Madonna della Corona
The basilica built right on the rock is must visit place if you are at Lago di Garda. However, chose wisely the day of your visit. During summer it’s pretty busy on the opposite in the winter it’s peaceful and quiet. Crowds can be an issue; therefore, avoid Sundays to enjoy this magical place. However, during service, you hear the choir echoing in the valley. I find this place intensely emotional and touching a very rare experience nowadays. Don’t come here in a rush; take your time.
Opening Times Madonna Della Corona Church
- April – October: 7 am to 7.30 pm
- November – March: 8 am to 6 pm
Weather and Crowds
The lake has its own mild microclimate. However, the mountainous area is a little cooler. Rain occurs throughout the year. Snow is rare but definitely happens between late October to March. If visiting Lake Garda in the winter you either need winter tires or snow chains for driving. It’s a winding road to Spiazzi on 850 m elevation.
Spring (March - April - May)
Lovely temps during the day up to 20°C. Increasing rain in May but usually in the afternoon or evening. Nights are still cold on average around 10°C. It gets more crowded but still bearable except for the Easter holidays. The villages and towns around the lake get busier.
Summer (June - July - August)
The summer is warm often hot with temps around 30°C. In the night, temps are pleasant on average below 20°C. It’s also the wettest time of the year. Heavy thunderstorms occur in the afternoon or evening. Usually, the visibility to the other side of the lake is poor before midday due to the humidity of the lake clouds built up. Lago di Garda and all attractions around are crazy busy. The traffic is terrible. Hotel and rental holiday prices are sky-high.
Autumn (September - October - November)
It's also a lovely time at Lake Garda. Crowds thin out a little. More accommodations are available except for the autumn holidays. September and October are excellent months still around 20°C though November is already cold and temps can drop below 10°C. Fresh porcinis can be found in the mountainous areas while hiking or buy them fresh on the market.
Winter (December - January - February)
Usually, days are mild with temps between 5-10°C. Sometimes temperatures drop a little. Nights are cold on average around 0°C. Most campgrounds are closed. Snow occurs in higher elevations and at least once a year on the north shore of the lake like the beginning of November 2019. As soon as the sun is shining it’s pleasant. The advantage it's clear without haze during the day. It’s the driest time of the year but rain occurs. It’s also the quietest time of the year. Though before Christmas a little busy. However, less traffic. Our preferred time at Lago di Garda.
Tips for Photographers
The picturesque church is in the shadow in the morning. You get the best sunlight on the basilica from midday onwards.
It's a short window in the morning to get the perfect shot with sunlight. The sun disappears behind the mountains already at midday.
The Sanctuary of Madonna Della Corona, "The Lady of the Crown" from the 16th century, is located close to Lake Garda on the back of the Monte Baldo Massif. The hidden church is situated on cliffs in 773 m elevation. It’s a one-hour drive from Malcesine and Verona to Spiazzi, where parking is available. No entrance fee required, but donations are welcome. It's easy to get here by car. Due to the inaccessibility, Sanctuary Madonna Della Corona never got utterly destroyed in the past.
In the 70s, an Italian architect rebuilt the impressive chapel. The views to the church and from there down to the valley and the river Etsch are spectacular. Next to the church is a small café offering beverages and snacks. In the wintertime quiet but during the summer busy. There are some restaurants around Spiazzi. However, bring plenty of water and a sandwich for your journey to this amazing place in the mountains.
How to Get to Madonna Della Corona
- There are two options to get to this popular place from Spiazzi; either you can go by shuttle bus every half an hour or hike down. You can walk on the road along with the stations of the cross or take the path with steep steps down for about 20 minutes. The shuttle bus stop is on the opposite of the chapel, just a short walk from here. You can already see the famous church when leaving the bus. Hiking back uphill is more strenuous. The bus ticket price is 1.80 Euro p.p.
- Another opportunity is the trail from the village Brentino southwest of Avio. It's an old pilgrims' path that leads over steep slopes to the picturesque chapel. You may need about 2 hours one way.
Tip Dress Code
There are already signs at the beginning of the trail to wear appropriate clothes. Protect your shoulders and knees for access to the sanctuary.
Do you like to see more of those fascinating chapels? There is another one called Eremo die San Colombano (Location Google Maps)
Unfortunately, not open to the public daily only on weekends from 10 am to 6 pm. The access across a bridge is closed by a gate. Nevertheless, it’s very impressive from the road already. It’s a short drive from Rovereto in the north of Lake Garda.