Albisano: a pearl suspended between sky and lake

Albisano, a panoramic hamlet of Torri del Benaco, is a small village that definitely deserves a visit, and from which beautiful excursions start.

Albisano is the most important hamlet of Torri del Benaco. It is located at an altitude of 309 meters, right above the town center. Its splendid position offers a spectacular view of the southern Lake Garda, the town of Torri, and the surrounding villages. The village is gathered around the square and the parish church, which offer moments of calm and beauty, far from the coastal nightlife (which is only a few minutes away by car).

Historical and geographical overview

Since ancient times, the area of Albisano has been devoted to the cultivation of vineyards and cereals, as suggested by the names of the surrounding localities, such as Sorti (assigned to Roman legionary veterans through a lottery) and Bré (dedicated to agriculture, rather than being covered by forests like the adjacent areas).
Other neighboring communities have experienced periods of prosperity thanks to small streams, springs, ancient olive groves, and the road that crossed the region since Roman times, heading towards the hinterland and the village of Caprino. These include Bardino, Coi (once a fortified village), Sevino, Campiano (abandoned by its inhabitants before the end of the 18th century due to a plague), Loncrino (so named for its inhabitants known as “Loncrini,” a term derived from “Ronchlin” or “Ronchi,” indicating deforested lands), and Valmagra; all formerly inhabited by farmers.
Instead, Torri del Benaco, located along the shores of the lake and surrounded by walls, was inhabited by fishermen, merchants, and soldiers.

The Church of San Martino

The presence of a place of worship in Albisano is documented since the fifteenth century, although it was not until 1567 that it gained the status of an independent parish. However, its origins may date back to even earlier periods.
During the eighteenth century, numerous expansion works were carried out, involving the façade, the interior, and the bell tower of the church, dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours. These interventions gave the building an overall neoclassical character, especially thanks to the restructuring that took place in the eighteenth century, during which the bell tower was further raised.
The façade, in neoclassical style, presents a structure with a gabled roof horizontally divided into two orders, characterized by pilasters on the ground floor and a large window on the upper floor. The bell tower rises on the northern side of the apse, to the left of the building.
The interior, reflecting the provisions of the Council of Trent, features a single nave, as was common during the eighteenth-century restructuring. The nave ends with the presbytery, oriented towards the east. Two side altars are dedicated to the Madonna of the Rosary, on the southern side, and to Saint Charles Borromeo, on the opposite side, while the main altar is dedicated to Saint Martin. Of particular value are the eighteenth-century statue of the Risen Christ and a seventeenth-century altarpiece located in the choir.
The walls are adorned with stuccoes framing the works of the local painter Eugenio Vangelista, depicting episodes from the life of Saint Charles Borromeo and the ascent to the pontifical throne of Paul VI. The painting “San Martino” overlooks the triumphal arch and is the work of the Mattielli brothers. The floor is made of slabs of red Verona marble and pink nembro.

Piazza Garibaldi

The small Piazza Garibaldi is located behind the church. Here lies the bustling heart of the village, with bars, tables, the ancient well, and a quiet and cheerful atmosphere. If you look around, you can notice some finely restored historic buildings that keep alive the ancient spirit of Albisano.

Trekking from Albisano

From Albisano, you can set off on foot, along roads, trails, and old mule tracks, to discover two other picturesque hamlets of Torri del Benaco: Crero (the closest) and Pai di Sopra (a little further north).

If you want to head south instead, you can follow the trail to Mount Luppia and the Graffiti (ancient rock engravings).

Where to park

Here in Albisano, we’re super lucky. At the beginning of the village, near the cemetery, you’ll find a large parking area right off the main road, designated for free parking. Just a few dozen meters away are the Church and the Square.

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Until next time, dear Outdoors!

Silvia Turazza

Silvia Turazza

According to the art of onomancy, the meaning of my name is described as follows: "it lives in the woods, sylvan and wild". Sometimes fate knows the way before you, and forges you with the most akin experiences. I live in the heart of Lake Garda in Castelletto di Brenzone. Passionate about trekking, photography and writing, which I combine in small adventures. If you are looking for me, you will find me in the forest overlooking the lake... with my Roberto and Gea.