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Hidden Treasures - Itinerary The "Marocco" Quarter of Riva

A short walk through a secret corner of Riva. The "Marocco" quarter is part of the medieval village built on the rocks on the slopes of the mountain Rocchetta, against the old city wall. The name has nothing in common with the country in northern Africa: "marocca" is a local dialect nounin local dialect means large boulders: many of the houses in this neighborhood in fact incorporate landslide boulders and parts of the ancient walls of Riva, as can be seen in multiple places.


Start: La Rocca, Riva (Piazza Battisti 9)
End: Piazza 3 Novembre, Riva
Length: 700 m.
Duration: 30'
Elevation difference: 20 m.
Difficulty: easy

1. The "Rocca" Museum

The castle of Riva del Garda dates back to an agreement with the bishop Altemanno, in 1124, who allowed the city to build a fortress on the lake. Transformed into a barracks during the XIX century, the building lost its acquired Renaissance features. Today it houses the Museo Alto Garda (MAG), which collects the cultural and historical heritage of Riva and Garda Trentino.On the top floor of the building you can find ancient maps of Riva del Garda, showing changes in the town center.

Opening times: museoaltogarda.it
2. Piazza 3 Novembre

The old square of Riva. To the east the Torre Apponale (XIII century), a historic symbol of Riva, south the port of Riva. At the center of the square is the Praetorian Palace, probably built in the fourteenth century by the veronese Scaligeri, now the houses the municipal offices. The narrow porch that allows access to Via Marocco is found in the northwestern corner of the square, near the stairs of the old Town Hall.

"The Hunter Gracchus"

Did you know? In the story "The Hunter Gracchus" (Der Jäger Gracchus) by Franz Kafka there are numerous references to some places in Riva, often warped into something else: the harbor and the fountain next to it, the statue of St. Johannes Nepomuc (in Piazza Catena), turned into the statue of a hero with a saber, the Apponale tower posing as a clock tower, the Praetorian Palace and the Old Town Hall united to contain a non-existent morgue.
In a scene from the story, the mayor of Riva comes running down the same Via Marocco we are now going to walk up. 
3. Via Marocco

In the past, this very picturesque alley belonged to the "Quadra Castello”, the Castle Quarter (Riva was divided into four quarters: Castle, Middle, Lake, and Church) and was known as "the way to the palaces"(palaces) or “back district” (Contrada de retro).
Going up the steep alley, on both sides houses meet seamlessly, many of them built incorporating huge rocks into their walls: these were probably the remnant of an ancient landslide. The street name comes from the dialectal term for boulders, “marocche”.

Note how the houses on the right have their thresholds above or level with the street, whereas on the left they are often a full step below, a clear sign of the uneven terrain in this part of the city. In addition to the rocks, some buildings include parts of the old city wall and towers. 
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