Explore the beautiful, medieval town that surrounds a natural lake alongside stunning architecture like the historic castles in Malcesine. Tucked away on the shores of Lake Garda, Malcesine folds around the spectacular Scalinger Castle, with Monte Baldo providing an impressive backdrop. You can get the best views by taking a cable car to the top, discovering the beautiful 13th century National Monument, Palazzo dei Capitani, before heading back down to laze on Lake Garda’s golden beaches. Holidaymakers to Malcesine can also wander the cobbled streets of the Old Town and admire its old buildings and shops, or stroll around the pretty lake and port. For an inspiring glimpse into Malcesine’s rich history and fascinating culture, be sure to explore its stately castles.
Scalinger Castle leads the way for castles in Malcesine, adorned with its high tower, it overlooks the town from a rock spur. Enjoy panoramic views of beautiful Malcesine from the castle’s tower and from the Rivellino viewing platform. Originally destroyed in 590 AD and then rebuilt, it’s changed hands several times and is now under Venetian ownership. Since 1902 it’s been declared a National Monument.
One of the most impressive castles in Malcesine is Scalinger Castle, which houses the Natural History Museum on its ground floor. It’s packed with interactive arts and shows to entertain the whole family. Through the tour, visitors can take in views of the lake and mountains, in addition to enjoying the works of author and artist Goethe. The Rivellino courtyard presents beautiful views of Malcesine and Lake Garda, as well as hosting civil ceremonies. The Lacaor area is said to be the oldest protohistoric settlement in Malcesine. Later owners have added their own unique touches too, and you can see some exceptional frescoes and murals decorating the walls. Climb the 31m tower that dominates the Malcesine skyline, and take in the views of the town and the lake below.
Castles around Malcesine and Lake Garda
Other castles in Malcesine and the Lake Garda area include the ancient ruins of Drena Castle, dating back to the Middle Ages. The Castle of Arco on the River Sarco was the home of the Arco family, and forms one of the characteristic elements of the Garda Trentino landscape. Tenno Castle beside Lake Garda is renowned for its battlements, unique decoration and small village. Penede Castle ruins surround the mighty rock overlooking Lake Garda and date back to Roman times. It’s famous for its panoramic views over Lake Garda below.
There are also some remains of castles in Malcesine including the remarkable 16th century Torre di Guaita, perched on a limestone rock. Rocca Castle on Riva del Garda dates back to 1124, when the Riva citizens were granted permission by the archbishop to build a fortress on the lake shores. It’s since been used as a royal residence and army barracks, but is now restored as a museum with fantastic views from its keep. The Bastione is one of Riva del Garda’s symbols and all the castles in Malcesine and the Lake Garda area depict tales from long ago and glimpses into its rich and inspiring history.