La Rocca di Manerba ☀️ Lake Garda
- Category What see Lake Garda and Verona
Historical notes, what to see and do at Rocca del Garda.Number of views: 5434
- How to get to the Rocca
- History of the Rocca di Manerba
- Walk to the Rocca di Manerba
- The Rocca Park: nature reserve
- The Rocca Museum
- The legend of the Rocca
How to get to the Rocca
The Rocca di Manerba is located on a rocky spur overlooking Lake Garda and is very easy to reach by car from the center of Manerba del Garda.
The car park is a few meters from the top, on which, in a spectacular position, are the remains of the castle known as "Rocca", surmounted by a large cross.
The fortress can be accessed via the path that crosses the park, cuts across the "Sasso" plateau and climbs up to the ruins of the castle.
In this case, you can park near the Bar in Via Agello.
History of the Rocca di Manerba
The archaeological excavations in the Sasso area, an area below the Rocca, exposed to the wind and interrupted by a cliff overlooking the lake, with a drop of 150 meters, have been found traces of a Mesolithic of humans about 8000 to 5000 years ago.
During the archaeological research, three circuits of defense walls dating back to between the 12th and 13th centuries came to light, the innermost of which encloses the top of the Rocca.
Within the outer walls, excavations have identified a stratigraphic sequence that goes from the Lagozza culture (4000 BC) to the medieval fortification from which the site takes its name.
Numerous archaeological finds demonstrate the presence of Etruscan settlements, the Cenomanian Gauls and the Romans.
In 776 the Rocca was the last bastion of resistance of the Lombards to the Franks of Charlemagne, who, a century later, donated the surrounding land and on the shores of the lake to the monks of San Zeno di Verona.
Over time, the Rocca was owned by the Scaligeri, the Visconti and finally the Venetian Republic.
The last medieval structure was destroyed in 1574, by order of the Serenissima because it became an impregnable fortress for outlaws.
Walk to the Rocca di Manerba
On the top of the Rocca, thanks to archaeological and environmental restoration and enhancement works, it is possible to see the remains of the ancient medieval castle and other ancient structures accessible through a steep asphalted road, closed to traffic in the last stretch after the Parking area.
The path through perimeter walls, stairways and wooden bridges is marked by descriptive notice boards and offers truly splendid panoramic points with a 360 degree view of Lake Garda.
The ruins, in the inland part, decline towards a meadow that offers hospitality and rest to visitors.
Furthermore, from the Rocca you can also reach a splendid beach.
The Rocca Park: nature reserve
On the side of the ruins overlooking the lake, a steep and partly difficult path leads down to the Parco della Rocca di Manerba.
Also accessible from below, a large beautiful plateau covered by woods and meadows of 90 hectares that include the Rocca itself and the entire coastal stretch called the Rocca and Sasso Archaeological Natural Park.
In the woods that cover a large part of the Park territory, all the native trees and bushes are represented, such as the Black Hornbeam, the Downy Oak, the Holly, the Honeysuckle and the Hellebore which coexist with trees and bushes typical of the Mediterranean Macchia.
The Rocca Museum
The Visitor Center of the Archaeological Naturalistic Park of the Rocca di Manerba del Garda also houses the Civic Archaeological Museum of Valtenesi in its current exhibition venue (near the parking lot under the Rocca).
On the ground floor the follow the archaeological path, with bilingual panels (in Italian and English) through a choice of finds displayed in display cases, which illustrates the settlements of the multi-layered site of the Rocca and of the Sasso, that of the Pieve di S. Maria and the one by the lake, with the remains of a pile-dwelling settlement from the Bronze Age.
The legend of the Rocca
An ancient legend tells that a very ferocious wolf lived on the cliff of Manerba, occupying a cave overlooking the lake, preventing anyone from approaching.
After several attempts of capture, the inhabitants placed a price on the wolf's head and among the young people who showed up, three were chosen: a young man from Moniga, one from Raffa and one from the old Pieve.
The young man from Moniga, a hunter, tried to lure the wolf with a live bait, but was unsuccessful and ended up being pushed off the high cliffs.
Raffa, a fisherman, tried to catch the wolf with a large net but it too ended up like the other.
The young man from the Pieve, a farmer, after calling the wolf with fake howls, faced the beast by raising a cross, shouting to retreat.
Miraculously the wolf retreated until he fell off the cliff and died.
It is said that, while the people of Manerba celebrated the winner, erecting a large cross on the top of the Rocca, in the lake the bodies of the two unfortunate young men were transformed into two large rocks in the lake.
✅ Lungo Lago Spiaggia Romantica (Manerba del Garda) - go to the beach
✅ Spiaggia "Pisenze" (Manerba del Garda) - go to the beach
✅ Spiaggia della Rocca (Manerba del Garda) - go to the beach
➡️ Mappa delle Spiagge del Lago di Garda