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Ponale
Riva del Garda, Ledro, Garda Trentino
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Category
Difficulty
Intermediate
Activity time
3:00
Duration in hours
Distance
30.4
Distance in km
Status
closed
Suggested period
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
For more than a century the Ponale road has enchanted travellers. This route is ideal for all those who want to enjoy a nice cycling trip and a breath-taking view over Lake Garda and the surrounding mountains. 

The road overlooks the northernmost part of Lake Garda and the lower Sarca. Mount Brione, between Riva and Torbole, and Mount Baldo can be seen in the distance. The vegetation is sparse and Mediterranean. It consists of cypresses and holm oaks that manage to grow through the rocks.

The Ponale road was paramount to hold Riva and the North Garda Lake, then at the border between the Austro-Hungarian Empire (to which Trentino belonged) and the Kingdom of Italy. Because of its strategical value to Austria-Hungary, it was at the centre of an extensive network of fortifications since 1860. 

Fort Teodosio dates back to this period. It owes its name to the finding of some coins from the reign of Emperor Theodosius. The fort was built to close off the road to those coming from Ledro. The port of Riva was defended by the Bellavista battery (or della Madonnina), just a few metres above the lake. The fortifications stopped Garibaldi from invading Trentino through Riva and forced him to go through the Giudicarie and Ledro.

 The construction of the Tagliata (barrier) del Ponale began in 1904. It was part of a defensive plan put in action by the Austro-Hungarian Army in the whole of Trentino. The Tagliata is a network of tunnels and passageways excavated in the rock. It starts at the height of the seventh tunnel coming up from Riva (150 m / 500 ft) and reaches down to the lake. From the road, embrasures and doors can still be seen. The Tagliata guaranteed Austria-Hungary the control of Riva throughout the First World War. Excavations did not stop until 1918.

Further information and useful links

Further information on www.vallediledro.com

Route info
Intermediate
Distance
30,4 km
Activity time
3 h 00 min
Ascent
1.421 m
Descent
1.421 m
Technical skills
Physical effort
Scenary
Highest point
971 m
Lowest point
66 m
Suggestions

Austrion-Hungarian Fortifications

The Ponale road was paramount to hold Riva and the North Garda Lake, then at the border between the Austro-Hungarian Empire (to which Trentino belonged) and the Kingdom of Italy. Because of its strategical value to Austria-Hungary, it was at the centre of an extensive network of fortifications since 1860. 

Fort Teodosio dates back to this period. It owes its name to the finding of some coins from the reign of Emperor Theodosius. The fort was built to close off the road to those coming from Ledro. The port of Riva was defended by the Bellavista battery (or della Madonnina), just a few metres above the lake. The fortifications stopped Garibaldi from invading Trentino through Riva and forced him to go through the Giudicarie and Ledro.

 The construction of the Tagliata (barrier) del Ponale began in 1904. It was part of a defensive plan put in action by the Austro-Hungarian Army in the whole of Trentino. The Tagliata is a network of tunnels and passageways excavated in the rock. It starts at the height of the seventh tunnel coming up from Riva (150 m / 500 ft) and reaches down to the lake. From the road, embrasures and doors can still be seen. The Tagliata guaranteed Austria-Hungary the control of Riva throughout the First World War. Excavations did not stop until 1918.

Safety guidelines

Where fences are missing, families with children should be particularly cautious. Bikers must limit their speed and be aware of pedestrians. The road is unpaved.

Please note that the practicability of the itineraries in a mountain environment is strictly linked to the contingent conditions and is therefore influenced by natural phenomena, environmental changes and weather conditions. For this reason, the information contained in this page may have changed. Before leaving for a tour, make sure the path you will approach is still accessible by contacting the owner of the mountain hut, the alpine guides or the visitor centres of the nature parks, the info offices of the local tourist board.

Punto di partenza
Pieve di Ledro
Directions
From Pieve we cycle along the southern shore of the lake (Pur) towards the Pile-Dwelling Museum in Molina. From here, we follow the cycling path to Prè and then along the Ponale torrent towards Biacesa. We reach the end of the cycling path and we keep of the asphalt road to Pregasina for about 200 m. We then take the path on the left which joins the Sentiero del Ponale avoiding the main road. We follow the Sentiero del Ponale to Riva del Garda. Return along the same route.
public transportation

Trentino Trasporti

There: 214 bus Riva del Garda - Pieve di Ledro
And back: Pieve di Ledro - Riva del Garda

Timetable

How to get there

Exit the A22 motorway at Rovereto Sud - Lago di Garda. Follow the SS240 della Val di Ledro to Pieve di Ledro. Further information

Where to park
Car park near the Tourist Office.
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