Work has been recently completed to restore the Trenches Trail, “Percorso delle Trincee”, a route exploring the military legacy of World War I.
The project has been backed by many local organisations, including the Alpini mountain regiment, to revive the defences constructed along the front line above the lake, featuring tunnels dug out of the bare rock, lookout posts, artillery magazines and trenches.
Malcesine town council wanted to preserve the historic and cultural heritage of the Great War in this region.
It offers a tangible link to the incredible human stories from that time.
How were the trenches built?
The trenches were dug to protect what was then the border between Italy and Austro-Hungary prior to World War I.
Along the Sentiero delle Trincee you can see the remains of old camps and barracks where soldiers were stationed during the conflict. The lookout posts were positioned in important strategic positions which now offer incredible panoramic views.
The camp at Dosso Merlo saw fighting between German and US soldiers during World War II, with the armies making use of the trenches dug during the First World War.
What work has been done to restore the Trenches Trail?
The work of a number of experts in the field has helped to uncover evidence of a period of huge historical significance. The project began with consultation of the maps and documentation from the time to map the areas of interest, using archaeological methods to uncover evidence of the past.
The next stage involved cleaning work to unearth the trenches which had been buried under dense vegetation, as well as the tunnels and other remains from the conflict which had been hidden away.
Walkers can now hike along the Trenches Trail and the paths of the Great War, surrounded by a landscape which should be respected, learning about history whilst savouring the wonderful views of Lake Garda.
How do I get to the Trenches Trail from Malcesine?
The Dosso Merlo camp can be reached in around half an hour from Navene, a village just north of Malcesine.
Park in the Navene Alta car park and then head north to pick up hiking trail number 4. The walk involves a climb of 300 metres and is suitable for all abilities.