Where is Trentino? What is Trentino famous for?
10 questions and answers to discover the land of the Dolomites, Lake Garda and Trentodoc
Where is Trentino? What is Trentino famous for? What are the 5 things to be seen in Trentino? We have answered these and other questions, to help you get to know our territory. Welcome!
#1 - Where is Trentino?
Trentino is located in the North-East of Italy, in the heart of the Italian Alps, between Lake Garda and the Dolomites. It is just below Austria, and not far from cities like Milan, Venice and Verona. The main city is Trento, famous for having hosted the historical Council of the Sixteenth century, and for its Trentodoc, one of the most precious spumante sparkling wines in Italy.
#2 - How do I get to Trentino?
Trentino has no airports, but you can use the airports of Verona, Bergamo Orio al Serio, Innsbruck and Venice, which are all about two hours away by car, and are well-connected by trains and buses. For specific information, please consult our section entitled “how to get there”.
#3 - Why is it called Trentino?
Trentino owes its name to the city of Trento, which in Roman times was called “Tridentum” (Latin word for “trident”), because the city is surrounded by three hills, pointed on top like the tines on a trident. They are Doss Trento, Doss Sant’Agata, and Dosso di San Rocco. It is no surprise that the fountain in Piazza Duomo, in the heart of the city, depicts the god Neptune, famous for his trident.
#4 - What is Trentino famous for?
Trentino is famous for its magnificent natural landscapes, its impressive mountains, its green valleys and its lakes - just think, there are 297 of them. If you love nature, this is the right place for you! The first sign of this is its shape: when seen from above, in fact, Trentino looks like a butterfly with open wings.
Here, you can see the famous Dolomites, spectacular mountains in the Italian Alps, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We suggest seeing them at sundown, when the sunlight creates exciting light effects on their peaks. This phenomenon is known as “enrosadira” or “alpenglow”.
A holiday in Trentino is a must for those who enjoy sports and outdoor activities: in winter you will find more than 800 kilometres of skiing slopes, while in summer you can move to the shores of Lake Garda or to the mountains, where you will stay cool and find many trails dedicated to hiking, mountain biking, or climbing.
#5 - What points of interest does Trentino have to offer?
You cannot leave Trentino without having seen the Dolomites, which you can admire in three different places. West of Trento, in fact, rise the rock towers of the Brenta Dolomites, while East of Trentino, and moving North, you will find the Fassa and Fiemme Dolomites, the most prominent of which is the Marmolada group, known as the “Queen of the Dolomites”.
Also to the East of Trento, you can find the famous Pale di San Martino, the largest mountain group in the Dolomites, which is said to have inspired Italian author Dino Buzzati for his masterpiece “The Tartar Steppe”.
Another essential stop in your holiday in Trentino is Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy. In summer, it is the ideal location for water sports like sailing and windsurfing, thanks to the numerous winds that blow across its waters, like the Ora or the Pelèr. If you prefer staying on dry land, you will have cycling tracks, via ferratas and climbing walls available.
Obviously, during your trip you must see Trento, the capital city of Trentino. You will be amazed by the Renaissance frescoes that decorate the walls of the buildings in the historical centre. We also suggest you visit the Muse - the innovative museum of natural science - and the Castello del Buonconsiglio, to see the Gothic frescoes of Torre dell’Aquila.
Half an hour by train (or car) is Rovereto, an elegant city, where one of the main attractions is MART, the International Museum of Modern and Contemporary art.
There are so many other places to visit… and among these, we will suggest two more: Lake Molveno, considered the most beautiful lake in Italy, and Madonna di Campiglio, an elegant skiing destination that attracts skiers from all over the world.
#6 - What is there to do in Trentino in summer?
When summer comes, you can choose between the lakes and the mountains. There are truly so many destinations where you can practise outdoor sports and enjoy splendid natural surroundings. One of the key players in the Trentino summer is Lake Garda, the ideal place for those who practise water sports, or for those who wish to experience a little of the “Italian Lifestyle”, with aperitifs and excellent cuisine.
For a swim, a canoe outing, or an aperitif at sundown, we also suggest the beautiful Lake Molveno, as well as Lakes Levico and Caldonazzo.
If, instead of the blue water, you prefer the green of woods and mountains, keep in mind that Trentino boasts three large nature parks: the Paneveggio-Pale di San Martino Nature Park, the Adamello Brenta Nature Park, and the Stelvio National Park, all ideal for excursions on foot or by mountain bike, climbs, via ferrata hikes, or simple walks, to relax with the whole family.
Between a swim and a walk, we suggest you find some time to stop at Arte Sella, a surprising open-air contemporary art museum, or to visit the beautiful castles that protected the valleys of Trentino centuries ago: Castello di Avio, Castel Beseno, or the elegant Castel Thun, in Val di Non.
#7 - What is there to do in Trentino in winter?
In winter, the mountains are covered in snow, and they become a skier’s paradise. From the renowned slopes of Madonna di Campiglio and Val di Sole (West of Trento, and just a few hours from Milan) to the famous slopes of the Dolomiti Superski district, in the eastern part of Trentino: from the Pala Group to the Catinaccio Group.
And even if you don’t ski, there is lots to do: from December to January, the towns in Trentino come alive with Christmas Markets, like the ones in Trento, Levico, or Rango. Or you can relax in the mountains, between a sauna at the Spa and a gourmet dinner at the chalet.
#8 - What is the best time of the year to visit Trentino?
You can visit Trentino at any time of the year. In fact, the climate is generally temperate, although it does change a lot from one area to the next: high in the mountains the temperatures are very cold, while they are much milder in the areas around Lake Garda.
So if Winter is the ideal time for skiers or for those who love getting lost in the magic of Christmas Markets, Summer is perfect for an active sports holiday thanks to the agreeably fresh temperatures both in the mountains and alongside the lakes.
If, on the other hand, you choose Trentino in Spring or Autumn, you will be surprised by the colours of nature. In Spring, you will witness the triumph of blossoming flowers, especially in the apple orchard areas, in Val di Non, while the prevailing colours in Autumn are the reds, golds and oranges of the leaves, and the scents of the grape harvest.
#9 - What can I eat when I come to Trentino?
In Trentino, the typical flavours of Italian cuisine are blended with the recipes of mountain tradition. If you come on holiday, you must try the tortel, a tasty potato fritter that is served with platters of cold meats, cheeses, or salads like cabbage salad. Among the cheeses, you must try Trentingrana, Vézzena or Puzzone di Moena, typical products of our mountain pastures.
If, on the other hand, you feel like something hot, we suggest a nice plate of canederli, large dumplings made with a mixture of bread, milk, egg, cold meats and cheese. You can taste them in broth or with mountain butter and sage.
Are you very hungry? A dish of polenta carbonera or polenta macafana, made with yellow corn flour from Storo, will definitely satisfy you. These are traditional dishes made with cereal flour, enriched with meat, cold meats, and cheeses. Otherwise you can try another essential part of local cuisine: carne salada and fasoi (beans), a tasty, protein-filled dish.
Good! Now all that’s left to do is order dessert. In Trentino, you can order strudel, a dessert consisting in a rolled pastry filled with apples, pine kernels and cinnamon, or zelten, a typical Christmas dessert made with dried and shell fruit.
#10 - Which are the typical wines?
If you love wine, you are in the right place. Bubbles, whites, reds, grappa: Trentino has an important winemaking tradition. You absolutely must try Trentodoc, the Metodo Classico spumante with an elegant and delicate flavour, perfect for an aperitif or a special evening. Among the red wines, we suggest the precious Teroldego, with its noble heritage: it was the most commonly drunk wine at the Council of Trent! Another famous wine is the Marzemino, mentioned by Mozart in his Dongiovanni.
If you prefer white wines, we suggest Nosiola, a very light-coloured wine, which is also the basis of the tasty Trentino Vino Santo (a typical straw wine that usually accompanies sweets).
P.S.: In Trentino there is a tradition: every dinner worthy of its name ends with (at least) a glass of grappa. The local grappas are among the most renowned in Italy!