Rare sights and sporty pursuits
Get to know this enthralling corner of the Alpine foothills
Mount Baldo is one of the most captivating natural locations not just in Trentino but in the whole of the Alpine foothills. This massive limestone outcrop stretches from near Verona right up to Trento. It’s the ideal place to enjoy an amazing array of outdoor activities, from downhill skiing to vie ferrate, off piste to trekking, and paragliding to Nordic walking. Then there are the observatories to watch the migratory fauna and the sombre fascination of the trenches and fortifications surviving from the Great War.
Mount Baldo’s chief charm has always been its richly diverse wildlife. It’s no coincidence that the area was dubbed “the garden of Italy” by writer and apothecary Giovan Battista Olivi back in the 16th century. This prodigious variety of flowers and plants dates from the Ice Age, when the ice-free peaks offered shelter to a panoply of species.
Thousands have been documented, and some are found only in this area – like the anemone baldensis, wild campanula and silvery cranesbill. Then there are olive trees and chestnuts, holm oaks and beech.
The animals of Mount Baldo are special, too. The mountain is home to around 960 varieties of butterfly, some known only here, and many other species of insect. Not to mention the hares, squirrels, chamois, marmots, roe deer and golden eagles.
The simplest things can be the most fulfilling, and that’s certainly true here, with the hiking, trekking and Nordic walking on offer. Spring is the best time to get the family together and strike out to discover the finest flowers around. Then enjoy some well-earned refreshment with traditional Trentino cuisine served in one of the many mountain huts. You can easily combine that with a visit to the WW1 trenches and fortifications.
There are also some very demanding walks in the wilds, like the trek from the Val Cantone up to Dosso Roveri. Not many hikers can take that on, but if you do, your reward could even be the sight of a golden eagle, for they usually nest around here.
Cycling on Mount Baldo is great fun with rides for all – whether you want an easy tour or something more challenging, like a spot of downhilling. The spectacular tracks are sure to get the adrenaline pumping, as you speed away in the Val del Diaol and on the legendary ex-Seicentouno run.
And if you like a climb with a view, there are some stunning cliffs gazing across Lake Garda, like Lizards Beach and Corno di Bò crag.