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Regione Trentino Alto Adige

The scenic castles that from the hilltops dominate the Adige valley and its endless rows of vines, remind us of the rich history of this valley, which has always been the favorite route towards the Germanic countries. These palaces tell the tale of the musicians and writers they welcomed in the glorious XVIII century, the most famous of which is certainly Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart whom, in Rovereto (a city where baroque, neoclassic and liberty architectural styles come together) performed his first concerts in Italy.
Near Lake Garda is the medieval and scenic Drena castle. In the vicinity there is another important tourist spot: Riva del Garda, famous for its beauty and wonderful weather, and where exciting sailing regattas take place.
However, one of the most important cities in the region hides in the shadows of the Dolomites: the city of Trento, with its most important monuments in piazza Duomo, the town square of the Council of Trent, famous for the Catholic Church’s consensus, which led to the separation of Protestants from Catholics; it was December 13th, 1545. Since then, four centuries have gone by, yet you can almost picture the Council prelates still gathered in this square, where virtually nothing has changed since the XVI century. The Duomo, which was the Council’s most prestigious seat, remains unchanged, with its very original rose window enclosing the Wheel of Fortune. Even the XIII century palazzo Pretorio, with its characteristic swallow-tailed merlons, has not changed; commanding yet still elegant, this palace houses the most prestigious icons of Trento’s sacred art: paintings, sculptures, Flemish tapestries, gold figurines and sacred vestments. Just as remarkable is the Clock tower. Finally, the spectacular Cazuffi-Rella houses, with their facades entirely frescoed with allegorical figures and scenes of everyday life, and Balduini house, with another series of beautiful frescoes on its façade, depicting garlands of flowers and fruits. The only monument that was not present in the days of the council is the fountain of the Neptune: 40 feet tall, decorated with tritons and seahorses, erected practically in the center of the square.
And don’t forget to visit castello del Buonconsiglio, a castle which is the symbol of the city, with its elegant Romanino loggia, and the Provincial Art Museum. Another important museum is the Mart (Trento and Rovereto’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art).
You should visit the valleys around Trento in September, when the pergola vineyards are in fruit, and you can witness the splendid colors of the harvest season for a truly wonderful experience. You should also experience the local traditional cuisine, which includes caponec (bread gnocchi), valsugana-style polenta, carne salada, carne salmistrada, lucanica... And the exquisite acquaviti (a type of fruit liquor made with apricots, pears and apples). The Trentino apple is also the star of many elaborate recipes. The Non valley apples, with their characteristic sweetness and fragrance, are distributed under the renowned Melinda brand; even Venosta valley is an important production area: the apples grown in this region have a red ladybug as their symbol, and their most distributed variety is the Golden, with its characteristic yellow peel with red shades.
The Dolomites retain their charm: their majestic peaks and their pink tinted peaks. Brunico is an important tourist destination: via Centrale is full of medieval portals, houses topped by merlons and wrought iron signs. Also Bressanone has a beautiful old town center of houses with arcades and merlons and its wonderful piazza del Duomo. This area is excellent for shopping for grappa and speck, for enjoying delicious würstel, crauti, Hungarian Gulasch, Bretzel, and gourmet yogurt, apple strudels and Sachertorte.
Bolzano is the city in Sudtirol. Piazza Walther is where its social life unfolds, and even piazza delle Erbe, home of the market, is an active hub of fragrances and culinary delicacies. South of Bolzano is the Strada del Vino (The wine route): a stretch of territory fascinating not only because of its sprawling vineyards, but also thanks to all its quaint little towns where the Mediterranean style blends with the Germanic gothic. Every stop is an excellent opportunity to savor Knödel and Krapfen.
Those who seek the most authentic side of Alto Adige will find it, however, just a few miles from Bolzano, in the Sarentino valley: prairies in bloom, romantic little churches, a wonderful skiing development, forests and over 150 miles of fascinating trails that offer beautiful sceneries to hikers. In a postcard-like scenery, clinging to the slopes, you will be able to see the masi, ancient mountain dwellings with humble interiors, but highly decorated. The maso looks a bit like “Heidi’s house”, surrounded by a wonderful green pastures, flowers, cows, goats and wooden fences.
The Cembra valley, instead, is Italy’s home to the perfumed Müller Thurgau grape. It was in the autumn of 1494 that German painter Albrecht Dürer arrived in this welcoming yet secluded valley, where he created 6 beautiful watercolors. To fully appreciate the valley’s subtle beauty you should walk into it from the North, just like he did over 500 years ago, perhaps following the Dürer trail, so as to be greeted by the mountains covered in forests, and to witness the first light of the South, welcoming you to Italy.

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