Here are 15 amazing places to visit in Trentino – an autonomous Northern Italian province that is off the beaten tourist track.
People in the know travel to Trentino in Italy for its unspoiled nature, delicious food, and historic towns and cities.
Compact in size, Trentino packs a lot of surprises. From deep valleys dotted with apple orchards to rugged mountains dotted with mighty castles, from hundreds of crystal-clear lakes to hundreds of must-see sights like thunderous waterfalls, art installations, and World War I forts, there is lots to see, explore, and marvel at in Trentino.
With its lush landscapes and always tempting you to see more, do more, and simply keep active, Trentino is a delight to get to know. It often gets overlooked by visitors to Italy eager to travel to the country’s most famous cities like Florence, Venice, and Rome. Yet Trentino has a lot to offer in terms of nature, history, food, and art.
I loved exploring Trentino during my six years of living in Italy. The days we spent hiking through Trentino’s forests, swimming in Trentino’s lakes, and sampling the delights of Trentino’s cuisine make for some of my most cherished Italian memories. After all, who can resist the local cheeses and cured meats?
In case you are wondering if Trentino is a good destination to add to your Italy travel plans, this blog post will help you decide. On this page, I share with you 15 amazing places to see in Trentino for yourself. In a province rich in hidden gems, there are many things to see and do. Believe me, it wasn’t easy to pick just 15 places to write about. Still, I chose the ones that really spoke to me and that I truly enjoyed visiting.
You will see that it’s quite an eclectic list. There are waterfalls, forests, art galleries, a science museum, and even a war fort on it. Yet, it is very representative of the sights and activities you can enjoy in Trentino, Italy. The strong points of this Italian province definitely are nature, history, and art. So, keep an open mind and you may be surprised by the breadth of wonderful things and amazing places you can see and enjoy here.
In addition to the information shared on this page, you can also have a look at these two blog posts:
- 10 Cities and Towns to Visit in Trentino, Italy (With Map, Photos, and Insider Tips)
- 8 Lakes in Trentino, Italy You Have to See for Yourself (With Map and Practical Tips)
At the end of this blog post, I have also included a map to give you a visual idea of the locations of the different places covered herewith. There is also a small section with some practical information and insider tips about travelling to and within Trentino, Italy.
I hope that this list of amazing places to visit in Trentino, Italy will give you lots of ideas for sights to see and things to do in this autonomous Northern Italian province.
So, have a look!
15 Amazing Places to Visit in Trentino – The Coolest Corner of Italy
1. Pale di San Martino in Trentino
Pale di San Martino is the largest massif in the Dolomites. The Dolomites are a famous mountain range in northeastern Italy. It’s comprised of nine mountain systems split between three Italian regions – Veneto, Trentino-Alto Adige, and Friuli Venezia Giulia.
You will find Pale di San Martino between eastern Trentino and Veneto. In English, it is also known as the Pala group. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this is an absolutely beautiful place that will appeal to lovers of nature and people seeking peace and quiet. And also to foodies for the local cuisine is a lovely mix of Austrian and Italian influences.
The jagged rocky peaks of Pale di San Martino feature in many iconic photos of Italy. Curiously enough, the peaks were once coral reefs at the bottom of a shallow sea! This would explain why they turn a lovely pink colour every day at sunset.
If you want to see one of the most beautiful corners of Trentino, head to Pale di San Martino. It’s a great place to visit in any season. In winter, several renowned ski resorts operate in the area. In summer, this is a place where cows quietly graze, the air is crystal clear, hiking paths for both newbies and experts are calling your name, and the local dairy farms and mountain huts serve freshly-prepared, zero-km food.
2. Paneveggio the Violins’ Forest in Val di Fiemme, Trentino
Paneveggio is a beautiful ancient forest populated by tall red spruce trees. The trees produce perfect tonewood which is particularly prized. Legend has it that fabled luthiers like Antonio Stradivari and Nicola Amati personally sourced the tonewood for their priceless violins from Paneveggio. Hence, it is also known as the Violin’s Forest.
Paneveggio is right next to Pale di San Martino. The bare peaks of the mountain tower over the green tops of the spruce trees. It’s a beautiful sight to see.
Together Pale di San Martino and Paneveggio form an important nature park – one of the oldest in Italy. Dotted with small lakes this is a place that has been attracting people with its beauty and pleasant climate since pre-historic times. Nowadays, it is a great destination to head to for a hike, a spot of relaxation, and to feel revitalised.
Among many wonderful things, here you can also see the deer looked after by a special programme that is working on reintroducing them to Paneveggio.
All in all, Paneveggio is a lovely place in Trentino. Visiting it is a chance to truly immerse yourself in nature. From hikes and zero kilometer food to history and sports, there is something for everyone here.
More Information: Paneveggio – Exploring the Violins’ Forest in the Dolomites, Italy
Official Website: Parco Naturale Paneveggio-Pale di San Martino
3. Buonconsiglio Castle in Trento in Trentino
There are places in the world where history was made and Buonconsiglio Castle in Trento is definitely one of them. This is an immense castle that was originally built in the 13th century and then it was enlarged several times. Most famously, this is where the Council of Trent was held in the 16th century.
Nowadays the Buonconsiglio Castle hosts impressive archaeological and art collections. Seeing all the paintings and artefacts housed in its spacious rooms with lavishly frescoed walls and ceilings is a task that can easily take you days. One of the castle’s unmissable highlights is the Torre dell’Aquila. The interior of this medieval tower is covered with one of the most famous fresco cycles in the world. Known as the Cycle of the Months, it depicts the rural activities that people engaged in throughout the year centuries ago.
Buonconsiglio Castle also has beautifully arranged gardens. Built on a slightly higher point than the rest of the city, the castle is a must-see in Trento – the capital of the autonomous province of Trentino.
Official Website: Castello del Buonconsiglio
4. MUSE in Trento in Trentino
MUSE is a fantastic Science Museum on the outskirts of Trento – the capital of Trentino. It has a wonderful collection spanning many geological eras, natural wonders, and scientific discoveries. It’s housed in a glass building with impressive architecture inspired by the outline of the Dolomites. It was designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano who is also the architect of the Gorges Pompidou Centre in Paris and The Shard in London.
Among many things, MUSE has a small glacier and a tropical greenhouse with two waterfalls. The greenhouse replicates one of the most fragile biodiversity centres in the world – the rainforest of the Udzungwa Mountains in Tanzania.
The best thing about MUSE though is that it introduces both children and adults to complex scientific concepts in the most fun and exciting way. If you are travelling with a child and want him or her to spend a truly memorable day in Trentino, head straight to MUSE.
Official Website: MUSE
5. Orrido di Ponte Alto Near Trento in Trentino
Orrido di Ponte Alto is a spectacular canyon with two 40-m tall waterfalls hurtling through it. You will find it right on the outskirts of Trento – the capital of Trentino, Italy. The canyon has been excavated over many thousands of years by the powerful and violent river Fersina.
Throughout the centuries, Fersina’s waters had flooded Trento several times. Then, in the 16th century, measures were taken to prevent future devastation. In 1537, an embankment was built there to capture the debris carried by Fersina. The embankment still exists today and as such is one the oldest hydraulic works in the world. In 1882, a second dyke was erected. The presence of the two embankments led to the creation of the two impressive waterfalls.
The canyon (or orrido in Italian) can only be visited as part of a guided tour. It is a spectacular experience as the guide takes you along the canyon and behind one of the waterfalls (click here to see a video). The water falls with tremendous force and thunder and the rocky face of the canyon is in the most incredible shades of pink and red.
Its name Ponte Alto (High Bridge), the canyon owes to the ancient Roman bridge built above it. It’s still in use today.
Official Website: Orrido di Ponte Alto
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6. Il Respiro degli Alberi in Lavarone, Trentino
Il Respiro degli Alberi is a thematic hiking path through a lush forest. Contemporary art pieces and installations by international artists are dotted along the path and in the small clearings just off it. As you follow the path through the forest a friendly competition soon presents itself; who is going to spot the next work of art first.
The name of Il Respiro degli Alberi means The Breath of the Trees in English. It’s very poetic! Seeing the art installations in the context of the forest certainly adds something quite magical to them and amplifies the message of the artists.
Il Respiro degli Alberi is a truly wonderful place in Trentino. The path is easy to navigate for hikers of all ages and the views that open over the surrounding mountains and Lake Caldonazzo are stunning!
When we visited Il Respiro degli Alberi, a young violinist was shooting a video next to one of the largest art installations. The combination of music, forest, and art was truly lovely.
Official Website: Il Respiro degli Alberi
7. Forte Belvedere in Lavarone, Trentino
Forte Belvedere is a former Austrian military fort. Built between 1908 and 1912, it stands at a height of 1177 m. Its monolithic building is perched on the edge of a limestone spur and overlooks the deep valley of the River Astico in Trentino, Italy. At the time, this was the border between the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy.
The fort was used during the First World War and it nowadays functions as a museum. Its grey building seems to grow from the edge of the mountain. Inside, the walls are cold and wet. Long corridors connect small rooms. It’s like a maze. Exploring the fort you start to get a feeling of how difficult it must have been to live inside this stronghold always ready for a possible attack or more devastating war news.
Forte Belvedere is a very interesting place to see. In this part of Italy there are many forts from the First World War. Visiting one or a few of them is always a sobering experience.
To reach Forte Belvedere, we parked in the small car park at the bottom of the hill and followed the paved road uphill through the forest. The walk was beautiful and the views that opened over the nearby mountain tops and the deep valley below were simply breathtaking.
Official Website: Forte Belvedere
8. Canale’ di Tenno near Lake Tenno in Trentino
Canale’ di Tenno is a small medieval hamlet of stone houses and narrow cobbled streets. You will find it halfway between Lake Garda and the Alps and half an hour away on foot from the turquoise Lake Tenno. This small village is officially recognised as one of the most beautiful in Italy. It stands at an elevation of 600 m and it dates back to at least the early 13th century.
Canale’ di Tenno preserves its original architecture. Cars are not allowed in the village. And, anyway, they wouldn’t be able to navigate the narrow and curving cobbled streets. So, you have to park on the outskirts and then follow the path through the copse of trees to the tall stone houses of the village.
Many artists and artisans either live in Canale’ di Tenno or visit for creative workshops. The local Casa degli Artists (House of the Artists) is where painters, sculptors, and other creators from all over Italy and Europe take residences throughout the year.
Several festivals and a lively traditional Christmas market are held each year here, too. If you want to feel transported centuries back in time to a place where nature, history, and art meet, then make sure that you put Canale’ di Tenno on your Trentino must-see list.
9. Archaeological Site on Mount San Martino near Lake Tenno in Trentino
The archaeological site on Mount San Martino stands at a height of 800 m above sea level. You will find it in the mountains between the turquoise Lake Tenno and the elegant Riva del Garda which is the second-largest town on Italy’s largest lake – Lago di Garda.
Its setting is very picturesque and it opens up splendid views over the plains of Upper Garda. Due to the site’s strategic position and in the past, good communication links with the surrounding lands, various settlements were built here throughout the centuries.
Vestiges from the Iron Age, Roman times, and the Middle Ages have been discovered. A Roman sanctuary flourished here between the 1st century BC and the 3rd-4th century AD. In the 8th-9th centuries, a church was built here, too. It remained functional until 1750.
The archaeological site on Mount San Martino is very well organised, with lots of large billboards providing extensive information about the digs and the findings. When we visited, there was absolutely nobody around. It felt really nice being up there among the ruins, admiring the stunning views. This is a great place, especially if you love hiking, history, and hidden corners.
Official Website: ArcheoSanMartino
10. Depero’s Futurist Art House in Rovereto, Trentino
Fortunato Depero’ (1892-1960) was a futurist painter, writer, sculptor, and graphic designer. He grew in the city of Rovereto – one of the largest in Trentino, Italy – and he bequeathed to it an incredible art collection counting over 3,000 pieces.
You can see a large selection of Depero’s works of art in his Futurist Art House in Rovereto. He was quite the visionary and his designs wouldn’t look out of a marketing campaign today. During his life, he spent long periods of time in both Rome and New York. In his last years, he returned to Rovereto. I found Depero’s art very impactful. Plus, as it turns out, he designed the tiny glass bottle of Campari Soda – a delicious Italian drink that I am fond of.
Nowadays, his Futurist Art House is the only museum in Italy dedicated to the Futurist movement. It is also one of the permanent venues of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto (MART). The main building of MART is a short distance away from Depero’s Futurist Art House and it’s more than worth a visit when you are in Rovereto.
Official Website: Casa d’Arte Futurista Depero
11. Maria Dolens – The Bell of the Fallen in Rovereto, Trentino
Maria Dolens (in English, Mary of Sorrows) is the name given to a huge bell that stands on top of Colle di Miravale. This is a small hill with panoramic views of the city of Rovereto in Trentino, Italy. At a height of 3,36 m and at a weight of almost 23 tonnes, this is the largest bell in the world that rings full peal.
Known also as the Bell of the Fallen, it was cast in 1924 from bronze from cannons that had been used during the First World War. Every evening, in a special ceremony the bell tolls one hundred times to honour the fallen in all wars all around the globe.
The Bell of the Fallen is in a specially landscaped park. An alley flanked by the flags of the different countries in the world leads to a small square where the bell stands. On each side of the bell, there is a small tribune for the people attending the evening ceremony.
Official Website: Fondazione Opera Campana dei Caduti
12. Varone Waterfall in Riva del Garda in Trentino
The Varone Waterfall is on the outskirts of the elegant Riva del Garda – the second-largest town on the shores of Italy’s Lake Garda. The waterfall was one of the first sights of natural beauty that we visited after moving to live in Italy back in 2014. It left a big impression on me, especially as I glimpsed what is supposed to be a ghost-like apparition of a black horse!
Varone is a waterfall in a cave. In other words – a mass of water that falls with great thunder through a 98-m high canyon. You start your visit by walking inside the Lower Cave. A sinuous boardwalk is affixed to the rough rocky walls. Tiny droplets mist up the air. If you stand close to the railings, the water splatters you. For added effect, coloured lights tinge the constant stream in different shades.
The next stage of the experience is to walk up to the Upper Cave. A wide paved path snakes up the face of the hill taking you higher and higher above the valley below. Tall rugged mountains line up the horizon. The blue waters of Italy’s largest lake – Lago di Garda – glisten in the sun. The stunning views are complemented by the dozens of flowers, shrubs, and trees that have been planted along the path. It’s a veritable botanical garden!
At the end of the path is the much smaller Upper Cave. Inside it, there is a small platform. Standing on it, you can watch the waterfall thunder through the mountain. A local legend talks about a black horse that seems to surge forward from the waterfall. It sounds mad but just as my eyes adjusted from the bright light outside to the eternally dim atmosphere of the cave, I saw the well-defined head of a black horse appear in the sheet of water and rush towards me. Call it an optical illusion, if you like. I didn’t stop to have a good look or think it through. I just ran outside back to the light.
All in all, a great experience! Must-do in Trentino!
Official Website: Cascata del Varone
13. Marmitte dei Giganti near Nago-Torbole in Trentino
The Marmitte dei Giganti is a series of enormous wells formed during the melting of the glacier which created Italy’s largest lake – Lago di Garda. Their name in Italian means literally ‘the cooking pots of the giants’ and when you see them you understand how fitting it is. Basically, as a powerful glacier over 1,000 m high slid down the mountains, deep crevasses formed inside it. The waters from the melting of the glacier rushed through the crevasses as powerful waterfalls. They hit the rocks underneath causing a strong swirling of pebbles and stones. This eroded the soft limestone rocks and created the steep cavities of the potholes.
The potholes have a diameter of four to five meters and are about ten to 12 m deep. In the 4th and the 3rd millennium BC, pre-historic tribes took refuge in them. Arrowheads and fragments of ceramics have been discovered in Marmitte dei Giganti from that period.
An easy to visit group of potholes is right next to the panoramic road leading from the town of Torbole on the shores of Lake Garda up to the town of Nago in the hills above the lake. There is a small car park just off the road. It’s a great place to stop for a moment as it opens fantastic views over the northern extremity of Lake Garda and the River Sarca which flows into it.
Next, you need to walk a short distance on the side of the busy road to reach the start of the path leading down to the Marmitte dei Giganti. Please, exercise utmost caution as the traffic is heavy at all hours of the day. A short path leads down the slope to a small secluded clearing – the bottom of one of the pots. You will notice that there is a tunnel cut into the rocks and you can enter and walk a short distance through it. Apparently, the tunnel was used by the army during the First World War. Bear in mind that it’s very dark and even quite cold inside. I didn’t enjoy being in the tunnel, so was quick to walk out again almost immediately.
14. Maso Eden in Cavedine in Trentino
Maso Eden is a farm in the beautiful Valley of the Lakes in Trentino. It raises llamas and alpacas. It also organises hikes in the company of these beautiful animals.
I loved the hike we did as a family with a guide from Maso Eden. In the company of the alpacas Bruce and Adam, we walked through the nearby forests. It was a gentle, slow walk allowing us to get in touch with nature and adapt our rhythm to that of the animals.
While llamas and alpacas are not endemic to Trentino, hiking in their company is one of my most cherished memories of this beautiful corner of Italy. I was especially taken with the dogs that guard the herd of llamas and alpacas of Maso Eden. Of the Italian breed Maremmano-Abbruzzese, they were large, white, fluffy, and apparently able to protect their charges even from bears.
15. Rifugio Capanna Passo Valles near Predazzo in Trentino
In English, the Italian word rifugio means mountain hut. Italian mountains are dotted with rifugi providing simple accommodation and delicious food to hikers, day-trippers, and serious mountaineers. The Italians love being active and being close to nature. It is a big part of their culture, especially in Trentino. For this reason, I really wanted to include a rifugio on this list of amazing places to visit here.
While they are called huts in English, a rifugio in Italy in general and Trentino, in particular, can be anything from a small establishment with just the basic amenities to large and comfortable rustic hotels with a spacious restaurant serving excellent local dishes. You will find them all around the mountains here and they have quite the cult status among hikers and people seeking peace and quiet.
One such rifugio is Capanna Passo Valles. You will find it near the village of Predazzo in Val di Fiemme at a height of 2,032 m. The rifugio is right on the border between Trentino and Veneto. In fact, nearby you can see a stone that was placed there back in 1791 to mark the border between the then Austrian Empire and the Republic of Venice.
Capanna Passo Valles is a great place to visit in order to experience the magic of Italian mountain huts. It offers accommodation, excellent local dishes, and it’s a great starting point for many hikes and activities in this part of Trentino.
We had a fabulous dinner in the restaurant of this rifugio. When we asked the owner how they make the delicious goulash we had enjoyed there, he replied: ‘A good cut of meat and five hours on the stove!’.
Map of 15 Amazing Places to Visit in Trentino – The Coolest Corner of Italy
Discover 15 amazing places to visit in Trentino, Italy. Click on each pin on the map for local accommodation options.
Practical Information about Visiting Trentino in Italy
1. Where is Trentino, Italy?
Trentino is an autonomous province in northern Italy. It borders the regions of Lombardy to the west and Veneto to the south. To the north, it borders the autonomous Italian province of South Tyrol (known as Alto Adige in Italian). Together Trentino and Alto Adige form the Italian region of Trentino-Alto Adige.
2. How to travel to Trentino, Italy?
You can easily reach Trentino from Veneto, Lombardy, and Alto Adige. There are good road connections between the main cities here. In general, the road network in Trentino is well developed and maintained.
You can also use trains and buses. For example, there is a direct train from Verona in the Veneto to Trentino’s capital city – Trento. The same train line also connects Verona to the town of Ala and the city of Rovereto in Trentino.
In terms of major airports in Northern Italy, Verona Airport is very convenient for Trentino. For more details, please, have a look at this blog post:
3. When is the best time to visit Trentino, Italy?
Trentino in Italy is a great year-round destination. In summer, people flock here to hike, be close to nature, and relax. With its lush forests, mountainous landscapes, and fresh air Trentino is a great place to be while the rest of Italy is scorching hot. In winter, skiing, snowboarding and other snow sports are the order of the day here.
4. Where to stay in Trentino, Italy?
You can find all sorts and types of accommodation in Trentino, Italy to suit every budget. From five-star hotels to budget camping sites, there is something for everyone. Apart from the traditional hotels and B&B’s, here you can also stay in a mountain hut, a spa resort or a rustic house for a one-in-a-lifetime experience.
For ideas about the types of accommodation available in Trentino in particular and Italy in general, have a look at this blog post:
This map gives you a quick visual idea of the price ranges of the many hotels and other forms of accommodation you can book for your stay in Trentino in Italy. You can zoom in and out in order to search for a place to stay. You can also click on the option that interests you to find out more details or to make a booking.
If you click on ‘Accommodation’ in the top right corner and select ‘Experiences’ from the drop-down menu, then you can see some truly exciting experiences you can book directly:
5. What are the best cities and towns to visit in Trentino, Italy?
Trentino is small in size, yet it’s dotted with some of the most beautiful cities and towns in Italy. There is lots to see here! For an introduction to the best cities and towns to visit in Trentino, Italy, please, have a look at this blog post:
Trentino is an autonomous province in the north of Italy. It’s a place rich in must-see landmarks and it has deep layers of history. It is also blessed with beautiful nature and offers countless options to practice sports or relax in peace and quiet.
At the same time, Trentino remains off the beaten tourist track. So, it is a great place to visit if you want to escape the crowds that otherwise besiege Italy’s most famous destinations.
If Trentino sounds appealing but you don’t know what to see here, this blog post gives you many helpful pointers. It lists 15 amazing places to visit in Trentino, Italy. They cover a wide range of activities and interests – from history and hiking to local traditions and even contemporary art. There is even an alpaca farm included in this list!
All this is coupled with a shortlist of practical tips aiming to make your planning a trip to Trentino as easy as possible.
I hope that this blog post has given you lots of ideas for places to see in Trentino, Italy.
Enjoy your visit!
More Helpful Trentino Info for You
More Helpful Italy Info for You
Day Trips in Italy: Bologna to Venice, Milan to Verona, Venice to Verona, Milan to Venice, Florence to Venice, Verona to Venice, Venice to Padua
Best of Italy: Italian Piazzas, Italian Food, Italian Markets, Italian Coffee Culture
Northern Italy: 18 Best Cities to Visit
Lake Garda: Best Towns, Nearest Airports, Travel Options, Lake Garda with Kids
Lake Como: Things to See, Nesso
Veneto: Best Cities to Visit, Top 15 Places, 30 Adventures, 15 Most Colourful Places
Friuli Venezia Giulia: Venzone, Most Beautiful Villages
Emilia Romagna: Bologna, Ravenna, Comacchio, Most Beautiful Villages
Marche: 6 Reasons to Visit, Gradara, Frasassi Caves, Temple of Valadier
Venice: Essential Tips, Hidden Gems, Best Airports, Boats in Venice, Haunted Venice, Day Trips from Venice, Arco del Paradiso
Verona: Things to Do in One Day, Verona Opera Festival, Day Trips from Verona
Padua: Things to Do in One Day, 101 Facts About Padua, 10 Reasons to Visit Padua, Day Trips from Padua
Vicenza: Things to Do, Day Trips from Vicenza
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