The excavation of the pile dwelling © Università degli Studi di Milano

  Desenzano del Garda /Lonato del Garda (BS)  |     Lavagnone

Short description

Lake Lavagnone is one of the small basins of glacial origin typical for the landscape south of Lake Garda. The area shows traces of human inhabitation from the Mesolithic and Neolithic period, but the evidence of stable settlement dates to the Bronze Age, to the end of the third millennium BC. This refers to the Polada Culture and to the Late Poladian period of the Early Bronze Age (2200-1600 BC) and the Pile Dwellings and Terramare Culture of the Middle and Late Bronze Age (1600-1200 BC).
The excavations in progress (University of Milan) concern different points of the basin and have unearthed a variety of building methods: houses raised on platforms, resting on long isolated piles, or on shorter piles that rested on pile shoes, or houses, built instead on foundations or even houses built directly on the ground, with simple floorsof beaten earth.

Bronze Age

2200 - 1200 BC

Lavagnone bassin

111 m.a.s.l.

Size of the site 6,04 ha / approx. 8 soccer pitches

Size of the bufferzone 14,4 ha / approx. 20 soccer pitches

Special features & highlights

The excavations conducted in the 70s of the last century have produced a plow dating back to the Early Bronze Age, one of the oldest in the world.

Lavagnone plough
Lavagnone plough © MiBACT

Current activities
Near the pile dwelling there is an info point, which is always open.
The architectural structures are visible only during the digs conducted annually in the summer by the University of Milan. On request, the museum at Desenzano organises nature walks in the Lavagnone basin, with information on various aspects of the pile-dwelling settlement.

Pile dwellings up-close

The site is visible during digs.

The Lavagnone site lies south of the A4 motorway and can easily be reached from the exit “Desenzano” and from the city center, following the signs for San Pietro-Centenaro on Via Grezze and turning right immediately after the restaurant “La Rossa”. From there on you can find road signs to the site.
The site can also be reached from the Montichiari-Sirmione cycle path, making a short detour in northwesterly direction in Centenaro.

Museo Civico Archeologico „G. Rambotti“
Via Anelli, 42
25015 Desenzano del Garda (BS)
Museo +39 030 9144529 / Ufficio cultura 030.9994216
+39 030 9994275