WALKING THROUGH A THOUSAND COLOURS
From spring to summer, from zero to 2000 metres, a multitude of flowers blossom one after the other in Trentino. This transforms the meadows and slopes in Trentino into colourful palettes: apple orchards in Val di Non, rhododendrons and orchids in Val di Fiemme and snowdrops on Monte Baldo create a kaleidoscope of colour.
In Trentino, spring is when nature awakens, constantly unfurling, region by region, week after week. Flowers and plants constantly change and renew themselves, expressing the area’s rich biodiversity. In just a few weeks, an explosion of colours enlivens the valleys, before creeping up towards the mountain pastures and high-altitude meadows. As visitors walk or cycle through the Trentino valleys, floral fragrances fill the air whilst playful colour combinations fill the meadows. Splashes of vibrant yellows and blues are contrasted with delicate touches of red, whilst carpets of white can be admired.
Itineraries among the blooms
The area of the Parco Naturale Locale del Monte Baldo has been renowned among botanists from all over Europe since the Middle Ages thanks to its extraordinary biodiversity. As early as the 1500s, Giovan Battista Olivi, a famous pharmacist and scholar from Cremona, described the Monte Baldo massif as ‘the garden of Italy’, or ‘Hortus Italiae’. For this reason, many of the rarest botanical species are accompanied by the adjective baldensis as a recognition of their individuality. The more common varieties, such as arnica, lilies, gentians, orchids, buttercups and silver geraniums, create colourful carpets on high-altitude meadows between May and June, with the park’s walking routes guiding visitors through the finest spots. As soon as the last snow has melted, tapestries of snowdrops surround the path that goes uphill from Polsa di Brentonico towards Malga Susine up to the Bocca d'Ardole and the Great War posts of nearby Corno della Paura.
Between spring and early summer, more than 1000 species of wild flowers bring colour to the meadows of Val di Ledro, part of the UNESCO Biosphere of Alpi Ledrensi and Judicaria. It boasts typically Mediterranean flora in the areas closest to Lake Garda, whilst hardier edelweiss bloom on the ridges above 2000m.
Walking to Dromaè, an alpine meadow above the village of Mezzolago, only takes a couple of hours and passes through the pine forests of Pino Silvestre, as well as beech woods and broad-leaved woods. From May to June the pastures are transformed into a white and fuchsia carpet full of wild daffodils, peonies, wild orchids anemones and lilies.
In Valle del Chiese, above the town of Bondone, the Alpe di Tombea can be found. In the early 1800s, Kaspar Von Stenberg, a botanist from Prague, walked among the pastures at the foot of Cima Tombea, experiencing high emotion as he discovered rare floral species that had never been seen before. The mountain pasture can be reached by starting from Bondone, which is regularly named one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. From Malga Alpo, in the village of Plogne, a leisurely hour-long stroll guides walkers down wartime mule tracks to Bocca Cablone.
Val di Non is a famous springtime spot, with an apple orchard that blossoms at the end of April with swathes of white blossom and sweet, delicate scents. This is a magical moment to discover the valley, which is filled with small villages and historical sites. Many hiking or mountain biking routes travel through the orchards including the 5km ‘Al Meleto’ walk. Al Meleto is an educational journey allowing visitors to discover charming areas, gain unusual views of the valley and learn about how Val di Non’s famous apples are grown. Visitors can continue on through the apple orchards to reach Castel Thun, one of Trentino’s most monumental castles.
Brentonico botanical garden. Inside Palazzo Eccheli-Baisi, the expansive herb garden covers an area of 6000 m2. This is the first example of a Renaissance botanical garden in Trentino. There are 500 plants in the garden, which is testament to the botanical importance of Monte Baldo, which has been a popular destination for apothecaries, botanists and wildflower experts for centuries. Palazzo Eccheli-Baisi was built at the end of the sixteenth century by combining several pre-existing buildings, and the building also houses the Monte Baldo Fossil Museum.