The ancient village of charcoal burners
An ancient village of charcoal burners, today Bondone is among the most beautiful medieval villages of Italy, a starting point for mountain excursions to discover Valle del Chiese
Overlooking the waters of Lake Idro, the municipality of Bondone is located in the south-western end of Trentino, on the border with Lombardy. Added in 2018 to the Borghi Più Belli d’Italia [most beautiful medieval villages of Italy] list, for centuries this small town in Valle del Chiese was inhabited by charcoal burners, who obtained this precious fuel from the local woods.
To this day, article 1 of the municipal statute is reminiscent of this ancient craft, and in the town square there is a monument commemorating the hard work of the charcoal burner.
We suggest visiting the town square, and then losing yourself in the labyrinth of paved streets in the village, admiring the frescoes on the façades of the houses, which tell of the inhabitants’ devotion to the Madonna who, according to legend, becalmed the plague epidemic that hit Bondone between 1628 and 1630 (as told by Manzoni in The Betrothed). Before leaving, don’t forget to stop over at the Natività Parish church, dating back to 1300, and at Castel San Giovanni, an ancient fortress of the Lodron Counts dating back to the Eleventh century, which is now the location of exhibitions on nature, culture, tradition and history.
If you enjoy walking, you can take advantage of the trails in the area for healthy walks to the Bocca di Valle pass, the Alpo mountain hut, Cima Tombea (1,947 m asl), defined the “Garden of the Alps” for the rich indigenous flora. From this altitude, there is a beautiful view over Lake Garda and the Valvestino plain.