“Il Vittoriale deli Italiani” (the shrine of Italian victories) is the last house of the Italian poet Gabriele D’annunzio, and a very special estate to visit.
Now let me introduce you one of the most bizarre place I’ve ever been : It’s called “Il Vittoriale deli Italiani” (the shrine of Italian victories). What is this crazy thing? It is the house where the Italian poet and action man Gabriele D’annunzio lived his last years, from 1922 until 1938. It is located on the hills of Gardone Riviera, on lake Garda.
The house, called the Priora, is surrounded by an amphithéatre, a cruiser set into the hillside, a boathouse, and a circular mausoleum, in a 9 hectare large green park with Mediterranean vegetation.
The Priora has kept the original interior decoration and the poet’s personal belongings, including a 33 000 volumes library, antic statues, carpets, sculptures from ancient Greece, catholic churches and oriental temples and a lot of objects. Unfortunately, it is not allowed to take pics inside the house, so you’ll have to go there to discover the decoration of such a strange residence. People here seems to be very proud of this place : it was crowed with pupils and their teachers. We had to wait in a big queue because you can only visit the mansion by little groups of persons.
I don’t know if D’annunzio is really a great poet, and still read nowadays. He had a strange personality, and flirted with Fascism. But when Mussolini came to visit him, he was received in the room for unwelcome guests. I was a bit disappointed too, because the boat was under renovation, so we couldn’t visit it. At the top of the gardens, stands a circular structure which contains the remains of d’Annunzio, and the ones of the men who served him and died during a battle incident.
You have a very beautiful view on the lake, at this highest point of the estate.