The start of the walk is at the Botanic Gardens of Andre Heller's Foundation (once Hruska's Garden). Arthur Hruska (1888-71) was a well-known dentist with surgeries in Bad Reichenhall, Saint Petersburg, Milan and Gardone Riviera, as well as an acclaimed botanist and naturalist. He created the garden, collecting over two thousand specimens of flora during his many travels. Since 1989 the garden has been owned by Andre Heller, a multimedia Austrian artist, who is turning it into a "centre which combines Art and Ecology", featuring works by Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein and Mimmo Paladino. Follow the signpost to " Vittoriale" until you reach Piazza dei Caduti (War Memorial Square).On the right is an arcade with a caie and a shop where, until the mid-twenties, there used to be the Town Hall, the Elementary School and the Post Office. The "old" centre of Gardone Sopra is dominated by the baroque facade of Saint Nicholas's Parish Church. Four frescoes are dedicated to the Saint- Bishop.
They are to be found hidden behind a door, to the left of the presbytery. Among them there is one with "Nicholas and the three Maidens" dating back to the end of the 16th century. A painting on the ceiling of the main church represents Saint Nicholas protecting the Christians from the Muslims by Francesco Monti (1750). RimbalzelloLeaving the entrance to Vittoriale on your right, walk along its external walls, following via delle Arche, so-called after the marble sarcophagi of the Mausoleum inside the Vittoriale, which you will see from the road in a few minutes. This monument, built after the Roman mound, is made up of three circles reminiscent of those of the Divine Comedy. At its top, eleven tombs containing the remains of Gabriele d'Annunzio's fellow soldiers, Gian Carlo Maroni, the architect of Vittoriale and the" Commander" himself. The road leading up to San Michele can be shortened by taking two shortcuts (signpost "San Michele"). Next to a group of houses (nos. 30/ 32), climb the small track to the right. Just past the last house and next by a bend to the left, go straight on along a path through the woods where there is a view out to the picturesque hamlet of Supiane. Once you rejoin the road (via della Calma), follow it as far a San Michele. A signpost indicating "Punto panoramico" will lead you to the tiny but pretty Saint Michael's church, previously built on this site in honour of the Archangel, Patron-Saint of the Longobards and mentioned for the first time in 1279. From this point, you can enjoy a superb view of the southern morainal hills of Lake Garda and eastwards as far as Mount Pastello, beyond the Adige Valley.