Cavriana lies on the beautiful Morainic Hills between Lake Garda and the hamlets brimming in history, culture, wellbeing and the environment. Its privileged position, so easily defendable, made of Cavriana one of the most ancient settlements ever in this area. Evidence has been found in some of the neighbouring valleys where very interesting archaeological findings included pottery as well as hunting and fishing tools belonging to the Neolithic period, some 5.000 years before Christ. Following a Gallic settlement, the area was inhabited by the Romans. The village’s name appears in the year 1045, in a certificate by the emperor Henry the Third in which the ownership of the Court of Cavriana is granted to the Bishop of Mantua. Ten years after, the same court is called “Capriana” in another document. Between the XIth and XIIIth century as the village was fortified, the Parish Church and the two Oratories of Saint Sebastian and Biagio in Castello were built. The first real defensive works began with the Rivas, though, in the XIIIth century, a family exiled by the Bonaccolsis from Mantua in 1291; in turn, the Bonaccolsis were exiled from the little city in 1367 by the Gonzagas who, the domination of the Venetian Republic excepted (1439-1448), owned their possessions up to 1708, when all the Duke’s territories became part of the Austrian dominion.
Santa Maria della Pieve – Dedicated to Our Lady the Immaculate, it was erected in the XIIth century. Built in a Lombard-Romanesque style, it used to be the parish church until the middle of the XVth century. With the coming of the Baroque style in the XVIIth century, it was considerably modified. In the years 1953-55 the building was brought as near as possible back to its original style. Besides fragments of medieval frescoes, the main apse shows a wonderful XIVth-XVth century alto-relief of Our Lady of Mercy. The Oratory of Saint Sebastian – Entitled to Saint Sebastian Martyr (IVth century), the Oratory was built, just like the Parish Church and Saint Biagio in Castello in the XIIth century, against the southern side of the ancient fortress of Cavriana. Inside, you can see significant frescoes dating from the XIth to the XVIth century. The Parish Church of Santa Maria Nova – Built in the XVIIIth century on a previous church, dating between the XVth and the XVIth century, of which only the apse survives. Designed by Giovanni Maria Borsotti, the parish curch stylistically shows Lombard Baroque traits. Inside, notable are you the marble marquetries, the wooden furniture and a refined canopy of the same period. A particular mention goes to of the triptych of Our Lady with the Holy Child between the Saints Rocco and Sebastian; it is a very important work painted by Zenone da Verona in1512. The fortress – Once it was the widest fortification in the Mantua dominion. Witness of the ancient building are now the ruins of its strong walls, one of the access doors, and a watchtower used also for defensive purposes, later turned into a bell tower in the XVIIth century. Evidence was found that, until half of the XVIIth century, this complex building had fortifications with towers, crenelated walls and a drawbridge. The fortress was inhabited; inside, a XIIth-century oratory served the court.
This territory has numerous possibilities to tempt cycling enthusiasts, at the widest variety of levels: from the professional athlete to families seeking relaxation. An unmissable chance for all cycle tourists is the “Mantova – Peschiera”, one of Italy’s most noted cycle routes. This route measures around 40 km long and mostly flat and suitable for the entire family. It crosses some of the most suggestive localities of the Garda Hills, in a countryside that has remained untouched. Gourmets may appreciate local quality white wines, raw ham, capunsei – a kind of dumplings made of bread and broth.