Arco (Arch in German) is a municipality in the province of Trento, located north of Upper Garda plain, at the mouth of the Valley of the river Sarca. Although the first documented sources that prove the existence of the village date back to the Middle Ages, important archaeological finds confirm the presence of settlements in the area since the Mesolithic and Neolithic Ages. There are also some wonderful anthropomorphic statues with inscriptions which date back to the Copper Age. Obvious and worthy of note are also the traces of Roman culture, as well as those of the Lombard domination. In the XII century the village was assigned to the powerful family Arco and the inhabitants were granted with a certain autonomy and own statutes, which on several occasions managed to curb the excessive power of the accounts of Arco. Over the later centuries the territory submitted the domain of the Visconti, the Scala, the Serenissima Republic of Venice, the Austrian Empire, until after World War I, it was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy.
Sites of Interest:
- the Castle, residence of the Counts of Arco, of which remains only the imposing watchtower. Built for defensive purposes before year 1000, soon became a proper citadel. The period of decline is recorded at the turn of the XVI and XVII centuries, when the Lords of Arco built less Spartan and more comfortable homes. It was abandoned in the XVIII century and only through a careful restoration in 1986 it has been possible to recover a precious cycle of frescoes depicting knights and ladies of medieval times;
- the Collegiate Church, located in the city's center and built in the early XVII century on the ruins of an earlier Romanesque church. The imposing façade, which overlooks Piazza Tre Novembre, features an entrance through a beautiful gate with wooden panels depicting scenes from the life of Madonna. The interior features a single nave plan, with a beautiful marble floor. Rich in decorative elements such as: the wooden choir by Giacomo Benedetti, the altars of Domenico Rossi and the Benedetti brothers, an altarpiece of the Mannerist painter Domenico Brusasorci), two tombstones: one reserved for accounts of Arc and another to the Canons of the collegiate church, on the latter, in particular, features the insignia of the three Bourbon lilies because, for some years, was buried, Francis II of Bourbon, the last monarch of the Kingdom of Naples, who died here in exile in 1894 while he was a guest of the brother in law, Albert of Habsburg;
- the XV century Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Grazie, which has undergone several renovations over the centuries;
- the Romanesque Church of Saint Apollinaris, in which are preserved frescos realized at the time of its foundation;
- the Church of San Martino (XVI century);
- the Church of San Rocco (XIV century);
- the Monastery of St. Paul and the one entitled to Saints Giacomo and Silvestro al Monte;
- Palazzo Nuovo, already mentioned in a document in 1462, features a large courtyard, paved with pebbles from the river, overlooked by stone balconies, supported by stunning monolithic shelves. Under the Palace are present are series of wine cellars, including the ancient "Caneva of Vernazza" already famous in the XVI century. The stone gateway on the south side of the arcades, contains the oldest version of the coat of arms of Arc, which is represented by a vertically placed bow;
- the XVI century Palazzo San Pietro (or Marchetti), in which are preserved wonderful frescoes by various painters;
- Palazzo di Piazza, today seat of the Town Hall, was the residence of Family of Arc;
- Palazzo del Termine (or of the League), which features a series of frescoes and paintings, inside and one the outside of the building;
- Palazzo dei Panni, built in the late XVII century, was converted into a Wool Mill in the XVIII century, bought by the priest Giambattista Marosi, to cope with a severe economic crisis. It has been used for many purposes over the centuries, now, after a careful restoration, it houses the public Library entitled to Bruno Emmert, a bibliophile of Arc, and the seat of the Atelier of Giovanni Segantini.