In the heart of Trentino

In the heart of Trentino


From Luserna to Vigo: a journey through Italy’s Most Beautiful Villages

A 5-day journey through eastern Trentino

  • 5 days
  • March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October
  • Art and Culture, Taste, Trekking and Hiking, Nature and Wellness

Do you know what the most wonderful thing about exploring the villages of Trentino is? It’s that all you have to do is travel from one village to the next to discover completely different stories, amazing new tastes and even languages that change within just a few kilometres. The journey we’ve mapped out for you in this article is one example: from Luserna, where the ancient Cimbrian language still reigns, to Vigo di Fassa where people speak Ladin, the language of the Italian Alps.

This journey will take you into the east of Trentino, around Alpe Cimbra, Valsugana and the Italian Alps themselves: from the Pale di San Martino to the Catinaccio group. The journey takes 5 days by car, divided into 5 stages with an overnight stay in a different village at the end of each day.

It’s a wonderful way to discover a part of Trentino you may not be familiar with, taking you off the beaten track and into some of Italy’s Most Beautiful Villages.


Day 1: Luserna, the home of Cimbrian culture

Things to see

Our journey begins in Luserna, one of Italy’s Most Beautiful Villages, about 50 minutes from Trento by car. This village is sure to take your breath away at first sight thanks to its location, hidden away among the woods of Alpe Cimbra like a little island surrounded by the mountains. Here, people still speak the ancient language of the Cimbrians, a community of German settlers that came to Trentino between the 10th and 12th centuries.

After taking a stroll through the town, we suggest a walk along the “Sentiero Cimbro dell’Immaginario”: a delightful trail through the woods and pastures of Luserna lasting a couple of hours, inspired by the legends and characters of Cimbrian folklore, like Frau Pertega and Tüsele Marüsele.

Complete your morning with a stop at bar Ristorante Ferdy, for a quick and tasty lunch.

You can dedicate your afternoon to Cimbrian culture and history, starting with the Haus von Prükk house-museum in the town centre: an authentic Cimbrian rural home from the 19th century, restored and opened to the public. Afterwards, if you’re up for another walk, you can pay a visit to Forte Werk Lusérn, which soldiers in the First World War called “Padreterno”, or “God the Father”.

For dinner we recommend Lusernarhof, a typical little Trentino osteria with dishes based on locally sourced products given a modern twist.

After a fine breakfast, it’s time to get back on the road towards Borgo Valsugana, just over an hour away by car. The first thing you’ll notice as you pass through the village is the Brenta river flowing between the houses, splitting the little town in two.

Take a stroll along Corso Ausugum, the main street, and take the opportunity to visit the Permanent Exhibition of the Great War in Valsugana. While you’re here, extend your walk as far as Castel Telvana, the stronghold that looms over Borgo Valsugana. You can get there on foot from the village in about half an hour by taking the “sentiero dei castelli”, or castle trail.

At lunchtime, we recommend hopping back in the car and driving about 25 minutes from the village to Arte Sella, an extraordinary open-air art gallery. Before entering, stop for a bite to eat at the Dall’Ersilia bistro, right at the entrance to the exhibition trail.

Now that you’ve fed your body, it’s time to nourish your heart and spirit too as you admire these astonishing works of contemporary art, created by internationally renowned artists using wood, stone and branches, all blending into the landscape and, over time, becoming part of it.

By the time you’ve finished, you’ll have worked up an appetite for dinner and we’ve got two mouth-watering suggestions for you: along the road from Arte Sella back to Borgo Valsugana, you’ll find Al Legno, an inn where you can enjoy typical and traditional Trentino dishes; alternatively, you can dine within the spruce-wood walls of a cosy stube at Coronata Haus, a ten-minute drive from the village.


Day 3: Pieve Tesino and the Garden of Europe


Today’s journey is quite a short one: in fact, Pieve Tesino is only about twenty minutes from Borgo Valsugana by car. A 2021 addition to the official list of Italy’s Most Beautiful Villages, this little town in Trentino is famous as the birthplace of renowned statesman Alcide De Gasperi, a founding father of the European Union. Both the house-museum in the centre of the village and the Garden of Europe, a colourful tribute to the values of the European Union, are dedicated to his memory.

Our advice is to start out at the museum, to learn the story of the great statesman and that of the birth of the European Union. The second stop on your exploration of Pieve Tesino is the “Per via” museum. This highly unique museum tells the tale of Tesino’s travelling pedlars, who reached the farthest corners of the globe with their artistic prints, setting up shops and even becoming publishers.

On your way from one museum to the next, you can treat yourself to an aperitif at the Club House of the Tesino Golf Club (just a few minutes on foot from the museum).

Once you’ve had your fill of history, you can devote the afternoon to a pleasant walk in the Arboreto del Tesino arboreal area and the adjacent De Gasperi Garden of Europe: the trail takes about an hour and winds its way through meadows, watery areas and clusters of trees.

The walk is sure to leave you ready to refuel: you can enjoy typical Trentino cuisine in Pieve Tesino at the Hotel Cima D’Asta Ristorante-Pizzeria, which also offers Mediterranean dishes. Otherwise, you can head around 2 km outside of Pieve Tesino to where Betty’s Hill Ristorante-Pizzeria serves typical Trentino cooking in a quintessentially British setting; or try the Camping Valmalene Ristorante-Pizzeria (about 6 km from the village).


Day 4: Mezzano, the village of romance


Three quarters of an hour by car takes you from Pieve Tesino to the fourth stop along your journey: Mezzano, within the Paneveggio-Pale di San Martino Nature Park, in an idyllic hollow at the foot of the Pale di San Martino.

Leave your bags behind and lace up your hiking shoes: we’re taking you on a stunning walk through Val Canali, at the foot of the Pale di San Martino. Starting from the car park of the Cant del Gal hotel, you can walk to Malga Canali in about half an hour. You can choose whether to stop here for a bite to eat, or to stay going for another hour in order to reach Rifugio Treviso, where you can enjoy lunch with a view of the Italian Alps. Alternatively, you can enjoy your lunch at the restaurant of the Cant del Gal hotel, with its Slow Food ethos.

P.S. If you decide to eat at a malga (mountain farmhouse) or rifugio (mountain hut), make sure to check their spring opening times in advance.

The afternoon is the ideal time to explore the village itself. Take a stroll through its little streets and stop to admire the famous “Cataste & Canzei”, works of art created using the piles of firewood that local inhabitants would gather in preparation for winter, which have now become a source of inspiration for international artists.

As you wander past wooden houses, stables and barns, make sure to stop at Tabìa del Rico, a little museum that shows what life in the village used to be like. And if you should happen to find a red chair with a little bell hanging above it in one of the piazzas... Ring the bell and wait to find out what happens!


Day 5: Vigo di Fassa, where the Ladin language is spoken


We’ve come to the final stage of our journey, leading us along the Italian Alps of Val di Fassa and into the village of Vigo, at the foot of the Catinaccio and Latemar groups. The road to your final destination is a little longer than usual: around an hour and a half by car.

Once you’ve parked up, take a walk through the village with its stone fountains and great wooden barns, known in Ladin as tobié. That’s right: in Vigo, the people speak Ladin, the ancient language of the inhabitants of the Italian Alps. To find out more, we recommend a visit to the Fassa Ladin Museum.

After this, you have a choice to make: do you feel like an invigorating hike in the mountains? Or would you rather pamper yourself in the hot tubs at QC Terme? If you opt for the walk, from June to September there is a convenient cable car that takes you from the village of Vigo to the sun-soaked terrace of Ciampedìe, at an altitude of 1,998 metres. This is the starting point for lots of routes exploring the Italian Alps of Fassa, like the one that leads to Rifugio Gardeccia.

Otherwise, one of Trentino’s best-known wellness centres is located just a stone’s throw from the village of Vigo: QC Terme Dolomiti offers saunas, hot tubs and swimming pools with a view of the Italian Alps.

And for dinner? You can stop at the El Tobià Restaurant, where you can enjoy typical Val di Fassa cuisine.