The glacier that formed Lake Garda millions of years ago created a stunning and diverse landscape with an abundance of instantly recognisable features and landmarks, including Mount Baldo, the Isola del Garda and the Sirmione peninsula, to name but a few. Perhaps the most striking feature is the Rock of Manerba which rises up and watches out over the lake like a sentinel.
A fairly recent archaeological dig showed that the rock has been inhabited since prehistoric times and it is possible to visit the ruins of medieval fortifications and buildings, which were destroyed by the Venitians in 1575.
There is a visitors center which hosts the Archaeological Civic Museum of Valtenesi, where you can take a tour that gives insight into the landscape of the rock and describes how it has changed because of human settlement since the remotest of times. There are glass cabinets display relics of the site.
The rock has been designated an Archaeological and Nature Park. There are routes with explanatory panels for you to discover the history of the site and there are also many ‘sentieri’ that you can follow to discover the wildlife and nature of the rock, which due to the micro-climate is very ‘Mediterranean’
The views are out of this world and it is possible to see many more of the Lake Garda landmarks, including those mentioned above, and also including the island of San Biagio, better known as “island of the rabbits”.
After a mornings exploration on the rock I like to take the trail down to the Spiaggia Pieve, traverse the peaceful beach to the far end and make my way to the ‘Ristorante di Rino’ in Porto Torchio, for one of their large salads and an ice cold glass of refreshment.
For more information visit the website of Parco Rocca Manerba