Trentino-South Tyrol – A Dreamlike Mountain Scenery
Trentino-South Tyrol lies in Northern Italy between Central Europe and the rest of the country. It is a region which fascinates countless visitors with the impressive mountains of the Alps, scenic valleys, magical lakes and rivers as well as the cultural traditions of two countries.
Geography - Between Italy and Central Europe
Trentino-South Tyrol (Italian: Trentino-Alto Adige) is a region in the north of Italy, which is divided into two provinces (Trento, Bolzano) and is enclosed by Switzerland, Austria, Lombardy and Veneto. Its territory of 13,607 km² is dominated by the mountain ranges of the Alps, especially by the Dolomites. The region's highest peak is the Ortler, which is 3,905 metres high. Other geographical highlights are the northern part of Lake Garda, which is Italy's greatest inland water, and the river of the Adige (German: Etsch). Their valleys as well as the Eisack are the region's main valleys and accommodate not only Trentino-South Tyrol's biggest cities but also one of the most important connections from Central Europe to Italy. Due to the region's geographical position, the climate is mostly temperate but becomes increasingly Mediterranean towards the south.
Nature - Impressive mountains and scenic valleys
Deep conifer forests alternate with occasional cypresses, clear streams, lakes and rivers as well as scenic and fertile valleys and offer a varied natural spectacle. Together with the snowy, beautiful peaks of the Alps, they constitute the breathtaking landscape of Trentino-South Tyrol. The mountainous region contains the world-famous mountains Schlern, the Rosengarten group and the Tre Cime di Lavaredo in the east, the Ötztal Alps, the Ortler range with the Ortler, the Gran Zebrù and Monte Cevedale in the west as well as the Adamello-Presanella Alps and the Brenta group in the south. Between these beautiful mountains you find several wonderful valleys, which are rich in vegetation. The Etschtal (Italian: Val d'Adige) crosses the region from north to south along the Adige, the valley landscape of the Giudicarie is located in the west, the Fiemme Valley, the Fassa Valley and the Sugana Valley decorate the region in the east und the Sarca River and Lake Garda constitute a true natural experience further south. With three natural parks (e.g. Adamello Brenta and Schlern-Rosengarten), two nature reserves and numerous biotopes, 53 percent of the region's area are protected.
Culture - A cultural mix of Austrian and Italian traditions
Trentino-South Tyrol is divided into two parts with regard to language. While German is most commonly spoken in the north, Italian is the main language further south. Altogether more than two thirds of the population know German. This is the result of the shared past with Austria. However, the region is not only characterised by linguistic diversity but also by a cultural mix of art treasures and buildings of the Austrian Gothic and the Italian Renaissance. The capital of Trento accommodates the palazzi, the church of S. Maria Maggiore and the Cathedral of San Viglio in Renaissance or Romanesque-Lombardian style, while Bolzano bears witness to Germanic and Romanesque culture with its Gothic cathedral. Other worthwhile towns are Rovereto, Riva del Garda, Meran and Brixen. There is a number of museums in Trentino-South Tyrol which are of interest to art and history enthusiasts. The Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano accommodates Ötzi the Iceman, several documents and objects from Tyrol's history as well as the Museo Provinciale d‘Arte and the Museo Storico in Buonconsiglio Castle in Trento. In the Mart (museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di trento e rovereto) in Roverto, travellers can see works of modern and contemporary art.
Experience - Spaghetti next to sausages and bacon dumplings
Just like the region's culture, its cuisine displays influences of both Austrian and Italian traditions. That is why you often see both spaghetti and bacon dumplings on the menu. Dumplings with goulash, veal roast with sauerkraut, bacon, Kaminwurz (a cold-smoked, air-dried sausage), dry-cured ham, rocket, polenta, tiramisu and panna cotta constitute a unique mix of Austrian and Italian delicacies. In addition, the wines from the region are a real treat. Santa Maddalena, Lagrein Dunkel and Lagrein Kretzer are wines from Bolzano which complement many meals in Trentino-South Tyrol. Besides culinary events such as cheese, mushroom and chestnut markets as well as celebrations in honour of wine, the Christmas markets in Bolzano and Meran as well as the San Vigilio in the capital are popular events.
Activities - Bathing in Lake Garda as well as hiking and skiing in the Alps
In summer, Lake Garda or Lake Molveno are great destinations for sailors, surfers, divers and water fans but mountain bikers and cyclists can also pursue their hobbies on a tour around the lakes. In addition, the wonderful mountains of the Alps offer excellent conditions for hikes, trekking, mountain biking and mountaineering tours in the summer months. Travellers can enjoy the unspoiled nature and the breathtaking mountains and go canyoning, rafting or paragliding in the Stillfser Joch National Park, on the paths of the Peace Trail (a historical hiking trail with sites from World War I) or the many mountain lakes and rivers. In winter, the beautiful mountains of the Alps are clad in white and fascinate with their wonderful snowy landscape. You can go skiing and snowboarding in winter sports centres like Madonna di Campiglio, Val Gardena or Val di Fassa. After an active day in the mountains, visitors can relax body and soul in various thermal centres in Levico, Meran and in the Rabbi Valley (Val di Rabbi) and Peio Valley (Val di Pejo).
The best time for going hiking, mountaineering or mountain biking in Trentino-South Tyrol is from May to October. At higher altitudes, you find pleasant, temperate spring weather rather than stifling heat. Holidaymakers who want to have fun on the pistes in the many skiing areas should visit the region in the months of December, January, February or March.
Holidays in Trentino-South Tyrol are of interest to all those who want to discover the breathtaking world of the Alps. Travellers can marvel at the wonderful nature of the mountains on a hike or a skiing trip and get to know the region's tradition and culture on trip to the cities and towns.