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History

The origin of the name “Brenzone” is uncertain. It could possibly, and more probably, derive from the name of a germanic tribe called “Brenni”, that resided in the Monte Baldo area in prehistoric times.
They were followed by the arrival of the Roman empire, and so it was that a region called Venezia – Istria was formed. The massive structure of Monte Baldo and its steep slopes have created for centuries many difficulties for land connections and the development of hamlets. Yet numerous archeologic testimonies discovered over the years prove the presence of different built-up areas in our territory. The most important example is the Roman villa found, in 2004, near the medieval church of St. Zeno in Castelletto. This villa is the sole “residenza lacustre” excavated on the eastern shore of Garda lake so far.
The earliest documents demonstrating the district identity of Brenzone derive from the second half of 12th century, when Federico I, Emperor of Germany, known as Red Beard, came down into Italy from the North to extend his power.
During the medieval age, Brenzone and all the Garda area were dominated by the houses of Scaligeri, Visconti, Carrara and finally by Venice and its Republic. In this period many land owning families flourished. Of all these, the most important family was the “Brenzoni dal lion”- of the lion” whose coat of arms has been adopted as a symbol of the local administration to this day.
In the past, communication on land was very difficult because of the harsh and hostile geographical aspects of the territory of Brenzone which, confined between the shores of Lake Garda and the steep slopes of Mount Baldo, is divided by many profound gorges and rushing torrents. Up until the middle of the 19th century, the only roads available were narrow mountain paths, used mainly by mules pulling sleds loaded with chestnuts or other local products, which wound their way from one tiny village to the next. However, the lake provided a faster, easier and more practical way of communicating with friends and family members. In fact, it was often much more common then to establish relationships with the inhabitants of towns on the other side of the lake than with people from the same town.
Since tourism did not exist in Brenzone in the 1800s and early 1900s, the economy of the town depended mainly on agricultural activities such as the breeding of silk worms, the production of dairy products and the cultivation of olive trees (an activity which is still part of our tradition today). Another important activity was gathering firewood, and tied to this, the production of charcoal and lime, made in special stone huts called “calchére”, many of which can still be seen around the area. The many Alpine refuges present are an indication of the importance of our mountain pastures in the struggle for survival of the past. Other sources of income came from fishing and water transport.
The completion of the “Gardesana”, the road constructed between 1929 and 1930 on the shores of Lake Garda, brought with it a radical economic revolution for Brenzone and all the other small villages on the lake. The arrival of tourism, especially after the 2nd World War, has triggered a profoundly dynamic evolution of events which has changed the way of life here, making the area one of the most popular and highly qualified touristic locations in the world.

The "Stone of Castelletto"


Thirty years ago Castelletto was very much in the News.
While building a new house, the workers excavated a massive rock which was covered with mysterious incisions.
Experts were called.
The incisions where dated as from the years 4500 b. Chr..
This also was the first authentic message of the inhabitants of Castelletto, a message from 4500 years ago.
It reports that they had already weapons in brass, that the sun played an important role in their religion.
In other words they were already carriers of the widespread Mediterranean culture.
Nowadays you can admire the "Stone of Castelletto" in the town hall of Brenzone.

Ethnographic Museum

The museum is located in the house where the Venerable Mother Maria Domenica Mantovani, co-founder along with the Blessed Giuseppe Nascimbeni of the Institute "Piccole Suore della Sacra Famiglia", was born. Situated in the historical centre of Castelletto, a small lacustrine village at the foot of Mount Baldo, the building represents an interesting testimonial of the architectural style common to the shores of upper Lake Garda. The interior of the house has been faithfully reproduced with furnishings from the late l9th and early 20th centuries, and enriched with the traditional utensils and tools employed in the many agricultural activities which characterized the area, such as fishing, cultivating olives, raising livestock and sericulture. The museum also houses a centre for promoting research and cultural debate. This initiative, which was promoted by the Institute "Piccole Suore della Sacra Famiglia", is intended to pay homage to Mother Maria Domenica Mantovani, a true example of womanhood and "motherhood", and to keep the memory of the culture of our ancestors and their industrious lifestyle alive in her native town and the surrounding area.

Learnig activities
lt is possible to book the following activities in advance:

• Guided Tours

• Study groups concerning the customs and traditions of the time

• Videocassettes

Opening hours
May-September: Satruday and Sunday 17.00-20.00 (on request)
October-April: by appointment
Tel. 045 6598111

 


Important personalities

Daily life of Brenzone citizens has always been characterized with heroic episodes. However we present here some of illustrious personages originating in our territory.
In 1988 our fellow citizen, the priest Giuseppe Nascimbeni (1851-1922),  has been beatified from Pope John Paul II. He was the founder of the religious order of "Little Sister of the Holy Family".
Don Francesco Angeleri: witness of strong faith, deep connoisseur and defender of the Rosmini philosophy.
Madre Maria Domenica Mantovani (1862-1934), co-founder along with the Blessed Giuseppe Nascimbeni of the religious order of  "Little Sisters of the Holy Family". She has been beatified from Pope John Paul II on 27th April 2003.


www.pssf.it