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Alpine Pastures:  Trentino

Alpine Pastures: Trentino

Alpine Pastures: Trentino Overview

Visit an ‘undiscovered’ northern Italy. Stunning alpine & valley scenery. A chance to discover two very handsome Italian towns – Trento & Bolzano. Gothic, Renaissance & Baroque art & architecture. Comfortable 4* hotels, both with swimming pools. Superb local food & wine.

Alpine Pastures: Trentino-Alto Adige

Tour Lecturer; Tom Duncan, Co-Founder of CICERONI Travel

Tour Manager; James Hill, ItalianTour Director

Trentino-Alto Adige is frequently described as a “middle land” between Italy and Austria. It is an area with a proud past, whose historical and cultural history is distinct, just as its dramatic Alpine scenery is beautiful. Early man settled this range of the Alps following the last Ice Age while the later Celtic settlers were peacefully “Romanised” over three centuries. Already an important commercial and military centre, the Emperor Claudius bestowed on Trento, known to us as Trent, the status of municipium splendidum and built the Via Claudia Augusta, the principal Alpine North-South road linking Northern Italy to Augsburg, initiating Trento’s importance as a stopping off point for the German speaking world on its many journeys south.

After Rome’s fall the region was divided between Ostrogoths, Lombards and Bavarians, an uneasy situation eventually resolved under the sole rule of Charlemagne, the first of the Holy Roman Emperors. In medieval times abbots, bishops and nobles sought to exert their rights on both sides of the Brenner Pass - all attracted by the plentiful vineyards and orchards in the Alpine pastures and the levies to be exacted from travellers. Prince-Bishops ruled from Trento and Brixen whilst the Counts of Tyrol later claimed lordship over all Tyrol from their castles. Amidst these contending factions, plague and political unrest played havoc and in 1363 the House of Habsburg took control, under whose rule the area remained until 1918. The Habsburg Emperors, Maximillian I and his grandson Charles V made the region an important strategic and commercial base. This was confirmed when Charles V and Pope Paul III agreed to use Trento as the initial setting for a great Council, when the Catholic Church attempted to put its house in order as Protestantism swept through Habsburg lands.

As travel patterns changed in the nineteenth century, the area saw a transformation in its fortunes as demand for new types of holidays emerged: visitors now sought cool summer retreats and winter skiing opportunities. In recent times, post-war treaties and constitutional changes have given the region an unusual level of political autonomy from Rome, consolidating its appeal while creating one of the wealthiest regions in Italy.

As travel patterns changed in the nineteenth century, the area saw a transformation in its fortunes as demand for new types of holidays emerged: visitors now sought cool summer retreats and winter skiing opportunities. In recent times, post-war treaties and constitutional changes have given the region an unusual level of political autonomy from Rome, consolidating its appeal while creating one of the wealthiest regions in Italy.

We shall stay in the hills immediately above Trento at the 4* Hotel Villa Madruzzo. This well-laid out sixteenth century villa has been restored as a hotel and Spa. The 4 * Hotel Laurin is a grand and elegant fin de siècle hotel, situated in the heart of Bolzano’s historic centre. Both hotels have swimming pools and a restaurant.

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