History and splendor

Toscolano-Maderno it’s a small town in territory of Brescia, on the Riviera dei Limoni. It’s inside the High Garda Bresciano Park and in this town you’ll find one of the most beautiful mountain on the Lake, Pizzocolo mountainit’s an important naturalistic destination, also for the persons that love trekking and mountain bike, infact here we host a lot international sport events.
Toscolano has Roman origins (Romans called the Lake Bénaco) signed by the archeological site of a Roman Villa that nowadays we can still visit and see part of the pavements and painted wall. It seems that the owner was the consul Marco Nonio Macrino, an important person during that time.
Toscolano and Maderno were two different towns till 1928 and their differences are still recognizable, the boarder was the Toscolano river. Maderno was famous for the typical production of olive oil and lemons while Toscolano was known for the paper industry, infact the final part of the river is called Valle delle Cartiere, Paper Valley because from the 14th Century was one of the main center in the production of paper and from 17th also of typography in all Europe. There’s a document of the 17th of October 1381 that signed the convention between Toscolano and Maderno in which is explained in 9 rules the uses of the water and energy of the river. Nowadays Toscolano still produces hig quality paper on Burgo Group and at the Museum of Paper but at this museum the paper it’s handmade and unique

My B&B is in Via Benamati, once called Via Dei Broli Inferiori, that’s the main street of my town and it’s full of wonderful historical buildings. At 20 meters from my house there’s the precious Palazzo Gonzaga that was began from the architect Antonio Maria Viani at the beginning of XVII century for the Duke Vincenzo I. The palace was linked to the Villa del Serraglio with a park of about 20000 meters. Nowadays the garden is owned by the municipalization of Maderno and it’s always open, from 8 am till 8 pm. The owner became Francis IV Gonzaga and later of Charles II of Gonzaga – Nevers who from 1656 bought also the monastry of Padri Serviti of Saint Peter and the Serraglio park on the hill, so called for the high walls that closed the access to the park.

The Serraglio was built during 1660 and linked to the so called Palazzo Nuovo with an underground gallery that duke used for hide theyrselves from eventual spy. The son of Charles, Ferdinand Charles II Gonzaga, went often to Maderno houses and he was like his father indluging in vices and gamble: the rumors about the love affairs of his father were scandalous for the Austria court among his wife kindred. The end of the houses of Maderno begins on 1718, when these buildings passed to Leopold I, duke of Lorena, who gave and sols them to the earl of Desenzano, Saverio de Villio. On 1819 the rests of the building were bought from Mr Ghiselli who destroyed the major part ‘cause he thought that he could find a famous treasure! Nowadays we can see only few of the beauty of the building of 1600 palace; the crest of marble still remains to remember the beauty of the 17th Century period. Serraglio had a better luck that is still possible to see, while the building suffered the pass of the time, adapted to new uses during the centuries. **

At only 50 meters from bed and breakfast Sergio il Gufo there’s the beautiful Basilica of St. Andrew, the most ancient church of the Lake Garda, a unique example of XII Century Romanesque architecture. Someone tells that the church was built over some ruins of a pagan temple, you can go on the crypt and see the ancient temple. The Romanesque facade is sober and has a great entrance with a monofora window. We find classical Romanesque symbols: eagles, leaves, sirens with double tails, winged griffins and plants interwined, a dove and a lamb. The church owned for long time the body of the patron saint of Lake Garda, the XIX bishop of Brescia during the VI century, Saint Ercolano. His parents was Teutons people, he passed a lot of years at Campione and was famous, like St. Francis of Assisi, to live as a poor, in perfect harmony with nature and animals. At that time a lot of towns wanted his remains so it was decided to leave Ercolano on a boat on the Lake without a mariner beacuse only God could decide. The boat landed for “divine wanting” at the dock of Maderno and the body laid in a stone ark into the church of St. Andrew. Nowadays the bones of Saint Ercolano are settled in the main church of Maderno, on the opposite side of the square. “On the site where was built the main church there was a castle since Medioeval ages but now remains only one massive tower, actually the bell tower of the church. During the medioeval ages al the castle was surround by a double moat and the building had the task to protect the city from the barbaric invasions. During the XIII century was adapted to be the seat of the Podestà, the major of the zone, and later of the Vicario, the magistrate. On 1310 all the government officials went here inside the castle, cause Maderno became the chief town of the Brescia dock till 1377, when Beatrice della Scala decided to move the magistrates seat to Salò, as the role of chief town. For this reason the people of Maderno call her “bitch queen” and from 1377 Maderno began its decadence and the castle began to crumble till 25th of June of 1645, when a terrible fire burnt it definitely and this remained the situation till 1825, when the construction of the actual church began. Maderno rapresents an example of economic integration between the two parts: Toscolano, more artisanal and industrial and Maderno mainly dedicated to the tourism that only during the last decades interests also Toscolano” ***

Last but not least we suggest to visit the Botanical Garden of Toscolano Maderno. The garden in managed from the Biology Dept. Of the University of Milan, a prestigious place that’s composed by 10000 meters. The garden is haunted during the summer when there’s also a lot of food events. ****

* http://www.valledellecartiere.it/
** http://www.patrimoniosos.it/rsol.php?op=getarticle&id=33238
*** http://www.comune.toscolanomaderno.bs.it/it/la-storia
**** http://www.unimi.it/ateneo/3823.htm

The town of B&B Sergio il Gufo isn’t famous only for beauty of nature, history, and sports, caracteristics that makes it a unique place to spend your holiday, but also because it was the birthplace of some famous persons:

  • Osvaldo Cavandoli (Maderno, January, 1st, 1920 – Milano, March, 3rd, 2007), autore di fumetti e cartoni animati author of comics and cartoonist;
  • Andrea Celesti (Venice, 1637 – Toscolano, 1712) painter, it’s possible to see his works on the main church of Toscolano;
  • Marco Nonio Macrino, important head of the military roman forces who lived during the 2nd Century a.c., owner of the roman villa of Toscolano, closed to the Burgo Paper fabric;
  • Paganino Paganini (Brescia, forst half of the XV Century – Toscolano Maderno, 1538) typographer and publisher, knowen because he was the first printed edition of the Koran in all the world;
  • Giuseppe Zanardelli (Brescia, October 26th, 1826 – Maderno, December 26th, 1903) politician and Head of the Cabinet. Known for his choiche to abolish the death penality in Italy with the homonymous law in 1890.


To enjoy completely your holiday at Sergio il Gufo you have to know that we’re close to a lot of important and beautiful palces of Lake of Garda, take a look:

  • the harbour for the private boats (and the boat rental) at 200 meters;
  • the beach at 300 meters;
  • the ferry port at 400 meters that can bring you in every destination around the lake;
  • bike and cars rental at 500 meters;
  • excellent restaurant with partnership with us;
  • oil mill and winery that sell olive oil, wine and local products;
  • the wonderful Vittoriale of D’Annunzio, the Villa and the park of one the most impoartant poet of Italian history at only 20 minutes by walk, at Gardone;
  • MuSa;
  • Grotte di Catullo, a roman villa, at Sirmione;
  • the paddle surfing center;
  • the Bogliaco Golf Club;
  • Sailing and Yatch Club;
  • Villa Alba;
  • the walk to Monte Maderno that begins from our doorway and that gives to you on the top, a beautiful view of the Lake;
  • the street that goes to Monte Pizzocolo, more than 1500 meters high: there you’ll see all the Lake and its whole and real beauty.

And we are also close to other beautiful city in Lombardia and in Veneto, like Venice, Verona, Trento, Padua, Mantua, Bergamo, Milan and obviously to Brescia and Gardaland! Last but not least we have to remember that’s a perfect for your shopping! Theres’ a lot of brands here around that belong to the excellence of made in Italy in fashion and food. When you’ll be here you won’t ask me why I moved from Milan.