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The Bastione

The Bastione, in grey stone, situated at the foot of Mount Rocchetta, is one Riva del Garda’s symbols, dominion of the city and the Lake Garda. It was built in the early XVI century, when the Venetian domination over Riva ceased, to guarantee more security to the underlying village and its inhabitants. It was destroyed in 1703 by the French troops under leadership of general Vendôme undermining the main body and making it unusable. It’s a few minutes walk from the port of Riva, along a road that winds through the black pinewood of Rocchetta. The Bastionehas recently been restored, supervised by the Architectural Heritage Office of the Autonomous Province of Trento. An information office in adjacent rooms documents the findings and the works carried out.


Dates back to the agreement made in 1124 with the bishop Altemanno when the citizens of Riva were granted the right to build a new fortress on the lake shore. The course of history has left its mark on la Rocca which has been altered over th time. In the early 16 century, it was refurbished to make it a fitting temporary residence of the bishop princes. It underwent a radical th transformation in the mid-19 century, when it was turned into an Austro-Hungarian barracks and lost all its medieval and renaissance features. Recent restoration work has revealed some of the original structures and made it a suitable home for the museum. The view from the keep is truly magnificent.

Opening times (2017):

January 7th > March 18th: closed

March 19th > May 31st:  10.00 am – 6.00 pm (closed on mondays)

June 1st > September 30th: 10.00 am – 6.00 pm (open every day)

October 1st > November 5th: 10.00 am – 6.00 pm (closed on mondays)

November  6th > December 26th: closed

December 27th > December 30th:  10.00 am – 6.00 pm

December 31st: 10.00 am – 5.00 pm

January 1st (2018): closed

January 2nd (2018) > January 6th (2018):  10.00 am – 6.00 pm

Riva del Garda Museum

This museum houses the historical and cultural heritage of Riva and the Alto Garda. It is home to the permanent sections on Art Gallery, Archaeology and History as wellas hosting temporary exhibitions and the workshop-itinerary INvento for children and families. There is a beautiful view from the top of the Keep. The archaeological section includes standing stones from the Copper Age found at Arco, signs of the piledwellingculture of Ledro, as well as pre-Roman and Roman finds, and inscriptions of the Alto Garda.The art gallery displays works from the 15th century to the modernday: works of the 15th century FW monogrammist, Pietro Ricchi (17th century), Francesco Hayez,Vincenzo Vela, Giuseppe Canella (19th century).

Don’t miss out:

The archaeological section of the Museum houses one of the most important collections in the province with the most significant finds unearthed in the Alto Garda area which is particularly rich in its archaeological heritage. Highlights include ancient flint artifacts from Monte Baldo which date back to Neanderthal man and the piledwellings of Ledro and Fiavé, not to mention statue-steles from the Copper Age in Arco. There are also major finds from the Roman period such as the place of worshipin Monte San Martino and finds from the historic centre of Riva del Garda and the outstanding thermal baths in via Pilati.

Opening Times:

January 7th > March 11th 2016: closed

March 12th 2016 > May 31st:  10.00 am – 6.00 pm (closed on mondays)

June 1st > September 30th: 10.00 am – 6.00 pm (open every day)

October 1st > November 1st: 10.00 am – 6.00 pm (closed on mondays)

November  2nd > December 26th: closed

December 27th > December 30th:  10.00 am – 6.00 pm

January 2nd > January 6th:  10.00 am – 6.00 pm

December 31st: 10.00 am – 5.00 pm

January 1st: closed

Archeological Sites on Mount Saint Martino

On one of the offshoots of Mount Saint Martino (850 mt), above the village of Campi, you can find the Saint Martino archaeological site. The most important finding consists of the ruins of a large building, most likely a sanctuary where female divinities were worshipped, constructed on the remains where former cult rituals used to take place. Despite the location’s age, set between the second to fourth centuries after Christ, the frequency of religious visits to the mountain, after the Romans, extended well into the Middle Ages. The findings of this area are preserved in Museum of Riva; some copies can be visit in the Centro di Documentazione di Pranzo di Tenno.

Stelae Statues

Eight marvellous examples of prehistoric anthropomorphic statues, seven made of marble and one from local stone, the tallest of which is 215 centimetres high. The statues were found in Arco and are of male, female and asexual figures, often with ornaments, clothing, anatomical details and even weapons, in particular triangulardaggers which make it possible to date them to the Copper Age (first half of the 3rd millennium BC).

Who were the figures represented in these stelae statues? A number of theories have been put forward but the most credible identifies them with mythical ancestors who, with their simple but imposing presence, justified theacquisition of power by a particular social group. So they must basically have been a means of establishing social identity, probably erected in locations of strategicimportance and ritual significance.

Mount Brione Fortresses

The Brione has always attracted Man’s attention for its position on Lake Garda, a real promontory of the lake. The story of the defence works of this mount begins in early times, in times of the Counts of Arco.  February 21, 1175 the brothers Fedrico and Odorico d’Arco assigned to their vassal, Isolano da Nago, the Brione Castle and some olive groves; but only in the Habsburg period the semicircular mount has an unimaginable expansion. The assassination of Francesco Ferdinando and spouse in Sarajevo, 28 June 1914, makes a very deep impression on the European public opinion, but in spite of this event The Regional Austrian Imperial Government had already taken steps to fortify the Festungsabscnitt, that is, the southern fortified area overlooking Lake Garda. The first fortifying phase coincides with  the defence plan made by General Kuhn von Kuhnenfeld, the day after the loss of Lombardia, after the Second Independence War. Between 1860 and 1862  the construction of the fortresses on Mount Brione started. Actually Garibaldi’s raid consolidates the suspicion about the Italian advance of the Val di Ledro towards Riva and Trento.

Like the evolvement of military technology between the end of the nineteenth century and halfway the first World War, also the building technique of the fortresses underwent architectural evolvement and Brione serves as a model, because here we find all Austrian-Hungarian generations of defence works. A unique example, still existing. The fortified works of Brione consist in: the fortress St.Nicolò, fortress Garda, the Batteria di Mezzo, the fortress St.Alessandro and an impressive series of emplacements disseminated on the mountain and they really make it an invincible fortress.

Piazza III Novembre

Formerly called Piazza Granda and then Piazza Benacense, this piazza is the heart of both the old and modern town. It is the location for the Office of the Podestà and the Town Hall, the Torre Apponale and some houses of the nobility. The arcades dating back to the period of Scaligera rule, which close off the piazza towards the harbour and the lake, used to house the markets and shops.

Convent of Saint Francis of Assisi

All that remains of the old convent is the cloister and the squat belfry of the th church which was demolished at the beginning of the 20 century. Probably th built in the 12 century, it was home for centuries to the followers of Saint Francis of Assisi. From 1808 onwards, it experienced many historical upheavals and underwent a series of architectural modifications, becoming first a barracks and then being converted into public offices.

Palazzo Pretorio

Probably built in the 14 century by the Scaligeri family. Under the loggia, justice was dealt and the Provveditore, or magistrate, enforced the statutes of the town. The east wall bears the arms of the bishop prince Giorgio of Neideck. It dates back to 1509, the date which marks the end of the Venetian domination.

Giardini Verdi

The park was built at the beginning of the 20 century, adding to the charms of a town which was growing thanks to the impetus of tourism and the Belle Époque. In more recent times, a Roman sarcophagus was moved here when it came to light during the reconstruction of houses on the perimeter of the park.

Town Hall

For centuries, this building has housed the Town Hall. The inscription which can still be read on the facade made from local stone commemorates its construction or perhaps its extension by the Venetian Provveditore Francesco Tron in the year 1476. It was raised and joined to the Palazzo Pretorio in th the mid-19 century.

The Inviolata Church

This church is the most famous monument in Riva. It was built in 1603 and it was consecrated in 1636 commissioned by Gaudenzio Madruzzo and his wife Alfonsina Gonzaga as a place of pilgrimage, keeping a miraculous shrine. The church is in an elegant Baroque style. On the outside it is square shaped , on the inside octagonal with five altars, three gates, vaults with frescos and stuccoes, confessionals in carved wood and marble pavements. The painting behind the high altar represents the image of the Miraculous Madonna; In the choir we find frescos and elegant carved choir stalls with Biblical scenes. The altar pieces are painted  by Palma il Giovane and represent S. Carlo Borromeo and S. Gerolamo. The oil paintings on the wall are painted by Pietro Ricchi, called the Lucchese, those on the cone-shaped vault are attributed to Teofilo Polacco. The white, black and gilded stuccoes are Davide Reti’s work (1609) whose signature you can find entering the main entrance door, on the right. It was incorporated to the Gerolimini Convent (until 1807), then to the Friars Minor Conventual (1816-1848) and then again (from 1877) to the Istituto del Sacro Cuore di Gesù. Today it is municipal property.

SS. Rocco and Vigilio Church

The small church SS. Rocco and Vigilio was built in 1512 and devastated, except the apse, in the first World War. In the niche of the marble altar we find the statue of St. Rocco: In the dome you can admire the frescos, stuccoes and puttos. On the left a memorial plague reminds the Archbishop of Riva, Don Giuseppe Ciolli di Stenico, who died in 1883. Next to the small church you find a war memorial in bronze (S. Zaniboni). Near the “burned door”, there are Veronese inscriptions dating back to 1383 and reminding the construction of the castle’s aqueducts administered by the Veronese Stefano de Picardi and governor Antonio della Scala.

Santa Barbara Church

The small Saint Barbara Church (m 625 – h 1,45 from Riva del Garda), was built in 1935 by the miners that worked on the conduits of the Ponale plant. It is situated in a horrid and daring but panoramic position, on the rocks of Mount Rocchetta where the penstocks of the Ponale plant began.

Fraglia della Vela and Spiaggia degli Olivi

This complex was designed in the 1930s by Giancarlo Maroni, the architect of D’Annunzio’s Vittoriale. La Spiaggia degli Olivi was a chic high society meeting place and a bathing amenity for guests and residents. La Fraglia della Vela was built as a headquarters for the sailing club which still runs it. The name Fraglia della Vela, or Sailing Fraternity, was suggested by d’Annunzio himself since it recalled the medieval guilds.