Explore Trentino - Italy: what to see, where to stay and what to eat

Looking for something to do in Trentino, Italy? This guide has you covered with 10 things to do in the region. From skiing to wine tasting, there's something for everyone!

By Lele Gobbi
Oct 13, 2022
tagAlt.Val di Funes, Trentino Alto Adige, Italy. The great autumnal col

Article / Explore South Tyrol - Italy: what to see, where to stay and what to eat


10 Things to Do in Trentino- Italy

  1. Renon’s Cable Car
  2. The Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle in Merano
  3. Muse and Mart
  4. Old Ponale Road Path
  5. Lake Braies
  6. Stelvio Pass
  7. Pordoi Pass
  8. Lake Tenno
  9. Sella Ronda
  10. Brunico
Information sign and map of the Dolomiti with Trentino Alto Adige`s peaks in the background, San Candido. Italy

 

What is Trentino?

Trentino is located in the North-East of Italy, in the heart of the Italian Alps, between Lake Garda and the Dolomites.

As an autonomous province of Trentino-Alto Adige, together with Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Trentino belongs to the macro-area of Triveneto or Tre Venezie and is one of the three territorial entities which, together with the Austrian Tyrol and Alto Adige, formed the Euregio Tirolo - Alto Adige -Trentino (1815-1918).

Succinctly, from a historical viewpoint, we could define it in the following way: an episcopal province of the Holy Roman Empire, the extreme periphery of Austria, the far north of Italy.

 

Where is Trentino?

Geographically, the western and eastern borders are marked almost entirely by large mountain ranges; compared to Lombardy and Alto Adige, the division represented by the Adamello-Presanella and the Ortles-Cevedale is very clear. it is more complicated to identify a 'natural' border with Veneto to the east, where different mountain ranges, especially the Dolomites, have some valleys which are ‘cohabited’.

 

To the south, Lake Garda and the Lessini Mountains define the provincial territory. To the north, everything is somewhat elusive as the border crosses the Adige valley without any real distinguishing features. 

Dolomite Alps, Misurina Lake

 

What is Trentino known for?

Its strength is therefore the landscape: the majesty of the mountains, the numerous alpine lakes present throughout the area, endless forests, orchards, and vineyards. There are farmers who look after the area and protect products at risk of extinction, but also farmers who safeguard the livestock heritage, and therefore the thoroughbred cattle for alpine cheeses.

 

The altitude ranges from around 70 metres above sea level at Lake Garda (the Trentino Riviera) to almost 4,000 metres above sea level at the Cevedale mountain group, with the famous Brenta and Fassa Dolomites marking the ancient glaciations of an area whose expert relationship between habitat and culture makes it a leader in hospitality.

In short, the province boasts excellent museums (above all the Mart in Rovereto, and the Science Museum in Trento), numerous holy sites, and then wine cellars, dairies, artisan workshops, restaurants, inns, rural farms, mountain pastures and alpine refuges. There are unique towns and villages, while the capital, Trento, is a vibrant city that is a hothouse of culture and leisure. All this provides excellent opportunities for tourism in all four seasons of the year.

 

This Dolomite province offers such a wide variety of stimulation, above all because the most authentic values have always been linked to the selective nature of the mountains. In these mountainous conditions, wines derived from these vineyards are symbolic of the hard work and intelligence of the labourers. Wine but also mountains: the former is linked to the latter; in the Dolomite valleys the mountains limit the vine and take the leading role.

 

What Wine is famous in Trentino?

young woman sitting at bench, drinking glass of red wine, looking at Cima Ambrizzola in front of Rifugio Cinque Torri. Dolomites

 

Trentino is famous for its wine, which comes from the region. Wine has been known here since the 8th century B.C., as evidenced by the wine vases (situlae) found in the Cembra valley, where we still find well-made terraces on land marked by the hands of ancient vine growers. Then there is Trento and its surroundings, the Adige valley between Rotaliana and Vallagarina, and the valley leading towards Lake Garda - all of which are closely linked to the vitis vinifera (grapevine).

 

We start in Trento with the famous Trento DOC sparkling wine, and then discover the indigenous grape varieties such as Nosiola, Marzemino and Teroldego, or capture the aromatic notes of Müller-Thurgau to then immerse ourselves in the persuasive charm of Pinot Noir.

Compare the variables of the tannic elegance of Cabernet and Merlot, and conclude with a delicious Vino Santo, or sip on marc distillates, or grappas from the finest master distillers.

 

What are the best places for wineries & vineyards in Trentino-Alto Adige?

tenuta-san-leonardo-20220831

 

What food is Trentino famous for?

Mountain dishes. A simple, throwback cuisine that emphasises ingredients such as corn, potatoes, beans and herbs, followed of course by meat, cheese, milk and freshwater fish. 

Tonco de Pontesel

 

The food is of Austrian, Bohemian and Bavarian origin. Distinctive products are ‘canerderli (a type of bread dumpling) followed by gnocchi called ‘strangolapreti ‘and ‘rufioi, square ravioli filled with vegetables and smoked cheese, served with steaming butter, sage and cheese or with meat sauce. Then there is goulash, game and wild mushrooms.

 

Salted cod (baccalà) is widely used; it is called "dei frati" (of the monks), meaning it is cooked in the oven with vegetables, potatoes, milk, anchovies, garlic and parsley.

 

There is also the very typical carne salada (salted meat), pork sausages (luganeghe) and apple desserts. Finally, we mustn’t forget the mixed forest berries which are truly a collective heritage of the mountain people.

 

What are the typical recipes of trentino?

  • Tortel di patate (potato cake, baked or fried in a pan, made of boiled potatoes with eggs, starch and grated trentingrana cheese)
  • Salmerino in saor (fish in a typical marinade prepared with onions browned in oil, wine and vinegar) 
  • Tonco de Pontesel (a brothy sauce obtained by cooking a stew of mixed meat browned with lard, onion and lucanica (spicy sausage) which accompanies corn and potato polenta)
     

What are the most popular restaurants in Trentino?

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Osteria Morelli -

 

Is Trentino worth visiting?

Because it is a multifarious land, with wide open spaces, mountains, lakes, villages, castles, rocks, meadows, sun, glaciers, gastronomy, spas (and many other natural alternatives) - all well preserved and highly valued.

Trentino is, in essence, a bastion of traditions, historical memories and with exceptional products to taste.

Le Baccanti

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