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Experience the “Musical Wood” in the heart of the Val di Fiemme

This is where the spruces grow that Stradivari turned into violins

The woods of Trentino guard an age-old secret: what makes a perfect violin. Master luthiers like the celebrated Stradivari trod the forests of the Val di Fiemme on a quest for the finest woods to make into the finest instruments. Stradivari himself, so the stories go, would roam Paneveggio forest looking for the best trees for his violins.

Spruce, in particular, makes a good soundboard. It was widely favoured by Stradivari and other master luthiers, like the Guarnieri and Amati families. Spruce wood is especially elastic and transmits sound better; the grain acts like tiny organ pipes, creating a resonant quality. It’s ideal for building the body of an instrument.

The woods of Trentino are guardians of ancient sounds

The spruces in the “musical wood” in Paneveggio public forest remain the material of choice for their sonorous qualities. In a centuries-old tradition, foresters patiently seek out the trees to obtain wood for musical instruments.

Sadly, on 29 October 2018, the woods in the Val di Fiemme and many other parts of Trentino were devastated by Storm Vaia. 4 million cubic metres of trees were destroyed. Restoring this much-loved mountain landscape to its former glory is an urgent yet challenging task. That’s why we’ve teamed up with the Trentino forestry authorities to launch the Trentino Tree Agreement – a pact with the forest to promote responsible, sustainable use for the collective good.

The woods of Trentino are guardians of ancient sounds

This open-air temple of music deserves to be cherished and protected, so these great trees can live on. A celebration of our precious collective heritage, the Musical Wood is home to a music festival like no other. The Sounds of the Dolomites has introduced audiences to the fairy-tale magnificence of the forest for many a year.

The internationally renowned musicians who venture up here – including late great maestro Ezio Bosso – are invited to choose a spruce, their spruce. It’s a generous gift from the Val di Fiemme to the artists who enrich the world with their skill, their feeling and their fine wooden instruments. This rite is called “baptising the trees”. It’s celebrated by the Magnificent Community of Fiemme, a historic community-heritage association, in the person of its president, the Scario.

To reach the Musical Wood, take the (mostly tarmacked) forest road from Predazzo to Valmaggiore. As you move through the trees, you’ll see each one is numbered. To learn more, tap on it in the official app (called Bosco che Suona) on your tablet or phone.

Listen to the melodies of the musical wood

Listen to the melodies of the musical wood

Published on 10/03/2021