Manerba del Garda lies in the Gulf between the “Punta Belvedere” and the “Punta Portese” at the western shore of Lake Garda in the province Brescia, on one of the most striking promontories of Lake Garda, the famous Rock of Manerba. It is situated in the heart of the “Valtenesi”. Manerba’s green hills with its olive trees and vineyards offer a pleasant panorama. It offers a holiday with a lot of opportunities: historical, artistic,archaeological, nature, wine and food trails, bicycle paths and spaces to relax and enjoy. Among Manerba’s beauties are the 12 Kilometre beaches that offer a variety of trails always with views of the lake, the mountains and the green fields.
- WHAT TO SEE IN MANERBA DEL GARDA
In Manerba there are a lot of churches with frescos which give witness to its religious and artistic traditions. Through excavation, emerged the structure of one of the most important castles in the Brescia area during the Middle Ages, the Rocca. The remains of a Roman villa are located on the south-western slopes of the promontory, and this site can probably be connected to a necropolis excavated in the area during the late 1800′s. The area around the Sasso on the other hand bears traces of a Mesolithic settlement (8000-5000 BC) found close to what remains of a small morainic lake that was artificially drained in the 17th century. Lastly, descending to the lake via a steep footpath one comes to ‘Riparo Valtenesi’, where the discovery of group burials dating to the Copper Age is testimony to the sacred nature of the Rocca over the millennia. On the Rocca, varying landscape, soil and climatic conditions have favoured the diffusion of an enormous variety of Mediterranean essences and botanical rarities (among them splendid wild orchids) that make this vast park, covering roughly 90 hectares, an oasis of naturalistic wonder with spectacular views of the lake. The archaeological museum inside is worth seeing. The churches, with many frescos which testify centuries old religious and cultural traditions. are worth seeing: Church Santa Maria in Valtenesi – Pieve or mother church of all churches and chapels, both in Manerba and in Valtenesi. It is called “Pieve Vecchia”, dedicated to “S. Maria di Tenesi”, the original place-name of the whole hill area. Its first foundation, with the annexed font, goes back to the early Christian age. Its full functionality is already documented in the Middle Ages. The existing structure can be dated back to the 11th/12th century. Parish Church Santa Maria Assunta - It succeeded “Pieve Vecchia” as new parish church. The foundation stone was laid on 20th January 1746. The church is in neoclassical style and has a remarkable artistic value. The architectural complex is spacious and solemn, the façade is imposing. The great inner nave is embellished by a precious polychromatic marble altar, great paintings and high sculptures. In the wall, at the end of the apse, there is the niche keeping the precious wooden statue of the Madonna with Child, transferred from the old Pieve and object of the age-long devotion of the believers of the community. Other little churches are the Church San Bernardo, Church Santa Lucia, Church Santa Caterina, Church San Giorgio and Church SS. Trinità.
- WHAT TO DO IN MANERBA DEL GARDA
Rich in verdant hills, paths, olive groves and vineyards, Manerba is certainly the ideal place for the lovers of nature, sport and outdoor excursions. Every excursionist can walk freely by letting himself guide by the network of different trails and paths in search of always new panoramic perspectives. The Natural Park of the Rocca di Manerba holds a unique variety of vegetation like in a treasure chest: plants from different climatic areas that grow together, encouraged by the reassuring presence of the lake. Manerba in Bici is an innovative bike sharing service of Manerba del Garda. An automatic system of public bike sharing which allows you to move easily benefiting from the first free use hour. The service is dedicated to residents, tourists and visitors. Among the natural beauties of Manerba we have to mention the several beaches that offer for almost 12 km an extraordinary variety of stretches with new perspectives towards the lake, the mountains and the green fields. Beach of Romantica – It is the largest and most famous beach in Manerba. It starts from porto Torchio and reaches the boundary with San Felice. It was the first beach to be used by tourists in the 1950′s. Close by there are bars, restaurants and shops. This beach is embellished by a simple but functional promenade dedicated to Maurizio Olivari, a late young artist from Manerba. It is a quiet way which can be used by families: on one side the beautiful blue lake, on other side the green fields and camping sites. This beach is very beautiful also in autumn and spring, since it has an eastern exposure and it is kissed by the sun all day long. This enchanting beach is located between the “Isola dei Conigli” and the Rocca. It opens out before our eyes as a wide green-blue hollow, with a very quiet atmosphere and clear water. The trails, which leads through the whole Nature Park of Rocca, start from the parking-place of the beach, included one of the most picturesque parts of the trail N. 801 CAI. A zone banned to boats (marked with yellow buoys) has been established in order to safeguard bathers. This beach is exposed to the north. Dusano – The beach of Dusano, recently widened, has a particular charm as it is located close to the old small harbour, so dear to the old fishers. The view from the lake is wide, with the peninsula of Sirmione, the Mount Baldo and other Veronese mountains. The rocky wall lying at the back, with the picturesque waterfall of Rio Morele, appears looming. A trail starts nearby and, skirting the whole rocky ridge, reaches the top of Sasso with unique broad views. The south-eastern exposure is good. Sasso – The beach of Sasso is located inside the Natural Park of Rocca. It is a marvellous place with not too much space, but immersed in an uncontaminated nature. It is certainly the most beautiful beach in Manerba, with very clear waters thanks to the rocky bottom only few meters far from the shore. The trails in the area are wonderful. The beach is exposed to the south and suffers a little from the high overhanging cliff, a highly demanding climbing wall. The so called “bus della paùl” ends up on the beach and in summer it can be visited with CAI guides. S. Sivino – Scasöla – Zocco - A long tract of beach stretches in the boundary area between Manerba and Moniga. This area is identified by the people from Manerba with three names. The tract starting from porto Dusano is called “Zocco”, the one that leads to Moniga is the beach of San Sivino, while the small tract linking the other two is called with the dialectal word “Scasöla”. Important archaeological lake-dwelling finds contribute to embellish the natural beauty of the area. In some tracts the water is particularly clear thanks to the rocky bottom and to the currents. The beach is exposed to the south. Beaches are well equipped, where you can rent pedal boats and windsurf boards. The idyllic island „Isola San Biagio“ or „Isola dei Conigli“ is one of the most popular destinations of excursion. Fine hotels, camping grounds, and apartments that make a stay in Manerba a complete and unforgettable experience. The territory of Manerba offers products of excellent quality such as extra-vergin olive oil, wine and local dishes. The cultivation of olive trees has a long tradition on lake Garda and in Valtenesi. The particular microclimate of the lake, in fact, makes this oil unique and fine, excellent to flavour salads and to exalt the taste of meat and fish. Also the viticulture and the production of wine trace their origins in a distant past. The wonderful hills of Valtenesi, with the mild climate influenced by the lake, represent the productive heart of high-quality wines such as: Garda Classico Bianco Doc, Garda Classico Rosso and Rosso Superiore Doc, Garda Classico Chiaretto Doc, Garda Classico Groppello e Groppello Riserva Doc. Some typical dishes of our territory, related to a long tradition of farmers and fishers: spiedo (pieces of meat – pork, chicken and small birds – alternated with potatoes and sage, spitted with particular sticks and cooked slowly with butter, for some hours in a particular tool) with the inevitablepolenta; lake fish: grilled pike and whitefish,pilchards “en saor”;local salami and other tasty dishes of the tradition of Brescia. Those who love eating good foods won’t be disappointed. There are many places, that as a tradition, give value to the genuineness and the quality of simple products such as oil, wine, freshwater fish, vegetables, truffle and honey. We have to remember that during the year, very important national and international events will take place such as carnival, the international classical music festival called “Armonie sotto la rocca” (Harmonies beneath the fortress), markets selling typical products, sport events and meetings concerning the gourmet cuisine like the white fish festival. So there are many opportunities for tourists who want to pass a day or their holiday in Manerba.