Italy is on many traveler’s bucket-lists and with good reason – it is one of the most traveled destinations in Europe for its scenery, history and charm. Each of the 20 regions of Italy have their own character and amazing experiences to offer. Let’s focus on one region in the North of Italy which is so diverse, offering extreme mountains, lush valleys, amazing countryside views and even castles to explore. With so many gorgeous views, places to eat, things to see and experiences to enjoy, the Trentino-Alto Adige region of Italy is packed with travel appeal.
Here are some places to keep in mind when considering exploring the region of Trentino-Alto Adige:
1) Altopiano di Pine and Valle di Cembra
With rolling hills, green meadows, gorgeous lakes, lush forests and the stunning Dolomite mountains above, this area boasts some of the most fertile wine growing land and warm sunshine soaked lake shores. Take some time to venture out to the Pyramids of Segonzano, one of the most well-known geological phenomena on earth. These masterpieces are towers created like organ pipes that can be reached year-round by a marked hiking path. Or, if a more casual walk is your speed, visit Serraia Lake, featuring a pleasant path around the lake connecting to another nearby lake, Piazze Lake.
2) Trento, Monte Bondone, Valle dei Laghi, Piana Rotaliana
Trento is the capital of the region with a delightful mix of Italian old world architecture and Central European charm. Here you can find some fantastic sights, such as the Neptune fountain, and magical Castello del Buonconsiglio – an immersion into history including frescoes, towers, and art. The MUSE – Science Museum also resides here and offers visitors, from toddlers to adults, interactive opportunities to learn more about dinosaurs, early man, life on earth, as well as global issues, technology and building a better future together.
3) Rovereto, Vallagarina
Rovereto, known as the City of Peace, is the capital of Vallagarina. Visitors here can enjoy the Venetian-style architecture, cultural events and artistic influences. This is where you can find the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MART) as well as the Museo Storico della Guerra (Historic War Museum). Find yourself lost in the history of Castel Beseno whose history can be traced back to the 12th century and housed the aristocratic family Da Beseno. Walk scenic paths like the Sentiero della Pace (Path of Peace) or cycle along many of the bike trails in the area. In winter, this region has many options for skiing, including walking with ski poles or downhill skiing.
4) Garda Trentino and Valle di Ledro
Relax on the shores of Lake Garda in the summer and enjoy the famous breeze that blows through, allowing sailing and windsurfing enthusiasts to practice their pastimes or enter into the competitions held here each year. The area is also known for active vacationers who enjoy the vast trekking trails, cycling paths and even free climbing opportunities in the upper lake area. The Museo delle Palafitte and Museo Alto Garda also reside here and offer visitors a chance to learn more about the history of the region including art, ancient maps, and archaeology. In the winter, this area turns into a festive wonderland with delicious foods, local charm and the beloved Christmas markets.
5) Valsugana, Lagorai, Vigolana and Valle dei Mocheni
An outdoor enthusiast’s dream, this gorgeous area has networks of hiking trails through forests, hills, valleys and lakes – there is even a cycling trail along the Brenta river. Two stunning lakes in the area, Lake Caldonazzo and Lake Levico, offer deep, clear water and opportunities for water sports and nearby camping (free!). The Valsugana spa centers offer relaxation and history, dating back to the 19th century, with hotels that feature modern amenities and natural therapies. In the winter, enjoy the local Christmas markets or spend the day on the slopes snowshoeing or skiing.
6) Terme di Comano – Brenta Dolomites
Particularly famous for the thermal baths, which are believed to have a healing effect on the skin, this area features a variety of options for natural wellness, outdoors sports, delicious foods and history. Offering family-friendly holiday options, this area can entice even children to want to relax and stay awhile.
7) Valle del Chiese and Giudicarie Centrali
Ancient rural villages and old world castles are scattered throughout this area, allowing you to take a step back in time. Spend some time on the edge of the rivers here and enjoy fishing, or delight your senses with local, fresh-caught trout or whitefish at one of the many restaurants featuring other delicacies like mountain dairy cheeses, mushrooms and polenta.
8) Alpe Cimbra – Folgaria Lavarone and Luserna
More recent than the castles nearby, the fortresses here are remnants from a more recent time of battle – the Great War (1915-1918). Ski among these Great War fortresses in the winter or take a hike along the scenic paths in the summer. Snowshoeing, sled dog excursions, snow parks, ice skating and more are available in the winter as well to allow for multiple days of amazing experiences.
9) San Martino di Castrozza, Passo Rolle, Primiero and Vanoi
With so many opportunities for outdoor sports, this area in the heart of the Dolomites has something for everyone. Enjoy mountain hut excursions or bike through the high-altitude crossings of the Palaronds Trek. Discover music, culture and folklore events in the charming small towns during the summer and ski the slopes of Passo Rolle for 5 months of the year during the winter.
10) Val di Non
A sight to behold during the spring bloom or fall harvest, this area is known for its apples and orchards as well as the gorgeous landscape perfect for nature hikes and cycling adventures. There is also a fantastic 18-hole golf course that is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the Alpine area. Trek the stunning Castel Thun before sitting down to enjoy delicious, fresh apples, famed parmesan cheese and mortandela, a local kind of salami.
11) Madonna di Campiglio, Pinzolo
Known for being one of the trendiest ski resorts in the Alpines, Madonna di Campiglio connects to Folagarida-Marilleva and Pinzolo via lift systems that are fast and easy to use, allowing skiers access to spectacular ski runs and 156km of slopes. In addition, there are options for snowboarding, snowshoeing, ice skating and alpine skiing excursions. During the summer, this area has incredible scenery for hikers and bikers including waterfalls and forests. There is a rich heritage here including ancient churches and sanctuaries, with several museums covering everything from art to the stories of the pioneers of the Alps.
With so many different options of how to spend your time here, you may want to consider booking more than one trip to Italy so you can take in the amazing scenery and history in the summer and come back for the incredible skiing and charm of the festive Christmas period. No matter where you go in Trentino-Alto Adige, you are sure to find something you will love and memories you will cherish.