Bob & Jeanie

Malcesine is situated on the eastern shores of lake Garda, about 3/4 of the way up. Lake Garda is the largest of Italys lakes being 31 miles long and 11 miles wide at the southern end. Malcesine is one of the oldest towns on the lake and was one of the earliest fishing settlements, dating from circa 357BC. The old original name of the town in the local dialect was "Mannes selices" which translates colloquially to "The town under the big bad rock". The "Bad rock" being the large limestone promontory where the castle stands. The town originally had its own currency which was recognised and accepted by the Romans who dominated from about AD200 and built the old town walls, parts of which still remain.

Bob & Jeanie

Malcesine’s castle dates from Roman times, the outer part being built as a fortress in the early 3rd century. The outer walls with the squared battlements are the original Roman ramparts. The inner keep was built much later in the 12th century by the “Della Scalas”, the Veronese feudal barons who ruled from the 11th until the late 14th centuries. The central tower is Venetian, built in the 15th century. Malcesine is protected from bad weather by the Baldo mountains to the east and is kept warm in the winter by the lake which is so deep (1185ft at Casteletto) that it retains an average temperature of 4 degrees centigrade. Even in the summer!

Bob & Jeanie

In August it sometimes reaches the high teens at the surface, but not often, and in winter it helps to prevent frost and ice from forming. We seldom get any snow, maybe once every five or six years. This year, in January 2006 it snowed for one day only and then melted away again, just like that!. Good job we had the camera handy!

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How to get here

To reach Malcesine, take the Brennero motorway, exiting at Rovereto Sud or Affi and then follow the signs to "Lake Garda" or if coming from the Milan-Venice motorway, exit at peschiera and continue along the eastern shores of Lake Garda.