TRENTINO IN THE SPRING

With the ski season over and wildflowers in bloom, spring is the ideal time for visitors to Trentino to embrace nature and the great outdoors. Trentino’s range of landscapes takes visitors from the Mediterranean to the Alpine in less than an hour where visitors can explore the shores of northern Lake Garda and Dolomites mountain range at 1,500m above sea level in the same trip. During the spring, thousands of spontaneous and cultivated species come into bloom in Trentino and there are a number of ways for visitors to make the most of the flora and fauna at this time of year from a Forest Bathing trail, to hiking in Nature Parks to exploring one of Italy’s great ‘Art Parks’.

Enjoy the blooming spring flowers

The Valle di Ledro, located close to Lake Garda in the south of Trentino, bursts into bloom with more than 1,000 different kinds of wild flowers each spring. One of the most scenic areas is Dromaè, above Lake Ledro, where the mountain pastures become carpeted with a white and fuchsia mix of wild narcissi and peonies during May and June. The arrival of spring is celebrated with an annual flower festival, a popular local fete where traditional mountain foods such as polenta, chops and salamelle sausages are served. This year, the event takes place on Sunday 19th May and visitors are encouraged to walk there from the village Mezzolago. The climb is around 800 metres, but there are three paths of varying difficulty and steepness, taking between one and a half and three hours each. www.vallediledro.com/en/flowering-in-droma

Explore Trentino’s first ‘Forest Bathing’ trail

Forest bathing has its origins in the Japanese practice known as shinrin-yoku which involves a complete immersion in forested areas. It teaches the benefits of apparently simple activities - like a walk in the woods or the essence of breathing in the reinvigorating or relaxing scents of trees and plants. According to studies conducted in Japan, forest bathing boosts the immune system, reduces blood pressure and helps alleviate stress and depression. In June 2018, Trentino opened its first trail dedicated to forest bathing in Fai della Paganella, northwest of Trento. This forest contains beech and birch, which are considered some of the most beneficial plants, as well as conifers which have a balsamic effect on the respiratory system. The trail is 5.4km long and walkers should allow around two hours to enjoy it. www.visittrentino.info/en/articles/green-holidays/forest-bathing

Hike through Adamello Brenta Nature Park - The largest protected area in Trentino

The Brenta Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the glaciers of Adamello-Presanella whose peaks soar to 3,000 metres make up the Adamello Brenta Nature Park home to alpine forests, pristine lakes, wildlife such as eagles and bears, as well as many rare flowers. The Park, which opened in 1967, is located west of Trento along the border with Lombardia, occupies one-tenth of the whole surface of the region Trentino.
From Val Genova, with its countless waterfalls, is often referred to as ‘the Versailles of the Alps’ to the crystal-clear springs of Vallesinella to the landscapes of the Cornisello Lakes at the foot of the Presanella (at 3,558m), to the "fiery" sunsets that can be seen reflecting off the Dolomites, Adamello Brenta is a natural gem not to be missed. The park offers an excellent network of trails for visitors to explore the valleys and climb (or take a cable car) to reach small mountain huts where they can taste delicious traditional dishes. A certified Geopark by UNESCO, visitors can also stop by the Visitor Centre at Carisolo in Val Rendena to learn about the area’s geological history. www.visittrentino.info/en/guide/nature/nature-parks/adamello-brenta-nature-park_md_2339

Harvest local herbs and learn how to use them

Ambiente Trentino is a company offering guided excursions for those interested in learning about Trentino’s flowers and herbs from botanical experts. The programme for this spring includes events based around Monte Baldo, a peak overlooking Lake Garda which is known as the Garden of Italy because of its exceptional biodiversity. On 19th May, an event called ‘From Harvesting to Cooking’ sees participants take a guided walk in search of edible herbs before spending the afternoon at a cooking workshop, learning how best to enhance the flavours of the herbs in cookery. This event costs €43 per person.

There is also a two-day programme running over the weekend of 8th – 9th June. On the first day, guests will meet up with a botanist from the Civic Museum of Rovereto and the following day, they will collect wild herbs and take them to a cosmetic laboratory where they’ll learn how to transform them into simple beauty products. This workshop costs €56 per person (excluding the overnight stay).

For more information on these and other events, see www.ambientetrentino.it/for-travellers-seeking-knowledge/

Enjoy a springtime picnic

In a perfect Trentino picnic basket, you cannot miss locally made cold meats like Speck or Luganega Trentina, or local cheeses like Casolet, Vezzena or the Primiero cheeses. As all Italians know, the bread is as important as the rest of the picnic ingredients. Visitors should opt for local craft bakers for the best quality bread and to finish choose a local sweet such as a strudel to be purchased from the same bakery. For a lighter dessert try the local fresh fruits such as the golden apples of Val di Non, or wild berries.

For a picnic with a lakeside view head to Lake Tenno to discover its medieval stairway, Lake Lavarone for beautiful meadows and woodland to explore on foot or by bike, Lake Molveno where you can source local cheeses and Paganella honey or try the Ruffrè Lakes in Val di Non to taste the breads from Dal Gran al Pan bakery in Sarnonico. www.visittrentino.info/en/articles/family-holidays/pic-nic-suggestions

Discover the outdoor artworks at Arte Sella

Arte Sella in Borgo Valsugana is recognised by the Grandi Giardini Italiani, the Association of Great Italian Gardens, as one of seven great ‘Art Parks’ in Italy. Since 1986, over 300 artists from around the world have created an open-air exhibition here, using only natural elements. Branches, leaves, stones, grass and tree trunks have been expertly worked into natural sculptures and works of art. Visitors can follow two different paths into the forest to view the exhibits, which change over time as the materials weather and as the paths transform with different colours and fragrances through the seasons. www.artesella.it