Pra de la Fam (or Prato della Fame – meadow of hunger) is a place along the lakeside immediately below the villages of Tignale. There are many explanations for this name, but the most plausible is that of the sailors who sailed from Salò to Riva for the Saturday market.
Because of the many currents and storms these sailors were often forced to berth along this strip of land for a day or two and, because of the lack of provisions here, they had to climb up to the village using the winding footpath (still in use) which comes out in the middle of the olive groves of Oldesio. In 1754 the Parisini family owned the area called ‘Pra de la Fam’ and planted two “lemon gardens”, the larger being of seven terraces.
During the mid- to late nineteenth century, the two lemon houses were completely abandoned despite the fact that there was still a market for the lemons, when the road from Gargnano to Riva was built. In 1984 the local Comunità Montana in agreement with the owners began to reconstruct the lemon houses and they now contain all the typical elements of lemon gardens of the Garda area.. There are now about one hundred trees cultivated and in May when they flower their perfume pervades the whole area. The lemons are picked in May from the trees in flower the year before, and then from May to October there are new flowers each month and new lemons.
These lemons are now given away but they used to be sold in Austria and Germany, and they were extremely high quality products. Because of the abundance of the production of lemons, the economy of the whole area felt the benefit. Whoever visits this area where there are the remains of these gardens which so impressed the German poet Goethe two centuries ago, should not fail to visit this marvellous lemon house.