During his famous journey to Italy, a strong and sudden wind on Lake Garda forces Johann Wolfgang Goethe on 13 September 1786 to spend some time in Malcesine. He is fascinated by the Scaliger Castel and looks out for a quiet place in order to draw the castle. Some inhabitants mistake him for an Austrian spy and the poet almost gets arrested.
A commemorative plaque in Malcesine that reminds of the place where Goethe drew
In his Italian Journey Goethe describes this anecdote, which has contributed very much to the village's fame, which is nowadays one of the most important touristic attractions at Lake Garda.
The journey will take him to Rome, in the central Via del Corso, today "Casa di Goethe".
Since 2001 a connection has been established between the two places related to Goethe with the cooperation between the Comune di Malcesine/Museo Castello Scaligero and Casa di Goethe Rome.
Eight temporary exhibitions of the Roman museum have been on display over the years in the Castel of Malcesine on Lake Garda.
Goethe in Malcesine by Dorothee Hock (Casa di Goethe), 2004
In 2004 the new “Goethe room” was opened in the Castel (a project by Casa di Goethe), together with the presentation of the booklet Goethe in Malcesine (in Italian, German and English).
In 2008 another book was published in cooperation:
the reprint of Elisabeth Mentzel's essay Auf Goethes Spuren in Malcesine from 1908.