Hidden Treasures - Itinerary The Secrets of the River

This easy walk along the river Sarca, between Ceniga and Arco, can be done on foot or by bike. In Ceniga follow the directions for the Roman bridge (“Ponte Romano”). On the other side follow the road to Arco, along which you will find the retreat of San Paolo, the old water intake on the Sarca, and the church of Sant'Apollinare. In Arco follow the bike path along the river from the parking "Al Ponte", and return to Ceniga passing through the new river beach at “Moleta”.

Start: Ceniga, roman bridge, or Arco, parking "Al Ponte"
End: Arco, parking "Al Ponte" or Ceniga, roman bridge
Length: 4 km
Duration: 2h
Elevation difference: 20 m.
Difficulty: easy
Notes: can be started from both ends

1. The Roman Bridge of Ceniga

The origins of what is known as the Roman bridge are uncertain,although it seems plausible that in the distant past it may have served to cross the river Sarca at the point where the ancient roadways from Arco and Laghel reached the hamlet of Ceniga. The inscription on the parapets record that it was rebuilt in 1719 after the river had flooded, and again in 1868 following its demolition on the orders of the Austrians in the event of a third war of independence.
2. The Retreat of San Paolo

It is situated on the road to Prabi and is a magnificent example of sacral art with enchanting frescoes both on the inside and outside. It is one of the most ancient monuments: the consecration of the high altar was first documented in 1186. The construction is very simple. It is built in a recess under an overhanging rock that serves as a wall and partly as the vault of the church, in a one and only room and one adjacent room for the hermits; the building has a small terrace on the north and a stone staircase, partly hollowed out in the rock, that goes from the hermits’ room to an underlying space. Only the hall of the church is frescoed. In 1950 the town of Arco, the present owner, intervenes with a radical restoration by the Provincia Autonoma di Trento (The Autonomous Province of Trento), that brought to light the beautiful frescos dedicated to the Last Supper and to the stories of San Paolo’s life. The vestiges of the Retreat are described in the works of Rainer Maria Rilke.Information: The outside of the Retreat is always accessible; the inside is, as a rule, closed. The Retreat is opened for guided visits (only in the Spring and Autumn); it can be opened on request for schools and groups, but the visits are only allowed accompanied by the caretaker. 
For information: Ufficio Attività Culturali of the Town of Arco: +39 0464 583608
3. The water intake at Malapreda

Built in 1892, this intake mechanism supplied water to the small hydroelectric plant at Prabi. Arco was one of the first cities of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to adopt an electric lighting system and public, and like Trento in 1890 acquired the necessary energy from hydropower. The ruins of the Hydroelectric Plant are located downstream.
4. The Kiln

A lime kiln (“calchera” in dialect) is a kiln for the production of lime by baking limestone, of which the area is rich. A traditional stone kiln has a barrel shape and is partially dug into the ground. The firing process lasted for a week, including the cooling off period: during this time, the kiln had to be fed wood nonstop for days. Restored traditional kilns can be found at Casina near Drena, Braila near Arco, and on the old Ponale path near Biacesa (Ledro). 
The lime kiln of Prabi dates back to 1961 and is a rare example of pre-industrial lime kiln in the area: in this case the entire structure is on the surface, and the cooking was done with charcoal. The objective was continuous production, which was not possible with a traditional kiln. Problems with production, quality and structural defects in the building caused the kiln to be shut down within its first year.
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Official Garda Trentino S.p.A. - Azienda per il Turismo's site:

Riva del Garda (TN) Largo Medaglie d'oro, 5

Tel: +39 (0464) 554444 - Fax: +39 (0464) 025442



Torbole sul Garda - Nago (TN) Lungolago Conca d'oro, 25

Arco (TN) Viale delle Palme, 1

Registro Imprese Trento, C.F. e P. IVA 01855030225

Cap. Soc. € 499.000,00 I.V. - REA N. 182762