Viaggio in Italia: Trentino - Alto Adige

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Tour of Trentino - Alto Adige Craftsmanship

Artemest is proud to present the eighth stop in its ultimate insider’s guide to Italy: Trentino - Alto Adige. Draped across the majestic Alps, the country's northernmost region, encloses a unique blend of cultures resulting from the collision between Italian land, Austria and Switzerland. Explore Trentino - Alto Adige to discover a carrousel of verdant hillsides, majestic snow-capped mountains and enchanting valleys and hamlets.

Trentino Alto-Adige - also known as South Tyrol - is a marvelous region hidden amid the majestic peaks and valleys of the Italian Alps. The region finds its essence in an eclectic mix of cultures: Italian, German, Austrian and Ladin influences intertwine, steeping these lands with a stunning variety of cuisine, craftsmanship, history and traditions.

This is the place where alpine traditions meet the Italian lifestyle in a stunning land of natural wonders, sumptuous castles, mirror-still lakes and delightful hamlets surrounded by the Dolomites. Picturesque and romantic, this region is also the cradle of a strong Italian tradition of craftsmanship. Here woodcarving is a true art, handed over generations thanks to the region’s geographic characteristics and many other traditions makes Trentino Alto-Adige a sparkling gem of Italy.

Illustration by Francesca Consonni
Illustration by Francesca Consonni

Trento and Surroundings

With its stunning blend of natural treasures, culture and traditions, the area around the city of Trento is called Trentino. House of some of the most beautiful mountains of the country, this part of the region is dotted with Dolomites – UNESCO World Heritage Sites – and characterized by stunning natural landscapes of unmatched beauty. Trento is one of the biggest art cities of the region: surrounded by massive mountains and unspoiled nature, it is the cradle of the local culture and represent a must-visit destination for history and art lovers. The city heart is in Piazza Duomo, where the beautiful Fountain of Neptune stands surrounded by frescoed historical buildings, dating back to the Reinassance. At a stone’s throw away from the historical city center is the elegant Castello del Buonconsiglio, a fortified castle that once was home to the bishops of Trento and today is the place where local arts are exposed. A symbol of the local craftsmanship tradition is the working of copper: just at the city gate Navarini Rame is the family’s museum-workshop where the local artisans follow traditional techniques passed down generations to create stunning metal artworks, evoking a nostalgic and rustic charm.

​Part of the natural heritage of Trentino, Val di Non is renowned for its stunning landscapes, scattered with apple orchards that delight the eyes during the blossom season. Here in the valley are nestled beautiful examples of Italian history, such as the elegant Thun Castle with its 16th century original furniture and artworks, or the breath-taking San Romedio Sanctuary. Small hamlets rich in history and charm follow one another, characterized by frescoed buildings, churches amidst the meadows and spectacular lodges, and carrying on a long tradition of craftsmanship. Based in San Michele all’Adige, Arg Design is a small family run business that has designed and manufactured eco-conscious wood furniture since 1991, selecting local and ecological materials. On your way to Val di Fassa - the most famous destination in sustainable tourism – stop at Rotaliana’s shop to discover the latest trends in lighting design.

Sunset on Brenta Dolomites
Sunset on Brenta Dolomites

The Natural Park of Brenta Dolomites is one of the most important destinations to admire the beauty of unspoiled nature and enjoy the healing power of thermal waters. This area is rich with farmers’ villages and Rango is one of the most beautiful medieval hamlets of Italy, where traditional rural activities are still practiced today. With this spirit of heritage and preservation, many artisans work in these lands, carrying on old techniques and authentic technical and aesthetic principles. Simone Pedretti is a young artisan coming from a family of artists in the stone processing who works with petrified wood, an extremely rare material dating back to the Jurassic period. Gyform is a family brand born in 1950s in the heart of Val Rendena that today stands out of their advanced technology and eco-friendly techniques in furniture making.

Discover Trentino Alto-Adige Craftsmanship

From Brenta Dolomites, continue your journey to the southern extremity of South Tyrol and reach Lake Garda. Here on its shores lies Riva del Garda, one of the most popular places in the warm months of the year, where the azure of the water and the green of the Mediterranean vegetation combine to create a natural artwork. The town is an open-air gymnasium, with trekking routes and picturesque views on the lake and the mountains. After your tour of the historic center, reach Arco, a small hamlet where the Austrian domination has left its distinctive mark, in the gardens and the well-designed art nouveau palaces. Surrounded by these historical beauties, Vetrogiardini workshop is a place where glass is worked with unparalleled technical skills and inventiveness. In Ledro, Alessandro Pellegrini work as a master artisan, artist and carpenter to design amazing pieces in wood and metal characterized by incisions applied on reflective materials.

Bolzano and Surroundings

Bolzano is South Tyrol’s capital city and boast an impressive artistic and cultural scene. The historic old town is characterized by a unique look, with arches and antique details that make it a true jewel. Surrounded by the mountains, the city has its history in its architectural heritage: the Runkelstein Castle was built in 1237 and houses many ancient frescoes, evidence of a rich past. Here in Vetroricerca Studio you can find Gülden Demir, a young glassmaker and artist, renowned for her iconic sculptures and specialized in kiln forming and glass fusing techniques.

Sunken Church in Reschensee Lake
Sunken Church in Reschensee Lake

​Move on the way to Lana to discover the secrets of South Tyrolean craftsmanship. This area is famous for the small workshops flocking in its historical center: jewelers, florists, sculptors, carpenters and wood carvers create a surprising artistic atmosphere all around the town. An example of this art ensemble is Natalis – Emozioni d’Arte, a family company with more than thirty years of experience that design amazing masterpieces using excellent quality wood and precious gems and combining the art of jewelry making with wood working. At a stone’s throw from Lana, Merano is a small city, elegant and full of life. Colorful and appreciated for its green spaces, the city heart boasts a multitude of magnificent buildings, dating back to the Belle Èpoque.

In Trentino Alto-Adige, beautiful small hamlets are immersed in the unspoiled nature and the westernmost part of the region is the most genuine example of this. Val Venosta is the sunniest valley in the Alps and is at the foot of “King” Ortler, the highest mountain of South Tyrol. Here you can explore rich cultural and artistic treasures, surrounded by dramatic landscapes. One of the most curious attractions of this region is no doubt Reschensee Lake. Its water guards the secret of a famous sunken church surrounded by castles and forts in the wide and sun-spoiled valley.

Bressanone has always been a town of great importance as a bishop’s seat. Even today you can notice many sacred structures and symbols all around it. The main character of Bressanone is in the heart of the town, the Cathedral with its Cloister is an example of the local’s mastery in wood and marble working. Helmut Santifaller celebrates the art of wood carving, as a consistent part in Val Gardena craftsmanship tradition. At his workshop an experienced carver decorates furniture and home accessories by hand creating original artworks. All the towns here seem to come from a past, with historical buildings and landmarks, and provide a vivid picture of Middle Ages

South Tyrol is not only history and charm. Brunico is the city of sport, where the connection between tradition and modernity is particularly evident in architecture, crafts and gastronomy. As many of the region’s towns, it is dominated by mountains and in particular here Kronplatz Mountain houses the Messner Museum Corones, designed by the star architect Zaha Hadid to offer a fascinating view on the surrounding natural landscape. This is a land where manufacturers have a long tradition, from the antique art of wool processing to the most innovative production techniques. Lebrìc by Antico Trentino breathes new life into the birccole – wooden poles that are historic symbols of Venice and its lagoon – combining the mastery of South Tyrolean artisans with the Venetian artistic heritage.

Center of Brunico
Center of Brunico
Messner Museum Corones by Zaha Hadid
Messner Museum Corones by Zaha Hadid

​Close your itinerary with one of the greatest natural treasures of the region: Three Peaks Nature Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Mountain is situated in the north-eastern corner of the Dolomites and is framed by three different valleys. The nature park offers stunning landscapes on the peaks that are visited by Alpine climbers from all over the world.

Three Peaks Nature Park
Three Peaks Nature Park

​Explore some of the best destinations and lodges in Trentino-Alto Adige and add a touch of authentic Italian style to your travels. From north to south you can find charming hotels in the heart of warm hamlets, beautiful resorts and magical retreats surrounded by majestic mountains.

Our Destinations Around Trentino - Alto Adige

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