For the first half of our trip through Italy, our travel agent encouraged us to rent a car. However, after driving on Italy freeways for 10 days, dealing with numerous tolls and a speeding ticket, I don’t recommend it. Leaving Venice, we walked (with our suitcases) to the edge of the island and picked up our rental car. It was quite a lengthy process but eventually we got our car and set off towards Trento. The best thing we got with the car rental was a portable hot spot. They gave us this instead of GPS and it was amazing! I tossed it in my purse and it allowed us to have wifi at all times.
Trento is a city in northern Italy, nestled in the Dolomite mountains. I read about the Dolomites a few years ago and since then, they’ve been on our travel list. My husband and I love hiking and thought this would be a great place to visit.
Our first hike was to Mount Bondone, the local mountain of Trento. We decided to head there straight from Venice in order to save time and not worry about heading into Trento and then back out to the mountain. It seemed that Google Maps truly wanted us to get there as quickly as possible, because it took us on a treacherous trek up the mountain to the trailhead. The one-lane road had hairpin turns and steep drop offs with no railing. Let’s just say I was doing a lot of praying and hoping that we wouldn’t plummet to our death! Bless my wonderful husband for getting us safely to the top, but that nerve-wracking trip certainly was a headache.
Here is the view of the three peaks from the parking lot for the trail. We didn’t end up making it to the top because of weather, but it certainly is beautiful!
We were lucky enough to see the beautiful wildflowers while we were climbing, as they are only around for part of the year. Unfortunately the view was obscured by clouds but that’s the chance you take when you are in the mountains.
After our hike, we headed down the mountain in our car, on a different route of course!
We dropped our car off at our hotel, Hotel Trento and set out to explore the town. It’s a very unique place and out of all the cities we visited, was definitely the most diverse. There seemed to be a lot of Eastern European influence, both with the people and with the architecture. It also wasn’t touristy at all so I felt like I was truly in an Italian town.
Throughout our two days in Trento, here are some of the places we visited:
Castle of the Buonconsiglio – this is not to be missed! It’s a 13th century castle full of history and architecture, with lots of information about the Trentino region.
Piazza Duomo – a fun place to grab a bite and sit and people watch
Muse Science Museum – a great place to go if you have kids. Lots of interactive experiences and fun displays. My husband is a science teacher so he was in nerd heaven! Be sure and check out the butterfly garden, it’s quite enjoyable.
The next day we headed to the nearby town of Andolo to do this beautiful hike. I was so excited, because if you look at the pictures, it is absolutely amazing and just what I had in mind for a visit to the Dolomites. Well, low and behold, we get to the lift in Andolo and it’s shut down. Completely closed. The town was actually pretty deserted, and we couldn’t even find anyone to ask about the lift. Our best guess was that it didn’t open until later in the summer, as the true hiking season is in July and August. On to Plan B…
Using our hotspot (always saving the day!) we found Molveno, a town about 15 minutes away. Their lift was open, and we were able to take it up into the mountains for a short hike. Here are some of our pictures:
Overall, I’m glad we visited the Trentino region of Italy and definitely would return to hike the Dolomites. Next stop… Lake Como!