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Between past and present

Lovere_TorreCivicaLovere is a town with a disposition for industry which has rediscovered a first-rate disposition for tourism over the last few years.
Coming from the north and walking along the lake front as far as via XX Settembre, you then go uphill to the basilica of S. Maria Assunta in Valvendra (St. Mary of the Assumption in Valvendra). It has a high, polygonal apse facing the lake and the entrance is on the opposite side, on what was once the main route to the Camonica Valley. Inside there is an imposing nave with three aisles and a series of chapels with 15th-century and Baroque frescoes on the left.

You can go down via S. Maria towards the medieval town centre as far as the medieval towers: the 13th-century torre detta “la Zucca” (the tower known as “the Pumpkin”) close to the Romanesque church of St. George, the 12th-century torre Civica ( Civic Tower) and the 13th-century torre degli Alghisi ( the Tower of the Alghisi). Another alternative is to go back to the lake front to the big square, piazza 13 Martiri, where there is the pier. From here, a little further along the modern lake front on the right, you will see the building which houses the Accademia Tadini art gallery.

The Accademia di Belle Arti Tadini art gallery is in a splendid building facing the lake. Completed in 1826 and designed by the architect S. Salimbeni, it was commissioned by CountLovere_AccademiaTadini Tadini of Crema with the noble intention of opening his private collection to the public so that the masterpieces might serve as examples to inspire new young artists training at the Accademia’s painting and music schools. The art gallery inside is well-stocked. On the ground floor, in the chapel set in the gardens there is a superb bas-relief by Canova dedicated to Tadini’s only son. The latter was one of the first commentators of Canova but he died young when a room collapsed in their summer residence.

The gallery is comprised of various sections which house a small archaeological collection, drawings, prints, tapestries, bronzes, wooden, terracotta and marble sculptures, paintings from the 14th century to the 20th century, chinaware and glassware, medals, weapons, musical instruments, furniture, chandeliers and plaster statues.

The library houses about 8000 volumes on subjects like literature, history, science and art.
Alongside the temporary exhibitions, the Academy organizes a series of chamber music concerts every year which are held in the concert hall.

Lovere_VillaMilesiThere is also a Civic Museum of Natural History in Lovere (Villa Milesi, 19 Via Marconi). It has a an ornithology collection of stuffed birds including specimens from the surrounding lake and mountain areas, a collection of insects and one of minerals from the Camonica and Sebino Valleys.

Included in the list of illustrious visitors to Lovere is the English writer Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762), who arrived here in 1748 and stayed for 10 years. She wrote a series of very interesting letters to her daughter in which she illustrated the romantic splendours of the lake.