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Gardone Riviera

Gardone is famous above all because of the Vittoriale, but the variety of its prestigious twentieth-century residences.
The development of Gardone had been realized in the 1900's, and it owes a lot to a Viennese engineer, Ludwig Wimmer. Landed in Gardone in order to spent here a convalescence period, Wimmer was conquered by the beauty of the place and he bought Villa Cargnacco. It was only the first step. In order to demonstrate that the climate of Gardone was completely exceptional, Wimmer financed a climatologist, Rodhen, that, at the end of his works, came to the conclusion that the temperature in Gardone, during the cold months, was the warmest in all northern Italy.
An ulterior confirmation of the singularity of the microclimate in Gardone, however, is the presence of the botanical Garden, realized by the naturalist Arthur Hruska at the beginnings of the 1900's on the lakeside. The Hruska Garden is one of the most interesting and original of Europe: it is rich in beyond 2000 plants, and here alpine, mediterranean and tropical species cohabit.
Il Vittoriale degli Italiani
After leaving Fiume in 1921, Gabriele D' Annunzio landed on the shores of the Garda, searching a dwelling place that is worthy of him. He finally decided to buy Villa Cargnacco, that, with its labyrinthian spaces, its park with a wild beauty and the lovely view, conquered him.
The villa was part of the huge self - commemorative plan of the poet, and became the 'Vittoriale degli Italiani', residence and museum, donated by D'Annunzio to the Italian State.
The complex occupies an immense area (nine hectares) in which there are buildings, public squares, avenues and fountains. Among the buildings, the house of the poet, said the Prioria, that contains more than 30.000 books and where he died in 1938, the Museum of the War, the Mausoleum that keeps the body of D'Annunzio. In the garden, unexpectedly we find the ship 'Puglia', donated to the poet by the Italian Navy and mounted on the flank of the hill, an auditorium in which there is the airplane the writer used in the famous flight on Vienna, the theatre in the open air built inspiring to the models of the antiquity, where 1500 persons can be hold. The Foundation of the Vittoriale degli Italiani is open to the public and 180.000 persons visit it every year.

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