When visiting Lake Garda for a long weekend in April we tend to be a bit more adventurous than we are during a hot summer holiday when we prefer cool down on a lakeside beach and stick closer to home.

This year we were there the week before Easter and we finally got around to visiting the Castello Arco and the Borgo di Canale, both situated just north of Riva at the top of the lake. The Castello di Arco is a well known destination and somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for a while now, but it was the travels of Jeanette that inspired me to want to visit Borgo di Canale.

The Castello Arco is a 1000 year old castle perched on top of a rock in the middle of the Sarca valley. From a distance it doesn’t look real, more like a castle from a fairy story or cartoon. As with all castles, especially in this region close to many borders, ownership has changed many times in it’s rich history, I’ll let you find out more about that for yourselves when you visit. 1000 years of weather, war, fire and neglect had taken it’s toll on the Castello Arco.

Since it was purchased by the Municipality D’Arco in 1982, gradual restoration, love and care has meant that now it is possible to at least understand what a monument to history, legend, art and architecture the castle is. Towers, ancient water cisterns, frescoes and a stone prison (where legend has it that that the Count Of Arco locked his brother for over 30 years), are just some of the features that will have you marvelling at this wonderous place. Then of course there are the spectacular views.

The Borgo di Canale is a quaint medieval village in the comune di Tenno. It’s a only a tiny village but with its stone buildings and decorative balconies, its narrow streets, archways and underpasses, It is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. It was abandoned after the WW2 but was re-inhabited in the 60’s by hippies and artists. Today Borgo di Canale is a thriving little community, home to café’s and galleries, including the Casa degli Artisti.

Casa degli Artisti is a gallery/workshop dedicated to the painter Giacomo Vittone which is visited by artists from all over the world. It hosts exhibitions, conventions, summer art courses and workshops. Another building to note is the Museo degli Attrezzo Agricoli, a museum dedicated to the agricultural traditions of the region.