Trento in northern Italy is famous for its tradition, quality food and festive cheer
The snow falling below me crumbled as I stepped through the frozen woods over Mount Paganella.
Centuries-old pines line my path, their branches weighed down by a thick layer of snow. In front of me, the sun was breaking through an opening.
Climbing this trail with tough, tennis-like “snowshoes” strapped to my feet is tough work, but breathtaking views of Italy’s white-clad Dolomites await. This effort becomes worthwhile.
From here you can see all the way down to the village of Andalo, where we rented ski equipment, and all the vast rocky cliffs that surround us.
As we headed back into the mountains, we watched skiers plunge down the slopes below.
Our base for the next few days, Trento, is a 30-minute drive from the snowy mountains and is ideal for some festive fun for those who don’t want to ski.
This city in northern Italy has remained a well-kept secret for many years, but it’s been seeing a lot of tourists lately coming to soak up the culture.
“People are bored of Florence and bored of Rome and Milan,” my tour guide Sabrina tells me.
“Here, you can still experience traditional Italy and a historic area, but it is less crowded and more interesting because it is new to them.”
But the real highlight of Trento is its proximity to the slopes – meaning you can enjoy a snowy winter break without paying a hefty price tag.
The city is awash with cozy hotels in refurbished medieval buildings, including the 4H Hotel America which sits at the heart of the action and has breakfast-only rooms that double from £86 Every night.
December is a great time to visit. The streets come alive this time of year, and near the Piazza Duomo is a quaint Christmas market selling decorations, homemade soaps, and festive decorations.
Every evening, the square is bustling with locals who come to enjoy a warm aperitif or Bombardino made with eggs, brandy and whipped cream.
However, a drink stand seems to attract more attention than most. Tucked away in a crowded corner, lively music blared from the tent as the stall owner, Dario, poured ladles of charred wine into a large barrel below, stirring the green flames.
The crowd cheered as he angrily smashed his ladle against the barrel’s metal lid, tilting his Bavarian felt hat toward onlookers.
Dario’s headgear isn’t unusual here, I quickly found out. The city once belonged to Austria, before it was claimed by Italy in 1919 after World War I.
And the Austrian influence can still be seen in the food. Unlike southern Italy, where pasta and seafood top the menu, in Trento you’ll find a unique fusion of Italian-Austrian food with favorites including ham smoked, cheese toast and sweet apple.
There are enough quality restaurants to keep any foodie or pizza lover happy for days, and better yet, all of them can be washed down with local wine.
Hidden down a side street in the neighboring village of Lavis, I found Cantine Monfort, a small winery that offers tours with tastings from £12.80 (15 euros) per person .
Sipping sparkling Trentodocs – the region’s answer to wine – as well as aromatic reds and hazelnut-flavored whites, I learn about how the soil, rich in volcanic rocks and warm summer months have turned The surrounding area makes a great place to grow wine grapes. .
A 5-minute walk away, art aficionados will enjoy strolling through the recently renovated Ciucioi Gardens, which blend Renaissance architecture with medieval castles and home-like walls. church and colorful lemon trees.
Winding a rocky path from the Andalo, giant pines shrink in the distance and soon Trento’s colossal Buonconsiglio castle appears, its snow-soaked turrets glowing.
With its traditional Christmas markets, snowy castles, and amazing ski slopes, the festive city definitely stole my heart a pizza.
GO: Trento, Italy
COVID: Britons who have been completely stabbed need to present proof of negative lateral flow or a PCR test done within 48 hours of arrival in Italy and must complete a European Union passenger locator form.
Current rules require a pre-departure test before returning to the UK and a PCR test on or before a Monday.
RECEIVE: The nearest airport is Venice Treviso, a two-hour drive from Trento.
Ryanair flies from Manchester, Stansted, Nottingham and Bristol to Treviso from £9 each way. See ryanair.com.
OVER THERE: A night of bed and breakfast at Hotel America costs from £85 (100 euros) per night. See hotelamerica.it/en.
OUT AND INTRODUCTION: A tour of the Ciucioi Gardens and the Cantine Monfort winery, including a guided tasting and food, is £25 (30 euros). See pianarotaliana.it.
Snowshoeing on Mount Paganella costs from £12.73pp (15 euros). See activitytrendino.it.
Ski tickets to Paganella cost from £42 (€49) per adult, plus one child, per day. Details at paganella.net.
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https://www.thesun.co.uk/travel/17073510/trento-northern-italy-festive-cheer/ Trento in northern Italy is famous for its tradition, quality food and festive cheer