Hidden Treadures: Rilke Promenade
A literary stroll in the shadow of Arco Castle, following in the footsteps of the great Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke, who drew inspiration from these surroundings.
In the second half of the 19th century, Arco became renowned throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire and beyond as a “Kurort”. The healthy, windy climate, Mediterranean but not excessively hot, allowed this peripheral little town to flourish as a health resort and holiday destination for members of the House of Habsburg and the nobility of Central Europe. The most prominent figure was Archduke Albrecht of Teschen, who had a great villa built in Arco which is famous for its gardens, the Parco Arciducale, now a botanic gardens open to the public.
Thanks to its reputation as a pleasant and exclusive health resort, Arco attracted a select clientele. Illustrious visitors included the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, who as a young man towards the turn of the century stayed there on a number of occasions and wrote some of his early poems here. The trail passes a number of places which inspired him or which are mentioned in his correspondence with his friend Nora Goudstikker.