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Trentino Alto Adige - Things to do - Tourism

Trentino-Alto Adige is truly the alpine region which can satisfy all the imaginable needs of the mountain-loving tourist: it possesses permanent snow, harsh dolomitic mountain passes, green meadows, unpolluted forests, but also gentle sunny slopes covered with vines, evocative medieval-looking villages, together with a large number of castles and towers dominating the valleys or mirrored in the waters of the lakes.

This is all evidence of the colourful history of this borderland, which has always marked the point of transition to and from the Latin and Germanic worlds.

From the direction of the Po Valley and along the banks of Lake Garda, still retaining a Mediterranean aspect, Trentino starts at Riva del Garda, a pretty town and one of the favourite watering places of the Hapsburg Court, with a medieval stronghold surrounded by lake waters, and the thirteenth century Torre Aponale.

From here the visitor can climb Val di Ledro (to visit the remains of the pile-dwellings on the lake of the same name), reaching the green Giudicarie valleys within sight of the majestic Adamello (3,554 m.) glaciers.

Going along Val Rendena, at Tione di Trento, one reaches Madonna di Campiglio, an internationally famous tourist resort. Turning right (along the Giudicarie Esteriori valleys) one comes to Stenico Castle, of architectural interest (frescoes), before reaching the Trent plain dominated by Mount Bondone (2,179 m.).

From the chief town (see specific chapter) it is possible to take one of several directions: to the east lies Val Sugana with the spas of Levico and Vetriolo, and Pergine, its main town dominated by an austere medieval castle; or Val di Cembra, where the curious geological phenomenon of the Segonzano pyramids must not be missed.

The Fiemme and Fassa valleys open at the foot of world-famous groups of mountains, a paradise for climbers, hikers and skiers (Lagorai, Latemar, Catinaccio, Marmolada).

In these valleys tourist resorts with excellent facilities are Cavalese, Predazzo, Moena, Vigo, Pozza, Campitello and Canazei). In the same area, on the other side of Passo Rolle, lies San Martino di Castrozza, another popular tourist resort at the foot of the Pale di San Martino.

Going north, from Trent, one can reach the beautiful Val di Non with its gentle, harmonious landscape, famous for its orchards and many castles, including Thun and Cles, overlooking Lake Santa Giustina.

Along the Adige Valley, past Salorno which marks the boundary between the two provinces, lies a succession of picturesque villages: Magr, Cortaccia, Caldaro and Appiano (all places recently defined as `along the wine road'), situated on a sunny terrace amid vineyards.

From Bolzano (see specific chapter) it is possible to follow the Isarco and after thirty kilometres come to Chiusa, dominated by the Benedictine abbey of Sabiona; slightly farther on is Bressanone, a very interesting little town with a beautiful 13th century Duomo and characteristic buildings dating to the 15th and 16th centuries.

Nearby stands Novicella abbey, an important centre of culture in the Middle Ages. Pressing on towards the Brenner Pass, near the Austrian border, one reaches Vipiteno, an interesting late Gothic centre with the Torre di Citt, and Palazzo Comunale.

On the other hand, by following the Adige River from Bolzano, one reaches a vast spreading hollow characterized by a mild climate, in which lies Merano, the renowned holiday resort combining the beauty of the surrounding landscape with an interesting and well-conserved historical town centre (Duomo, castle, Via dei Portici).

In the surrounding area stands Castel Tirolo, an imposing twelfth century castle overlooking the plain of Merano and well worth a visit.

From Merano, along Val Venosta, on the road to the Resia Pass, dotted with castles, one first reaches Naturno with the ancient church of San Procolo, then Silandro with its 15th century castle, Glorenza, a medieval fortified town surrounded by 15th century walls, Malles with its church of San Benedetto (11th century) and the nearby abbey of Monte Maria.

Of the Venosta side valleys, mention must be made of Val Senales, bounded by the Tessa and Similaun groups of mountains and the Palla Bianca (3,736 m.), a paradise for the summer skier.

Val di Trofoi and Val di Solda lead into the heart of the Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio, at the foot of the Ortles (3,899 m.) and Cevedale (3,764 m.).

Valleys worthy of mention in the north-west of Bolzano Province, are the socalled Valli Ladine, Gardena and Badia, where a magnificent alpine landscape alternates with thick forests and wide meadows at the base of the high Dolomite peaks (Sasso della Croce, Gardenaccia, Gruppo di Sella, Sasso lungo).

Pedraces, La Villa and Corvara in Val Badia, Selva, Santa Cristina and Ortisei in Val Gardena constitute the major tourist resorts and are all focal points in a ski circuit that has few rivals in the whole range of the Alps.

Visitors are strongly recommended to make the ascent to the magnificent Alpe di Siusi plateau (average height 2,000 m.), its magnificent meadows and woods dominated by the Sciliar (2,564 m.), Catinaccio (3,004 m.) and Sassolungo (3,181 m.) groups.

Almost at the mouth of Val Badia, is the picturesque town of Brunico, with its characteristic crenellated housetops, at the beginning of Val di Tures which leads into Val Aurina, the extreme northern strip of Italy.

There are many other tourist attractions which are `not to be missed', of which two fine examples are: Val di Genova with the beautiful Nardis waterfall (over 100 m.) and Val di Braies, a lateral valley of Val Pusteria, leading to the lake of the same name stretching beautifully at the foot of Croda del Becco (2,810 m.).

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