When Is the Best Time
The basilica perched on the cliffs at 773 m elevation is truly a unique place which you should visit if you are at Lago di Garda. You can access this unique church either from the top of the cliffs or from the bottom on the trail "Sentiero della Speranza".
However, choose wisely the day of your visit. During summer, it’s pretty crowded, and in the winter, it’s peaceful and quiet. But even if it is packed here, you should definitely visit this church. If you wish to enjoy the tranquillity and one of the offered services, I highly recommend visiting in the morning. This place has a special kind of magic.
I visited Madonna della Corona for the first time with my father, who loves this place, more than 20 years ago and again twice with my husband Markus. I never get bored here; it is one of the rare places where you get touched deeply.
How to Get to Madonna Della Corona?
Walking Paths - Parking
If you wish to approach The Lady of the Crown from the bottom; from the village Brentino southwest of Avio for excellent views, plan an entire day and hike up to the basilica and afterwards further up to the bus station and upper parking. Hiking Trail Locus Map App from the free parking in Brentino to the church and to the top of the cliffs to Spiazzi, where we enjoyed a late lunch in a restaurant. One way 4 km - return 8 km. I highly recommend hiking to Spiazzi because of the impressive Cloister along the road.
- Half-Day Walk
You can also park at the top in Spiazzi and walk down at the cloister and the same way back. Limited parking in Spiazzi Google Maps - The hike descends on hundreds of steps to the church - 740 m one way - return 1.5 km. Walking Path Locus Map - You are able to avoid the steep staircase and walk on the road which the buses use. Duration down 20 minutes and up 30 minutes.
There is a shuttle bus usually every half an hour. The shuttle bus stop is situated opposite 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 low, around 2 €.
People With Mobility Issues
For people with mobility issues, it is difficult to get here, unfortunately, but if you can manage to access a bus, it is a very short walk to get to the inner courtyard of the church, but a steep staircase leads up to the church as you can see in my video.
Opening Times Madonna Della Corona Church
- April – October: 7 am to 7.30 pm
- November – March: 8 am to 6 pm
Weather and Crowds for Lake Garda
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 in higher elevations. It’s a winding road to Spiazzi on 850 m elevation.
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.
The summer is warm, often scorching, with temps around 30°C. At 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.
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 mountainous areas while hiking, or you can buy them fresh on the market.
Usually, days are mild with temps between 5-10°C. Sometimes temperatures drop a little. Nights are cold on average, around freezing. Most campgrounds are closed. Snow occurs in higher elevations and at least once a year on the north shore of the lake, as in 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.
Map for This Region
There are plenty of accommodations spread around the lake. Advanced booking is recommended if you don't want to end up in one of the poorly rated-houses. During summer, it's usually crazy here. Check out booking.com for the best-guaranteed rates.
Best Months to Visit
Location and Tips
The Sanctuary of Madonna Della Corona, "The Lady of the Crown" from the 16th century, is located close to Lake Garda on the Monte Baldo Massif's back.
The hidden church is situated on cliffs at 773 m elevation. It’s a one-hour drive from Malcesine and Verona to Spiazzi, where parking is available. No entrance fee is required, but donations are welcome. You can easily get here from Lago di Garda 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 fantastic. Next to the church is a small café offering beverages and snacks.
There are some restaurants around Spiazzi. However, bring plenty of water and a sandwich for your journey to this amazing place in the mountains.
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 in the warm summer.
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 awe-inspiring from the road already. It’s a short drive from Rovereto, north of Lake Garda.
Do you want to obtain the usage right for my images? Contact me, but I will take action against picture theft.