Every time I visit Arco, Italy again, I am refreshed by the combination of mighty mountain crags, ancient fortresses, peaceful views across Lake Garda, friendly people, and some of the best Italian food I ever tasted. Arco is in the mountains of northern Italy on the road between Storo and Rovereto, a short drive from Verona. There are also many, many other attractions in nearby towns that make your visit doubly worthwhile.
Arco Italy: A Special Place to Relax
Arco Castle, the Jewel in the Crown
The chief attraction has always been Arco Castle, standing as it does on a commanding cliff and daring all and sundry to challenge its mastery over mediaeval trade routes that brought wealth to a succession of Counts of Arco, who lorded it over the peasants. In 1703, French soldiers accepted the challenge and conquered it. Follow the steep road up to it for stunning views across the countryside, and frescoes of noble knights and lovely ladies undergoing renovation.
The Collegiate Church of the Assumption
Arco benefited from its wealthy Counts who poured money into religious buildings in the hope of securing their salvation. Perhaps they did. Of more immediate interest are marble statues by Gabriele Cagliari da Verona, and an altarpiece attributed to Felice Brusasorzi. If you are of a morbid dispensation, you can follow steps down to an underground tomb where the mortal remains of Counts and Canons of the Collegiate molder away.
The Delights of Smaller, More Ordinary Things
So much for Castles, Counts and Collegiate Priests: I prefer the memories that regular people like you and bequeath to generations that follow. Cobbled streets set down with love, a graceful archway that makes a statement, even a plastered wall that has started crumbling. Arco has some lovely pedestrian precincts. Now where is that restaurant I remember near a fountain?
Arco is a Delight Especially Out of Season
On a warm balmy night like this, there can be few better places to be than in Antico Arco under the watchful eye of Patrizia Mattei, her husband, and a friend. To my way of thinking there is nothing, and I mean nothing better than fresh amber jack fish fillet oven cooked, with roasted potatoes and spicy cream of broccoli, a seasonal fresh salad, and a carafe of chianti lightly chilled.