Quite different from Campione d’Italia, Campione del Garda is a village located in the Garda area, on a piece of land under a looming mountain. A hamlet of the municipality of Tremosine, which today has become a beautiful but no longer populated village as it once was.
A place of charm, therefore, for those who love isolated and “hidden” places, which represents a place to visit especially if you are looking for old villages and appreciate the nature of this territory, between lake and rocks.
The history of the village
Campione is located in a beautiful position on the Brescian shore of Lake Garda, nestled between the green nature of the Alto Garda park, with its rocky coast, and the waters of the lake – which lead to the nearest centers of Tremosine and then Salò.
Since its foundation in the Middle Ages and then in the Renaissance, Campione has been a commercial village, inserted in a valley where paper mills, mills, forges, and an intense work activity in various sectors abounded. A lively village, of which little remains today, since over time these jobs have lost interest.
The famous Villa Archetti, the eighteenth-century spinning mill, in fact, did not last more than a century since it was undermined by the flood of 1807, which destroyed the workshops. It was the cause of the progressive abandonment of the village, combined with the “sale” of various activities in the area, which made Campione almost uninhabited for about a century.
Although at the end of the nineteenth century Campione del Garda was relaunched and repopulated, the duration of productivity was not long. Today, the fate of this small village is still under discussion, with development projects, while there are still several things to see and do…
The recovery of the village now allows you to visit a center that is very different from the past but still fascinating. The urban redevelopment project includes residences, wellness centers, and hotels. The village, in this sense, is pedestrianized, among old houses, restaurants, and shops.
In particular, a road runs along the lakefront and is perfect for walks and enjoying the panorama of this corner set between the mountain that overlooks it. Unfortunately, a part of the road that connects Campione to other villages has been closed since a landslide in 2014.
University of Sailing
For those who love water more than rock, one can appreciate the village’s vocation today towards water sports. In Campione, you can find Univela, the University of Sailing, for the athletic training of those who love sailing sports, located on the lakefront and also offering comfortable rooms, a restaurant, a gym, and a large storage room for sports equipment.
The climate is mild, and the Ora and Peler winds blow all year round, allowing you to sail among boats, kite surfing, and windsurfing. Also, if you love diving, in this area, you can reach one of the deepest points of Lake Garda (over 360 meters), and among the vertical walls, you can see the famous Pinnacolo, a natural underwater sculpture known to all diving enthusiasts.
Certainly, the center is very popular with those who practice sports on the lake but also as a starting point for various excursions in the surrounding nature.
Alternatively, you can think of a relaxing stop on the beaches of Campione, there are few but well-attended by those who love kite or windsurfing, therefore always interesting. The free beach, in particular, is pleasant with its pebble stones and grassy areas, with a convenient paid parking nearby, toilets, and showers – as well as bar and restaurant services.
Alternatively, you can also find an equipped beach that offers the service of renting sunbeds, deck chairs, and umbrellas.
Among the redevelopment projects of recent years, now blocked, there is also the construction of the Sailing Village marina, with 170 boat berths, and an exclusive hotel attached.
Campione represents the only hamlet of Tremosine that overlooks the lake, and also for this reason, it is known to all the inhabitants of the surroundings. A small peninsula that today lives like a beach, but that perhaps at the beginning was a cultivable field, among many rocks. Its name, in fact, seems to derive from the twelfth-century wording “Campillione,” which means a small field or arable land.
The naturalistic itineraries in Campione and surroundings
One of the most interesting is certainly the gorge of the San Michele stream. The village, in fact, is located on the delta of the stream, in a canyon insinuated into the rocky fault. Perfect for those who do canyoning, it is also a place suitable for those who want to walk the canyon of the stream with well-defined paths (202 and 207) that reach the hamlet of Pregasio, always in Tremosine, or that head towards Tignale, under Montecastello – where a hermitage of hermits stands.
Another scenario, which recalls recent history, is instead the one that sees this town in total autonomy during the autarchic period of the Ventennio. It will lead to a work of engineering specifically designed for Campione, to create electricity from an artificial lake. Starting from this high-altitude basin, the water arrived at such a falling speed as to power the turbines of the power plant that was located at the foot of the mountain, like Campione itself. In particular, it powered the textile industry, which as we have seen was flourishing until the Second World War.