The Trentino-Alto Adige, or South Tyrol, region is Italy's northernmost region. It's mountainous and has lots of rivers and lakes to explore. Medieval towns and castles dot the region and it's a great place to go for Christmas markets because of the Austrian influence.
The A22 Autostrada (the line shown on the map) runs through the center of the region from the Brenner pass in the north and continues south to Verona and beyond.
A major rail line also runs near the autostrada. To the north of Trentino-Alto Adige is Austria. A small section of Switzerland abuts the region's northwest corner. To the east is the Veneto region, and to the west is Lombardy and the Lakes region.
Provinces of the Trentino Alto Adige Region
The Trentino-Alto Adige region is broken into two provinces. The southern province of Trentino is mostly Italian speaking while in the northern province of the Alto Adige, called Sudtirol or the South Tyrol, the inhabitants speak mostly German and towns have both an Italian and a German name. The South Tyrol was part of Austria-Hungary before being annexed by Italy in 1919.
Both provinces are bordered by mountains and have good opportunities for skiing and winter sports as well as mountain hiking from late spring through early fall. Our Trentino-Alto Adige Map shows the most interesting towns to visit in the region.
Trentino Province (Southern) Principal Towns
- Trento, on the train line between Italy and Munich, is the capital of the province. Trento has a 14th century Duomo, a castle, some handsome 15th-16th century buildings, the 11th century Torre Civica (tower), and a 13th century palazzo.
- Rovereto is often overlooked by tourists but is a nice place to visit. Rovereto's streets are lined with old palaces and stately buildings. There is a war (and peace) museum in town, too.
- Madonna di Campiglio is one of the best ski resorts in the Dolomites with many miles of ski slopes of all levels, but it's also popular for its summer residences. There are lots of lodging options here.
- Riva del Garda is on the northern tip of Lake Garda which protrudes a little into the Trentino region. Riva is a popular summer resort, especially for Austrians and Germans.
Alto Adige (Northern) Principal Towns
- Bolzano or Bozen is the capital city of the province and is on the train line from Italy to Munich. Bolzano had a good medieval center and Gothic Duomo. Castel Roncolo has some good medieval frescoes.
- Bressanone or Brixen has a good medieval center with porticoed walkways, fine buildings, and a river. Bressanone has a heavy German influence and many people still speak German rather than Italian.
- Merano or Meran has been a popular spa and resort town for a couple of hundred years because of its mild climate. The medieval town is on the right bank of the river Passirio. There's a 15th century castle and walkways along the river and in the nearby hills.
Food and Wine of the Trentino-Alto Adige
The cuisine in the Trentino-Alto Adige is a cross between Italian and Austrian so you'll find dumplings, canederli, as well as meat filled ravioli.
Speck, a smoked ham, comes from this region. Beef, pork, hare, and venison frequent the menu as does trout. Apples and mushrooms play a large part in the cuisine, too. Good DOC wines are produced in the hills including Pinot, Riesling, and Traminer whites and Cabernet and Merlot reds.