In the Middle Ages Maderno was an important centre for politics and administration, and the capital city of the western Riviera untill 1337.
In the 17th and 18th century the Dukes of Mantua chose Palazzo Gonzaga and Villa Serraglio as their own summer residence.
In the past it was characterized by a small beach where washerwomen used to wash clothes and the workers to bleach the linen. In 1899 it completely changed its aspect after the construction of the main road along the lake side. It is dedicated to St. Mark, a name that derives from the column holding the winged lion, symbol of the Republic of Venice.