Once you’ve booked your stay at Pineta Hotels, it’s time to start planning your active vacation in Trentino’s Val di Non! There’s so much to do you may not be sure where to start; so here’s our pick for three destinations you shouldn’t miss.
TOVEL LAKE (LAGO DI TOVEL)
The spectacular setting of Lago di Tovel (Tovel Lake) will make you wonder if you’ve suddenly arrived in Canada: tall, craggy mountains form the backdrop for the marvelous clear waters of the lake, the largest in Trentino.
Located in the Adamello-Brenta Park, Tovel Lake makes for a great day excursion from Pineta Hotels. If you don’t want to go on your own, our Livio, Pineta’s expert hiking guide, often organizes tours, both in summer and winter, when you can experience the thrill of walking on the frozen surface of the lake.
The best way to enjoy the lake is to walk the flat trail that goes around its perimeter (great photo-ops too!) and takes about an hour to complete. For those keen on walking more, there are several hiking trails departing from the lake that take you deeper into the beautiful Adamello-Brenta Park. Who knows, you may even encounter a brown bear (bears were reintroduced in the park between 1999 and 2002).
Tovel Lake was once famous for a bizarre phenomenon happening every summer, when its waters turned red (to the point that it was nicknamed the ‘Red Lake’). This of course led to the birth of many legends, but the scientific cause behind it was the presence of a special algae, which emerged to the surface every summer. Since the algae is present in very scarce quantities today, the lake no longer turns red.
Make sure you stop by the Casa del Parco Lago Rosso, a museum dedicated to the Adamello-Brenta park and its beloved resident, the brown bear.
*During the summer months, you can access the lake only through a park shuttle, which you can take from Tuenno or Cles (15 to 30 minutes by car from Pineta Hotels). Access to the lake is free with Trentino Guest Card, which all Pineta Hotels guests receive upon check-in.
SANCTUARY OF SAINT ROMEDIUS (SANTUARIO DI SAN ROMEDIO)
Set on a 70-meter-high rocky spur, at the end of a canyon carved by the river Rio Romedio, the Sanctuary of Saint Romedius is one of Europe’s most remarkable and most visited Christian pilgrimage sites. It consists of five overlaid small churches and chapels, built between the 11th and 20th centuries and connected by a steep staircase of 131 steps.
This historic sanctuary dedicated to Saint Romedius is within walking distance of Pineta Hotels; every Sunday, you can join Livio for a pleasant walk among apple orchards and along a panoramic trail carved into the rock of the canyon to reach the sanctuary.
Romedius, who is said to have lived between the 4th and 5th centuries, was a noble young man who gave up all his possessions to retreat into a hermitage in a grotto in Val di Non. His only companion was a brown bear. To honor this legend, a small wildlife area has been set up next to the sanctuary, where a bear named Bruno currently lives.
The Feast of Saint Romedius is celebrated every year on January 15, with a special Mass and the traditional tripe-based “piglrim’s dish”.
CANYONS OF THE NOVELLA RIVER (CANYON DEL NOVELLA)
Besides apple orchards, another typical feature of the Val di Non’s landscape is canyons. One of the most spectacular is the Canyon of the Rio Novella, which you can explore through a series of suspended boardwalks, looking down into the depths of the gorge. You’ll walk among rocky vaults, waterfalls and vertical walls as you hear the powerful thunder of the water below. It is quite a thrill!
You can also learn about the fascinating geological history of the area, and the many species of animals who live in the underground world of the canyons.
Expert guides will take you along a 3,5 km itinerary which ends by the San Biagio Hermitage.
*Remember, thanks to the Trentino Guest Card, the visit to the Rio Novella Canyon is free.
Another way to see the Canyon of the Novella is by going on a canoe excursion on the Santa Giustina Lake, which is where the Novella stream flows into. This fun adventure organized by Pineta Hotels is especially suitable for families with children. Just ask the hotel staff for more information.