Limone sul Garda : The history of Limone sul Garda

The name of the town derives from the Latin word "Limen", which means border, but it is commonly believed that it comes from the typical local citrus fruit: the lemon. The earliest settlements of the people of Benaco (the ancient name of the lake) date back to the Neolithic Age (in the nearby Ledro Valley you can still visit the prehistoric pile dwellings from the Bronze Age). Celtic tribes inhabited the area in 600 B.C. and were later conquered by the Romans in 200 B.C. Over the centuries, Limone was involved in and affected by the historical events that took place in northern Italy: from the Longobards to the arrival of Charlemagne, the Venetian Republic, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Italian Risorgimento, the two World Wars, and the birth of the new Italian Republic. However, the most important period for the social, economical and cultural development of Limone was during the domination of the Venetian Republic in the first half of the 15th century A.D. Through the skilful administration of the "Serenissima" and its entrepreneurial ability, Limone developed from being a typical rural economy based on fishing and olive growing to becoming the northernmost area for the cultivation of citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, and citrons. 
The people of Limone built the world-famous lemon-houses, with their high walls to protect the trees from the cold northeastern winds. The long rows of stone pillars of these lemon-houses supported the wooden beams for the roof that was erected in the wintertime. Before the lemon-house was completed, the back wall had to be insulated with a thick layer of lime to prevent seepage from nearby streams, and the entire structure was irrigated by way of a clever system of channels. The problem of soil, however, remained. The local soil was too gravelly, limy, and lack nutrients, so more acidic, clay soil full of nutrients was transported by boat from the southern area of the lake to Limone. Bear in mind that Limone is the northernmost spot in the world where lemons can be grown. 
There is an important reference to the lemon-houses in the travel diary of Johann Wolfgang GOETHE (Frankfurt 1749 - Weimar 1832), the famous author who sailed Lake Garda and stopped in Limone in September 1786. Goethe was thrilled by the view of these huge lemon-houses that inspired the first lines of his celebrated poem, "Do you know the land where the lemons bloom?" In the 19th century, during the Habsburg reign, the flourishing citrus production was joined by the production of magnesia (Via Benedetto Croce), paper (in Milanesa), lime (Singol - Reamòl Valley) and, due to the mild climate, silk worms. 
The historical and political events of World War I greatly affected Limone, and all these activities came to an abrupt end when the local people were evacuated for several years during the conflict between Italy and the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. 
After the war, modern progress favored towns with better roadways and other means of communication. Thus, Limone, which could only be reached by the lake or over the mountains, returned once more to its fishing industry and olive growing. 
Limone finally became connected to the towns north and south of it in 1932, thanks to the famous Gardesana Occidentale panoramic road: its years of isolation and separation had finally ended. 
The local economy developed after the war with the arrival of tourists from Northern Europe, and the inhabitants of Limone gradually transformed their small fishing village into what has become one of today's most important tourist towns on Lake Garda.

Limone sul Garda Limone sul Garda Limone sul Garda Limone sul Garda Limone sul Garda
Powered by AgileSoft