When you think of Italy… what comes to your mind? Pizza, pasta, Spiaggia e mare? You probably got it right but ‘the boot’ is so much more than that.
Last Month, I had a pleasure to visit Trentino, the pearl of the north, for the second time. Trentino is located in the heart of the Dolomites which are the part of the Southern Limestone Alps.
I will skip the ‘beating around the bush’ part and will get straight to the point. The aim of this post is to encourage you to choose Trentino as your winter destination and make you fall in love with this place the same as I did.
The reasons to visit Trentino are many but I’ve chosen the ones I think you might be interested the most. Winter Wonderland in Trentino is a great idea because…
Slopes aren’t as busy
Slopes aren’t too busy! Trentino is, at least for now, less busy than its competitor-resorts in Austria, Switzerland and Italy. There are the whole loads of beautiful, long and enjoyable ski slopes across the area – Madonna di Campiglio, Pinzolo, Pejo – to name a few. Val di Pejo is my favourite ski resort in Trentino. The slope itself is quite difficult and bit steep but really exciting. I took it easy and enjoyed little ‘stops to admire’. What I find really amazing is that Val di Pejo is the first Plastic Free Ski Resort in the world! You won’t find a single plastic cup/bottle unless brought by you…
In addition to that, the slopes are very well organized and connected with one another. In Val di Sole itself, there are over 62 ski-lifts including cabin cars and gondolas.
There is also a possibility for the night skiing. On Tuesdays and Fridays, the cable Andalo-Doss-Pelà works from 19.30 to 22.30! How cool!
Great leisure time options
Snowshoeing, kayaking, trekking – there are a lot of ways you could spend your winter holiday in Trentino. We did quite a lot of activities, such as fat biking, cooking class, ice concert as well as night snowshoeing. Some people did paragliding too. You don’t have to ski to be able to fully enjoy this region!
What I loved the most was dog sledding. It was my first dog sledding experience! At first, my reaction was… let’s say I overreacted (I burst into tears). I thought the dogs were living in poor conditions and the majority of them seemed underfed. Boy, was I wrong🤦🏼♀️! The owners Husky Land Italy love their over 30 doggies, they take really good care of them. The Alaskan Husky breed was CREATED to live in the cold. They have a very heavy undercoat to protect them when pulling a sled so they love to sleep outside. Their silhouette is an athlete (unlike my Fat Kryśka🐕). Alaskan Huskies are very intelligent, gentle and they adore to play. Despite being a superior breed they can also be a wonderful pet – for the responsible ACTIVE owners.
More Things To Do? Ice Music concert at an altitude of 2600m! 40 minutes of great music inside a huuuge igloo! This event runs from January 4th to March 29th 2020, every Thursday and Saturday.
‘Here in the mountains, wellness treatments aren’t just a passing trend but a way of life.’
Rumour has it, the Austrian kings and aristocracy were attracted to Trentino region because of its numerous hot springs. They used to come to the North of Italy to relax. Trentinos must have an in-born habit to give the Royal-Treatment to their visitors😛
There are some SPA places I would love to introduce you to :
Newly opened Lefay Resort and SPA (‘Where nature, luxury and unspoiled beauty harmoniously co-exist’) is undoubtedly an IT Place on the map of wellness lovers. It is located only a stone’s throw from Madonna di Campiglio (Val Rendena). With over 5000 square meters of the wellness centre including an outdoor pool, saunas and treatment rooms, you can easily spend a full day at this luxurious venue. It is also open to the public. I think it would make a fabulous wedding or honeymoon venue! Read my DOLOMITES Wedding article here.
Chalet al Foss in Val di Sole was a real highlight for the majority of us. What a place! It is a boutique accommodation (44 rooms) with an outdoor SPA area. The hotel has a heated pool, a sauna with the view, hot tubs and massage rooms. The most important feature? The atmosphere! Their lovely and hospitable staff would make you feel like a home away from home! We spent the whole day outside, somewhere in between the panoramic sauna and the pool. The nearest ski slope is located about 20 minutes drive from this paradise.
Have you ever considered staying at 3000m above the ground? For one night we had a pleasure to stay right in the heart of Presena Glacier, Capanna Presena SPA and Wellness at 2753 metres! It was my first night at altitude and I really hope not the last. The refuge has a small but fabulous wellness area featuring saunas, relax room (where you can enjoy tea and some fruits) and a small swimming pool. It could be a perfect escape from the cold for both – the couples (it is quite romantic) and ski mountaineering groups.
Apart from beautifully stones and wood decorated rooms and the swimming pool with a panoramic view, the mountain hut has a great restaurant where you can taste their homemade pasta, local wines and Bombardino.
The region of Trentino has the whole variety of great specialities to offer. The food is quite specific but I am a big fan of Trentino’s cuisine. Unlike the South of Italy, they use a lot of polenta and rice. Trentino is also a great destination for meat enthusiasts.
My favourite dish from Trentino is Canederli, a bread dumpling, usually served as a first course or as a main entree. I especially loved how they served it at Home Stube, super chic 60’s Aprés-style restaurant located in Madonna di Campiglio. The dumplings were dressed with butter and Trentingrana cheese and served in a bottle. Yummy!
As for wine – Lagrein, my favourite red wine from this region! I discovered it’s rich flavour last year. It tastes great with Canederli (obviously) but I also saw Italians pairing it with veal, pork and fish. I enjoyed it with pretty much everything.
Trentodoc is acombination of white and rosé sparkling wines – currently my favourite sparkling wine but unfortunately not as widely available as Prosecco (it needs to change!).
Bombardino is a popular winter drink in Trentino, especially in the ski resorts. It is made by mixing eggnog and Brandy, served hot with whipped cream on top. We LOVED it!
We were lucky enough to dine at Chalet Fiat Madonna di Campiglio. The venue opened exclusively for our group. Not only the interior is chic and stylish but their homemade dishes and vino were the culinary highlight of this trip! I really recommend this place!
Nature, Landscape and the Sun!
The landscape of Trentino has so much to offer! The area is surrounded by glorious lakes, impressive mountain peaks, national parks and the famous Pale Mountains, the area that was nominated to UNESCO World Natural Heritage site. It is also ‘the sunniest’ region in the North of Italy. Val di Sole literally means the valley of the sun! We had nothing but sunshine during our 10 days trip ( and it was super sunny last year, too!). What more should I say? It is better to leave you with the visuals:
The best place to watch magical sunrises and sunsets? Dolomiti Paganella! We spent a few days in Paganella-Andalo where my favourite activity was…. staring at Lago di Garda for hours, especially from the top at Rifugio La Roda where we had delicious lunch during our stay (I loved my Fagottino Casolet Crete with Saffron Creme followed by chocolate Bombardino). In general, Paganella region has a lot of fabulous mountain huts and cabins where you can enjoy a nice glass of Lagrein with the view. Paganella-Andalo is also a great destination for paragliders (you would start from Rigugio La Roda, the spot you can see on a photograph below) and for the night skiing enthusiasts.
How to get to Trentino?
There are a lot of ways! The two closest international airports serving the Dolomites are located approximately 160km away: Venice, about 162 km to the south and Innsbruck, around 165 km to the north. You could also get to Bergamo and Verona (where I went).
PS. You can find all the practical info at VisitTrentino.
Summarizing, I really encourage you to give this region a chance and head there for your next winter holiday. You will fall in love, I promise!
*This post is sponsored by Visit Trentino but all the opinions are my own.