Trentino is a part of Italy, we’ve long been fond of! It’s a part of Italy that looks and feels like nowhere else in Italy! It’s just such a special place and one we had such a great time exploring the first time we visited.
Then there’s Lake Garda – home to some rather amazing sights and a spot that attracts visitors Italian and otherwise far and wide! Lake Garda is actually a lot bigger than it sounds and actually spans multiple regions in Italy – one of which is Trentino, in the North.
With that, we decided to head back to Italy to go explore even more of this beautiful region, albeit with a lakeside twist to the affairs. 😀
We flew into Verona and in just a little over an hour, arrived in Riva del Garda, a beautiful town perched right on the edge of Lake Garda (in Trentino).
Our ‘home’ for the entire time here was Holiday IV Garden hotel, a hotel quite unlike most Italian hotels we’ve stayed in. It’s a more modern spot, more playful and brilliantly located!
After checking in, we headed to Riva del Garda for dinner at Nuovo 900 Restaurant, a spot where we got to try the speciality of the area – ‘Carne Salada’ – which essentially translates to ‘Salty Beef’.
It’s not a wrong translation either but it’s not quite like it sounds. It’s actually cured beef, served thinly sliced and it tastes absolutely delicious drizzled with virgin olive oil. Kinda like having cured ham.
Alas, I have no pictures from this night but will show you further along this trip what ‘carne salada’ is like.
After a much-needed great night’s sleep (we stayed out chatting and drinking local wines till well past midnight), got up bright and early but thoroughly refreshed and eager to go explore more of Garda Trentino.
Garda Trentino is absolutely beautiful but it’s almost one of the most ‘active (i.e. outdoors-y) parts of Italy.
Even the last time we visited Trentino as a whole, everyone here was out and about on short walks, hikes or just generally taking a break to play some sport or the other in the sun.
It’s one part of Italy where a lot of the fun lies outside and so with that, we headed out for a jaunt up the mountains to find ourselves a very special castle – Arco Castle.
The walk starts in the town of Arco itself and begins in a small side street running almost behind the main town’s attractions.
It’s a fairly easy/moderate hike with lots of opportunities to stop for a breather and take in the view…
…of which, the views are pretty fantastic. 😀
The steepest part is probably the last few metres leading to the castle gates upon which (after you’ve entered, of course), you’re welcomed with stunning views over Arco and right up to Riva del Garda and Lake Garda.
The castle itself ain’t too bad to look at either. 😉 😀
With that, we started our ascent up to the castle itself, stopping off every so often to just take it all in… and perhaps even more so to check out the ever-changing yet consistently impressive view all around.
Once you get to the castle, you’ll find yourself some ancient frescos worth checking out (no photos allowed so I can’t show you what it looks like) but you’re not done here yet – there’s still more to see here and so you begin your ascent to get to the very top via a set of spiral stairs before you hit the main pathway on top!
(I had given myself a congratulatory pat on the back for having made it up this far – only to realise I still hadn’t actually arrived at the inner part of the castle yet).
Eventually, we made it to the top – panting and totally wishing we’d remembered to bring water with us (amateur-move – even more so because there was a café just past the entry gates to castle but we didn’t think we’d need any drinks back then).
After taking time to catch our breath and soak in all of that gorgeous view of Garda Trentino, we began our descent into the town, taking a different route back, through the rather quaint streets of what I now like to call “Upper Arco” (it’s actually just Arco but it’s a lot higher than the part of the town we started off in).
Before long, we made it back to the car park, hopped into the car and headed off to go find ourselves some well-earned lunch, pleased as punch with our morning ‘workout’ (and the beautiful views that it came with) over Arco and all of the beauty that is Garda Trentino.