The Lemon House Pra dela Fam

What are those high pillars soaring skywards, all lined up, enclosed with white stone walls on three sides? 
Lake Garda, especially along its west bank from Limone to Salò, still has some notable examples of structures not found anywhere else, to remind us of an epoch and civilisation now lost. 
​They are the remains of lemon groves which impressed Goethe two hundred years ago:

“We passed Limone, whose hillside gardens, terraced and planted with lemon trees, create a rich and beautiful picture..”

(from Italian journey, 1786)


Those lemon gardens were lemon houses, which date back to the 13th Century, when citrus cultivation was introduced around Lake Garda.
These characteristic buildings were constructed to protect the valuable plantations against the dangers of potential harsh winters. The inhabitants of the coastal area, until then struggling to survive as peasant farmers, boatmen or fishermen, became gardeners.

The whole economy benefited from this development as the production was plentiful, of high quality and almost exclusively intended for export to central European countries and Russia, with high profits guaranteed.
By the sweat of their brows and with perseverance they continually improved the cultivation and its structures, making it more functional and productive. Lake Garda became the most northerly area in the world to produce citrus fruits.
The unification of Italy and the resulting abolition of customs duties, the development of transport and the degeneration of plants due to gummosis disease, led to the gradual decline of this activity. Despite their decay, the walls of the lemon houses remain-witness of a flourishing period for the economy of Lake Garda.

There has recently been an attempt to save and protect these structures out of respect for their historical and cultural significance, for the local population.

The lemon house at “Pra de la Fam”, near the port of Tignale, has been restored by the Comunità Montana Alto Garda Bresciano (the organisation which manages the regional park) and can be visited by the public.

Loc. Pra dela Fam - Porto di Tignale 

Gardesana occidentale 45 bis (The main road along the west coast of the Lake)
25080 Tignale (Bs)

Opening hours:

Our Lemon House is open from the 14th april to 31st October 2019

Entrance fee: free
Entrance fee with guided visit and tasting: € 3,00
Entrance fee: € 2,00
Entrance fee with guided visit and tasting: € 4,00
GUIDED VISIT WITH TASTING*: each thursday at 10.30 a.m.
*on booking to the Tourist Office:

For info, please contact "Ufficio Unico del Turismo" of Tignale:

0365/73354 or

Further information: 

Ufficio Unico del Turismo (Tourist Information Office, Tignale)
Via Europa, 5 - 25080 Tignale (Bs)
Tel. 0365 73354

Comunità Montana Parco Alto Garda
Via Oliva, 32 - 25088 Gargnano (Bs)
Tel. 0365 71449 (int. 225 o 227)