For a romantic weekend in Trentino, think small
A guide to 6 beautiful small towns and their traditional dishes
Trentino is well-known for the mountains, the green forests and the culturally diverse valleys that conceal some of the prettiest villages in the region: just like alpine wild flowers, rare and off the beaten path. What they have in common are those characters we are all so fond of: the smell of an open fire, old barns dotted around the countryside, picturesque stone houses and the smell of a traditional meal in a dinky local inn: every town in Trentino has its own secret recipe, classic local dishes to discover and savour.
We picked for you six small towns to visit, six suggestions for a romantic weekend with matching local dishes and best places to eat them.
Canale di Tenno, a medieval lakeside town
Cosy old inns, stone archways and robust medieval architecture: just a few kilometres from Lake Garda, perched on a hill overlooking the turquoise water of Lake Tenno, you find this exquisite village. Venture through the narrow cobbled lanes, soak up the views and stop to refill at Ristorante Acetaia del Balsamico Trentino, in Cologna di Trento (tel. +39 0464 550064) or at Agritur Calvola, in the borough of Calvola (tel. +39 0464 500820) to taste a local staple: carne salada coi fasoi, thinly sliced raw beef with a side of beans.
At Bondone, with a view of Idro lake
This small town, listed as one of "The most beautiful hamlets in Italy" in 2018, is located in southern Trentino, on the border with Lombardy. It was once a town of charcoal burners, but today it is a charming village on Lake Idro, made of stone houses enriched with enchanting frescoes. This is where you can enjoy the rustic polenta carbonera; a must-taste of the rustic Trentino cuisine.
Active weekend in San Lorenzo in Banale
At the foot of the Dolomites, not far from Lake Molveno, San Lorenzo in Banale is an ideal destination for an active weekend in contact with nature. Countryside rambles are a must around this area with various trails winding through the stunning Parco Naturael Adamello-Brenta. Back in the village, take a wander around the gorgeous little squares, quaint lanes and wood-cladded barns. Stop for a bite to eat and try the ciuìga, the traditional strong-flavoured salami, served at Rifugio Alpen Rose (+39 0465 734363) or at Ristoro Dolomiti di Brenta (+39 0465 734052), only a 15-minute drive from the village.
Rango, quintessential rural traditions
This nostalgic village is an ideal base to explore the countryside and discover the striking rural architecture of Trentino’s historic hamlets. Not far from the spa town of Comano Terme, Rango is absolutely a charmer: a visit to the Christmas markets is highly recommended for the old-fashioned atmosphere and the feel of life in the slow lane. Visit Osteria Il Catenaccio (tel. +39 0465 779317) for a piece of cake made with walnuts from the local Bleggio area.
This quaint village, backed by the famous Pale of San Martino, will not fail to surprise you with its “cataste & canzei”- original log-piling creations - with music and theatre events and glorious views of the Dolomites. Before leaving, pop in Al Doga in Fiera di Primiero (tel. +39 0439 763959) for the famous Tosèla di Primiero with polenta and luganega trentina, a dish full of flavour to wash down with a pint of craft beer from the local brewer Bionoc: it won’t disappoint!
Vigo di Fassa and the Ladino heritage
In this mountain village, tucked between the Catinaccio and the Marmolada, locals still speak the ancient Ladino dialect. Vigo, “Vich” in Ladino, is the perfect spot to marvel at the spectacular alpenglow when at sunset the Dolomites are bathed in pink hues. The local food scene is equally exciting, El Filò (tel. +39 0462 763210) or the rustic Malga Aloch (tel. +39 338 2317590) are both a good bet to taste some traditional dishes, like cajoncie da fighes, small dumplings stuffed with figs, or a piece of local cheese Cher de fascia.