Strada del Ponale is one of the most beautiful historical panoramic roads in Europe. With a length of 10km, it connects Riva del Garda and the Valle di Ledro, in Northern Italy. The road is completeley closed to vehicles since 1990.
This gravel road with truly amazing views, it’s one of the biggest attractions of the upper Lake Garda. The construction of this road was considered a marvel of engineering, it opened an easier way to the Valley through some tunnels and sharp U-bends. The ancient road infact, was a rather steep, narrow and rocky mule-track that kept along the river Ponale and came out at the waterfall "Ponale" along the present Gardesana Occidentale road.
The old Strada del Ponale offers great views of Lake Garda and it’s part asphalt and part gravel/dirt and narrow. It was originally built in the second half of the 19th century. The road was adjusted and widened and the first cars passed on it in 1891. In 1990, after the opening of the tunnel "Agnese" the Ponale road was completely closed. Thanks to the wilfulness of the "Giacomo Cis" commitee it was reopened in 2004, to allow bikers and hikers to enjoy a wonderful view over Lake Garda.
This is a great path with amazing views over Garda. The winding Ponale road, constructed according to the unbelivable plan of Giacomo Cis from Bezzecca (1782-1851) to connect Valle di Ledro with Riva del Garda. It has stunning views all the way up. Half way up, there is a restaurant where you can enjoy the view and have some refreshments or something to eat. Be prepared for gravel roads and lots of traffic from other MTB'ers.
The view is amazing and breathtaking. The landscape that you can admire during the downhill is unique: the road runs downhill surrounded by secular woods, and you always see Garda Lake in the background.
Pic: Gabriele Paris