“Vacation in Italy:” With these words, classic images come to mind of ancient city ruins, handmade pasta, roads lined with cypress trees, stylish Italians, Rome, Venice, Florence…But as iconic as these Italian destinations are, in our age of easy travel they’ve become—newsflash—completely overrun with tourists. There are endless places to visit that are authentically Italian, so why torture yourself with hordes blocking your view of the David? Whether you’ve already hit the traditional Italian tourist spots or you’d like to tack on a unique destination at the end of your Italy tour, Trentino should be on your list.
Trentino, a mountainous region in the northeastern corner of Italy, has postcard-perfect Alpine views, activities for the nature lover and wellness enthusiast, and sparkling wines that are at the height of Italian excellence. There is something extraordinary for travelers to enjoy year-round:
FOR THE NATURE LOVER
Trentino is made up of a stunning variety of landscapes, from Lake Garda in the south to the Dolomites, UNESCO World Heritage mountains, in the north. Hiking the Passo San Pellegrino or Val Canali, world class skiing at Madonna di Campiglio and Sellaronda, sailing and windsurfing, and the beautiful vistas that surround you are a vacation to the body and soul.
FOR THE FINE WINE LOVER
Trentino is home to one of the best-kept secrets of the wine world: Trentodoc sparkling wines. Made using exclusively the champenoise method, they were one of the world’s first recognized “Metodo Classico” wines. The majority of the grapes (the same as Champagne: Chardonnay, Pinot Nero, Pinot Bianco, and Pinot Meunier) are cultivated at high elevations, which influences the ripening and acidity and makes for elegant wines with great ageability. With less than 10% of Trentino dedicated to vineyards, efforts are concentrated on producing higher quality rather than increasing quantity. A hidden gem, Trentodoc can be found for very approachable prices for good quality (around $20-50).
FOR THE FOODIE
Italy has a handful of famous dishes we know and love, but their cuisine is largely regional. If you’re a foodie—whether adventurous or curious—you’ll find dishes here you won’t see anywhere else: Canederli (bread dumplings with speck served in soup), polenta smalzada alla trentina, Alpine cheeses, the smoked and dry-cured pork called speck, and gnocchi alla trentina are a few local examples. Trentino also has six Michelin-starred restaurants.
FOR THE HIGH ALTITUDE WELLNESS SEEKER
Relaxation will seep deep into your bones at the spas and thermal springs of Trentino, breathing in mountain air and the meditative silence of nature. Here, aufguss is popular—a steam-based purification ritual with essential oils performed by an aufgussmeister, or steam master. Some sauna options are Malga Millegrobbe Wellness Center in Cimbra, QC Terme in Fassa Valley, or Valmalene in the Sugana Valley.
WINES TO TRY
If you cannot make it to Trentino in the near future, do not worry, you can transport yourself via a wine glass. Two must try sparkling wines are Maso Martis and Cantina D’Isera.
The Maso Martis Dosaggio Zero Riserva is pale yellow with an intense bouquet of almond and hazelnut. It is beautifully crisp with nice acidity and a soft finish. It is great with all dishes. It goes well with dishes based on fish or shellfish. Also good with cured meats and cheeses.
Cantina d’Isera Brut is produced from the most prestigious Chardonnay grapes grown on the hills of Isera. It is a wine that is clean and crisp with mineral aromas and candied fruit. This is a sparkler that can we savored as an aperitif, accompanied by Grana Trentino cheese. It is also a perfect accompaniment to a whole meal.