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Historical Places

Villa Bettoni, commissioned by Giandomenico Bettoni, was built at the beginning of the eighteenth century by the architect Adriano Cristofori. Giovanni Battista Locatelli raised a balustrade with two statues, representing mytologist divinities and adorning the main part of the building. Right in the centre of the palace, a roomy hall divides the wings of the villa. The interior of the palace shows some frescos painted by Beniamino and Fabrizio Galliari as well as other works forming a baroque picture-gallery...

The building is surrrounded by a marvellous garden in the Italian style characterized by a great exedra, a nymphaeum and two flowerbeds. Some lemon-houses and the beautiful park are at the back of the garden.
The Sarcophagus by Argilo from Gargnano (1302) made of red porphyry, is situated at the entrance of the chief town and bears the following Latin sepulchral inscription: "This monument belongs to dominus Argilo from Gargnano and to his heirs".

Nowadays it is a branch of the Palazzo Feltrinelli was built between 1898 and 1899 and planned by Alberico Belgioioso, even though some sources attribute it to Francesco Solmi. Further to its employment during the Italian Social Republic (from 1943 through 1945), the building has assumed a great historical importance. Like other buildings from the Gargnano and the Garda area, the palace was afterwards requisitioned by the Fascist government and became Benito Mussolini's headquarters.e University of Milan used as an international congress centre where students from all over the world attend Italian training courses during the summer season.

Villa Feltrinelli was instead built between 1892 and 1899 and planned by Francesco Solmi or by Alberico Belgioioso according to different opinions. The front facing the lake is the most sumptuous part of the villa; the park situated on the back is instead rich in precious aboreal essences.
From October 1943 through April 1945 Benito Mussolini lived here together with his family. Some ministries of the Social Republic are located not far from Villa Feltrinelli among Gargnano, Toscolano Maderno and Salò. The building is nowadays a prestigious Villa-Hotel.

 


Spiritual Places

The small Church of S.Giacomo from Calì is probably the most ancient building of Gargnano. It is located on the lake-shore and consists of a Romanesque chapel of great artistic importance and some frescos dating back to the XIII century. The resort is named after a cinquecento wooden statue representing S.Giacomo, which rises inside the villa. The present door as well as the two small square windows date back to the sixteenth century; S.Carlo Borromeo made them open in August 1950 during his Apostolic Visit.The Church of S.Francesco (1289) rises at the entrance of Gargnano...

The façade, in shape of a hub, houses a votive statue (1301) representing S. Antonio from Padova.
The Cloister built in the first half of the fourteenth century, stands nearby the curch.

The capitals represent citrons and lemons whose cultivation was introduced by the Grey Friars. The Cloister preserves two ancient traces of the Roman period: a gravestone (discovered in 1837) dedicated to Nettuno and a small altar dedicated to the local divinity Revino. The popular devotion characterizes the village: votive aedicules, small holy pictures and murals can be found everywhere and represent a frequent feature for those living in the Gargnano area.

The parish Church of S.Martino, 1837, planned by Rodolfo Vantini, an architect from Brescia, reminds of imposing heathen temples because of its elliptic shape. The interior of the church houses the "Last Dinner", a painting by the school of Veronese, as well as other pictures by Giovanni Andrea Betanza, Andrea Celesti, G.Bettino Cignaroli and some works by the Lombard school dating back to the XI century.

The Church of Santa Trinità, known as Santuario del Crocefisso, dates back to the eighteenth century and preserves 24 processional posts beearing the symbols of the Passion of Christ carved in wood. A procession in the Crocefisso Miracoloso's honour passes through the villages of the Parish every five years. The Eremo of S.Valentino (772 mt in height) is situated in a privileged location facing the Garda lake. It is a thanks from some inhabitants from the Gargnano area who came through the Black Death occurred in 1630. The following places deserve to be remembered: the Santella of via Forni, the Churches of S. Pier D'Agrino and the Santuario del Crocefisso.