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Eight Foods that Say Welcome to Trentino-Alto Adige

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Must Try Foods When Visiting Trentino-Alto Adige

Though each regional cuisine in Italy has its own distinct features, the food of Trentino-Alto Adige is perhaps the most unique of all due to its Germanic influences. Featuring a variety of Italian ingredients juxtaposed with German and Austrian culinary traditions, typical dishes in Trentino-Alto Adige tend to be rich and hearty in order to provide sustenance during the winter months. Continue reading below to discover several key ingredients and dishes that can be found throughout Trentino Alto-Adige.

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One of Trentino-Alto Adige’s most iconic food products, Speck is ubiquitous in the kitchens and dining rooms of this mountainous region. The production process is lengthy and carefully regulated to ensure the final result is of the highest quality. In order to make Speck the traditional way, whole pork thighs are rubbed with a mixture of salt and spices then left to marinate for up to 3 weeks in controlled temperatures. Next, the hams are lightly smoked outdoors in the fresh mountain air and cured for approximately 22 weeks. For the final step, each ham is carefully inspected to ensure all production criteria is met before it makes its way onto your plate.

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One of Trentino-Alto Adige’s most iconic food products, Speck is ubiquitous in the kitchens and dining rooms of this mountainous region. The production process is lengthy and carefully regulated to ensure the final result is of the highest quality. In order to make Speck the traditional way, whole pork thighs are rubbed with a mixture of salt and spices then left to marinate for up to 3 weeks in controlled temperatures. Next, the hams are lightly smoked outdoors in the fresh mountain air and cured for approximately 22 weeks. For the final step, each ham is carefully inspected to ensure all production criteria is met before it makes its way onto your plate.

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One of Trentino-Alto Adige’s most popular first courses, these tasty dumplings are formed using a mixture of stale bread, milk, eggs, speck, and spices. Many families in Trentino-Alto Adige have their own secret methods for preparing canederli with the perfect consistency. Once formed, the canederli are traditionally cooked in boiling beef broth to impart an infusion of flavor before being served in the broth. Alternatively, canederli can also be boiled in salted water and served with butter.

A key ingredient of Italian cuisine, polenta is featured in the traditional dishes of several northern Italian regions. Each area has its own ways of making polenta and in Trentino one popular method is called polenta pastizzada. Considered to be an elaborate dish, polenta pastizzada consists of an outer layer of polenta that is filled with three different meat-based sauces and béchamel alternating with additional layers of polenta. This hearty dish is then baked and served by the slice.

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The classic Central European beef stew with a Südtirol twist. Cooked slowly with high-quality ingredients, this stew is always bursting with flavor. The preparation of the dish begins with sautéed onions followed by cubed pancetta and large squares of beef that are seared on all sides. Then, stock is added in intervals along with spices and allowed to simmer for a few hours—the longer the better! Often served with polenta, Tyrloean goulash is the perfect main course for Trentino-Alto Adige’s winters.

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Difficult to say, yet easy to prepare, this sweet dessert can be found throughout the countries of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. Translating to “Emperor’s mess”, kaiserschmarren refers to Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I, who was a huge fan of the dessert. In Trentino-Alto Adige, this delicious pancake-like treat is made from a batter consisting of rum-soaked raisins, sugar, eggs, type 00 flour, whole milk, and vanilla. After being cooked in a pan on both sides, kaiserschmarren is cut into wedges, topped with powdered sugar, and served with a side of jam (lingonberry is the traditional flavor, though others can be used as well).

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As a region rich in Alpine pastures, it’s no surprise that Trentino-Alto Adige is home to many delicious cheeses. The foremost cheese in the area is known as Trentigrana, a kind of Grana cheese made in the province of Trento that is aged for 22 months. Featured in many of Trentino’s dishes, Trentigrana can also be enjoyed on its own. Other local favorites include the Puzzone di Moena, known for its distinct smell, as well as Casolet, a sweet cheese, and Vezzena, which is the area’s most historic cheese and is typically produced in the Lavarone and Folgaria plateaus.

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An Italian take on spätzle, traditional German dumplings. These are made in a few different ways throughout Trentino-Alto Adige, but the traditional dish consists of green gnochetti (small gnocchi) made from a dough of spinach, eggs, water, nutmeg, and type 00 flour. When the water is boiling, the dough is placed above the pot in a special grater known as a Spätzlehobel, which slices the gnochetti before they fall into the boiling water. The spatzle is then fried in butter and served with cream and crispy cubes of Speck.

Trentino Alto Adige: A Region for All Seasons

Trentino Alto Adige
Trentino: A place of Extraordinary Beauty
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Trentino Alto Adige, A Destination for All-Seasons

Traveling may not be easy right now, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to fall in love with Italy from afar, and Trentino Alto Adige is a marvelous Italian region for just that. It’s a destination for all seasons with stunning year-round hiking, famous architecture, and legendary lakes intertwined with a unique culture and local flavors. Here’s why Trentino Alto Adige is a year-round Italian destination to add to your bucket list.

Where is Trentino Alto Adige?

Trentino Alto Adige (or Trentino/Alto Adige for short) is a hidden gem tucked into the northernmost edge of Italy, bordering both Switzerland and Austria. Due to its location, part of the region has Germanic roots, resulting in a unique culture and spoken languages that differ from the rest of the country. Therefore, you won’t just find Italian here, but also German and Ladin, a language native to the valleys of the Dolomite Mountains and spoken mainly in the provinces of South Tyrol, Trentino, and Belluno.

Enjoy Nature’s Finest at the Dolomites

From the remarkable mountain scenery of the Dolomites to the Buonconsiglio Castle of Trento, there’s so much to do and see on a trip to Trentino, no matter the time of year.

Experience in Trentino-Alto Adige

The Dolomite Mountains are easily one of the best places to visit in all of Italy serving as a haven for both nature lovers and landscape admirers. With jagged peaks and vertiginous walls, the Dolomites are unlike anywhere else.
Hikers and adventure enthusiasts alike will enjoy trekking rough peaks, climbing steep walls, mountain biking, and even exciting alpine skiing during the winter months.

Travelers instead seeking to unwind or be pampered should consider spending time in Trentino Alto Adige’s world-renowned thermal spas and wellness resorts. Towns such as Merano, Levico Terme, and Comano Terme are tucked away in the mountains allowing for complete relaxation in thermal waters surrounded by picturesque natural scenery. Resort guests can recharge the body immersed in hay baths enhanced with local mountain herbs and wildflowers, all in the swankiest modern accommodations designed to harmoniously blend with nature.
This phenomenal region transforms each season with snow-capped mountains in winter and gorgeous fall foliage in autumn, while its mountains are still dotted with snow. Spring and summer have no shortage of beauty either, offering perfect weather to explore the region’s many nature parks. Truly, there’s no bad time to visit the Dolomite Mountains.

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Explore Historic Castles

Exploring the many castles of Trentino is another excellent way to spend your time on a trip to Italy. From the region’s capital of Trento to hidden lakeside wonders, there are hundreds of castles scattered throughout Trentino-Alto Adige. With so many castles worthy of a visit, it may be difficult to narrow down the best ones for your trip.
For instance, there’s a mystical castle by the name of Toblino. It’s located on the lakeside with its reflection doubling its beauty onto the water. Numerous legends and gorgeous scenery make this 16th century fortress a must-visit destination in Trentino.
Another notable castle is the Buonconsiglio Castle, which was once the residence of the prince-bishops of Trento and is now a striking symbol of the city. Immerse yourself in Trento’s history while enjoying lovely ancient architecture, intricate ceilings and courtyards as well as royal views overlooking the city.
These are only two examples of countless fascinating castles just waiting to be discovered throughout Trentino-Alto Adige.

Wander Magical Christmas Markets

You’ll be hard-pressed to find better Christmas markets in Italy than the ones in Trentino Alto Adige. This region is the place to be when Christmastime rolls around. The holiday spirit fills the air as oversized Christmas trees, tinsel, and winter decor sprawl the squares across the region.
Set against the remarkable backdrop of the Dolomite Mountains, the yearly Christmas markets held in cities like TrentoBolzano, and Bressanone are truly a sight to behold.

During winter vacations to Trentino Alto Adige, you’ll adventure in ski resorts by day then spend the evenings munching on fresh market goodies and wandering the stalls for festive items, trinkets, and winter wear.

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Indulge In Local Food and Wine

While you’ll still find Mediterranean inspiration in the cuisine, Austrian and German influences contribute largely to the region, making it vastly different from other Italian regions.
For example, favorites across Trentino Alto Adige include Speck, a cured and lightly smoked ham, as well as Schüttelbrot, a type of crunchy flatbread. Trentino Alto Adige also has world-renowned apple orchards, which greatly contribute to the area’s most famous dessert, apple strudel. The unique sweetness of these apples is what makes Trentino’s apple strudel so delicious, along with the shortcrust pastry, pine nuts, raisins, and cinnamon, of course.
As for wine, you’ll still find quite a bit of that here too as wine making has taken place in Trentino for over 3,000 years. Approximately 60% of the wine made in Trentino Alto Adige is white wine with varieties such as Pinot Grigio, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc, and Chardonnay grown throughout the region. It is interesting to note that currently the most widely grown grape in Trentino is actually a red one, Schiava (or Vernatsch as it’s called in German). This grape is often used as a base for light-bodied red wines like the tasty St. Magdalener (Santa Maddalena). With so many options, you’ll easily be able to indulge in wine-tasting while visiting Trentino-Alto Adige year-round.

Soak up the Sun Lakeside

Let us not forget the legendary lakes of Trentino Alto Adige. With 297 gorgeous mountain lakes, this region is spectacular for its scenery and adventures. It’s a region adored by hikers, climbers, and skiers alike. Lake Ledro is astounding for its crystal-clear waters, while Lake Molveno, immersed in the Dolomites, is frequently nominated for the ‘Best Lake in Italy’. Famously shared on Instagram because of its indescribable beauty, Lake Braies is sure to take your breath away. Certainly, worth a mention as well is Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake, favored by sailors, windsurfers, kayakers, and kitesurfers alike, which is partially located in Trentino Alto Adige. Take your pick; there’s plenty of water to explore here.

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Until we are able to travel again, we can continue to fall in love with Italy from a distance. Trentino Alto Adige is a spectacular hidden gem to discover, no matter the season. Has Trentino Alto Adige caught your interest? Click on Trentino Alto Adige to learn more about this marvelous Italian Region .

The Amalfi Coast: A Picture-Perfect Summer Vacation Destination

The Picture Perfect Summer Vacation
Live Italy! Don't Just See It
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As the weather cools and the days grow shorter, it’s easy to let your mind wander back to the summer, perhaps daydreaming of sunny coastal areas. As one of Italy’s top destinations, the Amalfi Coast shines bright with personality and defines the quintessential summer vacation. With its “road of a thousand bends” that connects inviting villages, the Amalfi Coast is a place that feels familiar, even if you’ve never been. Photos of the vertiginous cliffs dotted with colorful buildings have the unique ability to transport travelers without ever leaving home.

We may be a bit out of touch with travel right now, but that won’t stop us from reliving past trips or fantasizing about new experiences in the meantime. Let’s discover the distinguishing features of the Amalfi Coast that have the power to evoke vivid memories in the minds of visitors who have been before as well as provide inspiration for first-time travelers.

After touching down in Italy and traveling to the sunny Amalfi Coast, you will be greeted by seemingly endless panoramas of rocky landscapes, blooming vegetation, and tranquil blue waters. The Amalfi Coast is composed of more than a dozen lovely villages nestled along the Tyrrhenian Sea. Since the Middle Ages, the principal town in this outstanding area has been Amalfi, which was a powerful Maritime Republic from the 10th century to the 12th century.

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Explore Amalfi

Nestled along the water’s edge and below imposing cliffs, Amalfi is home to many treasures which makes a  perfect place to start any journey. While strolling through the historic streets of this quaint city, admire the noteworthy medieval architecture and other remnants of Amalfi’s past.

A visit to the Duomo is the perfect place to start your exploration of Amalfi. Walk up the numerous steps that lead to Amalfi’s Cathedral and admire the stunning multi-colored façade. Featuring a combination of Romanesque, Norman, and Baroque architectural styles with some Arab influences, the Duomo is truly a sight to be seen. The interior is sure to impress with golden ceilings and a crucifix composed of mother-of-pearl. Adjacent to the Duomo, lose yourself in the Chiostro del Paradiso (Cloister of Paradise), which dates back to the 13th century and features Moorish architecture that surrounds a peaceful garden.

Another monument offering invaluable insight into Amalfi’s history and culture is the Arsenal of the Maritime Republic. This is where the Duchy of Amalfi’s mighty warships were built, repaired, and stored. Today the site houses model ships and art exhibitions.

Continue wandering scenic Amalfi and you will stumble upon fountains, charming boutiques, and delightful cafes. The Amalfi Coast is the type of destination you want to visit with an empty suitcase. The clothing, souvenirs, and trinkets sold here will keep you hopping from shop to shop with a refreshing gelato break in between.

When you finish sightseeing, wet your feet at the beach. The beaches of the Amalfi Coast may be small, but what they lack in size they make up for with extraordinary rugged landscapes that are unlike anywhere else. Go for a swim, bask in the rays of the southern Italian sun, and snap as many photos as you like of the beauty that surrounds you.

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Explore the Coast

A trip to the Amalfi Coast is hardly complete without properly experiencing the charm of its numerous towns.
Positano is one of the most photographed destinations of the Amalfi Coast serving as an emblem of old-world glamour. From the winding city streets to the colorful maiolica dome of the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, the scenery of Positano is postcard perfect and Instagram ready—no filter necessary. Once in Positano, visit historic sites, indulge in authentic restaurants, and shop at local boutiques.
Venture off the typical path and experience the village of Furore. It’s a special paradise of scenic views. Particularly, Fiordo di Furore is an excellent addition to your Amalfi Coast bucket list. This small gorge is surrounded by cliffs with a picturesque bridge that connects the two sides and is suspended above a small pebble beach. You’ll never forget the views as you walk along the cliff-hugging path admiring Furore and the surrounding area from a new perspective.

Of course, Sorrento is full of splendor and allure, too. There seems to be no shortage of pure beauty in the form of architecture, views, beaches—the list goes on. Soak up all the charm of the old town as you visit sights like Piazza Tasso and stop by small shops selling Limoncello, ceramics, and everything in between. For the best seafood, head to Marina Grande, a fishing area whose rustic atmosphere remains intact.

Fancy a swim? Carve out a day to visit the spectacular island of Capri—you won’t regret it. Travel to the island by motorboat and take advantage of the opportunity to swim in the pristine waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea with the iconic limestone sea stacks, called Faraglioni, in the background. From sea caves and beaches to the ruins of Roman villas and exclusive boutiques, Capri is an island that has it all.

To truly pamper yourself in style, you won’t want to miss the island of Ischia. This volcanic island is best known for its relaxing hot springs and romantic landscapes. If you can manage to pull yourself away from the thermal waters for a little sightseeing, the Aragonese Castle is a must. Located on a separate rocky island, this historic fortress floating between sea and sky is connected to Ischia by a stone bridge.

For nature lovers, one of the best ways to explore the Amalfi Coast is traveling on foot along the aptly named Path of the Gods. With unmatchable views of the Amalfi Coast and Capri together with rugged natural greenery and access to scenic villages, this nearly 5-mile trail is the perfect place to make memories that will last a lifetime.

And then there’s the food. From fresh mozzarella to fragrant lemon groves, the cuisine of the Amalfi Coast features the best of the area’s local ingredients. For a hands-on experience, don your apron and participate in a cooking course. If you are content with simply tasting the food, there are plenty of restaurants where you can savor authentic flavors and dine in tranquility.

The Amalfi Coast truly embodies a picture-perfect summer destination. Travelers who have visited this stunning stretch of coast return home with powerful memories that are treasured for years to come. Those who have not been to the Amalfi Coast yet can easily fall in love with this slice of heaven from afar, daydreaming of historic cliffside towns and azure coastal waters. We hope you enjoyed this virtual mini-vacation to the Amalfi Coast, and remember—whenever you’re ready to travel, Trips 2 Italy is here to ensure you have the experience of a lifetime.

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