Over 300 lakes and a crown of mountain peaks interrupted by hot springs
Over 300 lakes and a crown of mountain peaks interrupted by hot springs: Trentino is a region where the landscape is not only extraordinarily beautiful, but it is the protagonist of the wealth and development of the region. A fifth of the territory is protected as a national park (the Stelvio interesting part of Lombardy) and natural reserve: a project that protects the environment and is a great attraction for tourism. So are the rocky massifs and glaciers, a destination for hikers and mountain lovers. Inhabited by Italian and Ladin minorities and germanofane, Trentino is nestled between the Dolomites, a World Heritage Site since 2009, and turns on the shores of Lake Garda, which guarantees the territory a microclimate that makes it suitable for even the Mediterranean flora. The nature is completed by the vestiges of the past and with the projections of the future: along with alpine refuges and perched castles visiting prestigious exhibitions art and we can learn the techniques of production of Italian sparkling wine exported all over the world. In addition to the inhabitants of the Italian language, in Trentino live Ladin and germanofone minorities.
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The capital of Trentino was founded in the first century BC by the Romans, who gave the town the name of Tridentum. Protagonist of important historical events including the eponymous Council, Trent has always been a cultural crossroads where culture and Italian artistic met with Central European, defining the character of the city. Nestled in the valley of the Adige, Trento is a city on a human scale that offers a consistent artistic offerings as well as a cultural life animated by conferences and exhibitions, and inspired by the traditions and history, also narrated by holidays in traditional costume. Buonconsiglio Castle (which also houses a museum) and the Central Cathedral, overlooking the square with the fountain of Neptune, are the most important landmarks of a city that has a lively atmosphere, thanks to his university.
Trentino, at the north east of Italy and close to Austria and Switzerland, is a predominantly mountainous region, but with a quite varied landscape. Snowy peaks and forests give way to broad valleys and a unique water resources, made of numerous rivers and lakes, which reflect the rocky peaks of the Dolomites. Thanks to its shape, the Trentino has hundreds of kilometers of ski slopes, becoming almost a single large area that encompasses some of the most famous resorts of Italy, such as Madonna di Campiglio, Moena, Canazei and San Martino di Castrozza. The largest of the lakes, the Garda offer to Trentino a special microclimate that allows you to grow many plant species. Also very rich subsoil, from which flow springs become a reference point for the welfare and care of the body. Levico and Comano are only the best known of the many spas in Trentino.
Tradition and culture, the two important souls of Trentino, are also the protagonists of the major regional events. In April takes place the Trento Film Festival, unmissable event with world cinema that deals with mountaineering, territory and culture of the mountain. Many, then, historical reenactments, almost all in costume, who are reviving the Medieval and Renaissance. In Trent during the third week of June there are the the Vigiliane event, dedicated to S. Vigilio, patron of the city, which transform the center into a fascinating stage for fashion shows and sixteenth performances. More and more visitors come in Trentino for the Christmas markets that open the doors from the last week of November.
By Plane- Airports from which go to Trentino are the Valerio Catullo and Brescia Montichiari are located about 70 km from the border of the region and are connected to the main tourist areas of transfer services with several departures throughout the seasons. The small airport of Bolzano only receives flights from Rome and Milan.
By Train.-The Adige valley is crossed by the railway lines of the Brenner Railroad; to move lower Trentino is leaving the station of Rovereto or Trento. The State Railways run the other lines, including those that arrive in Trento from Verona, in connection with high-speed trains to and from Venice and Milan. The line that reaches from Trento Valsugana is experiencing a moderate revival of tourism.
By Car-Trentino is crossed from the Brenner A22, from which the location of the region will reach out to Rovereto South-North Lake Garda (Rovereto, Garda, Val Lagarina, Ledro and Comano), Rovereto Nord (Rovereto, Folgaria, Lavarone), Trento Centre (for Ternto, Andalo, Paganella, Val di Non); S. Michele-Mezzocorona (Andalo, Paganella, Cembra Valley, Val di Sole, Val di Non). Alternatively, from Verona or Bolzano follow the SS12 Abetone and Brenner; Venice from the highway of Valsugana (SS47); from Brescia and Lake Garda the SS45bis West Gardesana.
By Bus- From the capital you can reach various locations in Trentino (Italian and also, in some periods of the year) with regular bus routes from the station via Pozzo , close to the railway station.
Whatever way you choose to explore the Trentino, the mountain will always be part of the route, also for its incomparable setting. In addition to the most popular resorts for skiing and trekking paths, in the valleys we find the Tyrolean atmosphere but it also makes a stop to visit medieval castles. That of Brunico overlooking a town of narrow pedestrian streets that run along the fortifications; is very different from Castel Thun, fortified Renaissance residence, still fitted and re-opened very recently. A rich and valuable library, and an exceptional art collection result of five centuries of patronage. It is located in the Val di Non, known for their castles and for their delicious apples from Trentino that end up on tables all over Italy. In summer you gather in houses that invite guests to feel farmers for the time of a holiday. A completely different air you breathe in the most fashionable resorts such as Madonna di Campiglio, considered one of the best equipped ski centers. Some traditional structures organize trekking along the “way of the jets” of the Brenta Dolomites, a real natural gym, or on the Adamello glacier, with nights in a refuge. Not to forget the many spas: those of Comano are in the heart of the Adamello Brenta Nature Park, the largest in Trentino, and have a water with a particular composition to make it excellent for the treatment of skin diseases.
TRADITIONS AND FOLKLORE
The multiple cultural influences and the mountain, who knows crystallize traditions, have made it very rich folk heritage of Trentino. The Alpine valleys come alive during the Carnival period, a party deeply felt. At Terzolas, in Val di Sole, is held the Grand Carnival Solandro, which occupies an entire week of parades of floats and dancing. To learn about the culture and traditions of Trentino appointment Tesero, in Val di Fiemme, for Le Corte de Tiezer, a reenactment of the ancient crafts and arts of the past. On the eve of 11 November Predazzo lights with the fires of San Martino, lit by the inhabitants of the various districts that run on the mountain to start the fire more impressive. Every year, in Roncegno holding the Chestnut Festival with the band in the country that parades and residents who compete in medieval games. Very original the Strozegada Levico Terme, a tradition that precedes the night of Saint Lucia, when children follow a donkey with the figure of the saint with the accompanying “strozegada”, with empty cans tied together and transported in a way that make a lot of noise to remind Saint Lucia to bring gifts.
AT THE TABLE
The place of honor is smoked bacon, but the typical salami from Trentino is in good company on the cutting board. There are in fact the Ciughe, sausages with turnips, there Grana of Non Valley (known as Trentingrana), cheese Ladin Moena strong odor and therefore called Puzzone, there is the Nostrano of Val di Fassa cooked, and then the thin and aromatic Spressa in addition to Tosela, made from fresh milk or Vezzena. Numerous varieties of apples, for which the Trentino is the first Italian manufacturer. You collect especially the yellow Golden Delicious, the red Stark delicious, and the green Granny addition to Morgenduft and Gloster. Excellent polenta, both durum wheat that buckwheat, and missed the dumplings, of Mitteleuropa memory, which are dumplings of bread soaked in milk and flavored with bacon and sausage. Strangolapreti are similar: retrieve the stale bread mixed with spinach and raisins. The soups are the highlight of the valleys, where they prepare with the first fruits of the season with an addition of flour or potatoes, as the bro brusà, enriched also with bacon. Typical Upper Garda is the salted meat, strong and spicy, made with a leg of beef flavored with juniper, sage and bay leaves, soaked in wine for several days and then served in thin slices raw or just seared. Is renowned the Trentino’s trout, are also the mushrooms and white asparagus and then the desserts, the first of all are the strudel. Excellent wines, thanks to the microclimate of Trentino are also produced at high altitude: golden, aromatic or dried, have names that have become famous: Gewuerztraminer, Mueller Thurgau, as well as Pinot white, gray, black and Sauvignon. Among the reds are Teroldego,Rotalino and Marzemino. Also very fine sparkling wines, beer of Val di Fiemme and grappa.
Try to get in a farm and you will realize the expertise and the love with which they work the wood. It affects first of all the smell of pine, also beneficial for the effects on the mind and body, and then the inlays of the objects and furniture in the house and the “parlor”, where it is heated kitchen and around the fireplace or stove covered with tiles. Also typical is the wrought iron and the production of objects in copper and tin, in addition to the clothes in wool, with lace and lace for decoration. The Christmas markets are a riot of craft production of this Region, which in the rest of the months is sold in the quaint shops of downtown.
DID YOU KNOW..
… In Trentino there are also places of faith to discover small shrines and hermitages in which to gather to meditate? An extraordinary place is the Shrine of St. Romedius, perched on a rocky outcrop and hidden in a crevice. You can get there by car or on foot along a path that follows the ancient aqueduct overlooking the valley, carved into the rock. We took refuge first Romedius, a Bavarian nobleman who, returning from Rome, decided to leave their wealth to live in poverty and loneliness. The church was built by the year one thousand pilgrims to commemorate his memory. It consists of small chapels overlapping and connected by steep steps that make it a place that seems isolated from the whole world
“The South Tyrol is the most northern Italian region and
one of the least densely populated.”
A BRIEF PORTRAIT
South Tyrol is the most northern Italian region and one of the least densely populated. However, in this territory totally mountainous and very green, there are three distinct language groups: German, Italian and Ladin, the latter is particularly common in Val Gardena and Val Badia. They are two thirds of the German-speaking population of South Tyrol, while 27% is distributed among Italian-speaking Bolzano, Merano, Bressanone, Laives and Brondesbury. Every resident of the province is required to declare their membership in one of three groups to determine the ethnic proportionality, according to which are then allocated seats on the boards of public administration. In 103 of the 116 municipalities in the province is the majority the German group (with a peak of 99.82% in San Pancrazio), 8 prevails in Ladino (with 97.67% in The Valley), and only 5 in the Italian. All employees and officials of the Province of Bolzano must be bilingual, that is, at least speak Italian and German. But the ethnic and geographical peculiarities do not end here: South Tyrol, with Trentino and the Federal State of Tyrol, constitutes the Euroregion, or Euregio Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino. The autonomy that South Tyrol enjoys compared to other Italian regions dates back to 1948, when it was first drafted the Articles of Association, which gave wide powers to the region Trentino-Alto Adige. This, however, caused the resentment of the German population because, with the inhabitants of Trentino, the Italian group became the majority. After a series of terrorist acts, the new statute, signed in 1972, transferred most of the powers to the provinces of Trento and Bolzano, thus starting the real autonomy of the Bolzano area. Region with remarkable natural beauty (has eight natural parks: Stelvio, Schlern-Rosengarten, Monte Corno, the Fanes-Senes-Braies Texel Group, Puez Odle, Tre Cime Sesto Dolomites and-Rieserfern-Ahr) and the famous ski slopes, the Autonomous Province of Bolzano is a hugely popular destination for summer and winter holidays
Bolzano. The medieval city was built on a vineyard expropriated to the monks of Tegernsee. A few centuries later, the village had 16 mills, a hundred trades and an infinite number of wineries. No coincidence it was said that the city was built on the wine, such as Venice on the water. Lying in a basin of porphyry, at the confluence of Talvera and Isarco, just 262 meters above sea level, Bolzano is the capital of the Autonomous Province of South Tyrol. Equipped with a unique network of 30 km of cycle paths and always one of the first Italian city to environmental quality, it is a pleasant stop pre- and post-Alpes. The walk in the center, with the skyline of the Rosengarten and Vajolet Towers, along the roads dedicated to the ancient professions (via Argentieri, via Conciabelli, Piazza del Grano). The living city is the Piazza Walther, overlooked by many bars with tables outside. In the south of the center, however, is the Cathedral and its bell tower, the city’s symbols. Built in red sandstone on the site an early Christian basilica between 1280 and the early fifteenth century, stands out unmistakably against the backdrop of rugged mountains. Do not miss the Museion Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art and the Civic Museum, with a collection of art history, one of the richest of its kind in South Tyrol. But the doc stage is the interesting Archaeological Museum, home to Ötzi, the mummy from the Copper Age (more than 5 thousand years ago) discovered on September 19, 1991 by a pair of German hikers, including the yoke of Tisa and Hauslabjoch in 3210 meters, the Similaun (the iceman) ,in Val Senales. His DNA and internal organs are intact, as well as his equipment to survive in the mountains.
With 7399.97 square kilometers, the Autonomous Province of Bolzano is the largest in Italy. Here, where the economy is predominantly agricultural and tourist, is produced 10% of the European apple and, thanks to a natural heritage of great value, the area is destination for tourists all year round. For the characteristics of the territory, the environment has a major political and scientific importance. Not surprisingly, over the Stelvio National Park, the largest in the Alps, shared with Lombardy , Trentino, and Alto Adige has seven other parks, with almost one-eighth of the surface placed under environmental protection and nearly 170 protected areas among biotypes, natural monuments and landscape elements. In addition to the famous Dolomite groups, the region boasts beautiful waterfalls, such as those of Stange, Riva and that of Parcines, in Val Venosta, the highest in the province, in addition to natural monuments such as the Pyramids of Pala and those of Renon.
Spring in South Tyrol, is especially in Bolzano, is full of excellent appointments. Straddling the end of April and early May is held in Piazza Walther the Flower Market, the highly anticipated moment of purchase of geraniums, and more. Follows, in the first week of May, in Castel Mareccio, the Wine Exhibition, showcasing the new wine of the territory, with round tables, meetings with producers and tastings. Closes May Bolzano the Speck Festival, the third weekend of the month: a time, the pig slaughter took place around Christmas, now the party is renewed in Piazza Walther, turning into a food market with stands of lard and stalls beer, bread baked in a wood oven, asparagus from Terlano, apples and cheese. Farmers sell farm products and the cellars of the city open their doors for shopping, tours and tastings. On stage, the center of the square, follow each other music, theater performances, contests and sweepstakes. In high Isarco Valley , however, is the fresh milk mountain to be the protagonist: the cow in the pastures between 900 and 1800 meters, reaches downstream in the historic dairy Social of Val Vipiteno, founded in 1884. And here takes its metamorphosis in low-fat yogurt, cream, fruit, stracciatella and also in organic yogurt. Among the most significant of the summer of Vipiteno, in July, there are the “days of Yogurt”, in which the Dairy opens its doors to the public. At issue, in the same period, even restaurant menus. But the appointment of South Tyrol is definitely the most famous Christmas Market of Bolzano, the oldest in Italy, which takes place from late November until Christmas Eve. Dozens of colorful stalls invade Piazza Walther, with artifacts of wood, paper, glass and ceramics, but also apple fritters and hot chocolate. The Christmas market in Merano, instead you hold, always starting from the end of November, on the promenade along the Passirio: exhibitors coming from neighboring valleys propose artifacts handicrafts, embroidered fabrics, wooden statues, boiled wool slippers, objects ceramic, tree ornaments and candles. To make one this market, however, is the figure of Schlossbeck, the court baker who bakes in an old wood stove forms stuffed onions and bacon, potatoes and truffles.
By Car- Bolzano is reached with the A22 Brenner-Modena, exit at Bolzano South or Bolzano North. As for state roads, the city is reached from Trento and Brenner SS12; from Reschenpass with SS 38; and with the freeway Bolzano-Merano.
By Train- It is the best way to get to Bolzano, without traffic or parking problems: the station of Bolzano is indeed central, a few minutes walk from the historic center.
By Plane. The airport is located just outside of Bolzano, in the south; is connected to the city center from the lines of Sasa with a stop at the beginning of the access road to the airport (about 600 m). Every day the capital of South Tyrol is connected Rome .
Go to the mountains and not walking is a real crime. The mountains of Val Gardena home to some of the most classic and popular climbing routes in the Dolomites. Who has not experience mountain can discover them by binding to the rope of a guide or taking part in an excursion organized by the tourism associations of the valley. The climbe route shorter and at hand is that of the Piz da Cir II, a hundred meters long and can be reached from Passo Gardena. Easy, but in wild environment, is the strike of Sassopiatto Schuster, which is reached from the refuge of Vicenza. Of that commitment is the crossing of the two railways Sass Rigais, in the chain of Odle: usually rises from North ferrata , in fron the Furchetta, and descend from the southern side. To complete the list, the railways of the Sella, both strenuous, vertical and very crowded. And if that of Mesules attaches from Passo Sella, the Tridentine be reached from Passo Gardena, going down briefly in the direction of Colfosco. An unmisable path is Chestnut that connects an ancient mule tracks. The chestnut woods in the range of altitudes between 400 and 800 meters, in the slope of the hillside of Isarco Valley, left the river, between Varna and Roncolo Castle, just north of Bolzano. The Path of Chestnuts, or Kewchtnweg, allows a smooth and fabulous trekking through forests, meadows and secular chestnut trees, with traces, here and there,of old dryers. To cover all the way, about 60 km, it takes three days, but the trail is suitable even for shorter routes The highest refuge in South Tyrol is reached by Val Ridanna (Masseria), with over 5 hours of a challenging walking trail and a path at the provided with fixes ropes: the Gino Blasi Glass rises to 3195 meters on the spur of a rock. Among the many South Tyrolean nature parks, do not miss the Vedrette di Ries-aurina, established in 1998 and crossed by many hiking trails that connect it to the Austrian National Park Hohe Tauern; and the French -Senes-Braies, third largest natural parks for Bolzano and characterized by karst phenomena, cracks, pits and sinkholes in which were formed or forming perennial or temporary lakes. To experience the illusion of being in the Himalayas you take the chairlift to the Pulpit, the viewpoint of Solda and the Ortler, and continue on the path to the Serristori refuge and lakes of Zay, in a basin where we often encounter grazing Tibetans yaks of Reinhold Messner.
TRADITIONS AND FOLKLORE
South Tyrol is a land of great traditions, many of which are apparent early in eyes: as the costumes and traditional dress, probably as a various number of South Tyrolean valleys. Although it was not always so, and at least until the eighteenth century was in force throughout Tyrol, a code that conformed clothing according to class, in fact the origins of the traditional costume are very old. It was under the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, however, that the rules were abolished, thus freeing the lower classes by the “bondage apparel.” Born in this period the real peasant fashion, almost always tied to the confines of their own parish or the valley. This women dress is called Tracht and provides a white blouse, a vest and hard bib heart-shaped. The skirts are wide and shoes strict, black trimmed with red or green. The male costume is much simpler: shirt, vest colors that vary from area to area, wide shoulder straps, long pants or knee-length. The socks are long, white or colored, worn on leather shoes. From the details included in the costume are recognizable marital status (single, married, widowed) of the wearer. Obviously, the times when they show off these clothes are especially in religious holidays. As for the Holy Week , when, on Palm Sunday, the children precede before the entry of Christ in the church, carrying olive branches and twigs of evergreen. On Holy Thursday the eggs are decorated in traditional and on Sunday are all put in a basket with ham and sweets and brought into the church. After Mass there is the traditional Hecken, Osterpecken or Preisguffen: two contenders take in hand and a boiled egg and with the top looking in one shot to break the egg shell opponent and well take possession of the broken . Always on Easter Sunday, but also in the All Saints’ Day, children receive one Fochaz, sweet bread shaped like a chicken or rabbit.
On the first Sunday after Corpus Domini, instead, it is customary to light bonfires on the mountains as a loyalty oath to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (commemorating the oath made by Tyrolean on 1 June 1796 that, to deprecate the invasion of Napoleon’s troops , made a vow to solemnly celebrate the feast forever). But the party felt, and the most magical, is certainly the Christmas: The first Sunday of Advent lights in homes and churches the first candle of the Advent wreath, made with branches of fir and four candles. Every Sunday he lights one, chanting so the arrival of Christmas.
In some valleys is still celebrated the custom of Klöckeln: In Sarrantino Valley this custom dates back to the 16th century (but the origin is definitely pre-Christian). In the three nights of Klöckeln (the three Thursday of Advent), groups of men dressed go from house to house to collect offers and in return they sing two songs from the ancient melody. On December 6, the day of St. Nicholas, in many places a march is organize. One of the most special is in Stelvio in Val Venosta. The last days of the year are roaming in the villages and cities of South Tyrol the Sternsinger, children or adults dressed as the Three Kings, who sing from house to house
special Christmas songs.
AT THE TABLE
South Tyrol is known for its culinary traditions Tyrolean. And the most famous dish is the dumplings, or Knodel, big dumplings made of a mixture of variable composition and served in soup or butter. Always among the first, there are strangolapreti (bread dumplings and spinach), Schlutzkrapfen, which are then spinach ravioli. Common to the gastronomy of almost all the valleys, roasted rabbit, combined with polenta, yellow or black. The wealth of game, roe in the head, but also deer, hare and pheasant, results in a variety of dishes, typically accompanied by roasted potatoes. The goulash is an adaptation of the Austro-Hungarian dish, while a note should be devoted to desserts, ranging from the well-known apple strudel to Kaiserschmarren, sweet omelet widespread throughout the area of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. Related to agriculture in the valleys are the apple pie, the smacafam, a sort of pancake buckwheat baked, and zelten with nuts, dried figs, raisins, pine nuts, Tyrolean variant of a Christmas cake.
We can not start from the PGI speck, produced in the province of Bolzano from the thigh and not fat boneless pork: is trimmed, then salted by hand for 10-20 days in tanks and flavored dry with a mixture of herbs and spices (salt , garlic, pepper, sage, rosemary, bay leaves, juniper, marjoram, coriander and other). Once dried at temperature of 10-15 degrees with 60-70% moisture, the bacon is smoked slightly cold (below 20 ° C) with selected wood type resinous. Another product is the apple IGP of Alto Adige : since 2005, 11 varieties in fact lead the European designation. The Schüttelbrot (shaken bread), is a dry bread with fennel seeds and spices. The name comes from the production method: the mixture of rye flour, water, yeast, salt and spices is shaken and beaten with hands, until it round and flat, then baked. Maybe to eat together with the Hauswurtz, sausage of pork and beef, cooked in farming families; or the Kaminwurtz, smoked sausage fine paste of lean beef and pork lard, typical of Val Badia. The cheese Stelvio or Stilfser, from the Val Venosta Valley (compact paste with minimum seasoning of 60 days) has obtained the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). In Val Pusteria is produced the Graukäse, gray cheese semi-cooked cow’s milk, stew over a wood fire, spicy flavor. Each meal Tyrolean respecting ends with a glass of Obstler, distilled fruit (pears, apricots, apples, cherries, plums) with gradation 35-45 vol.%. Among the wines, the Alois Lageder Chardonnay Doc Tor Lowengang; Sylvaner Doc, aromatic white wine typical of the Val d’Isarco; the Gewürztraminer DOC, white wine of great flavor; the red Lagrein Dunkel Doc; and beer Forst.
DID YOU KNOW THAT…
The author of the soundtrack of Flashdance is from Ortisei? Giorgio Moroder was born in the South Tyrolean April 26, 1940. Composer of success (in 1978 won the Oscar for best song with Last Dance), also wrote the music for Midnight Express by Alan Parker and Tony Scott’s Top Gun.