Hiking in the woods, camping by the lakes, walking among the apple orchards: choose Val Di Non! Here are our tips for a mountain holiday.
Among the hidden gems dotting the Italian peninsula, there is no shortage of mountain resorts. Val Di Non, one of the many valleys enclosed in the Trentino Alto Adige region, is the ideal destination for those dreaming of a trip to discover unique natural beauty.
Thanks to its breathtaking landscapes, numerous places of historical and cultural interest, the charm of its lakes and trekking routes suitable for young and old, this mountain pearl is perfect for a family holiday. Want to know all the must-see stops? Discover them with this article!
Val Di Non, the Apple Valley
Those who believe that an apple a day keeps the doctor away will find their dream place in the Val Di Non. The valley slopes are distinguished by their numerous apple orchards. A spectacle for the eyes, but also a joy for the palate: the apples cultivated in these areas are a delicacy that has already won over many visitors. They are in fact PDO and PGI certified products.
During spring you can admire the apple orchards in blossom, the perfect setting for a romantic walk: April is the ideal month to enjoy this wonderful view! But the summer months are no less: during the hottest season the flowers are replaced by small fruits, which colour the plants and give them a cheerful appearance. Apple time is between September and October: the excellent fruits of the trees are ready to be picked and savoured.
Trips to the lakes
Have you chosen to visit Val Di Non during the warm season? If so, a visit to the lakes is a must. The panorama reflected in the water, the clean air and the beauty of the surroundings to explore make these destinations perfect for adventurers of all ages.
There are five lakes in Val Di Non that can be reached on foot: each offers something unique to discover! You can venture on the gully walk of Lago Smeraldo, discover the little island that towers above Lago di Tret or take a complete tour of Lago di Tovel. You can also relax at the Laghetti di Ruffrè or reach the two lakes of Coredo and Tavon along the Viale dei Sogni (Dream Avenue).
San Romedio’s Sanctuary
If the two lakes of Coredo and Tavon are part of your itinerary, you cannot miss a visit to San Romedio’s Sanctuary. This little hidden gem can be counted in its own right among the most characteristic sanctuaries in all of Europe. In fact, it stands against a limestone cliff face, which forms its picturesque backdrop.
The five churches that make up the sanctuary were built from the year 1000 onwards over a period of 900 years. Today they are joined together by a spectacular flight of 130 steps. They are guarded by two friars of the Order of St Francis of Assisi, but they are not the only guests in the sanctuary.
Since 2013, Bruno, the bear, has also lived at the sanctuary: an animal that has always been part of the iconography associated with St. Romedius, the bear is a permanent presence at the sanctuary. Since 1955, in fact, specimens that cannot be released because of their particular backgrounds have been taken in here, one at the time. The first was Charlie, rescued from a circus by Count Gian Giacomo Gallarati Scotti.
A visit to Thun Castle
Speaking of mountainous areas, we should not be surprised by the large number of fortresses and strongholds present. But Val Di Non still manages to amaze us: one of the areas in Europe with the highest concentration of castles, some of which are still inhabited today. All you have to do is let your gaze wander along the slopes to immediately spot one of these ancient dwellings, which particularly characterise this corner of Trentino Alto Adige.
Thun Castle is certainly the most famous. Originally called Castel Belvesino, today it bears the name of the family it housed, one of the most powerful and illustrious families of the Trentino nobility that ruled the valley for centuries. Built in the mid-13th century in Ton, in the province of Trento, the castle still houses the original 16th century furnishings, as well as art collections, a picture gallery and library.
Discovering Val Di Non’s local products
Visiting a region also means discovering its flavours. And Val Di Non, besides the already mentioned apples, has much to offer! The typical local products give rise to many excellent recipes, capable of making your stay even more enjoyable.
The particularity of Val Di Non makes it the ideal place for growing potatoes: this is how tortei de patate (potato cakes) come to life, a dish of the local “cucina povera” (poor cuisine) that has nothing to envy from more elaborate dishes. And if you appreciate this kind of product, you cannot miss the potato and pottery festival held in Sfruz at the end of August.
Canederli (dumplings) also come from the peasant tradition: born as a stratagem not to waste stale bread, today they can be enjoyed in many delicious variations, with butter and parmesan cheese or in broth. Those who love cured meats, on the other hand, should try the mortandela, which stands out for its smoky flavour and rounded shape.
And to end on a high note, how could one miss apple strudel? The very popular dessert, here prepared with ingredients “freshly picked from the tree”, will conquer your palate.
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