Why You Should Visit Trentino, Italy’s Peaceful Renaissance Hilltown

When planning a trip to Italy, few people think to visit Trentino.Sure, you can go to Tuscany, Umbria, or Sicily, but where’s Trentino? People often look puzzled when you bring up this mountainous region, asking, “Trentino… where is Trentino?”

Check out the northeastern portion of Italy, where the craggy limestone peaks of the world-famous Dolomites cast their shadow. Lombardy is to the west, Veneto is to the east, and Austria is to the north.


Although Trentino is well-known among adventurous skiers for its many ski resorts, such as Canazei and San Martino di Castrozza, the region sees few visitors during the summer.

If you like to explore new places on your own, Trentino, Italy is perfect for you. One can go on a morning hike around a quiet mountain lake, stop for a tasting at a family-run vineyard, relax on the spa’s palm-lined promenade, dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant, and retire to a bed in a castle at night.

Trentino is only slightly smaller than the Great Salt Lake in Utah when it is completely full, measuring in at roughly 2,400 square miles (6,200 km2). The glaciers, alpine lakes, and waterfalls are all neatly tucked away in one of the nooks. Nearly every rocky outcrop features a castle, several of which have been partially repaired and now serve as museums or inns.

The fertile soil of Italy’s rolling hills and valleys produces the grapes used to make the country’s world-famous wines as well as a wide variety of other fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and artisanal meats.

In a jumble of vibrant geraniums and petunias, picturesque alpine settlements mesmerize. The hot waters of Trentino have attracted visitors since antiquity. Merano, in these Italian Alps, is one of the world’s most well-known spa towns.

Trento, with a population of 55,00, is the regional capital and is stunningly located in a vast glacial valley surrounded by towering Alps.

Trento, however off the usual route, is definitely worth a visit thanks to its beautifully preserved late-Medieval and Renaissance architecture, as well as its traces of Germanic influence.

of roughly 100 kilometers (62 miles), the landscape of Trentino transforms from alpine to Mediterranean, complete with lemon trees, olive groves, and oleander bushes. Lake Garda, at its southern extremity, looks like an inverted, elongated representation of Italy. Northern Europeans love to sail, wind surf, and water ski on Italy’s largest lake.

Riva del Garda, a medieval village famous for its towering Torre Apponale (1220), is a must-see.

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Trentino is a kid-friendly paradise full with fun things to do for families. In addition to the abundance of water sports, visitors to Lake Garda can choose from among hundreds of hiking trails of all degrees of difficulty. The whole family may ride up in a cable car, get off, and start their hike at the summit.

High in the mountains, where dairy farmers graze their herds in the summer, excursions are organized in numerous valleys.

A simple meal can be had at a table outside the dairyman’s cottage after petting the noses of the cows and seeing the cheese being made. There are trails for bicyclists and riders can get within touching distance of the Dolomites on horseback excursions.


Since it includes two provinces, the more correct name for this fun-filled area is Trentino-Alto Adige. Trentino (Welschtirol in German), though traditionally a part of Italy, felt more Austrian during the 19th and early 20th century.

Alto Adige, commonly referred to as South Tyrol (Südtirol in German), is located to the north of Trentino and has a total area of 2,860 square miles (7,400 km2). The Habsburgs ruled this area for about 500 years. When the Austro-Hungarian Empire was dismantled and European borders reconfigured in 1918, it originally became an Italian domain.

Germanic tribes forged links with Alto Adige as early as the third century B.C., when they made their way south through the region’s mountain passes or north along Italy’s second-longest river. The northerners settled here throughout many years, bringing their traditions and cuisine with them.

Therefore, Alto Adige adds more than a thin layer of oomph to its “Italian-ness.” Seventy percent of the people who live in the Alto Adige speak a native German dialect, hence practically all signs are written in both German and Italian.

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