What to do in Arco

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Arco is a little treasure chest full of magic. Located in the province of Trento, it is the southernmost town on the Trentino side of Lake Garda. At the foot of the imposing castle, the architecture of the historic centre is distributed in an arc, hence probably the name. Starting right in the heart of the town and walking towards the castle of Arco, you will pass picturesque historical buildings as you ascend through narrow cobbled alleys.

Once you reach the castle, an unparalleled panorama will open up before your eyes: the roofs of the village below you and the inimitable blue of the lake. Amidst typical small restaurants, wine cellars, bars and shops, Arco is constantly animated by a pulsating lifestyle, yet full of that ancient magic conveyed by the old mansions.

The town is particularly popular with climbing enthusiasts, so much so that it has become the Italian capital of this discipline. Not only that. Trekking, mountain-biking, and windsurfing on the lake are also popular here. But let us see in more detail, what are the things not to be missed during your visit to Arco, starting from its historical centre.

The Best Things to See in Arco

  1. Arco Castle
    Let’s start with the Castle. With medieval origins, it overlooks the city from above. Today, only the evocative ruins remain, but as previously mentioned, the view is unparalleled and definitely worth the effort of the climb. For a small fee, you can visit the castle’s interior.
  2. Palazzo Dei Panni
    Built in the 17th century commissioned by Gianbattista d’Arco, whose family crest stands out on the portal. In the 18th century, the palace was transformed into a wool mill (hence the name) to address the strong crisis period the country was facing at that time. After various uses over the centuries, today the Palace houses the Civic Library, where conferences and exhibitions take place.
  3. Palazzo Marchetti (or San Pietro)
    This palace dates back to the 16th century and is one of the oldest in the city. It immediately stands out for its tall Venetian-style terracotta chimneys and the frescoes under the eaves. The sculpted portal is attributed to Giulio Romano. Today, the palace houses a restaurant from which you can admire the splendid interior frescoes.
  4. Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta
    Located in the heart of the town of Arco, in Piazza III Novembre. Dating back to the 17th century, it was built on the remains of a previous Romanesque church. It certainly deserves a thorough visit to honor the numerous works of art and decorations that adorn it.
    Next to the Collegiate Church, we find the Church of Sant’Anna, dating back to the 15th century. And, not far from the historic center of Arco, in the Prabi area, immerse yourself in the simple charm of the Church of Sant’Appollinare. Isolated in a dream-like atmosphere, it contains beautiful 14th-century frescoes.
    Also nearby Arco, in the Ceole district, the Sanctuary of Madonna Delle Grazie is worth a visit. Inside, sculptures and paintings depicting the life of the Madonna.
  5. The Gardens of Arco
    The Gardens of Arco are located near the Collegiate Church and are an oasis of peace for adults, children, and furry four-legged friends! Bars, kiosks, and a playground shaded by centuries-old trees: what more could you want?
  6. The Arboretum
    Close to the center, the Arboretum is a beautiful garden with plants from all over the world. Ideal for relaxing breaks among greenhouses and ponds with water lilies. Picnic area, bathrooms, and equipped spaces for dogs are available. Definitely something to include among the things to do in Arco with children.
  7. Arco Municipal Casino
    The Arco Municipal Casino, now a venue for conferences and exhibitions, has a history that boasts illustrious figures such as the Habsburg Empress Elisabeth “Sissi,” who stayed in Arco in 1889. In the second half of the 19th century, European nobility had chosen the city of Arco as a destination for leisure and winter treatments. The splendid veranda and the ballroom overlook the promenade where the music gazebo stands out.
  8. Museum Omkafè
    For those who can’t do without coffee, the Omkafè Museum is a gem not to be missed. With a lake view location, you can discover the secrets of roasting and the history of this beloved millennia-old beverage. Tastings and a shop follow.

Arco & Sports

Thanks to its geographical configuration, nestled against the surrounding rock walls, Arco has rightfully earned the title of the “homeland of sport climbers.” From numerous rock gyms to exhilarating deep-water cliffs over the lake, and multi-pitch routes along the steep walls of the Sarca Valley, Arco and the entire Garda Trentino region cater to every need of passionate climbers in a unique global setting.

Being an idyllic destination for climbing enthusiasts, Arco also welcomes enthusiasts of other disciplines: surfers, trekking and mountain biking enthusiasts, as well as evidenced by the numerous sports equipment stores in the city.

The city of Arco truly has everything one could wish to encounter on a journey: history, nature, sports culture, and vibrant activity.

Manca solo una cosa: una vostra visita!

Other things to see on Lake Garda:

Bardolino, a municipality on the Veronese shore of Lake Garda, is one of the towns on the lake that attracts the most visitors throughout the year.

Garda is also rich in history and tradition, as witnessed by the various buildings and places of interest that you should not miss during your visit.

Malcesine, the northernmost municipality on the Veronese shore of Lake Garda, is one of the most popular destinations for visitors who flock to the lake in large numbers every year.

A cradle of art and history that traces its origins back to the Bronze Age, this culturally rich town will offer you numerous treasures, all waiting to be discovered!

Discover the towns of Lake Garda