Arco is set at the bottom of the valley crossed by the river Sarca, flowing into lake Garda. Surrounded by mountains, Arco is characterized by particularly mild weather, being so close to the lake; that’s why this resort has always been so popular.
Arco’s main economic resourses are represented by tourism, local craft and manufacture
Height: 91m above sea level.
Arco was a Roman settlement and people have dwelled here since the Neolithic. The Latin mark is evident in the names of the area. “Arco” itself derives from “arx” (= rock).
Arco was fortified by the Goths and it eventually became the main town of the Counts of Arco’s estate. The buildings of the time are still standing.
Arco was ruled by the Visconti family, the Scaligeri family and the Republic of Venice. Heavy battles have been fought here, and in 1703 Arco was attacked by the French troops headed by Gen. Vendôme; it was eventually absorbed by the Austro-Hungarian Empire which made Arco the perfect place for the Austrian middle class to stay.
The Archduke Alberto of Austria had his winter residence in Arco built: a huge villa surrounded by a luxuriant park with Mediterranean and exotic trees. At the same time other structures and buildings were built, such as hotels, villas, gardens and spas.
Arco became part of the Italian territory at the end of second world war.
What to see
Collegiate Parish Church of Our Lady of the Assumption is a late Renaissance building containing works painted by Brusasorzi, Polacco, Caregari, Zanussi.
Church of S. Apollinare in Prabi, a little Roman Church. It dates back to the beginning of the XVII century.
Hermitage of San Giacomo sul Monte was frescoed by Moretto in 1576.
Church of San Bernardino
Hermitage of San Paolo, a church with beautiful frescoes showing “The last supper” and some episodes of St. Paul’s life.
Sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie, built between 1475 and 1492; the lowered curved arches and some smooth capitaled columns are still visible in the cloister.
Palazzo Nuovo, built in the XV century. It presently hosts the municipal historic archive.
Palazzo del Municipio, a building in a baroque style. On the main portal it is possible to see the latest version of the Counts of Arco’s crest.
Palazzo del Termine, (Terminal Building), called this way for being near the county’s boundaries.
Palazzo Marchetti, characterized by curious chimneys and a decorative stripe showing mythological figures.
Palazzo dei Panni, it hosts the municipal library. It dates back to the final decades of the XVII century. Around the end of the XVIII century, the building was bought by the clergyman Giovanni Battista Marosi, who changed the structure into a wool mill to cope with the strong crisis affecting the village.
Castle of Arco
The castle of Arco stands on a massive rock looking over the Sarca river valley.
The building has been besieged several times and under the domination of different families. The castle, whose architecture is characterized by the Renghera Tower, was finally bought by Arco City Hall, which has carefully restored many rooms making them able to be visited.
Definitely worth attention are the XV century series of frescoes portraying some typical court life: ladies in waiting making garlands of roses, investitures of knights and San Giorgio killing a dragon.
Arboretum of Arco
The arboretum of Arco shows a great variety of rare plants and trees from other continents. It is located inside the Archducal Park created by the Archduke of Habsburg near the Archducal Villa, and it extends over a hectare. It includes about 150 vegetal species from Africa, Australia, America, Asia and Europe.
The Habsburg market of Arco is a Christmas tradition that has been passed down over the century, since the glorious Austro-Hungarian Empire time.
The market occurs during the weeks before Christmas. Little Austrian-style wooden houses host expositors selling local products and gift ideas, such as rag dolls, candles, objects made of glass, wood and ceramics. Other great initiatives are carried on in this period, like the projection of the Advent calendar on the old city center’s buildings’ fronts.
Castelfesta on the third weekend of July.
Habsburg Carnival during the carnival week.
Patronal festival of S. Anna on the 26th of July.
Arco hosts numerous and important sporting events. Several international federations choose Arco as the training place for Olympic competitions.
Arco Sailing Club became the federal centre of the area in 2007, reinforcing the bond between Arco itself and the activity of sailing. Moreover, there are also very good practice walls, both natural and artificial; as a matter of fact every year Arco hosts Rock Master, a climbing sports competition with the participation of international athletes.
Household names connected to Arco
Arco gave birth to the pointillist painter Giovanni Segantini (1858-1899), to the engineer and pioneer of aviation Gianni Caproni (1886-1957), to the architect Giancarlo Maroni (1893-1952), and to the journalist and partisan Giorgio Morelli.
Other famous people spent their life in Arco, such as sister Maria Arcangela Biondini who died in 1712, and S.M. Francesco II di Borbone, the last king of the Reign of Sicily (1859-1861) who died in Arco in 1894.
Salty meat: based on an old method to preserve meet, it is a real specialty in the Trentino area of the lake. The beef rump is in every menu of the area surrounded by Arco, Tenno and Varone. It can be served raw and seasoned with Garda olive oil as a starter, or well done with beans.
Distillates: they are obtained from the distillation of Trentino grape fermented peel which are used for the wine-making. The liquid looks colourless and tastes very aromatic. The best examples of distillates are grappa with herbs, berries and small fruit.
Wines from Trentino: thanks to the fine climate, this area of lake Garda is particularly good for grape cultivation. The varieties of grapes provide the production of fine wines, tasting slightly fruity.
Also international vineyards provides wines here, such as Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir, Sauvignon, Traminer Aromatico, Yellow Muscatel and the sparkling white wine Talento Trento.
Virgin olive oil D.O.P. (name of origin protected) of lake Garda: on the Garda terracing of Trentino there are different kinds of local olive trees, such as Favarol, Casaliva, Rossanel and Raza. These varieties produce a golden green oil, fine-tasting and fruity. Virgin olive oil of lake Garda got the DOP acknowledged by the EU.
Fruit and honey: thanks to the fine microclimate, many varieties of fruit and vegetables are cultivated here. Among them, it is worth mentioning the plums of Dro, not far from Arco, apples, pears and September peaches; while some typical kind of vegetables are radicchio, asparagus, cucumber and many other typical Mediterranean garden products such as tomatoes, peppers and zucchini.
Honey: around Arco there are different honey producers; they depend on the kind of flowers the bees get the pollen from. The honey produced in the Trentino area of lake Garda includes millefiori (made from several flower essences), chestnut honey, acacia honey, dandelion honey and fir honeydew.
Parking in Via Caproni Maini
€ 10.00, max 72 hours
Parking at holiday farm Agritur Michelotti
Via Soccesure 2.
A.P.T. DEL GARDA TRENTINO
38066 Riva del Garda
Giard.di Porta Orientale, 8