In Italy the kids have already broken up from school and won’t go back till mid September – I know think of the childcare that has to be in place for that! – As you know Italy is a hot country; summers can reach constant 40C on a daily basis for months. It’s not unheard of for people to drag their mattresses to the balconies at night and sleep there where there is a filo d’aria, a thread of air.
This is why the stunning mountain ranges in Italy, like the Dolomites, are a popular holiday choice for Italians, a kind of holiday I would have ignored had I not lived there for 20 odd years. Italian families will book to spend as much time as possible up in the fresh air and green pastures of le montagne, so what do they do when they ‘Vado in montagna‘ I’m going to the mountains?
Here are 10 things I would do if I was to visit this summer
Top Ten things to do in the Italian Dolomites this summer
- Eat. From dining like royalty in one of Trentino’s Magnificent 7 Michelin starred restaurants or a wholesome and delicious peasant’s meal in one of the many Alpine refuges dotted across the mountain tops. One things for sure you will feast on fresh locally made cheeses, hams, wild mushrooms and your life won’t be complete until you have tried Canerderli or Strangolaprete – trust me. Here’s my review of Rifugio Rumor for a better idea.
- Drink. Trentino is the home of Mozart’s favourite wine, Marzemino, it also boasts Italy’s top sparkling wine “metodo classico” Trentodoc and you cannot leave without trying a Gewurztraminer or a San Leonardo wine either. Grappa usually finishes off the best meals but be warned it is strong. Attend a wine tasting or visit one of the many vineyards.
- Visit a fairytale castle. Trentino is brimming with them dating back hundreds of years, my personal favourites are Castello Buonconsiglio in Trento, Castel Beseno which sat at the bottom of my mountain home of Folgaria, Castel Thun, Castel Stenico and Castello di Avio.
- Get some culture. Visit MART museum of modern art in Rovereto and see futurist artist Depero on display amongst many others. I would love to visit the MUSE science museum opening on 27th July and designed by Renzo Piano who designed London’s famous Shard building. MUSE begins with the local and extrapolates from that. The museum aims to follow the precepts of glocal: act locally, think globally.
- Get fit. Cycle the Dolomiti Lagorai Bike Grand Tour six-day mountain-bike itinerary. Too sporty? Then how about the new European-wide electric bike scheme called Movelo in Valsugana? This is something new I’d like to have a go at.
- Music. Enjoy the beauty of your surroundings against one of nature’s most magnificent backdrops whilst listening to music. The Sounds of the Dolomites run from the end of June to the end of August.
- Lakes. There are over 300 in Trentino! Enjoy sailing, windsurfing, rafting or canyoning if you’re looking for an adrenalin rush. My local lake was Lago di Lavarone where many a lunch break was spent on it’s gentle shores and I never said no to a trip to Lago di Garda a short 40 minutes away.
- Photography. Whatever you do don’t forget your camera. Trentino will blow you away with its scenery, pack lots of SD cards.
- Folgaria. My home for almost 20 years. Have a brioche in Club Hotel Alpino or visit the spa at Hotel Eghel, tell them I sent you ;)
- Shop. You are in Made in Italy land, the fashion will blow your mind, the art, the design, the food, the leather, the ceramics. BUY because it will remind you for years to come of the fabulous time you had.
Argghh. Now talking about it has made me want to go back *puts thinking cap on and starts to plan* for more info here’s the official tourist board of Trentino website