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Captured by the painter Albrecht Dürer, Arco's famous landmark castle, the once ancestral home of the noble Counts of Arco, sits perched upon the sheer limestone cliffs which flank this historic town close to Lake Garda's shores in Trentino-Alto Adige in northern Italy.
The Sarca River flows through Arco and into nearby Lake Garda. Since Dürer's painting, which hangs in the Louvre Paris, many have brushed the canvas captured by the romance of the castle, the place where King Francis II of the Two Sicilies died in 1894.
Another cultural pitstop has to be the shrine and abbey at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Grace - dating back to 1475. In the 17th century Collegiate Church of the Assumption, there is a 15th century wooden statue of the Virgin Mary.
There are several works of art within the church by Domenico Rossi and 18th century sculptures by brothers Christopher and Sebastian Benedetti di Castione.
Palazzo Marchetti, the 'Palace of St Peter', dates from the 16th century and contains notable frescos by the painter and sculptor Giulio Romano (1499-1546). Another landmark historical building is the 17th century Palazzo dei Panni.
Aside from art and culture in abundance, Arco is also a popular rock-climbing destination hosting the 'Rock Master' every September, an international free-climbing cup attracting climbers from all over the world. The mountainous terrain cradles Arco, and the temperatures here tend to be milder, giving the region a long season for modern-day outdoor pursuits such as biking, hiking and climbing.
Historically though, Arco was long established as a destination of good health due to the mild climates, clear air, warm winds and proximity to Lake Garda, the town has always prospered among the rich, famous, royals and romantics. Monastero Arx Vivendi - a converted convent hotel and spa that continues this tradition and if you prefer the drama of the mountains, Vivere Suites and Rooms is a designer guesthouse with an amazing outdoor pool.
Follow in the steps of the Archduke Albert of Habsburg who had the Arboreto - a fabulous Mediterranean garden created around the Villa Arciducale.
Arco, the Trentino mountains, vineyards and Lake Garda - almost as irresistible as nearby Sirmione and Bardolino, two favoured pitstops of historic Italian charm on the shores of this shimmering lake.