Moniga del Garda


Moniga is a small town in the Lake Garda area, located in the heart of the hills between Desenzano and Salò. Thanks to the remains of a lake-dwelling village, it was possible to discover that a population inhabited the area during the early Bronze age (1800-200 B.C.).
In the second half of the 12th century, it became a feudal area of Ugone of Poncarale and in 1196, it was donated to the monks of Leno. Moniga was subject to strict domination, including that of the Republic of Venice and Austria, with ties lasting until 1859.
From 1928 to 1947 it became a hamlet of the municipality of Padenghe. This peculiar name is believed to derive from the goddess Diana Muchina who, mythologically speaking, had a sanctuary built in her name in this area.


To resist the Hungarian raids, the castle of Moniga was erected in the 10th century. It is located facing the road and has only one entrance, situated at the centre of the east wall; by observing it, you can see the clear signs of what was once a drawbridge. There are four distinguishing lookout towers standing at the corners of the walls, and three other towers located half-way along the north, south and west walls. A bell tower was built on the keep.


The Church of San Martino is one of the oldest parish churches in the Valtenesi area. It was erected facing the imposing Moniga Castle. It was consecrated in October 1454 and the building was extended in the second half of the 18th century. Inside, you can admire its five altars; the high altar is dedicated to San Martino (St. Martin) and the four minor altars dedicated to San Giuseppe (St. Joseph), San Rosario, to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Crucifix of Christ.


This church is also known as St. Michael's church due to the name of the location where it was erected. Belonging to the second half of the sixteenth century, is the most recent of the Romanesque churches in the Valtenesi area consisting of a single hall with gabled façade. The three windows and the pronaos probably date back to the 19th century.