Landscapes to devour
Food and wine trails in the Val di Cembra
Spring brings a thirst for going out and discovering new places and flavours.
So we’ve picked three excursions in the Val di Cembra that we’re sure will be to your taste. They’re a feast of beautiful country and active open-air pursuits to enjoy as you please. And that includes the food, which offers a world of surprises in this characterful corner of Trentino.
A two-wheeled tour among vineyards and fine food and wine
The Val di Cembra is famed for its terraced terrain and prized vineyards. Come the spring, the fresh green of the young vine leaves lights up the hills. It makes a gorgeous backdrop for some rollercoaster riding beloved of cyclists from weekend wheelers to champions like Francesco Moser and Gilberto Simoni. Our first tour is for road bikers; it skirts age-old vineyards on the trail of the local cultural and artistic delights.
Some leisurely pedalling on B-roads leads to the Maso Besleri vinegar company. Then you climb to the village of Cembra, where a visit to Zanotelli’s delicatessen is de rigueur. The main road takes you to Cembra Cantina di Montagna, proud producers of an excellent Müller Thurgau and Trentodoc Oro Rosso fizz. Carry on to the Cavade agritourism (the potato tortel is sublime) and call at the nearby Pelz winery. Then it’s well worth a detour to see the friendly alpacas at the Silpaca farm. Then return on the road to Lisignago or simply retrace your steps.
Vines, woods and flavours
Next up is an easy circular walk of about 9 km (5.5 miles) in the Giovo district, with flavourful interludes to sample the local fare. Your first warm welcome awaits in Palù di Giovo for a tasting at the Simoni winery. The tranquil lanes wind on to Verla di Giovo with its vineyards and sweeping views. Here, you must try the elegant wines and Trentodoc bubbly at the Villa Corniole winery. The route climbs amid the vines, meadows and woods to the Fior di Bosco restaurant, where they work wonders with fine local ingredients. Suitably refreshed, it’s time to head back. The road is largely downhill, mostly on the old “Rose Way” through vineyards and chestnut and pine woods, as you return to where you began.
An appetite for walking, on the E-path
Our third itinerary is one for serious walkers. Much of it follows the E5 European long-distance path. There are historic and natural attractions along the way, from Segonzano castle ruins to the famous earth pyramids.
You begin in Faver, a village with local producers like the Paolazzi distillery with its single-cultivar grappas, the Locanda del Passatore inn and Paolazzi’s butchers. Taking the E5 to St Anthony’s chapel, drop down to the hamlet of Piazzo for a visit to Palazzo a Prato, stately home of the Baroni family and their winery.
Admiring the famous earth pyramids
You can then turn back to Faver or press on with the E5 up to Stedro. Here, the Giacomozzi distillery and inn is a versatile enterprise that makes still and sparkling wines, grappas and spirits – even craft beers. From here, the route climbs gently to a viewpoint gazing down on the magnificent Segonzano earth pyramids before threading its way down through the entire site. Then it’s back to Faver on country lanes through leafy vineyards.