Bridges along Lake Garda

Malcesine and Brenzone count as two of the most popular holiday resorts on the northern east coast of Lake Garda. Despite the corona pandemic, the community of Brenzone sul’s long-term project was accelerated in the spring of 2020 and is now a joy for returned holidaymakers: on a length of ten kilometres there is a new cycle and foot path along the coast, right up to Malcesine – with wonderful views of and across the lake. The paths lead across a total of 25 bridges providing access to many beaches and banks, which used to be very difficult to get to. The path was paved and massive ‘Compact’ decks by Bavarian specialist for wood composite materials NATURinFORM were laid on the concrete bridges on a surface of up until now more than 550 square metres. This year the project was continued and extended beyond the borders of Malcesine and Brenzone.

Patio decks
Compact as massive deck in brown

Construction year

25 bridges on the lakeside banks
Lake Garda between Brenzone and Malcesine (Italy)

Scenic port basins, picturesque lakeside promenades and cozy bathing spots

The community of Brenzone sul Garda consisting of 16 small villages and hamlets at the foot of the Monte Baldo has retained its charm and originality. Some places are directly on the waterside and delight with scenic port basins, picturesque lakeside promenades, paths along the banks and bathing spots. Each village offers fantastic starting points for excursions up Monte Baldo and the region, and is therefore an Eldorado for hikers, bikers, and friends of nature. Malcesine, too, one of the most popular holiday resorts at the lake, was able to retain its idyllic atmosphere. The scenic view of the place is dominated by a mighty castle that towers over the mediaeval centre of the village with its little squares, pergolas, and bumpy cobblestone pavements. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe stayed there during his ‘Italian Travels’ in 1786 and made enthusiastic notes in his diary about the place and its people.

Massive deck from Bavaria for a touristic highlight in Bella Italia

The lakeside path, finalized between 2019 and 2021, is shared by cyclists, walkers, and hikers and runs directly next to the water, therefore in a safe distance to the loud, busy lakeside Gardasana road. The wide, paved path is lit in the evening hours and can easily be used by wheelchair or pram. On a total of ten kilometres between Brenzone and Malcesine the path with a total of 25 bridges spans among others countless tributaries of Lake Garda. During their walk, tourists and locals enjoy the fantastic open view far across the lake with bumbling yachts, cozy bathing bays and luxurious gardens right up to the wild western coast. The bridges and jetties covered with massive decks by NATURinFORM that would be 160 long if attached directly to one another, are each between three and twelve metres long.

‘Compact‘ scores with convincing features

As general contractor the company Italbeton Srl. from Trento was awarded the complete project contract. ‘None of the plans were handed over to an external architectural office, but were made by our own engineers,’ explains Dr. Ing. Vittorio Caliari from the administration in Brenzone, among others responsible for development of the area. ‘We started with the work in 2019, the main bulk of the building measures were executed during 2020, until spring 2021 we worked on the extension of the lakeside path, says Dr. Caliari. In a way, the lack of tourism due to the Corona induced lockdown made work-in-progress on the lakeside much easier, as there were no holidaymakers around. ‘In advance we had intensively debated in the committee which surface to choose for the bridges. Then, after long discussions, we decided on the most suitable material. We decided not to use wood, which in the past had always been the first choice for such building measures’, remembers Dr. Caliari. Instead, the people responsible in Brenzone decided on the weatherproof, durable, robust, slip resistant – and therefore safe – surface made of wood composite material of German production.

No maintenance, weatherproof and (slip)safe

’The aspects no maintenance, weather resistance and especially safety, as in slip resistance, were top priority for our choice’, says Vittorio Caliari. And so, they decided on ‘Compact’, a surface that even when damp and wet ensures a safe grip. NATURinFORM’s massive decks have proven their worth in environments close to water, as well as on patios around swimming pools. There are two surface options, a finely striated side, or block stripes, both brushed to provide more grip and slip resistance. In this case the decks were laid with the block stripe surface facing up, as this ensures ‘R13’, the highest level of slip resistance, as confirmed by the TÜV Rheinland. In contrast to wood, surfaces made of wood composite material do not splinter. With their length of a maximum of up to 13 metres, a thickness of 21 millimetres and thanks to their surfaces that can be used on both sides, they are versatile. ‘Compact’ is available in the three colours brown, anthracite and grey, as well as in the standard lengths of 3, 4, 5 and 6 metres; it is possible to order special lengths between 2 and 13 metres.

Smooth transitions between path and bridges 

The 25 bridges span rugged banks, smaller tributaries and dried up rivers. On a surface of more than 550 square metres the expert company from the area, Donini Pavimenti, laid the massive decks without a threshold or stumbling block precisely fit to the paved path. The slightly arched bridges rest on solid concrete foundations, their curved, delicate looking balustrades with their steel handrails were attached to an underlying construction made of Corten steel. The sides of the load-bearing concrete construction were also covered with Corten steel, a material that optically matches NATURinFORM’s brown decks. The Italian laying team first screwed aluminium profiles onto the slightly curved concrete surface and thereon attached the massive decks using hidden brackets. This created an attractive surface without distracting screws, ensuring the users’ safety with its surface.

Climate neutral production and resource conservation

Climate protection and conservation of resources are top priority for NATURinFORM. So as to be able to produce the wood composite material climate neutrally certified the producer only uses wooden fibres from domestic and sustainable forestry (PEFC-certified wood suppliers.) This means no additional trees are felled, as the wood products are a by-product of the wood-processing industry. All products can be recycled 100 percent, after the decks have been used, they are taken back by the company, checked and fed back into the production process. For all of NATURinFORM’s decks and façade profiles there are environmental product declarations (EPDs) according to international standards. All products are continuously quality, and stress tested to ensure consistent perfect and first class wood composite quality. The company provides a five-year guarantee for its products.

There are environmental product declarations according to international standards available (EPDs) for all of NATURinFORM’s decks and façade profiles. All products are continuously monitored by quality controls and stress tests, to guarantee a constant perfect and first-class wood composite quality. The company provides a five-year guarantee on its products. The patio decks can be recycled 100 percent and can be returned to the plant in Bavarian Redwitz for recycling.

Download: Press release
Product information: compact