Trentino Alto Adige Vacations
Trentino Alto Adige situated on the northern Italian border, is one of Italy’s twenty administrative districts. Being one of the northern most regions, Trentino Alto Adige has borders with neighboring countries Austria and Switzerland. The region is best known for the rugged beauty of the mountainous zones located there.
The region is made up of two areas, Trentino and South Tyrol. Like other regions of Italy, Trentino Alto Adige has seen several changes of rulers throughout its history. This has left the region with a rich and diverse cultural and historical heritage. Stretching from the Adamello Brenta mountain range to the famous Dolomites in the Fassa Valley, Trentino Alto Adige has fascinating views and activities for the seeking tourist. Snow capped mountain ranges, deep woods, wide valleys with sparkling streams and numerous lakes await for the visitor who ventures to this northern region of Italy.
The region has developed to a major cutting edge tourist destination and any visitor will find that they do not lack for accommodation, facilities, activities or sights. The region is dotted with castles, alluding to the violent past, and seemingly every valley is guarded by one. Spa towns, world renowned ski slopes, fabulous Lake Garda and the stark Dolomites make Trentino Aldo Adige one of the favored destinations when vacationing around Europe.
General Information on Trentino Alto Adige
The region of Trentino Alto Adige is bordered to the north east and north by Austria; to the north west by Switzerland; the Italian region of Lombardy to the west and the Italian region of Veneto to the south and south east. Geographically, the region covers thirteen thousand six hundred and seven square kilometers. The terrain is extremely mountainous, with a large portion of the southern Alps and Dolomites found in the region. Trentino Alto Adige is also one of the fewer landlocked regions of Italy. The region is made up of South Tyrol, the area to the north and Trentino, located in the south.
Trentino is mostly mountainous terrain, with some seventy percent of the province at least one thousand meters above sea level. The forests in this province are vast and cover fifty percent of the land area. The climate tends to vary with the different types of terrain, from alpine to sub continental. Summers tend to be warm but variable and winters cold and snowy. The province is a popular winter destination for skiers and often visitied in summer to enjoy lakeshore frolics.
South Tyrol is located to the north of the region and has a land mass of seven thousand three hundred and ninety eight square kilometers. Almost all of the surface area of this province is mountainous and forested. Much of the terrain in this area stands well over three thousand feet above sea level.
The region has a population of a little over one million people. This population is spread nearly evenly between the two areas. Italian and German are the main languages spoken in the region and interestingly there are some minorities who speak their own languages, like Ladin, and Cimbrian. The region is a major exporter of hydro electric power as well as a burgeoning center for tourism and services. The region boasts the highest number of hotels per capita in Italy. This is due to the regions status as a hub for movement between northern Europe and central and southern Italy.
History of the Trentino Alto Adige
The region of Trentino Alto Adige has had a turbulent past and seen quite a few overlords throughout its history. The region was conquered by the Romans in 15BC and came under Roman rule till the end of the Western Roman Empire. Thereafter, the region came under control of invading Germanic tribes, notably the Lombards. When the Kingdom of Italy was created, part of the region was integrated into Italy, while the Duchy of Bavaria retained some of the land mass. From the 11th century onwards, the region was governed by a variety of rulers. First came the prince bishops of Trent and Brixen, then the Counts of Tyrol, then the Habsburgs. Then came Napoleon and Austria as rulers. The region was formally mapped as it stands today after the cessation of hostilities related to WWI.
Out and About in Trentino Alto Adige
The region is best known for the mighty and beautiful peaks that are found throughout the two provinces. The region has literally hundreds of miles of ski slopes, making it a major winter sport destination. Avid skiers will never be bored while challenging the various slopes available. Numerous ski resorts and spas cater to every whim of the tourist. The services sector in the region is highly developed, owing to the strategic location and visitors will not lack for any necessity. Being part of the old world, Trentino Aldo Adige offers history buff a diverse range of culture and history to discover. The region boasts loads of castles, fortifications, museums and ancient sites which mark the many conflicts for control of the region. Summer time activities include strolling, hiking and cycling through the many national parks or forests. Rock climbing in the fabulous Dolomites is also a big draw for tourists.
The most striking and well known natural feature in the region the Dolomites, are the very soul of the region. The Dolomites are a mountain range found in northern Italy, and are part of the Southern Limestone Alps. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009, the Dolomites Mountains are home to a number of national and regional parks. Le Corbusier, one of the most noted architects of the 1900s, defined them as the “most beautiful architectonic work in the world.”Indeed, the Dolomites offer up a magnificent panorama, mountains constructed with walls of rock, ice caps, karst systems, unbelievably high spires, towers and pinnacles, mountains molded and shaped by the elements, and where the cultures of Italy, Germany and the native Ladin community all meet and intertwine. The Dolomites take their name from the French geologist Dieudonné Dolomieu, who discovered the properties of the dolomite, a hard, chalky rock that is rich in the mineral dolomite, highly present in this mountain system. The rock evidently gives to the mountains a very distinct white cast,which is why they are also called the “Pale Mountains”, but the most particular tones arise every evening when the sun starts to set. At sunset the colors go from pinkish hues to fiery reds, the phenomenon referred to as Alpenglow. This entire process can be explained by the fact that up until two hundred and fifty million years ago, these mountains were a mass of shells, corals and algae under the sea. They emerged only seventy million years ago. It is this combination of circumstances that make these structures, rich in Mesozoic fossils, the amazing geological formations that they are. The name is derived from the carbonate rock dolomite from which they are mostly comprised. The Dolomites are world class winter and summer sport vacation destinations. Activities boasted in the area are skiing, cycling, hiking, mountain climbing, base jumping, paragliding and hang gliding. Free climbing is also a long tradition in the Dolomites. The Dolomites also feature historical sites, with Mount Pasubia and Strada delle 52 Gallierie, a military mule road during WWI and Altopiano di Asiago and Cala del Sasso which houses four thousand four hundred and forty four steps, the longest staircase in the world open to the public. Parks found in the Dolomites are Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park, Parco Natural Regionale Delle Dolomitit and Naturpark Sextener Dolomiten to name a few.
Things to See and Do in Trentino Aldo Adige
The region is host to a number of festivals which the eager tourist can view and even take part in. Some of these include:
- Bressanone– a food festival held in October, visitors can sample traditional dishes from the region.
- Castelrotto– A re-enactment of a peasant wedding, held in January yearly
- Cavalese– A mock trial of witches, held the first week in January.
- Cembra– a costume parade featuring music, games, donkey rides and fun! Heald in July yearly
- Folgaria– A folkore parade of the Brava Part held in August
- Lomaso– a celebration of the mountains, held in June
- Molina di Fiemme– the woodcutter festival, held in September
- Predazzo– a tour of the twelve oldest mountain farms, sampling local and traditional dishes. Held every year in August
- Riva del Garda– Night of the Fairy Tales, a night of folklore and storytelling, held in August yearly
- San Candido– an ice sculpture festival, features stunning ice pieces. Held in January yearly
- The Mirror of The Stars– A Trentino based fireworks competition, featuring competitors from around Europe. Taking place on the eleven lakes of Trentino in August.
In addition to these and many more, during the month of February, towns all over Trento celebrate Carnival. Most festivities include costumed parades and all sorts of local folklore, along with a lot of good food and harmless carousing. Visitors may also go to see Merano, the City of Flowers.
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