9 places to visit in Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy

10 reasons to visit Trentino-Alto Adige

Imagine going down the snow-covered slopes under the bright sunshine and you are surrounded by the majestic Dolomites: unspoiled nature spreads out before your eyes. The beauty and the geological, botanical and landscape diversity have in 2009 led the International Commission of Experts of UNESCO to proclaim the Dolomites as a natural heritage of mankind. The Dolomiti Superski ski resort guarantees access to twelve different ski areas and 1200 km of perfectly groomed slopes with perfect snow cover can be explored with a single ski pass. And after a long day of skiing, it is definitely worth enjoying the hospitality of the huts and tasting the typical products of the region.

2. explore the mountains and castles

Ten thousand years of history, art and archaeology are encapsulated in the four main castles of Trentino. The Castle of Buonconsiglio is the largest and most important monument of the region: from the XIII century until the end of the XVIII century it was the princely and bishop’s residence of Trento. The complex, situated on an elevated site, consists of a series of buildings of different eras, enclosed by walls. Of great interest is the interior decoration created especially for the bishops during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, especially the extensive cycles of frescoes. Today it is the center of a museum system consisting of four castles considered the most beautiful in the Trentino region: Castel Stenico in the Giudicariere valley, Castel Bezeno in the Adige valley, between Trento and Rovereto, and Castel Thun in the Non valley.

3. Visit Bolzano, the gateway to the Dolomite Alps

Bolzano has remained at the heart of trade between Italy and Germany for centuries, this is evident in the architecture, culture and gastronomy, which reflect the traits of Central Europe and the Mediterranean. There are many events to discover, from the Christmas markets, typical of the northern regions, to the festival of flowers in spring, also worth visiting during the jazz festival in summer, and of course, to taste the unique local cuisine. Do not miss the young wine festival Törggelen: in autumn the South Tyrolean farms open their doors to offer tourists the typical seasonal products such as chestnuts, wine, bacon and young wine – a real festival of flavours.

4. Walk the Peace Trail

“The Peace Trail” is a historic trail that connects the sites of World War I remembrance. The front line ran in Trentino from Passo Tonale to Marmolada. The total length is more than 520 km. This unusual route was created between 1986 and 1991 by members of the Union for the Protection of Nature and the Service for the Restoration and Evaluation of Memorials of the Province of Trento. Thanks to their initiative, a tourist route was created that follows the former military roads laid out during the First World War. Later it was joined by a section in the Central Plateau of the seven municipalities that make up the region of Ortigara

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5. Tasting the local wines

Winemaking in this region, despite the complex nature of the area, has achieved amazing results. The wines even manage to compete with the best red wine estates in Italy. The red grape symbol of Trentino is the old variety Teroldego. For a long time it was diluted, but today it is produced with great attention, and it becomes dense, red, structured, with fruity notes and a high tannin content, which makes it a wine that needs five or six years in the bottle for its taste to become more delicate. This grape variety makes wines such as the classic DOC Santa Maddalena and Lago di Caldaro. The so-called international vine varieties have a long tradition in South Tyrol, and the result is always excellent. This is just a case of Pinot Noir, which local farmers use to produce several types of wine popular throughout Italy.

6. Harvest chestnuts on the shores of Lake Varna

Lake Varna (712 m) is an ideal place for those who love nature, it is an oasis of peace and a favorite “Mecca” of tourists even outside of the bathing season. Here you can walk at the foot of the mountains that surround the valley west of Bressanone, among age-old chestnuts and fields towards the lake. This route is particularly popular with visitors and locals alike. To begin with, you can explore the lake, over which the slopes overhang. There is a chestnut trail here: many establishments invite you to enjoy a beautiful view of the Ploze and have a glass of good wine with freshly roasted chestnuts.

7. Discover modern art at the MART Museum in Rovereto

The Museum of Modern Art of Trento and Rovereto (MART) is one of the leading museums of modern and contemporary art in Italy: it hosts masterpieces of Italian artists like De Chirico, Carr, Burri and foreign artists like Beuys and Kandinsky. The museum was founded in 1987 and originally occupied the Palazzo Albere in Trento. The appearance of some works by Fortunato Depero, now on display in the House of Futuristic Art at the museum, and exhibits from the Provincial Art Museum of Trento prompted the administration to decide to expand the museum, including the question of including new and existing exhibition spaces in Rovereto in the Mart.

8. Relax in the Thermae of Levico or Merano

A festival of beauty, body and soul is offered by several spas, including Levico Terme and Merano, known for their healing radon waters and various beauty treatments.

The Terme Merano Resort includes the Imperial Grand Hotel Terme, with spa services, sauna and massage, as well as the new, modern building Palazzo delle Terme, which offers mud baths, inhalations, gynecological treatments and massages. A few kilometers from the hotel there are Vetriolo Terme thermal springs, the highest (1500 meters) in Europe. From the hot springs comes a pipe that conveys thermal water to the spa facilities in Levico. The complex is characterized by a typical alpine design, you can take thermal baths, inhalations and physiotherapy, there is also a swimming pool and solarium for heliotherapy. The Levico Spa produces a line of new generation cosmetic products.

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9. Visit the city of Trento

Piazza Duomo and Neptune Fountain © Arseniy Krasnevsky / Shutterstock.com

Surrounded by mountains, the small town of Trento is the epitome of Renaissance charm and beauty. The palaces still retain their original pastel colors and typical wooden balconies. Walking is the best way to explore the city and admire the magnificent cathedral built in the XII century in Gothic-Romanesque style, the Neptune fountain, the beautiful church of Santa Maria Maggiore, the magnificent palaces: the houses of Cazuffi and Rella, Negri, Crivelli Bellinese, Balnuini, the Praetorian Palace, Roccabruna Palace and Palazzo Albere, which originally housed the Museum of Modern Art. There is also part of the crenellated wall that once defended the city, it connects to the Castle of Buonconsiglio and reaches the Adige River.

10. Buy souvenirs in Trento’s local markets

Every year, cities in northern Italy light up their festive Christmas markets: decorations, handicrafts, antiques, and antique jewelry fill the squares. Here, too, you’ll find grocery stores serving mulled wine, a hot, spicy wine perfect for warming up on those cold December evenings. The markets in the Alpine cities of Trento, Rovereto, Merano and Bolzano are particularly beautiful and picturesque and become a favorite place for thousands of tourists who crowd the streets to visit each one in search of their perfect gift.

Trentino – Alto Adige

The region with the difficult to pronounce name Trentino-Alto Adige is located in northern Italy. It borders with Austria, of which it was a part until 1919.

Its second name is Südtirol, or South Tyrol. Locals speak Italian and German, with some Bavarian dialects. Trentino Alto Adige is an important wine region in Italy. Because of the landscape it is very popular among skiers and mountain climbers from all over the world.

In the winter it is quite cold and snowy with an average temperature of 0.4° C in January and rarely exceeding 21° C in the summer.

Trentino Alto Adige

General Information

In addition to tourism and winemaking, the region has well-developed metallurgy and agriculture. The region is divided into two autonomous provinces: Trentino with the capital city in Trento and South Tyrol with the “main” city Bolzano. Through Trento passes the railroad that connects Italy’s Verona and Austria’s Innsbruck. The second most important transport artery is the highway A22. There is a particularly well-developed bus service in Bolzano.

Due to the landscape, locals actively use the funicular railway – there are three of them.

Trentino Alto Adige

The total population of the region is a little over 1 million people. The biggest cities are Trento (117 thousand people), Bolzano (98 thousand) and Merano (35 thousand).

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History of the region

The first settlements on the territory of present-day Trentino-Alto Adige appeared thanks to the Celtic and Etruscan tribes. In 15 B.C. the Romans came here. Their presence in the region had a great influence on its development; the active exploitation of the territory led to the appearance of roads, bridges and the creation of cities. This was particularly true of the Adige valley; the mountainous part of the area has not been much affected and some parts have survived almost untouched to this day.

Modern Trentino - Alto Adige

From the 13th century onwards, German workers began to settle in the area: rich deposits of iron, copper and silver were discovered here.

The region more than once changed hands, having been repeatedly part of Austria and Italy.

Culture

The area is rich in cultural traditions: over its long history, the customs of many different peoples have intermingled. Each has left its mark: the architecture of the city is as varied and varied as the local cuisine.

Folklore

If you come to Trentino Alto Adige, you must see at least one folklore festival, the Matoci Carnival, for example. It takes place in the village Valfloriana and is one of the oldest folk festivals of its kind in the Alps. It used to look like a costume wedding procession; nowadays it’s just a colorful masquerade, with great fun for participants and spectators alike.

Another costume show awaits visitors to the region in Val di Fassa. The parade of fairy tale monsters, characters of folk tales and legends is held here in December. And from mid-January to the end of February all the inhabitants of the valley become part of one big carnival, which does not stop day and night. The custom was born many years ago in the culture of the Ladins, the indigenous people of these places.

For those who prefer more secular entertainment, the Habsburg Carnevale (Carnevale Asburgico) is worth a visit. These are costume shows in the spirit of balls during the reign of Franz Joseph, held in the resort of Madonna di Campiglio.

Cuisine

The culinary tastes of the peoples inhabiting the region are intermingled in a most bizarre way. In the menus of local cafes and restaurants one can find Italian, Swiss, German, Austrian and other favorites. Of the specialties that must be tasted, the beef corned beef (carne salada alla trentina) deserves a special mention. The meat is salted for a few weeks and then sliced thinly and served with a side dish of onions and beans, or lightly fried.

One of the holiday dishes prepared during the carnivals is called smacafam. In a dough made of buckwheat flour, they add meat broth or milk and add pieces of pork sausage, and then bake it. Not very useful, but incredibly filling!

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smorrn

Well, fans of dessert is recommended smorrn (smorrn) . It is a local version of the Austrian Kaiserschmarrn – pancake with blueberry, currant or apple jam.

3000 years of winemaking history in the region

Special mention should be made of the local wines. Especially famous are dry white ones, and no wonder – the history of winemaking in the region goes back 3000 years. At the beginning of the XX century there appeared local sparkling wine, produced by classical technology.

Cities and attractions

An abundance of ski resorts designed for every level of sport and financial fitness attracts lovers of active leisure to Trentino Alto Adige. But tourists who prefer lazy walks through the streets of old towns will also find something to do here.

Trento

ancient Buonconsiglio castle

Trentino and capital of Trento lies in the Adige valley, Italy’s second longest river, second only to the Po. The history of its appearance goes back to the IV century B.C. The symbol of the city is the ancient Castle of Buonconsiglio (Castello del Buonconsiglio), built in the middle of the XIII century. It once served as a princely residence, but now is a museum.

Cattedrale di San Vigilio

The main cathedral of Trento bears the name of St. Vigilius (Cattedrale di San Vigilio), patron of the city. It was started to build in XI century on the place of the ancient church: there is a version that it was put over the tomb of the saint who died in 405. His relics are kept in the altar of the cathedral.

The Torre Civica, which towers over Piazza Duomo, also attests to the antiquity of Trento. The exact date of its construction is unknown, but it was definitely built no later than the tenth century. Its height is 41.5 meters, but in ancient times it was much lower.

Bolzano

The second largest city in the region, Bolzano has been greatly influenced by Austrian culture. Although most of the inhabitants of the capital of South Tyrol speak Italian, the main language of the province is German. Construction of the city began in the XII century.

Duomo di Bolzano

The city has a Gothic-style cathedral, the Duomo di Bolzano, which is one of the oldest buildings in the city.

Another old building is the Castel Mareccio, the castle of the Mareccio family. Its main tower has survived since the XII century. The castle itself has been rebuilt several times, but it did not take away its beauty and monumentality.

The town is famous for a unique archaeological find made in the Tyrolean Alps in 1991. It is the so-called Similaun man, the oldest human mummy discovered in the territory of modern Europe: the remains are about 5300 years old.

Merano

Situated in the north of South Tyrol, near the Italian-Austrian border, Merano was given city status in the XIII century. It was part of the independent Tyrolean county, and then it was passed to the Habsburgs.

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Since the XV century there is a princely castle, Castello Principesco. It is open to visitors throughout the year except for the two winter months of January and February.

The town is famous for its thermal springs and the huge botanical garden around Castello Trauttmansdorf.

One of the most unusual museums of the city is the Museum of Women (Museo delle Donne). The basis of the museum exhibition is a private collection of items of women’s life, covering a 200-year period.

Brixen

Relatively small Brixen (Brixen) is more correctly called in Italian, Bressanone. It is located in South Tyrol and is one of the oldest cities in the province, having been founded in 901. In the eleventh century, the bishops of Brixen transformed its possessions into a powerful principality that played a dominant role in the region. It is now a quiet, green and picturesque town, whose former glory is reminded by the cathedral (Duomo di Bressanone) and the bishop’s palace (Palazzo Vescovile).

Duomo di Bressanone

The first was built in the X century, but in 1174 it burned to the ground. The new building was rebuilt several times, it got its present baroque appearance in the middle of the XVIII century.

The bishopric was once a castle, but at the end of XVI century it was rebuilt, and now it is considered one of the most beautiful residences in South Tyrol.

Resorts of the region

As mentioned above, the region is a real Mecca for skiers . But go here not only for the clean mountain air and bright winter sun. Spa resorts – that’s what attracts people who are not experiencing attacks of adrenaline hunger. However, nothing prevents to combine two kinds of rest – many ski resorts have spa complexes with thermal springs.

Downhill skiing

Madonna di Campiglio

    (Madonna di Campiglio) – a resort for those who care about status. The prices here are high, but the level of services and the quality of the pistes are beyond praise.
  • Passo Tonale, on the contrary, is democratic. This is a quiet ski resort, which is most suitable for beginners.

Trentino Alto Adige

  • San Martino di Castrozza is the choice of professionals. There are many long and difficult slopes and mountains of incredible beauty.
  • Val di Fiemme is another popular ski resort located in a picturesque valley and provides perfectly equipped slopes for athletes.

Thermae

Ortisei

Ortisei is one of those thermal and ski resorts where you can go skiing and have a series of relaxing spa treatments. It is often visited by families, there is something for everyone.

Roncegno

Roncegno

Roncegno is a thermal spa since 1857. People come here to treat the stomach, to relieve asthma, to cure the cardiovascular system.

The Val di Sole offers excellent options for active holidays on the slopes and tranquil ones in the local thermal centers and spas.

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