Also known as "the Finland of Italy" for the presence of many lakes and Alpine ponds, Trentino boasts many lake panoramas loved by German and Dutch travelers. The Valle dei Laghi Cycle Path links Torbole (or Riva del Garda), laying down on Garda Lake, to Lake Toblino, an evocative place with a fascinating fortress. Easy, enjoyable, well preserved, the Valle dei Laghi Cycle Path in its about 27 km crosses vineyards, picturesque villages and the debris sedimentation of Marocche di Dro.
Valle dei Laghi Cycle Path: by bicycle under the stronghold of Arco
From the lakeside in Torbole we start a bicycle journey discovering the valle dei laghi, one of the less turistically promoted areas in Trentino. The Valle dei Laghi Cycle Path starts just after the bridge over the Sarca river, that just after flows into Lake Garda. A detour allows to reach in just 2 km Riva del Garda, famous and luckyly positioned city hosting some outdoor events like Bike Festival. Then you pedal towards Arco, towards north. The cliff above which you can see the stronghold is unique. Mount Paganella, at the horizon, at the beginning of the spring is still sprinkled with white snow however, the gems have already sprout. The Valle dei Laghi Cycle Path crosses an area where you can find the famous Plums from Dro then, it relentlessly follows the turquoise river Sarca. Take your time to bike in this plane, because its attractions are a lot and various, and the idea is to stop every now and then and take some pictures or some curious detail.
Before the arrival in Ceniga, for example, in the distance, you can see Castel Drena, a medieval fortress in a panoramic position.
However I have been living for some years in Trentino, I didn't have the occasion to take some time to discover all the little secrets of this valley.
Once in Ceniga, a lively and typical village, with a little detour you reach the Roman bridge on Sarca river. Well, let's not lie about this: the bridge WAS roman centuries ago, then was destroyed by a flood and then devastated a second time by Austrians. The actual bridge of Ceniga is 100 years old and very picturesque. In summer, sometimes, you can see some kids from the village doing some acrobatic plunges in the Sarca river. During our visit in March a middle-aged German man, after sitting for a while on the little beach, started undressing and jumped in the cold water... what a courage!
The cemented climb of Marocche di Dro
We say goodbye to the bridge of Ceniga and we keep pedaling on the secondary road until the cycle path
. The signs are very clear and the day, typically springy, is perfect for cycling in total freedom
. It's almost hot: a thermometer on a pharmacy shows 25°C, the sweet caress of the sun on our white skin wakes it up from the long winter and it's a real pleasure.
We overstep some vineyards touching Castel Drena, which lays at the distance from ou wheels. An underpass, and then a blackboard with writing on it along the cycle path: "Bike and Wine bar", it's surely an interesting way to invite bicycle travelers to try some typical wines... I'm tempted to enter the place, just to take a look, just because the sun is still high and I want to enjoy the day at its fullest. We finally decide not to stop and to go on: we'll have other occasions to stop by. This is the place of the big landslide, the biggest not only of Trentino but in the whole Alpine chain, the Marocche di Dro, which extend in front of us: the Valle dei Laghi Cycle Path partially crosses it, not trusting this lunar and cursed show, as if the rocks didn't fully stop.
The route slowly climbs, the shift does its job allowing me to pedal with agility. Everything suggests the end of the climb, but our ingenuity nourishes our thoughts. Once reached the hydroelectric power station in Fies we decide to improvise a little stop.
A scary cement ramp surprises us: the shifter shifts rapidly, the chain almost falls off, the muscles do the unexpected effort. The 20% cement slope welcomes us in the area of Marocche di Dro, protected natural area, rock desert in the green Trentino. On a mountain bike, you can face a lot of climbs: a lot of effort, but still, you can do it.
The landscape surrounding us is deserted, the cycle path the more and more beautiful, immersed into Nature, the more and more... in ascent.
Higher and higher, without any doubt, but in good company: two fathers struggle with their carrier, two mothers lightly fly in pole position laughing and looking at their men. This scene is funny, the climb a little less!
Nosedive towards Pietramurata
Every ascent end, and so does the one of Marocche di Dro
, along the Valle dei Laghi Cycle Path
, ending at the beginning of a funny descent towards Pietramurata
. The fathers disappear swallowed by the turns, I touch 45 km/h but then I brake in order not to lose the bags or turn upside down. With no effort, we reach Pietramurata, a peaceful village fraction of the bigger Dro, known for being the working base of a friend.
The Sarca river
is calm and slow in its unstoppable flow. We cycle on a long straight line ending in the shaded side of the valley. The vivid colors fade down, the temperature drops: time to put on the sweater! The Valle dei Laghi Cycle Path ends in Sarche
where you see a signpost to Trento in 19,4 km passing along Lake Toblino
or Comano Terme
in 10, 5 km on the right following the turns uphill in order to reach the new Limarò Cycle Path
I previously talked about a bicycle journey on the Valle dei Laghi Cycle Path because it's a 5-days-trip in Trentino and Veneto... an adventure I'll talk about soon: stay tuned!