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Timeless panorama: the Ponale road

· 12 reviews · Mountain tour · Ledro
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  • The Ponale Path
    / The Ponale Path
    Photo: Apt Valle di Ledro, Consorzio Pro Loco Valle di Ledro
  • / The Ponale Path
    Photo: Apt Valle di Ledro, Consorzio Pro Loco Valle di Ledro
  • / The Ponale Path
    Photo: Apt Valle di Ledro, Consorzio Pro Loco Valle di Ledro
  • / The Ponale Path
    Photo: Roberto Vuilleumier, Consorzio Pro Loco Valle di Ledro
  • / The Ponale Path
    Photo: Fabrizio Novali, Consorzio Pro Loco Valle di Ledro
  • / The Ponale Path
    Photo: Apt Valle di Ledro, Consorzio Pro Loco Valle di Ledro
  • / Valle di Ledro - Dive into the Nature
    Video: Consorzio Pro Loco Valle di Ledro
m 600 500 400 300 200 100 10 8 6 4 2 km
For more than a century the Ponale road has enchanted travellers. This route is ideal for all those who want to enjoy a nice walk and a breath-taking view over Lake Garda and the surrounding mountains. 
moderate
11.4 km
4:00 h
382 m
382 m

The road overlooks the northernmost part of Lake Garda and the lower Sarca. Mount Brione, between Riva and Torbole, and Mount Baldo can be seen in the distance. The vegetation is sparse and Mediterranean. It consists of cypresses and holm oaks that manage to grow through the rocks.

The Ponale road was paramount to hold Riva and the North Garda Lake, then at the border between the Austro-Hungarian Empire (to which Trentino belonged) and the Kingdom of Italy. Because of its strategical value to Austria-Hungary, it was at the centre of an extensive network of fortifications since 1860. 

Fort Teodosio dates back to this period. It owes its name to the finding of some coins from the reign of Emperor Theodosius. The fort was built to close off the road to those coming from Ledro. The port of Riva was defended by the Bellavista battery (or della Madonnina), just a few metres above the lake. The fortifications stopped Garibaldi from invading Trentino through Riva and forced him to go through the Giudicarie and Ledro.

 The construction of the Tagliata (barrier) del Ponale began in 1904. It was part of a defensive plan put in action by the Austro-Hungarian Army in the whole of Trentino. The Tagliata is a network of tunnels and passageways excavated in the rock. It starts at the height of the seventh tunnel coming up from Riva (150 m / 500 ft) and reaches down to the lake. From the road, embrasures and doors can still be seen. The Tagliata guaranteed Austria-Hungary the control of Riva throughout the First World War. Excavations did not stop until 1918.

Author’s recommendation

Austrion-Hungarian Fortifications

The Ponale road was paramount to hold Riva and the North Garda Lake, then at the border between the Austro-Hungarian Empire (to which Trentino belonged) and the Kingdom of Italy. Because of its strategical value to Austria-Hungary, it was at the centre of an extensive network of fortifications since 1860. 

Fort Teodosio dates back to this period. It owes its name to the finding of some coins from the reign of Emperor Theodosius. The fort was built to close off the road to those coming from Ledro. The port of Riva was defended by the Bellavista battery (or della Madonnina), just a few metres above the lake. The fortifications stopped Garibaldi from invading Trentino through Riva and forced him to go through the Giudicarie and Ledro.

The construction of the Tagliata (barrier) del Ponale began in 1904. It was part of a defensive plan put in action by the Austro-Hungarian Army in the whole of Trentino. The Tagliata is a network of tunnels and passageways excavated in the rock. It starts at the height of the seventh tunnel coming up from Riva (150 m / 500 ft) and reaches down to the lake. From the road, embrasures and doors can still be seen. The Tagliata guaranteed Austria-Hungary the control of Riva throughout the First World War. Excavations did not stop until 1918.

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Author
Apt Valle di Ledro
Updated: August 24, 2020
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
431 m
Lowest point
66 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Rest Stop

Ponale Alto Belvedere

Safety information

The Sentiero del Ponale is an Alpine trail and must be tread carefully. Bikers must limit their speed and be aware of pedestrians.

Please note that the practicability of the itineraries in a mountain environment is strictly linked to the contingent conditions and is therefore influenced by natural phenomena, environmental changes and weather conditions. For this reason, the information contained in this page may have changed. Before leaving for a tour, make sure the path you will approach is still accessible by contacting the owner of the mountain hut, the alpine guides or the visitor centres of the nature parks, the info offices of the local tourist board.

Tips, hints and links

Further information on www.vallediledro.com

Start

Coordinates:
DD
45.864438, 10.812669
DMS
45°51'52.0"N 10°48'45.6"E
UTM
32T 640700 5080583
w3w 
///chalked.mapped.crumbling

Turn-by-turn directions

Start from the car park at the junction between the SS240 and the road to Pregasina. We cross the bridge and we walk along the asphalt road. Shortly before the tunnel we take the mule track on the left side, which joins the old Strada del Ponale near the so called “zete”. We follow the Sentiero del Ponale to Riva del Garda, near the hydroelectric power plant. We follow the same route back and we walk past the “zete”. Instead of turning into the mule track, we walk further along the asphalt road. Near the barrier marking the end of the Ponale, in order to avoid the SS240, we take the path to the left, which joins the road to Pregasina.

 

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Public-transport-friendly

Trentino Trasporti

There: 214 bus Riva del Garda - Pregasina bivio
And back: Pregasina bivio - Riva del Garda

Timetable on Trentino Trasporti Esercizio

Getting there

Exit the A22 motorway at Rovereto Sud - Lago di Garda. Follow the SS240 della Val di Ledro to the crossroads towards Pregasina.

Parking

Car park at the crossroads.

Coordinates

DD
45.864438, 10.812669
DMS
45°51'52.0"N 10°48'45.6"E
UTM
32T 640700 5080583
w3w 
///chalked.mapped.crumbling
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Author’s map recommendations

Consorzio per il Turismo della Valle di Ledro - Valle di Ledro e Tremalzo Map Trekking/MTB

Book recommendations for this region:

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Recommended maps for this region:

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Reviews

4.8
(12)
Dima Hildt
September 27, 2019 · Community
Completed this Route on July 24, 2019
Federica Capitani
August 23, 2019 · Community
la strada del Ponale è molto bella e suggestiva, quasi a strapiombo sul lago di Garda offre dei panorami mozzafiato. la strada si affronta facilmente e si arriva da lesignana a riva del Garda in poco tempo. Fatta di mattina la strada è per lo più al sole fatta eccezione per le gallerie. È molto frequentata dai ciclisti per cui è bene porre attenzione soprattutto se la si fa con il cane che va tenuto al guinzaglio corto.
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Completed this Route on August 22, 2019
Photo: Federica Capitani, Community
Photo: Federica Capitani, Community
Photo: Federica Capitani, Community
Photo: Federica Capitani, Community
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+ 7

Reviews
Difficulty
moderate
Distance
11.4 km
Duration
4:00 h
Ascent
382 m
Descent
382 m
Public-transport-friendly Scenic Geological highlights Refreshment stops available Family friendly Botanical highlights Cultural/historical value Insider tip

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