Malcesine is a place which captures all the magic of Christmas. Bordered by the Garda lake on one side and the show-capped Monte Baldo on the other, this historical medieval town offers monuments, local food specialities, a sense of tradition, and during the Christmas season is host to a wealth of events appealing to both young and old. A stroll through the centre evokes a festive mood, with its lights and market stalls displaying a wide range of decorations and gift ideas. The so-called Elf market, a long-standing tradition here, provides the perfect occasion for finding that special present, or at least a souvenir of the occasion. One of the surprises of the town is its historical symbol, the castle which encircles the centre, and hosts Theatre performances and other entertainment for children: animated films, games, parties, magic shows, balloon sculptures, make-up and many other activities. The castle itself dates back probably to the Longobard era, and was rebuilt by the Scaliger family in the 13th century and later restructured by the Venetians and the Austrians.Today it is home to the Natural History Museum of Lake Garda and Monte Baldo, with its interesting display of geological and botanical remains, fossils and archaeological finds, and a special exhibition dedicated to the German poet Goethe.Among other sites of the city are the ancient town gates, attached to the 16th Palazzo dei Capitani, and the 9th century parish church of Santo Stefano. The surrounding area also contains Cassone and the hermitage Santi Benigno e Carlo in the valley of San Zeno.Malcesine also has a funicular railway which takes you to Tratto Spino, 1780 m above sea level, where there is a ski station.