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Bike trip to Valle delle Cartiere

On the west of Lake Garda lies Toscolano-Maderno, which is the starting point for this cruisy cycling route. In Maderno, there is free parking on the shore road Lungolago Zanardelli, and the cycle path to the lonely Valle delle Cartiere starts here.

The route first leads over the tarred road to the golf course of Bogliaco. Then on to the hamlet of Cecina and Pulciano. The track then follows down to the village of Toscolano and its river. A gravel road along the river stretches toward the ever-narrowing valley of paper mills. The valley is closed to cars, which is why a trip here is particularly quiet and idyllic with its shady old trees and the cool breeze coming from the river. In summer you can swim in the trout stream, lined with old paper mills. At the end of the route, there are various picnic facilities, and In July and August only, there is an open serviced hut.

The water of the river was used in the Middle Ages for the operation of paper mills. In the 14th century, Toscolano-Maderno and its fine laid, handmade paper with an ox head as a watermark, gained great fame throughout Europe. Printers from all over Italy moved to this small town on Lake Garda. The original Martin Luther bible artwork was produced here. Other paper products were exported to the Orient. Today, only a few ivy-clad ruins bear testimony to the heyday, and a small museum still tells the story of the past in the gatehouse of the former paper mill.

From here you continue to the church of San Michele in Gaino. There is a fantastic view over Toscolano-Maderno. A path eventually leads back to the starting point.

Updated: 20/04/2021

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