VITTORIALE DEGLI ITALIANI
Vittoriale degli Italiani is the name given to the home of the famous poet Gabriele d’Annunzio.
The area, which covers an impressive 9 hectares, includes the poet’s house, a huge garden with waterways and waterfalls, an outdoor theater, streets, squares, museums, and a mausoleum.
The huge complex of the Vittoriale degli Italiani is located in Gardone Riviera, one of the most famous and “mitteleuropean” destinations of Lake Garda.
Gardone is located halfway up the lake, on the Brescia shore, and is easily accessible from all towns of the Riviera thanks to the state road “Gardesana Occidentale“, which runs along the entire western side of the lake.
Take a half day to visit the Vittoriale degli Italiani, a place steeped in history and culture!
Discover Vittoriale degli Italiani
The Vittoriale extends for 9 hectares on a hill overlooking the lake: the splendid position of the house was precisely the reason that led the poet Gabriele D’Annunzio to choose this place for the imposing project dedicated to the Italian people, and realized by the architect Giancarlo Maroni.
The complex is really impressive. Entering, one of the first buildings you come across is the house of Gabriele d’Annunzio, exactly as it was at the time of his death in 1938: you can visit it, but only in groups of 10 people and with a tour guide. To avoid long waits, you can book your visit.
The Villa is surrounded by a huge park. The complete visit can take several hours, but if you have less time here is what you should not miss of the Park of the Vittoriale degli Italiani:
- The theater: located just below the house, is an open-air theatre inspired by Roman theatres, with a spectacular view of Lake Garda below. It is still used today for concerts and shows.
- The Mausoleum of the Heroes: on the top of the hill of Vittoriale is the mausoleum with the tomb of Gabriele d’Annunzio and nine war heroes dear to him. It is a large marble terrace overlooking the lake.
- Regia Nave Puglia: the center of the park is occupied by a real ship of the Italian Royal Navy, the Regia Nave Puglia, set in the hill. The bow is oriented to the Adriatic Sea and Croatia.
- Museum “D’Annunzio: the hero”: is one of the three museums of the Vittoriale; it collects all the relics related to the experience of the poet Gabriele d’Annunzio as a soldier, and maintains the style of the time of his death.
It is worth also spending time just walking through the waterways, paths, lemon groves and statues of the park, stopping on the terraces to admire the lake, and immerse yourself in the magical atmosphere of the Vittoriale di D’Annunzio.
Here are the opening times of the museums, the park and Gabriele d'Annunzio's house.
Winter (October 27th - March 30th):
- Park: 9 am - 5 pm (5.30 pm on Saturdays and Sundays)
- Museums: 9 am - 4.45 pm (5.15 pm on Saturdays and Sundays)
- Guided tour of the house: 9 am - 4 pm (groups every 10-15 minutes)
Summer (March 31st - October 26th):
- Park: 9 am - 8 pm
- Museums: 9 am - 7.30 pm
- Guided tour of the house: 9.30 am - 7 pm (groups every 10-15 minutes)
Remember that the House will remain closed during the winter period: every Monday and Tuesday in November, December and January only on Mondays in February and March.
Park, museums and house:
- Full price: €16
- Reduced: €13
Park and museums:
- Full price: €10
- Reduced: €8
If you are coming from Brescia, you can reach Gardone by taking the state road “Gardesana Occidentale”, that runs along the western side of the lake. You can take the same road, heading south, if you come from Upper Lake Garda.
If you’re coming from Verona (or Eastern Lake Garda), you can take the A4 highway to Desenzano del Garda, and then the Gardesana Occidentale to Gardone.
The Vittoriale has large paid car parks along the road that climbs the hill.
The project of the Vittoriale began in 1921, when the poet Gabriele D’Annunzio rented the villa, which had been confiscated from the owners by the Italian state at the end of the First World War. D’Annunzio wanted to stay just a few weeks, the time needed to finish the novel he was writing. However, already after a few months the young architect Giancarlo Maroni was working on the restoration of the villa to “de-germanize” it.
D’Annunzio’s idea was to erect a monument to Italy and the Italians, celebrating the courage of an entire people who had suffered a “mutilated victory” in the First World War: the name itself, Vittoriale, refers to this fact. D’Annunzio signs a contract with which the Vittoriale, once completed, will be donated to the Italian State: the state, for its part, undertakes to finance it in full.
In 1923 the Royal Navy gifted d’Annunzio with the ship “Regia Nave Puglia”: the Poet, together with the engineer Silla Giuseppe Fortunato, placed it inside the park of the villa, where it is still located today. In 1926 d’Annunzio began work on the construction of a new wing of the villa, called Schifamondo (lit. Worldloathing), which was to become the home (hermitage) of the poet. However, at the time of his death it had not yet been completed.
Gabriele D’Annunzio died in 1938 in the Villa del Vittoriale, leaving behind an invaluable cultural heritage.