Travel Guide of Toscolano Maderno, Lombardy, Italy

Toscolano Maderno is an Italian town located on western shore of Lake Garda, in the province of Brescia in Lombardy. It is part of the Alto Garda Bresciano regional park. Tourism, especially in Maderno, is frequent in summer, thanks to the beautiful landscapes that the lakefront offers. Many define it as the best glimpse of Lake Garda due to the water that surrounds both countries.

Located on the delta of the Toscolano stream in a beautiful and sunny position, homeland of fishermen with two small welcoming and beautiful gulfs, ideal for lovers of sailing, fishing and all sports related to water, and the beautiful hills and mountains behind.

Maderno can boast a beautiful, large and well-served beach, like anAdriatic beach, while Toscolano is famous for its large and shady campsites close to the beach.Those who love shopping stalls shouldn’t miss the Thursday morning market. Bed and Breakfast and fully equipped campsites by the lake. In Toscolano Maderno, on the western shore of Lake Garda, you can find accommodation for every taste and possibility. Hotel luxury spa with an attached, or cheap hotels.

Taste the old and healthy cuisine in one of the many typical restaurants that offer recipes based on fish from the lake, trout, bleak (aole), sardines, eels, pike and other salmonids. Typical is the Carpione, which the fishermen of a few centuries ago, had to hand over to the Venetian Republic by law, destined for the Doge’s table. The carpione, which has become a preparation for preserving various fish (with vinegar and vegetables), is the starter par excellence of Lake Garda.

On summer evenings Maderno, like the neighboring towns of Garda, organizes parties and events on the lakefront in the large green area of the former Equestrian Field. On the other hand, those who want to spend a slightly quieter evening can enjoy a good aperitif at sunset in one of the many lakeside bars. The “Vittoriale degli Italiani”, in addition to being a place of historical and artistic interest, every year offers from its stage under the stars and with the lake background, Operettas, Ballets, Classical and Modern Comedy, Concerts and Folklore for the whole summer.

This area of the Riviera is also very happy from a naturalistic point of view and offers the visitor countless opportunities to practice sporting activities from trekking, to horse riding, to golf.

The two towns of ancient Roman origin of Toscolano and Maderno, count on various commercial and tourist-hotel activities, as well as industrial ones. Toscolano, in particular, boasts Roman origins, testified by the remains of a large villa of which, today, parts of the floor decorated with mosaics can be seen and which would have belonged to the Brescia consul Marco Nonio Macrino.

The municipality of Toscolano Maderno represents an important historical and economic reality in the Riviera dei Limoni e dei Castelli. These places were the cradle of Italian paper production, which is still very active today; the ruins of the ancient factories – one of which has recently been converted into a museum – dot the Valle delle Cartiere, one of the most interesting industrial archeology routes in Northern Italy. In the final part of the Toscolano river valley, starting from 1300 the paper industry developed, one of the first and most important places in Europe. This is why this section of the valley is called the “valley of the paper mills”.

Both in Maderno and in Toscolano the testimonies of artistic value concern above all the basins of the respective squares, rich in churches of ancient origins. The parish church of Toscolano, founded in 1571 and dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul, was for a long time the summer seat of the diocese of Brescia. It contains an important pictorial cycle by the Venetian artist Andrea Celesti.

The industrial origins of Toscolano Maderno date back to 1300 in the locality of “Camerate” where the first paper factory was built. A preserved notarial document dated 17 October 1381 regulating the subdivision and use of the river waters in nine points. In the fifteenth century, establishments have been documented in numerous locations. From the lake to the interior of the so-called Valley of the paper mills and until the 16th century the area was of primary importance among the territories of the Republic of Venice.

The municipalities of Toscolano and Maderno became the first paper center thanks to the excellent quality of the paper produced, very clear, resistant and suitable for printing. Toscolano and Maderno were among the first and most important places of production in Europe. The paper industry in Toscolano and Maderno continued to flourish. There are documents from 1608 that count as many as 160 “paper wheels” scattered on the banks of the Toscolano stream.

This flourishing period ended with the arrival of the plague epidemic which in the mid- seventeenth century led to the collapse of almost all paper activity. The laborit was decimated, given that about half of the inhabitants of Toscolano and Maderno perished, and the paper mills were abandoned, also for the belief that rags, raw material for the production of paper, were a vehicle of contagion.

It is not until the beginning of the 18th century for the area to be repopulated, the professional figures and the conditions to start producing again. At the end of the 18th century, however, at the dawn of industrialization, the paper makers of Toscolano, too tied to artisanal methods, in then was outdated, were reluctant to introduce innovative machinery, were unable to keep up with the times, and walked the away from an inevitable decline that during the nineteenth century led to the closure of numerous paper mills.

On 5 November 1905 the Andrea Maffizzoli and F.lli Maffizzoli companies merged into a new company. The purpose of the new company is to expand the paper machine activity in the two factories as well as to build a large plant in the “Capra” area of Toscolano, with the most modern appliances also for the preparation of wood pulp in way to increase production and use of labor. Work on the new “Capra” plant began in 1906 and ended in 1910. This paper millit is still in operation although the heavy modifications and improvements carried out over the decades have completely upset the ancient historical artifact. Today the paper mill is part of the Burgo Group company.

With the end of the last world war, tourism in Maderno had a notable development. New hotels were renovated and built. From 1945 the town shart to welecome of large number of tourists. But the town can not only rely on tourism, so tourism has become one of the main economic activities together with that of the paper industry.

Main Attractions
Tourism, especially in Maderno, is frequent in summer, thanks to the beautiful landscapes that the lakefront offers. Many define it as the best glimpse of Lake Garda due to the water that surrounds both countries.

Roman ruins
Toscolano is remembered, in particular, because in the first century AD the noble Roman family of the Nonii built a beautiful villa near the entrance to the paper mill. It would have been owned by the Roman consul Marco Nonio Macrino. Today you can still admire the ruins and mosaic floors that came to light in 1967 following the excavation work for the installation of the sewer. Inside the park of the Roman villa there were two temples: one dedicated to Jupiter, on whose ruins the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Benaco was built.

Romanesque church of Maderno
The time of its construction is uncertain. It is assumed that it was built between the 8th and 12th centuries. How uncertain is its origin. Scholars claim that it was built on the foundations of a pagan temple, dedicated to Apollo. This temple was demolished after 415 AD following the decrees of the emperor Honorius which established the elimination of pagan times. The church is dedicated to Sant’Andrea.

Supina sanctuary
On the land called Supina stands the Sanctuary of Supina erected at the end of the 15th century. Dedicated to the Virgin of the Annunciation, it is an example of late fifteenth-century religious architecture.

Church of Sant’Ercolano
On the lakefront the 18th-century Church of Sant’Ercolano which preserves paintings by Palma il Giovane and Paolo Veronese. The 16th-century Cathedral which houses paintings by Andrea Celesti. Maderno is linked to the memory of the Bishop of Brescia S. Ercolano, who lived in the sixth century. He took refuge in a cave near Campione del Garda, for penance or because he was persecuted. When he died his remains were disputed among the inhabitants of the Riviera so, according to legend, they were placed in a boat that was abandoned at the mercy of the waves and the wind. The next day this boat landed in the Gulf of Maderno. In 1455 he was recognized as protector of the entire Riviera.

Parish church of Toscolano
The parish church of Toscolano, founded in 1571 and dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul, was for a long time the summer seat of the diocese of Brescia. It contains an important pictorial cycle by the Venetian artist Andrea Celesti.

Parish church of Maderno
On the place where the parish church of Maderno now stands, a castle with four towers stood since the Middle Ages. The use of the foundations of the castle determines the curious alignment of the current parish church. In fact, the apse is not oriented to the east but to the south. Of the four towers of the previous castle only the current bell tower remains. Subsequently the palace began to go into ruins until June 25, 1645 when a terrible fire destroyed it completely. Only a century later the construction of the new parish church began, which was only completed in 1825.

Sanctuary of Santa Maria del Benaco
The Sanctuary of Santa Maria del Benaco, a seventeenth-century building inside which presents the Romanesque columns of the pre-existing temple dedicated to Jupiter, nearby are the remains of an ancient villa of which some fragments of frescoes and mosaic flooring are visible.

Other well-known attractions:
Comboni Palace: Comboni Palace with Rococo-style stucco decorations.
Villa Bettoni:The 18th-century Villa Bettoni which houses an appreciable art collection and the beautiful garden that surrounds it.
Botanical Garden: The varieties of exotic plants of the Botanical Garden and the Valle delle Cartiere are interesting.

Maderno campsite
Maderno campsite located in the municipality of Toscolano, it enjoys a privileged position in front of Lake Garda. With its direct access to the lake beach, its green space and its peaceful environment. Enjoy the friendly atmosphere on the premises to relax and participate in the various activities on offer. Children have access to a safe playground while adults can play boules or just relax. Head to the beach to cool off in the turquoise waters or bask in the white sand. In high season, take advantage of the daily meals to let off steam and meet other campers.