A week in Trentino is definitely not enough to uncover all the beauty of this region of Northern Italy. I have been there multiple times, both in the summer and in the winter, and I am hardly done with it. Each time I visit a different place, a different valley, and marvel at the incredible landscapes.
Trentino is a place of gorgeous mountains, home of the Dolomites. It’s a place of charming cities and gorgeous small villages. It’s a land of lakes. It’s a region where you’ll be able to challenge yourself with all sorts of adventure sports and then relax completely at some of the best spas in the country.
In Trentino, you will find delicious food, fabulous wines, excellent liquors. Locals will welcome you and your loved ones (including your pet!) with a smile on their face.
If you are planning a trip to Trentino, you should restrict yourself to just a couple of valleys and explore those in depth, rather than trying to cover too much in one go. Trentino deserves slow travel! I can assure you that you will love it so much that you will end up wanting to go there again and again – much like what happened to me.
In this post, I have put together an itinerary for a week in Trentino. If you are pressed for time, you could probably do it in less time – but you may have to skip a place or two. The itinerary starts in Trento, the main city of Trentino, and ends in Primiero Valley, one of the most scenic ones of the region.
For each stop, you will find a set of places to visit and things to do as well as recommendations on where to stay and eat. At the end of the post, you will also get practical tips on how to organize your trip to Trentino.
Continue reading to discover your itinerary for a week in Trentino.
Are you still not convinced that Trentino is the place for you? Head over to my post “Ten Reasons To Visit Trentino In The Summer.”
A Day By Day Itinerary For A Summer Week In Trentino
Days 1 and 2 – Trento
If you are planning to spend a week in Trentino, Trento should be your starting point. The main city in Trentino, Trento is often overlooked by people who visit the region as they usually head straight to the beautiful mountains or the scenic lakes. I say they are missing out and I wholeheartedly recommend spending at least a couple of days in the city to enjoy all that it has to offer!
Trento is a great combination of interesting sights and excellent museums; relaxed atmosphere and fantastic dining opportunities – not to mention, it’s a very good starting point to explore the rest of the region.
The following is a selection of the things to see and do in Trento. Check out The Crowded Planet’s post “18 Unmissable Things To Do In Trento” for even more inspiration.
If you want to make the most of the city, you can even join a guided tour. Book it here.
Unmissable sights in Trento
If you visit Trento, you simply can’t skip the Duomo. San Virgilio Cathedral’s construction was started in 1212. This is a Romanesque-style church located in the heart of the city, in a very airy square where locals and tourists alike love hanging out.
The Cathedral is very famous for having been the place where the decrees of the Council of Trento were issued between 1545 and 1563, in response to the Protestant Reformation.
Castello del Buonconsiglio
Probably the most famous place to visit in Trento, Castello del Buonconsiglio is located in the heart of the city. It used to be the residence of the local royal family between the 13th and the 18th century. It now hosts a variety of exhibits.
MART – Modern Art Museum
If you are a lover of modern art, MART is the place to go. It’s actually located in Rovereto, an easy 15 minutes train ride from Trento Piazza Duomo station. MART is a huge museum that combines a very beautiful, state of the art structure, and an incredible exhibit of modern and contemporary art of both Italian and foreign artists.
Cable Car to Sardagna
For breathtaking views of Trento, make sure to ride the cable car to Sardagna. The ride lasts only a few minutes and once at the top (at around 600 meters above sea level) you’ll have beautiful views of Trento and the surrounding mountains.
TIP: Riding the cable car is free if you have the Trentino Guest Card (more about it below).
TIP: For an even better experience, go to Sardogna for sunset!
On a clear day, take the cable car and climb up to Sardogna for a full view of Trento and the Bondone mountain up close.
Orrido di Ponte Alto
For an easy trip outside of Trento that requires minimum effort, head to Orrido di Ponte Alto, where you’ll be able to admire a canyon that over the course of time has been carved by the strong waters of the Fersina River, an estuary to the Adige River.
The Fersina River used to run fiercely and regularly flooded the city, causing much damage to it, so already in the 16th century dams were placed to it in the area of Orrido di Ponte Alto, creating two very scenic waterfalls.
Practical Information: Orrido di Ponte Alto can be visited on Saturdays and Sundays, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. You can get there from the center of Trento in about 20 minutes by bus. Once at the site, you will have to join a very interesting guided tour (which lasts about one hour). Admission is free for Trentino Guest Card holders.
Make sure to read my post “A Complete Guide To Visiting Orrido Di Ponte Alto Gorge, Trentino.”
Where to stay and eat in Trento
Trento has some excellent accommodation options, as well as a bunch of fabulous restaurants, so you won’t have troubles finding something that is within your budget and that suits your taste. The places I mention below are all places that I have tried, tested and approved.
Best places to stay in Trento
Best places to eat in Trento
Pizzeria da Albert is a great pizzeria located a bit outside the center of town. Pizza is prepared using top quality ingredients. The dough is crispy, fragrant and at the same time melts in your mouth. Service is super friendly and prices are fair.
Oblò Comfort Food a good place where to get a burger, a sandwich or a gourmet salad. They have vegetarian and vegan options.
Al Duomo nice restaurant and pizzeria located right by the main square. They offer a variety of traditional and gourmet pizzas. There are some excellent starters too.
Porteghet lovely spot for a quick lunch. There is a daily menu that changes seasonally, and lots of salad options. Prices are mode than fair; service quick and friendly.
Antico Pozzo fabulous restaurant hidden in a very narrow alley; it serves dishes of the local tradition cooked with a modern twist. Make sure to try the risotto.
Gelateria Cherry is the newest and easily the best gelateria in Trento. The selection of flavors isn’t the biggest, but you’ll surely get the best quality gelato. The vegan chocolate flavor is mouthwatering.
Panificio Moderno is a lovely coffee shop in an airy square, perfect for aperitivo. You can select from a variety of drinks, though I recommend trying Hugo, the local version of a Spritz.
Days 3 and 4 – Valsugana
Valsugana is a perfect addition to this itinerary for a week in Trentino. This very scenic valley is within very easy reach from Trento (it’s just a 30 minutes drive) but offers a completely different vibe. The main attractions in Valsugana are the two lakes – Caldonazzo and Levico – where you will be able to enjoy the beautiful beaches, swim in the clear waters, and practice all sorts of water sports.
This beautiful valley is also a great place for biking, hiking and nature walks; and if you feel the need to relax you will also find a few good spas.
It will take more than just 2 days to enjoy all that Valsugana has to offer, so I have selected just a handful of the things to see and do in Valsugana.
What to see and do in Valsugana
Enjoy the lakes
As I have already mentioned, there are two beautiful lakes in Valsugana and if you are visiting in the summer, you will be able to enjoy them at their best. Both of them are fantastic places for water sports and you can easily rent a sailing boat to go around the lake, or a kayak to visit all the hidden corners. You can also SUP your way around it.
Though both lakes are pristine and they have gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains, I prefer Levico Lake for it has very clear waters and several beaches – some right by the village and that actually get quite crowded (though never overwhelming), others a bit more hidden. Levico is also accessible to dogs – so it’s a perfect place if you are traveling with your furriends.
In Levico, I also recommend going on a walk around the lake. The trail is very easy to follow and you will be able to spot several swings from where people love to jump directly into the water.
Go to a castle
There are more castles in Trentino than I can possibly mention, and you should make it a point to add at least one to your itinerary for a week in Trentino. A few of them are scattered around Valsugana and are open to the public. Pergine and Ivano can both be visited and from there you will get splendid views of the valley. Castel Selva is located in Selva di Levico, a small fraction of Levico Terme and can reached by foot via a tral that starts in the village.
Visit a winery
Trentino produces some excellent wines, and it would be a pity not to try a few of them. If you are in Levico Terme, make sure to visit Cantina Romanese, a tiny vineyard that makes fantastic wines and that has a very interesting story.
Enjoy your wine as Giorgio, one of the young owners, tells you the beautiful history of his family and how they came about making wine. As you sip a glass of Gabriella, their signature one, you will also discover the history behind the label of the bottle – let me not unveil it here and ruin the surprise effect.
BONUS: From the winery you will be able to take in the beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and the lakes.
Where to stay and eat in Valsugana
I recommend looking for accommodation in Levico Terme, one of the nicest villages in Valsugana where you will find plenty of good hotels and restaurants, and from where you can have very easy access to the lake. Below is a selection of the places I have tried, tested and recommend.
Best places to stay in Levico
Hotel Al Sorriso is a nice hotel right by the lake in Levico Terme. Rooms are very spacious and have a beautiful view. There is a pool, an excellent breakfast buffet, a bar and great common area. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
Best places to eat in Levico
Ristorante Riviera is a nice restaurant with a huge terrace right by Levico Lake. The menu selection is huge – just as the portions. Food is good, service friendly although a bit slow.
Ristorante Boivin is one of the best restaurants in Levico. It serves dishes of the local tradition with a modern twist, in a beautiful setting. The owner / chef / manager is worth chatting to – he may seem brusque at first, but he turns out to be a very friendly man. Try the canederli, one of the local specialties, and the fish.
La Taverna is a beautiful restaurant by the lake where you will be able to taste some of the best food in Trentino, accompanied by an incredible wine selection. You may want to enquire about the food and Trentodoc (the regional version of sparkling wine) pairing.
Fabbrica di Pedavena is an easygoing pub and pizzeria that serves all sorts of food – from pizza to burgers, from steak to schnitzel. Beware of the huge portions!
Days 5, 6 and 7 – Primiero Valley
Despite having been to Trentino many times, I had yet to visit Primiero Valley. During my last trip to the region I finally managed to make it there and was so wowed by it that I decided to add it to this itinerary for a week in Trentino.
Driving from Levico Terme to Fiera di Primiero, where I recommend basing yourself to explore the valley, should take you little over one hour. Once there, you will have no shortage of places to visit and things to do: in Primiero Valley you will find a wealth of gorgeous small towns and mountain villages; beautiful mountain lakes; hiking trails galore and – as anywhere else in Trentino – fabulous food.
Mine is a small selection of the things to see and do in Primiero Valley in 3 days. If you decide to spend longer in the area, rest assured you won’t have time to be bored!
What to see and do in Primiero Valley
There is little doubt that one of the reasons why you should visit Trentino in the summer is hiking. The trails in this part of Italy are simply stunning! Primiero Valley is an excellent stating point for some of the nicest hikes in the Dolomites – you will find short, easy trails for excellent views and a few more challenging ones.
Among the trails I recommend there’s the one that goes from Passo Rolle to Baita Segantini. It’s an easy hike of no more than 3 hours (including stops for photos) that will take you to a viewpoint where you will be able to admire the gorgeous peak of Cimon della Pala.
Another hike is the one that goes from Lago Calaita to San Martino di Castrozza. It’s a moderate hike during which you will be afforded spectacular views of the Pale di San Martino.
For a more in depth description of these and other hikes and for more information about hiking in Trentino, read my post “Five Short But Rewarding Hikes In The Dolomites Of Trentino.”
Enjoy the gorgeous views
There is no shortage of beautiful views in Primiero Valley, but if you are a photography geek you may want to head to Welsperg Lake. It’s a very short drive from Fiera di Primiero, and you will be rewarded with the precious reflection of the mountains in the waters of the lake.
TIP: Make sure to walk around the lake, as the views and the reflection aren’t that obvious from the side of the parking lot where you have to get off!
Explore a lovely village
There are many pretty villages in Trentino. Mezzano di Primiero, also known as Mezzano Romantica can be easily reached on a short walk from Fiera di Primiero, and it a great place to spend an hour or two wandering the narrow streets.
The village it known as one of the most beautiful in Italy, and for a good reason: it’s incredibly well kept, and at one with nature. You will find wooden statues and colorful wooden piles so well organized that they became real works of art. They are scattered around the village, so you will have to hunt for them while at the same time admire the lovely houses built in the traditional local style.
I will be soon be writing a more detailed guide to visiting Mezzano Romantica.
Try local beer
I have already mentioned that wines in the region of Trentino are fabulous, but beer lovers won’t be disappointed either. Located in Mezzano there is Bionoc – a small, local brewery that makes excellent craft beers. You can go on a beer tasting tour with the friendly owners and their sweet dog, and once you sit down for dinner you can enjoy more beer.
Where to stay and eat in Fiera di Primiero
Primiero Valley has some excellent accommodation and eating options. The places I recommend are those where I have eaten, slept and that I have truly enjoyed.
Best places to stay in Fiera di Primiero
Hotel Isolabella is in the center of Fiera di Primiero. This nice hotel has comfortable, modern music themed rooms with gorgeous mountain views. There is a panoramic elevator that brings guests to their floor, a bar that serves excellent cocktails and an on site restaurant with a set daily menu. Breakfast is very good. There also is a spa – perfect to relax after a day of hiking in the Dolomites. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
Best places to eat in or near Primiero Valley
Il Caminetto, in Fiera di Primiero, is an easygoing pizzeria where pizza are prepared using strictly local ingredients. They have a great selection that goes from the most classic margherita pizza to the most gourmet ones. They even have vegan options.
Rifugio Caltena is a beautiful mountain hut in Caltene, from where you will enjoy gorgeous mountain views. Several hiking and walking trails depart from the area where the rifugio is located. There, you will find some of the best food in the area, with delicious dishes of local pasta and polenta.
Malga Rolle is a great place to try local produce – they make their own cheese! This restaurants with gorgeous mountain views serves ridiculously large portions of local specialties. Service is fast and friendly.
Practical Tips To Plan Your Week In Trentino
Best time to visit Trentino
Any time is a good time to visit Trentino. I have been there in the summer, and loved it, and I have also been there in the winter time, when it is a fantastic destination for winter sports. Having said so, this itinerary contains activities such as hiking or SUP that are best enjoyed in the summer, so if you plan to follow this route make sure to visit between June and September.
How to get to Trentino
There are no airports in Trentino, but thanks to the great web of rail and bus transport it is still very easy to reach. You will have to fly to Verona, then take the bus to the main train station in town and once there take one of the many trains headed north (Trento or Bolzano). The overall trip from the airport to Trento should take you around 2 hours. You can check the train timetable and train fares for all of Italy and buy train tickets here.
How to move around Trentino
Buses work well in Trentino and connect the main towns to the smallest villages. However, you only have limited time and would like to hit the trails or the lakes, I wholeheartedly recommend renting a car so that you can save time moving from one place to the other. Besides, Trentino is a region that calls for road trips! You can check the prices of car rental here.
What to pack for a summer trip to Trentino
Those who visit Trentino in the summer should make sure to carry comfortable clothes that allow layering up, as it may be quite warm in the middle of the day, but chilly in the morning and early evenings and night. Here’s what I recommend packing:
- A pair of hiking boots, best if water proof and with good ankle support. Also pack a pair of comfortable walking shoes.
- Hiking pants. I am a massive fan of Kuhl Kliffside Convertible and I love Kuhl Skulpt Skinny.
- A couple of of cotton shirts. I love Kuhl Kyra and Nora Tank. Make sure to pack Alva in case it gets colder.
- A sweater (I love Kuhl Lea Pullover). Also bring a wind and rain proof jacket. My favorite is Kuhl W’S Airstorm Rain Jacket.
- A small backpack for the hikes. I recommend the 20 liter Osprey Daylite Plus.
- A flask – tap water in Trentino is so good that you won’t want anything else.
- Sunglasses and a hat, for when the sun is strong or the wind blows.
- Sun screen with a high protection factor, since the sun can be really strong when at an altitude.
- A swimsuit for those moments at the lake or at spa.
- A good camera and lens. I have a Nikon D3300 and a 18-105 mm wide lens. If you are not a photography geek, a good smartphone will do.
Other useful information
Make sure to get hold of a Trentino Guest Card for your time in the region – you are entitled to it if you spend at least two days in the region and can pick it up at your hotel. Trentino Guest Card gives you access to all local public transportation – including trains – and provides free or discounted entrance to museums, castles, parks and other attractions. For more information, click here.
You may be happy to know that pets are generally welcome in most hotels, restaurants and attractions or trails in Trentino.
As for any other trip, make sure you get a travel insurance when visiting Trentino. Get yours here.
Check out my post “Why You Need A Good Travel Insurance.”
For more readings about Trentino, you can check one of these books:
Legal Disclaimer: I was a guest of the Tourism Board of Trentino and Trentino Marketing during my last trip to Trentino, and wish to thank them for putting together an incredible itinerary and for welcoming me ever so kindly. Needless to say, all the views expressed in this post remain my own.