WATERS TO LIVE, NAVIGATE AND PROTECT
Lakes, rivers, streams and waterfalls. Next to the mountains, the element that distinguishes and shapes the Trentino landscape is water with its multiple dimensions: sports, tourism and energy.
Together with mountains, lakes are an important identity element of Trentino: indeed, there are 297 lakes here. The majority of these (257) are of glacial origin, located at altitudes above 1500 meters. The incredible clarity of the water is an attribute shared by all these lakes, along with their typical “circus” shape. Another common feature is the prohibition of motorized navigation and the presence of a monitoring network for the direct control of the water quality of lakes, rivers and streams. The excellent health enjoyed by the waters of Trentino lakes has been repeatedly recognized by the Foundation for Environmental Education, which, in 2017, awarded the “blue flag” to 10 beaches: four on lake Caldonazzo, Levico, Lavarone, Piazze, Baselga di Pinè, Roncone and Idro. Lakes and rivers of Trentino are also an ideal playground for practicing the main water disciplines - sailing, windsurfing and rowing, canoeing and rafting - as well as hosting important sporting events.
Where to dive and sail
The most famous of the Trentino lakes is Lake Garda, the largest in Italy and among the most beautiful in the world. The Òra and Pelèr winds that blow regularly on the northern gulf, between Torbole and Riva del Garda, make it one of the best regatta places in the world, and home to major international events held in every season.
Lake Ledro, a few kilometers from Lake Garda, is ideal for a beach holiday. You can rent boats, pedal boats, surfs and canoes on the beaches of Pieve, Mezzolago and Molina. On the Paganella plateau, we find Lake Molveno, the largest alpine basin above 800 meters, named by Italian Touring Club “Italy’s most beautiful lake”. The peaks of the Brenta Dolomites are reflected in its cobalt blue waters. The main beach of Molveno extends over ten hectares of English lawn equipped for various sports. The largest swimming lake in Trentino is that of Caldonazzo, in Valsugana; on its waters rowing is practiced in a very spectacular version: on “dragon boats”, long oriental pirogues moved by a crew of 16 rowers who paddle to the beat of the bowloader’s drum. The Tenna hill, with its Austro-Hungarian fort and the Alberé pine forest, separates Lake Caldonazzo from lake Levico, with shaded beaches, campsites and equipped shores, as well as lush environments of spontaneous vegetation reminiscent of the Nordic fjords, which you can explore across a new walking route of over 8 km.
On the way to the Alpine lakes
With their enchanting beauty, these water mirrors can be reached after more or less long hikes along a network of trails and forest roads: all efforts will certainly pay off. The greatest concentration of Alpine lakes is to be found in the Lagorai moutain chain, in eastern Trentino. The Adamello - Brenta Nature Park also features a large concentration of high-altitude lakes. Above Madonna di Campiglio, you can follow the “5 lakes” itinerary, leading from lake Ritorto to lakes Nero, Serodoli, Gelato and Nambino. The Cevedale Group is also rich in alpine lakes: a circular route unwinds through lakes Marmotte, Lungo, Nero and Scuro, starting from Rifugio Cevedale-Guido Larcher in Val Venezia. Lake Corvo and the little Sternai lakes, instead, are classic destinations in Val di Rabbi.
Lakes in history
The first chapters that testify to the presence of man in Trentino were written on lake shores: in the Lagorai chain, around the lakes of Colbricòn and Buse, archaeologists brought to light traces of bivouacs of Mesolithic hunters who, about 8.000 years ago, climbed from Valle dell'Adige to hunt the great Alpine ungulates. The remains of the pile dwellings erected in the Bronze Age on the shores of Lake Ledro and in the peat bog of Fiavè, in the outer Giudicarie valleys, have great historical value: both sites are included in the Unesco Heritage List. Even illustrious figures of European culture have sung the praises of Trentino lakes. Among them, the most famous is German poet Wolfgang Goethe, enthralled by the landscape of Garda Trentino (i. e. northern shores of the lake), which he described in his “Journey to Italy”. The climate and the landscape also attracted Friedrick Nietzsche, Franz Kafka and Thomas Mann. Sigmund Freud, on the other hand, loved to walk on the shores of Lake Lavarone, on Alpe Cimbra.
When water becomes adventure
The tumultuous and foaming waters of the main mountain streams such as the Noce, in Val di Sole - the stage of the 2016 World Cup events - Chiese and Vanoi in Primiero are the ideal settings for kayakers. The Noce stream, in particular, was included by the National Geographic in the ranking of the 10 best water courses in the world - the only one in Europe - where to practice rafting. The descent aboard big rubber boats, all paddling together under the orders of an authorized guide, is an experience offered by numerous centers in Val di Sole, as well as on the Avisio river.
Follow the water flow along natural slides, rappel down a waterfall, dive and swim in crystal-clear ponds and pools inside deep gorges. Emotions abound when you practice canyoning with the help of alpine guides; canyoning is an outdoor activity that combines mountaineering techniques and the exploration of the wildest river environments. In Trentino, it is practiced in areas such as Garda Trentino and Valle di Ledro, which offer about twenty descents with different difficulty. Other routes are found along the Grigno stream and the Maso creek, between Tesino and Valsugana. In Primiero, you can walk in the gorge of the Noana creek. An easier alternative is river trekking: fords, dives, slips and countercurrent routes. It is practiced on the Sarca river, and, in particular, on the stretch inside the Limarò gorge.
Fishing in Trentino
Trentino is a territory rich in biodiversity; its water and fish assets, along with a variety of aquatic environments and the presence of 350 fishing areas make Trentino a top destination for fishing and those who love this discipline. The Trentino Fishing project was born to promote this region’s natural asset, combining it with quality accommodation offers and a package of dedicated services. The heart of the project is the web portal www.trentinofishing.it, which offers information on fishing areas, including those reserved for the “catch & release”, i.e. no-kill, fly-fishing and spinning techniques, or on the flow rates of the main waterways, but which is also useful to purchase a fishing permit online or book a fishing trip in a reserve area with one of the Trentino Fishing Guides, or stay in one of the 68 Trentino Fishing Lodges where enthusiasts can avail themselves of a package of dedicated services.
A trip to the Trentino hydroelectric plants
Trentino is one of the largest producers of clean energy in Italy. The large hydroelectric plants in the region yield a yearly average of 3,500 GWh, useful to cover almost all provincial energy requirements. Hydrotour Dolomiti is a fascinating journey through some hydroelectric plants, which allows you to see first-hand how the energy of water becomes energy for our lives. The hydroelectric plants of Santa Massenza and Riva del Garda are open to the public and showcase technologies applied for the production of renewable and environmentally friendly electric energy. www.hydrotourdolomiti.it
Further information available at this link