Fasano lies up over the olive hills in the municipality of Gardone Riviera, in that area described as "The Garden of Eden of Lake Garda".
Thanks to its incomparable location, looking out over the most enchanting district of Lake Garda, it's the ideal location for cultural and naturalistic sojourns. Located on the western shore of this magnificent Lake, in the heart of the "Preserved Park of Higher Lake Garda" it is mainly known for its proximity to the "Vittoriale degli Italiani", Gabriele D'Annunzio's incredible home-museum, although the ancient hamlet of Fasano is to be discovered for its unrivaled hills thick with bay trees, olive, cypress, pine, oleander and aloe, its little valleys where water springs out clear and pure, for its breath-taking views over the lake, for the gardens bearing fine examples of roses, lemons, mimosas, palms, magnolias and cedars and for the old “trattorie”.
Those keen on sports can find endless water sport activities from windsurfing to fishing. On land there is tennis or golf nearby.
In Summer, concerts are held along the lake front and in various piazzas and theatres.
Gardone Riviera is one of the most elegant and outstanding resorts on the banks of Lake Garda on account of its varied and lavish vegetation, favored by the mild climate and architectural setting.
The various buildings in their many styles bears witness to the tastes of the cosmopolitan guests who flocked to the Riviera from late last century until just before the Second World War. Among the prominent personalities who made Gardone their home we find the Poet Gabriele D'Annunzio who lived at the Villa Cargnacco which was to become known as the Vittoriale degli Italiani in 1921.
Gardone has regained much of its charm and appeal to the fashionable and discerning European traveler, remaining quiet and sophisticated.
"The Vittoriale Degli Italiani (The Shrine of Italian Victories)", is the monumental city-home, created in Gardone Riviera, on Lake Garda by the Italian poet Gabriele D'Annunzio between 1921 and 1938. The Vittoriale is not only an impressive house, but also comprises streets and squares, gardens, rivers, theatres and museums. The estate consists of the residence of d'Annunzio called the Prioria (Priory), an amphitheatre, the light cruiser Puglia set into a hillside, a boathouse containing the MAS vessel used by D'Annunzio in 1918 and a circular mausoleum.
The house, Villa Cargnacco, had belonged to a German art historian from whom it was confiscated by the Italian state, including its collection of books and a piano which had belonged to Liszt. D'Annunzio purchased it in February 1921 and within the year its reconstruction starts under the guidance of architect Giancarlo Maroni. The fascist government did what it could to please the poet, in order to keep him away from political life in Rome; part of strategy was to make huge funds available which were used to expand the property, construct and/or modify the buildings and to create the impressive art and literature collection. In 1924 the airplane that d'Annunzio used for his pamphleteering run over Vienna during World War I is brought to the estate, followed in 1925 by the MAS naval vessel also used by him in 1918 to taunt the Austrians in the Buccari incident. In the same year the light cruiser Puglia was hauled up the hill and placed in the woods behind the house, and the property was expanded by acquisition of surrounding lands and buildings.
The Prioria itself (D’Annunzio's home) consists of a number of rooms opulently decorated and filled with memorabilia. Notable are the two waiting rooms, one for welcome guests, one for unwelcome ones. It is the latter where Mussolini was sent to on his visit in 1925.
Also the leper's room is worth noting, where D'Annunzio's wake was held upon his death, occurred in 1938. The Relic room holds a large collection of religious statues and images of different beliefs, purposely placed together to make a statement about the universal character of his spirituality. The inscription on the inner wall reads:"Five are the fingers and five are the sins"
D'Annunzio wished to make clear hereby that lust and greed should be considered sinful.
Villa Alba, is a splendid villa, nowadays owned by the City, sitting in the center of a marvelous park, reached by means of an expansive staircase. It was commissioned at the beginning of this century by the Austrian Industrialist Langensiepen and designed by Shafter, a studied imitation of the monuments of the Acropolis in Athens on the express desire of the client. The facade reminds of the Parthenon and the portico similar to that of the Erecteum displays elegant caryatids.
The Botanical Gardens: in 1903 an Austrian dentist living by Lake Garda started an extraordinary project: to turn two and a half acres of neglected vineyards into a lush garden of streams, pools and secret pathways.
Hruska described Lake Garda as " the most luminous many colored lake that I have ever seen". It was his great attraction to the lake that encouraged him to buy some land and plan a garden.
His chosen site was about 2 and 1/2 acres of vineyard with a few olive trees, sloping up from the coastal road 200 feet above sea level. Hruska transformed it.