3 The roofs of Arco
Such a valley full of fragrant breaths,
within a stream quietly flowing;
beyond bright hills appearing
villages smoking the peace,
And then we wander like silent
children steadily along the stream,
deep in liberating lull.
My wild will turns to prayer
and my longing to loud gratitude.
R.M.Rilke “Weißt du” (Nachgelassene Gedichte, Arco 21/3/1897)(Translation: Ingarda Trentino)
The route takes us up through the narrow “Vicolo delle Ere” and through fenced gardens and cypresses, now centuries-old, that frame the path close to the rock cliff. The climb is steep but after a few metres the view spreads over the red roof of the houses laid out through the narrow alleys of the historical centre.Beyond the roofs, you can see the area of the recent constructions, with its factories and cultivated country, extending through the plain crossed by the river Sarca and further towards the blue water of Lake Garda.It’s a bird’s eye perspective, perching on the tile roofs, so that the beholder feels part of the landscape itself. The houses are very close from this viewpoint, it almost seems you can touch them, but there is also a higher dimension between the agaves and the olive-trees that cover the slopes, where you can breathe a mediterranean atmosphere.
“A particularly picturesque patch of Arco opens up at the feet of the steep cliff of the castle with its antique ruins. The old fortress was once proud in the shade of the cypresses and olive groves. There is no other place in Tyrol where you can find olive trees. The view from the cliff of the castle shows one of the most charming landscapes of the area: the old town and the gardens, the fields crossed by River Sarca towards Riva and Torbole and Lake Garda and, at the bottom, Mount Brione.”
S. Ilanor, “Arco, Health Resort near Lake Garda” – end of the 19thcentury