A Spring day in Val di Non
In the middle of Apple Orchards and beautiful Landscapes
- 3 days
- March, April, May, June, July, August, September
- Experience food and wine
Today we are taking you to Val di Non, amidst a gentle countryside, mountain lakes and rushing streams. Here, and in the nearby Val di Sole, live the 4,000 farmers who produce the only PDO apple in Italy. Travel among ancient palaces, cross the woods and canyons on suspended bridges and immerse yourself in apple orchards that, in their expanse of scented flowers, transform the countryside into a candid bridal gown.
Day 1: from Castel Thun to MondoMelinda
The voyage begins at the start of the day, in the Rocchetta locality, the natural border between Piana Rotaliana and Val di Non. From here you can reach, in just a few minutes, the massive Castel Thun in Vigo di Ton. The building is located in a panoramic position, and is a splendid example of Trentino castle architecture. After a long period of restoration work, during which it was closed, the castle opened to the public in 2010. Its luxurious decorated halls and the elegance of its furniture make it one of the most important museum complexes in the Alps.
Making your way down from the castle, among the orchards you will find the headquarters of Mieli Thun. We suggest you make a stop here to visit the company and get to know Andrea, who works passionately to produce single-flower honeys, wonderful wood and spruce honeydew, and complex polyfloral mountain honeys.
Then return to the road, and climb the valley until you reach MondoMelinda, the visitors centre for all those who wish to find out more about the apples that are grown here and contributed to the Melinda consortium. It is possible to book guided tours of the processing halls in advance. Here you can discover the path that the crunchy apples follow before reaching our tables.
Before ending the day, it is worth taking the time to climb up to Tres, on the Predaia Plateau, to visit the company called “Lucia Maria Melchiori”. There, you can get to know the process of working with and creating apple-derived products, such as juice, cider, beer and vinegar.
Day 2: From Castel Valer to Cles, main town of the Valley
The voyage continues the following day, along the valley surrounded by apple orchards. Follow the national road until you find directions for the town of Tassullo, where, on a sunny rock, you will find Castel Valer, a castle that is privately owned by the Spaur family, but was also recently opened to the public. You can purchase tickets at Palazzo Pilati, in the piazza of the same name that you will cross before reaching the castle.
Once you have visited the castle, get back in the car and drive to Cles, about 5 Km away. From the piazza in the large town you can reach with a short walk Doss de Pez, a panoramic terrace overlooking Lake Santa Giustina. From here you can see the towers of Castel Cles, standing out against the gentle slopes of the upper Val di Non.
When you return to town, stop at Pasticceria Ramus. There, you can taste the most famous apple-based dessert: strudel. In 5 minutes by car, or on foot if you are in shape, you can reach the Bersaglio locality, just above the town, to visit the Municipality’s Historical Orchard, a collection of ancient varieties of apple and pear trees, to see how fruit growing evolved in the valley. We suggest you phone before visiting.
Day 3: the water of Santa Giustina Lake and of Novella River Park
The third day is water-themed. Leaving Cles behind you, climb towards the town of Cagnò, to what is called the “Terza Sponda” [third shore] overlooking the shores of Lake Santa Giustina, the large artificial basin that is one of the symbols of the valley.
Its waters wind through the canyons, creating picturesque scenarios well known to canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts, while its scarp walls are the ideal place to cultivate the Groppello di Revò, a historical variety with IGT acknowledgement, heroically cultivated in steep vineyards.
Continue on your voyage towards Romallo, and don’t miss the chance to enter the Parco Fluviale della Novella, a naturalistic route amid woods and canyons, between suspended walkways and rock faces. IT is not very long (about 3.5 Km), but we suggest doing it slowly, finding the time to take a few short breaks.
In the afternoon, on the other hand, you can try the AlMeleto educational/playtime trail. Not only because the Val di Non apple is an undisputed queen, but also because this path, free and open, will allow you to enrich your voyage with interesting discoveries and fun facts about the world of insects and farming. You will be able to immerse yourself in the fields and follow the paths that the locals have always travelled, on their way to work or just for a walk in their free time.