The Battle of San Martino-Solferino was one of the bloodiest battles of the 19th century. On June 24th  1859 Napolean 3rds French army and  the glorious Piemotese army, commanded by King Vittorio Emanuele II, was able to inflict a heavy defeat on the Austrians in the Italian War of Independance. It was after this fierce battle that Jean-Henry Dunant, on visiting the battlefield that evening and hearing the moans of the dying, which led to the creation of the International Red Cross.

Between 1880 and 1893 the architect Frizzoni of Bergamo and the engineers Monterumici and Knights, built a tower to commemorate the battle and the dead. The Tower Of San Martino della Battaglia stands 74m high and the beautiful panoramic view from the top sweeps from the bottom of Lake Garda from Desenzano to Sirmione, Peschiera round to Lazise, Bardolino and Garda, taking in the whole valley up to the Mincio Valeggio.

Throughout August many events have been planned to provide memories of the battle, with wine tasting of the local area and a firework finale.

For the entire month the Tower of San martino will be open to the public from 9pm until midnight. Guides dressed in full costume and bearing vintage weapons will be on hand to guide visitors on a discovery of all the secrets of the famous battle. It will be possible to take part in micro-events commemorating the battle, hear audio descriptions of the towers Renaissance frescoes on your smart phone and participate in multimedia narration of the battle.

Afterwards you can taste some local wine or climb the stairs of the tower and take in the breathtaking view of the lake by night and witness one of the firework displayes of one of the many Lake Garda festivals.

Tickets cost €5

The museum wll be open on: Sunday 4th, Tuesday 6th, Thursday 15th, Friday 16th, Saturday 17th, Friday 23rd, and Tuesday 27th.

Other events include:

The ‘Feste del Lago’ in nearby Rivoltella.
The ‘Feste Del Vino (wine festival) of San Martino’.
 The ‘Notte d’incanto’ the enchanted night with a magnificent firework display.
Feste dell’anitra (The Duck festival), a festival dedicated to Saint John. The origins of this festival can be attributed just to the method used to kill ducks (by decapitation) same fate suffered by St. John.
Notte bianche- an initiative to organize various cultural events and entertainment which go on late into the night