I Re Barbari

Garda là in fondo solleva la ròcca sua fósca
sovra lo specchio liquido,
cantando una saga d’antiche cittadi sepolte
e di regine barbare.

Giosuè Carducci - Odi Barbare

The hills of Lake Garda are closely linked to the names of Lotario, ruler of the Kingdom of Italy in 950 AD and to that of his wife, Queen Adelaide of Burgundy.

Lotario was poisoned by the rival dukes and Adelaide was imprisoned in the castle that stood on the Rocca di Garda by one of these, Berengario, who wanted to force her to marry him.

"But a priest named Martino, or with an opening made in the wall of that prison, or with an excavation made underground (better, however, with gold or with the protection of some powerful enemy of Berengario), one night he could get it out, even along a very steep path, traced in the almost perpendicular side of the mountain towards the lake, you descend to a kind of cave, which tradition points to the temporary hiding place of the persecuted Queen, then dressed herself and her maid as a man, on a boat they were able to escape to a forest contiguous to Lake Garda: the Lugana. " Otto the Great King of Germany became aware of the facts; desiring he to make the Crown of Italy his own and also to help the unhappy widow, he came down from the Alps with an army: without shedding blood he made himself a tributary Berengario, entered Pavia where he took the crown of Italy and married Adelaide, with whom he returned to Germany. "