Torri del Benaco

Torri del Benaco on lake Garda seen from above

Going up further from south to north along Lake Garda, we continue with a guided tour of Torri del Benaco. A small and charming village on the lake, characterized by the great middle age castle.
It is one of the best-known ports on Lake Garda, since from Toscolano Maderno, on the other side, there is the ferryboat going back and forth across the lake that you can board with the car. Torri del Benaco is an enchanting place surrounded by the blue of the lake and the green hills behind it. From here start some of the roads that lead to the villages on the mountains near the coast from which you can enjoy some extraordinary views of the lake, such as Albisano or San Zeno di Montagna.

For info or to book a tour guide of Torri del Benaco:

+39 333 2199 645 info@veronissima.com P.I. 03616420232 C.F. CPPMHL74L13L781C

The name

The world "torri" in Italian means "towers". The name of this village derives from the numerous watchtowers and defensive structures that were built here since the early Middle Ages and that still characterize the appearance of Torri, as it is commonly called in the area. Benaco instead comes from the ancient Latin name of the lake: Benàcus. Perhaps originally it was Venàcus, i.e. lake of the Veneti, the ancient population of the region, and over time the "V" became "B".
How the word Torri del Benaco is pronounced today is an old question that opposes linguists to Veroneses. In the Latin word the accent was on the second syllable, according to the pronunciation rules it should therefore be Torri del Benàco, but the locals and the Veroneses themselves, whose province also includes Torri, put the accent on the first syllable, so when you are there, to sound more natural, we advice to pronounce it Torri del Bénaco.

The History

The castle and the dock of Torri del Benaco

In Roman times there was a village here already inhabited by fishermen and boatmen and, given its strategic position for traffic control on the lake, defended by fortifications and seat of the supreme magistrate of the rural district.
In the Middle Ages it was of great importance as the seat of the General Council and Chief Town of the Gardesana dell'Acqua, the assembly of representatives of the eighteen villages on the lake that met here to agree and regulate the administration and trade of the lake, in matters such as the exploitation of fishing, shipping routes, common defense, etc..
Around X century it became an independent state town, but was then assigned to Verona in 1193 by Henry IV.
Under the rule of the Scala family Torri became the seat of the Colonel of the Middle Lake renewing its strategic importance.
At the beginning of the 15th century it passed to Venice with all the old Veronese dominions and after the war years with the Duchy of Milan and the League of Cambrai, it spent the remaining centuries in the tranquil peace of the lake.

The Castle of Torri

The Castle of Torri del Benaco

The castle, like all the other towns on the eastern shore of Lake Garda, dates back to the Scala family era. It was built in 1383 by Antonio della Scala, son of Cansignorio, putting together the remains of old fortifications of the tenth century of which a tower is still visible. The crenellated curtain extended to defend the dock.
In 1760 part of the walls were demolished to build the lemon house that still characterizes the overall view of the castle.
Since then the structure suffered a progressive decline, until 1980 when a radical restoration was carried out under the direction of Arrigo Rudi, who had already collaborated with the architect Carlo Scarpa in the restauration of Verona Castle.

The Ethnographic Museum

The Castle of Torri today houses an ethnographic museum with nine exhibition rooms, dedicated to history, culture and the ancient economy and professions of the lake with numerous historical maps, models, relics and old craftmen's tools.

  • The construction of fishing boats and the profession of caulkers.
  • The cultivation of olive trees and the production of oil (with an ancient Roman oil mill).
  • Fishing, with boats and equipment in use in the past.
  • The prehistoric rock carvings found in the hinterland of Torri whose casts are exhibited here.

The patrol walkways are practicable and allow you to enjoy a splendid view of the lake and the village.

Guided tour of Torri del Benaco

The dock of Torri del Benaco

Together with a tour guide of Lake Garda you can take a short but significant tour of the town of Torri. In addition to the castle, it is possible to see externally the seat of the Council of Gardesana. The beautiful 15th century palace has now been restored and converted into a hotel.
Then there is the Church of the Holy Trinity, dating back to the 15th century, decorated with frescoes, some of which are in Giottesque style.
The parish church is instead Renaissance, with paintings by Brusasorci, Pietro Rotari and Cignaroli, all important Veronese painters of various periods.

Info and bookings of tours in Torri del Benaco:

+39 333 2199 645 info@veronissima.com P.I. 03616420232 C.F. CPPMHL74L13L781C