade soldiers tore the flag in stripes and each of them hid one under their uniforms and guarded it till the end of their being held prisoners. 11 out of probable 13 stripes were retrieved and the flag at the moment is kept at national Infantry Museum in Rome. On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, on June 2nd, 2011 , the flag has opened the “Parade”, during the annual Republic Day at Fori Imperiali.
Castelnuovo Martyrs’ Monument
Castelnuovo Martyrs’ Monument was built in 2008, on occasion of 160th anniversary of 1848 martyrdom, designed by Paolo Zoppi and made by Veronica Fonzo. In this monument sculpted in white marble you can see innocent victims with a black metal eagle above them, symbolizing Austrian enemy. The monument honours a massacre of Castelnuovo’s people, that took place during First Italian Independence War. The town doctor Palazzieri ordered to burn martyrs’ bodies to avoid diffusion of epidemics.
Fenilazzo and Polveriera Forts
They were built between 1858 and 1861 as a second generation of Austrian forts, in 1862 they were reconstructed as the third generation. The forts were equipped with 10 cannons, built in limestone and were a military district of 314 soldiers.
Apart from eighteenth century and more recent villas: Mosconi Negri, called Saletto and Borgognoni Tommasi, both located in Sandrà, on the territory of Castelnuovo there are even more ancient dwellings built in XVth century. Villa Cossali Ridolfi Sella (in picture) is situated next to the route that connects Verona and Brescia, west from the town center. The oldest preserved part is the dove tower, next to the main building, colonnade and rural buildings. The Cossali family, counts of Castelnuovo since 1671, representing Venetian Republic hosted European kings and monarchs. A tree-lined way leads to Villa da Monte Arvedi d’Emilei which is located north from Cavalcaselle. It was built at the beginning of XV century and is surrounded by a romantic park with a pond.
Villa Bagolini, along the way from Castelnuovo to Mantua, close to Mongabia and Oliosi, is characterized by a majestic dove tower. This villa is a complex of buildings from various periods: western part is the oldest, while the central building is neoclassical. It has been in the present state since XIX century. A typical bread oven is preserved in the park surrounding.