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Malcesine is a small town in the Veneto region of Italy on the eastern shores of Lake Garda. The history of the region dates back to at least 500 BCE when Etruscan peoples settled the area. Later came domination by the Roman Empire, and after its fall a series of Barbarian peoples. A fortress was built in the region now known as Malcesine in the latter half of the first millenium, which was later converted into a proper castle by the Della Scalla family in the 14th century, who named it Scaliger Castle. The Venetians ruled the area beginning in the 15th century, until the Veneto came under the control of Italy in 1866, after a brief period of rule by the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Today, people visit Malcesine for its idyllic setting, its proximity to Venice and its artistic culture. Many artists have visited the town, from Kafka to Goethe to Gustav Klimpt. Goethe wrote an ode to the city in 1786, describing the unique sensation it induces in visitors. Klimpt produced a series of paintings of the city in 1913, now in the Lederer collection in Vienna.