The Varone waterfalls are located in the municipality of Tenno, in the province of Trento, 3 km from Riva del Garda. They have a height of almost 100 meters, and originate from the Magnone stream, which flows under the ravine valley and descends towards Lake Garda. Its waters are fed by the subterranean losses of Lake Tenno which for a short distance enters the mountain and then forms the waterfall. The name Varone instead originates from the homonymous village of Riva del Garda located a short distance away. The catwalk that goes into the gorge under the waterfall was inaugurated on June 20, 1874; godfathers were the King of Saxony, John, and Prince Nicholas of Montenegro, who were near Riva del Garda on holiday. Since then it has become a must for all tourists and is still considered one of the proud citizens today. Famous names of writers and great artists appear in the register of visits, Prince Umberto II of Savoy, Gabriele d'Annunzio, Emperor Franz Joseph I of Habsburg, Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann and many others. In particular Thomas Mann was often in Riva del Garda between 1901 and 1904, and seems to have drawn inspiration for some features of his novel "The Enchanted Mountain" in particular for the phrase: "Against the background of the narrow, deep chasm formed by boulders pot-bellied rock, naked, slippery like huge brambles of fish, the mass of water pours down with deafening noise".
In the 13th century, on grounds where the church and cloister of San Francesco presently stand, there was a monastery whose monks began lemon cultivation. Thanks to its mild climate, Gargnano’s economy was linked to its lemon groves for centuries; these were true cathedrals of pillars built to make citrus cultivation possible at this latitude, the northernmost in the world. In 1840, next to the convent, the “Società Lago di Garda” (Lake Garda Company) became the fi rst agricultural cooperative in Italy, formed to harvest and market this valuable product. The citrus industry reached its peak between 1850 and 1855 when Gargnano was home to half of the lemon greenhouses on the western shore. The death of 80% of the plants from the gummosis disease, competition from southern produce following the unifi cation of the Kingdom of Italy and, most especially, laboratory synthesis of citric acid, gradually led to the activity being abandoned.