WHY WE LIVE WELL IN TRENTINO
Whether it’s to spend a few days in nature, play sports, work, study or even just sample Italian food, a visit to Trentino is a special experience. The Italians definitely seem to think so, choosing the province of Trento not only for tourism but for its high standard of living. Europe has also confirmed this by certifying the province's commitment to sustainability.
What are the components of a ‘good’ quality of life? As demonstrated in Trentino’s capital city of Trento; infrastructure and services that work, a dynamic economy, excellent education, continuous investment and a commitment to innovation and development are crucial. Then there is the presence of resources, a well-kept and sustainably managed environment and, of course, the natural beauty of the area.
These are all qualities that Trento proudly possesses, having come third in the quality-of-life rankings in 2020 by Il Sole24 ore. In 2020, the capital also secured first place for sustainability in the Urban Ecosystem report, following research by Legambiente, Ambiente Italia and Il Sole 24 Ore. Trento also leads the Smart City Index 2020 ranking by Ey, which analyses the Italian capital municipalities from the perspective of the sustainability of urban infrastructures.
The province of Trento has additionally earned a badge of honour for environmental quality. With natural parks and networks of reserves, UNESCO heritage sites and Biosphere reserves, Natura 2000 sites and provincial reserves, its protected natural areas cover more than 30% of the territory. However, protection for these mountains is not just a matter of imposing rules and restrictions: it is the modus vivendi adopted by the communities that live there and take an active role in the protection of their region in every aspect of their lives.
This is why everything in Trentino - from agriculture to traditional handicrafts, the use of resources to education, and the management of tourist activities to sport - contributes to the province’s conservation objectives. This vision was recently recognised at a European level: the whole network of protected areas met with local communities to discuss issues of sustainable tourism, obtaining the certification of the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism (CETS). This recognises the extent to which nature, landscape, and environmental quality are central to both government focus and local awareness in Trentino.
Only good management can bring good results, as evidenced by the blue flags awarded in 2020 — 15 of the 407 best Italian beaches belong to seven of Trentino’s lakes — and the 6 orange flags from the Touring Club, which named Molveno ‘the most beautiful lake in Italy’ for a second year running in 2020. Six Trentino villages have been included in lists of ‘the most beautiful villages in Italy’, villages where sustainability, protection of the local area, artistic and cultural heritage and the quality of hospitality come together to provide an authentically Italian experience.
With the number of visitors exceeding five million each year, many people in Trentino are committed to a single common objective: making tourism a sustainable experience. How? By saving energy and water, reducing the impact on the environment, promoting ‘0km products’, and maintaining and improving the landscape. These are some of the choices made by municipalities, companies, protected areas, businesses, hotels, restaurants, and mountain huts to ensure the fair use of resources and to allow their guests to actively participate in the protection of the region. In light of this commitment, in 2019 Trentino’s Valsugana became the first and only certified destination for sustainable tourism in the world according to the criteria of the GSTC - Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
In 2020, Alpe Cimbra, the territory that includes the three municipalities of Folgaria, Lavarone and Lusérn, was named a ‘candidate destination’ by Alpine Pearls, an association based in Austria that has been committed to promoting sustainable tourism since 2006.
Several brands support this strong and coordinated commitment, including organisations such as Qualità Trentino, Ecoristorazione Trentino, Slow Food, Green Way Primiero, EMAS, and PEFC. These brands offer a guarantee of quality for those who live in or visit Trentino, but also enable visitors and locals to participate in sustainable development and the protection of the exceptional natural heritage of the region.
To obtain such high-quality results, an equally high-quality education is necessary. The University of Trento maintains a place at the top of national rankings, and is equally well-placed in international rankings. It is not surprising that the University of Trento has earned recognition for the quality of its education, its capacity for self-financing, its strong will and ability to open up to Europe and the world, its success in scientific research and, last but not least, its student satisfaction.
This recognition can also be extended to the almost 40 public and private research bodies, divided into centres, joint projects, national laboratories and start-ups, which currently employ 3,800 people, demonstrating how Trentino has chosen to invest a large part of its trust into research as a driving force for innovation and development. The flagships within these investments are the Edmund Mach and Bruno Kessler Foundations, as well as the MUSE - Museum of Sciences, whose scientific activities are internationally recognised.