A romantic weekend filled with art and nature in Mezzano
One of the most beautiful villages in Italy, at the foot of the Pale di San Martino
- 2 days
- March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October
Do you know that feeling when you want to leave everything behind and head off for a romantic getaway with the person you love? In Trentino you can find the perfect place for it.
Nestled in the Valle del Primiero in the Parco Naturale Paneveggio Pale di San Martino (nature park), you will fall in love with Mezzano at first sight. Its bell tower stands 36 metres tall among the little stone and wooden homes, with the Dolomites in the background.
Mezzano has been named one of the most beautiful villages in Italy by the Borghi Più Belli d’Italia association and it is renowned among art and music lovers. Every year sculptors travel there from all over the world for a show called “Cataste e canzei”. In the summer, musicians from the Music Academy International in New York and countries across the globe flock to the village for the “Mezzano Romantica” concerts.
It is the ideal place for a romantic weekend: stay in accommodation in the village, discover the local traditions and cuisine, and go for delightful walks in the natural world all around you. Here are our tips for a two-day break.
Cataste & Canzei in Mezzano
Leave your car in the car park at the edge of the village and start exploring Mezzano on foot. The breathtaking sense of peace and quiet is only broken up by the water flowing in the stone fountains, which are wonderfully refreshing on hot summer mornings. The first thing that you will notice are the famous works of art known as “Cataste & Canzei”. They originally developed from the creative ways in which the locals prepared their wood piles for the winter and they have become a source of inspiration for artists from all over the world.
As you stroll through the village, you might hear the enthralling sound of an old-fashioned, traditional loom. You will find it in the Artelèr textile workshop, where the women of the Trotter family make fabrics using age-old techniques. The rhythmic tapping of the loom will be complemented by the fragrance of wood emanating from the workshop of Gianluca Zeni, who uses the material to make topical, modern works with an appealingly ancient feel.
Entrancing aromas also fill the air at the Lucian café and pastry shop just outside the village, which is a great place for a morning coffee break with a slice of strudel.
Hiking in Val Canali
Once you have had a revitalizing snack, grab your hiking boots, rucksack, flask and waterproof jacket: it is time to explore the Val Canali, at the foot of the Pale di San Martino mountain range in the Dolomites. The scenery is spellbinding: lush, green meadows below the peaks, grazing cows and yellow globeflowers dotted across the mountain pastures.
We recommend parking in the Cant del Gal car park. From there, it takes about half an hour to walk to the Malga Canali. You can either stop there for lunch or carry on walking for another hour to the Rifugio Treviso, where you can admire views of the Dolomites (such as Cima Canali, Cima Wilma and Cima Lastei) as you eat. It is best to book in advance to make sure that there is a table for you.
A photo at Lake Welsperg
Before you head back to Mezzano after your walk, stop off on the shore of Lake Welsperg. It is a little mountain lake with the Pale di San Martino reflected in its water. The name is a reference to the aristocratic “Welsperg” family, who once ruled the Valle del Primiero. A hunting lodge that they had built by the lake is now the prestigious main office of the Parco Naturale Paneveggio Pale di San Martino (nature park).
Craft beer and dinner in Mezzano
After a day exploring Val Canali, what could be better than a cold, refreshing beer? The BioNoc’ craft brewery in Mezzano is famous for its unpasteurized, unfiltered beer, in which the purity of the ingredients remains intact. Visitors can take a tour of the brewery for free, although it is best to book in advance.
If you want to take home a delicious souvenir, at the Caseificio di Primiero you can find a famous type of local cheese called Tosèla di Primiero, which goes very well with speck from the Macelleria Bonat.
Take a stroll around the village and then get ready for a romantic dinner at La Lontra restaurant, which is hidden away among the narrow streets of Mezzano, known here as “canisèle”.
We have three suggestions for your overnight accommodation. The first is the Canonega Vecia B&B in Fiera di Primiero. It takes a few minutes to drive there from Mezzano but you are bound to find its rustic, wholesome style irresistible. If you are fond of rural, mountain atmospheres, another excellent choice is the Armonia B&B among the woods and the meadows, with views of the Pale di San Martino. If you would prefer to stay in the village itself, the spacious rooms and spa centre in the Hotel Garnì Paradisi never fail to please.
Second day: A red chair
After a tasty breakfast, seek out one of the red chairs that are dotted all over the village. Pick up the bell on top of it, ring it and wait for a few minutes. Soon a “medanesc” (one of the local people) will appear and happily tell you a few stories about the village.
If you want to become a fully fledged “medanesc” yourself, pay a visit to the little Tabìa del Rico museum and learn what life was like in the village in the past.
Walk from Cordognè to San Giovanni
The best way to bring the weekend to a close is to get back into the heart of nature. All real “medanesc” families have a farmstead among the woods and meadows above Mezzano, in the Prati San Giovanni area. Take a gentle stroll there and bask in the spectacular views of the Pale di San Martino and Monte Pavione.
The starting point is in Poit. It is around a 10-minute drive from the village along the road leading uphill from Doltra, which you will come to outside the village, just after you go over the Cismon stream. At lunchtime, we recommend the traditional Trentino cuisine at the Rifugio Caltena.