A train ride through Trentino's history

Trentino’s dramatic history has produced a wealth of mighty castles and forts – and one of the best ways to sample them is by train. This summer Il Trenino dei Castelli will run again on the Trento-Malé line, offering guided tours of four of our most dramatic and interesting castles. This year’s programme also features three special trains for children.

Marta Eccher - trenino dei castelli
Pio Geminiani - trenino dei castelli

For centuries, Trentino has been on the front line – between Italy and the Alps, between northern and southern Europe, and between competing kingdoms and empires.

As a result, the province is thickly-strewn with castles and forts. Some retain their original gothic forms. Many were later revamped in graceful Renaissance style by Trento’s powerful prince-bishops. Others reflect the tensions that led to the Great War. So whatever style of fortification you fancy, you’ll find a striking example of it here. Fairy-tale lakeside castles, crenellated strongholds, thick concrete bunkers, sunk deep into the ground: we’ve got them all. Many are now open to visitors.

There are all sorts of ways to explore this rich heritage: but the most relaxing is our summer railway service – Il Trenino dei Castelli. This year, it runs every Saturday from April 15 to June 10, and from July 29 to September 16, linking Trento with the Val di Sole and the Val di Non. Accompanied by expert tour guides, passengers visit four of our most impressive castles, as well as feasting on local food and wine.

Meanwhile, on three Sundays – June 4, July 30, August 20 – we’re laying on a special children’s service. Young castle-lovers will travel at discounted rates, and enjoy a range of events, from workshops and guided tours to a treasure hunt for the whole family.


 

Il Trenino dei Castelli: the programme

The tour leaves Trento by train at 8.45 with a hearty breakfast courtesy of local apple producer Melinda and local Latte Trento milk brand. It winds up into the mountains to the town of Mezzana, where the party transfers to coaches at 10.35. Then it’s on to the castles; starting with the Castello di San Michele in the Val di Sole. Dominated by a soaring 25m keep, it stands on a crag overlooking the valley, and its commanding position made it a hot property amongst the region’s elite. Over the centuries it’s been the possession of the Prince-Bishops of Trento, the Counts of Tyrol-Görz, the de Federici family, the Heydorfs and Bertellis.

Next stop is the Castel Caldes: a rich mix of architectural styles (Venetian, German and Lombard) typical of this contested border region. The charming interior is famous for its frescoes. Legend has it that one of the rooms was painted by the young countess Marianna Elisabetta Thun, who was confined there by her father Rodemond, to prevent her from marrying for love, not material advantage. She’s said to have died of a broken heart as a result.

Our third fortress is the Castel Valer, which is owned by Count Ulrico Spaur and now open to the public. Girdled by apple orchards, and backed by soaring mountain mountain peaks, it’s a dramatic spot, and has the tallest castle tower in Trentino (40m).
Last but by no means least is the mighty Castel Thun. Austere on the outside, richly-decorated within, this is one of Trentino’s most important historic monuments. It was built in the mid-13th century as the principal seat of the Thun family, and stayed in their possession for over 700 years. In 1992, it was bought by the province of Trento, and offers a fascinating perspective across nearly eight centuries of aristocratic life. It’s crammed full of grand family portraits and magnificent antiques, but the most sumptuous interior comes courtesy of the Bishop’s room, with its pinewood panelling, coffered ceiling and monumental doorway.

 

Throughout the tour, expert guides provide a commentary on the history, culture and landscape of the Val di Sole and the Val di Non. There’s also a chance to sample local food and wine – courtesy of the Strada della Mela consortium and the wine-makers of the Cantina Rotari Mezzacorona. The day ends with the return to Trento at 7.15pm.

Info: www.iltreninodeicastelli.it

For further info about art and culture: www.visittrentino.info/culture



You may also like ...

35 results

Harvesting, processing, and preserving: all with your own hands THE...

Hands-on ways to discover and experience the fresh flavours of...

HIGH ALTITUDE ADVENTURES IN TRENTINO

As 2019 marks 10 years since the Dolomites mountain range became a...

TRENTINO: LOCATION OF THE NEW TV SERIES "SANCTUARY"

Starting on May 30th, the television series "Sanctuary" will be...

Apple Strudel with Trentino Mountain Flowers

Celebrate Easter in style with our Trentino Strudel

Trentino will host special 25th edition Sounds of the Dolomites...

This summer featuring the first entire opera to be performed at...

The Dolomites in Bloom: Five Ways to Enjoy Trentino in the Spring

With the ski season over and the heat of summer yet to hit, spring is...

Trentino-style Panettone

Celebrate Christmas in style with our Trentino Panettone

Sunrise skiing in Trentino

Add an extra thrill to your winter holiday by skiing at dawn. In...

Start of the ski season in Trentino

Thanks to the first snowfalls, Trentino is ready to welcome Alpine...

New this winter in Trentino

Ice concerts, free ski days, new mountain huts and toboggan runs are...

Autumn in Trentino: deer love songs and fascinating hikes

In Europe, few wildlife spectacles can match the autumn rut of red...

Mountain biking in Trentino

OVER 8,000 KM TO PEDAL IN COMPLETE FREEDOM In Trentino, you can...

SUMMER FOOD EVENTS & OTHER STORIES

Here, Italy meets the Alps  – with spectacular gastronomic...

The trendiest sports to try out this spring

Spring is a great time to try other trendy activities. For sporty...

THE SOUNDS OF THE DOLOMITES: THE BEST OF MUSIC AND MOUNTAINS

Here are twenty-five concerts set in the most fascinating sceneries...

SUNRISE SKIING IN TRENTINO

Add an extra thrill to your winter holiday by skiing at dawn. In...

Harvesting, processing, and preserving: all with your own hands THE...

Thu, 29.08.2019

Hands-on ways to discover and experience the fresh flavours of Trentino, Northern Italy

Read more ...

HIGH ALTITUDE ADVENTURES IN TRENTINO

Wed, 05.06.2019

As 2019 marks 10 years since the Dolomites mountain range became a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and with Trentino’s traditional "refugios"...

Read more ...

TRENTINO: LOCATION OF THE NEW TV SERIES "SANCTUARY"

Thu, 30.05.2019

Starting on May 30th, the television series "Sanctuary" will be broadcast on the Swedish pay TV channel C More every Friday for four weeks. Produced...

Read more ...

Apple Strudel with Trentino Mountain Flowers

Wed, 17.04.2019

Celebrate Easter in style with our Trentino Strudel

Read more ...

Trentino will host special 25th edition Sounds of the Dolomites...

Wed, 10.04.2019

This summer featuring the first entire opera to be performed at 2,000m above sea level

Read more ...

The Dolomites in Bloom: Five Ways to Enjoy Trentino in the Spring

Thu, 28.03.2019

With the ski season over and the heat of summer yet to hit, spring is the ideal time for visitors to enjoy nature’s spring awakening in the great...

Read more ...

Trentino-style Panettone

Wed, 19.12.2018

Celebrate Christmas in style with our Trentino Panettone

Read more ...

Sunrise skiing in Trentino

Tue, 18.12.2018

Add an extra thrill to your winter holiday by skiing at dawn. In Trentino you can do it thanks to the Trentino Ski Sunrise programme. It’s a view...

Read more ...

Start of the ski season in Trentino

Thu, 22.11.2018

Thanks to the first snowfalls, Trentino is ready to welcome Alpine skiing enthusiasts in the weekends to come. After the Passo Tonale - Presena...

Read more ...

New this winter in Trentino

Tue, 13.11.2018

Ice concerts, free ski days, new mountain huts and toboggan runs are just the tip of the iceberg of the coming winter season in the Trentino...

Read more ...

Autumn in Trentino: deer love songs and fascinating hikes

Wed, 29.08.2018

In Europe, few wildlife spectacles can match the autumn rut of red deer. Guided tours in all three of our Nature Parks reveal this magnificent...

Read more ...

Mountain biking in Trentino

Thu, 02.08.2018

OVER 8,000 KM TO PEDAL IN COMPLETE FREEDOM In Trentino, you can practice all-mountain bike specialties. Moreover, there are eight bike parks for...

Read more ...

SUMMER FOOD EVENTS & OTHER STORIES

Tue, 22.05.2018

Here, Italy meets the Alps  – with spectacular gastronomic results. Have a picnic in a castle or discover mountain life in an alpine...

Read more ...

The trendiest sports to try out this spring

Mon, 30.04.2018

Spring is a great time to try other trendy activities. For sporty ones and for those who enjoy new experience, try bouldering, rock climbing,...

Read more ...

THE SOUNDS OF THE DOLOMITES: THE BEST OF MUSIC AND MOUNTAINS

Wed, 04.04.2018

Here are twenty-five concerts set in the most fascinating sceneries of the Trentino Dolomites. Among the protagonists of this summer’s festival...

Read more ...

SUNRISE SKIING IN TRENTINO

Wed, 13.12.2017

Add an extra thrill to your winter holiday by skiing at dawn. In Trentino you can do it thanks to the Trentino Ski Sunrise programme.  

Read more ...

Media Room