THE MUSEUM OF SOLFERINO
The Museum of Solferino is located at the foothills of the fortress park and of the adjacent Charnel-Church Park. Here models of cannons, weapons, uniforms and various mementos from the historic day of June 24th 1859 are displayed. The Museum itinerary is accompanied by captions that explain the events describing the most important protagonists of that historical event as well as each individual find.
Tuesdays to Sundays (closed on Mondays)
From 17th March to 15th October 9 am -12.30pm and 2.30 pm-7 pm
During wintertime entrance is upon reservation
ADULTS: 3,00 €
CHILDREN until 10: free
REDUCED TICKETS (AGE 11-18) and over 65 + GROUPS : 2,00 €
At the top of the highest hill in Solferino lies a majestic building 23 meters high dating back to 1022. This hill was contended by the Austrians and the French Army that was allied with the Piedmontese Army during the battle of June 24th 1859. Defined as “The spy of Italy” due to its strategic location, this fortress is surrounded by a vast park. Relics discovered on the battle field are preserved inside this fortress, which was acquired and restored by the Association.
Moreover, documents relating to the history of the Fortress and of the Mint of Gonzaga in Solferino are displayed inside and along the wooden stairs that lead to the panoramic terrace.Before getting to the terrace a large room opens up and here we can find portraits of Victor Emmanuel II and Napoleone III and for this reason it is named “The Sovereigns’ Room”. From the Fortress terrace you can enjoy the gorgeous panorama of the verdant countryside that lays beneath and admire, from a distance, the Tower of San Martino to the north, about 10 km from here, as well as Lake Garda. Looking south, you can glimpse Castiglione delle Stiviere and the vast Padana Plain extending all the way to the first foothills of the Apennines.
ADULTS: 4,00 €
CHILDREN until 10: free
REDUCED TICKETS (AGE 11-18) and over 65 + GROUPS : 3,00 €
THE CHARNEL-HOUSE/CHAPEL IN SOLFERINO
To the east of the Museum there is an impressive cypress-lined lane that goes slightly uphill to the Church of Saint Peter in Vincoli which was turned into a Charnel-Chapel by the Solferino e S. Martino Association after acquiring it from the Episcopal Curia of Mantua. To the left of the entrance there is a bronze bust portraying Napoleon III, erected here on the 100th anniversary of death of the Emperor. On the right there is a small stone pyramid that commemorates the French General Auger, who was wounded on June 24th at Cà Morino and later died at Castiglione delle Stiviere. On the facade of the church two mosaics are displayed. One of them represents Saint Peter, the other one Lord the Savior. A statue of the Virgin Mary with two angels of the Resurrection at her side overlook them. Inside the apsis, 1413 skulls and an innumerable number of bones of the Fallen are preserved. At the entrance of the Temple five busts of French generals who fell on the battlefield in the “Campaign of Italy” face each other.
Admission is free of charge
MEMORIAL OF THE RED CROSS
A cypress-lined road departs from the park surrounding the Fortress. It is named after Saint Luigi, in honor of the Gonzaga, risen to the glory of the altars,that tradition says used to take solitary walks along this path….
At the end of this road, in 1959, on the 100th anniversary of the Battle, the International Red Cross erected a memorial in memory of the “Idea” that arose here from the heart and mind of Henry Dunant and that led to the creation of the International Red Cross.
How to get here:
By train: Mantova, Desenzano del Garda
Via Motorway: A4 MI-VE
exit Sirmione/Desenzano d/G
Closest Airport: Verona, Montichiari