If you’re a lover of Italy but starting to get fed up with the crowded museums of Florence and the sardine-packed streets of Milan, Trentino, tucked away in the Northern alps of the country, is the perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of city life.
Even better? It’s a haven for the food obsessed, priding itself in thriving off the local land and home-grown produce. Foodies, get ready, because Trentino is the hidden gem you’ve been looking for.
Where to eat
After the foodie drama of The Menu, minus the bloodshed? Ristorante Augurio is bang in the city centre of Trento and perfectly combines tradition and innovation when it comes to its menu and decor.
From fresh trout (a Trentino special) to pasta nests glittered with truffle shavings, every dish feels thoroughly thought out and considered (not to mention the aesthetically pleasing presentation). For the people watchers, the kitchen is enclosed behind glass walls so you can observe the masters at work. Prepare to feel uncomfortably full after dining here.
For the avid skiers out there, Cavalese’s snowy peaks are a must-see. The quaint town feels like something out of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and there’s no culinary experience quite as unique as Michelin star spot, El Molin.
With everything from herbs to meat harvested from just down the road, this is as locally-sourced as it gets. Enjoy everything from freshly whipped butter and crumbly seeded bread to pine-infused sorbet.
Where to stay
If you are stopping off in Cavalese, boutique hotel, Garni Laurino’s log cabin-esque vibe is the perfect peaceful home-y hideaway. Prepare to be greeted by some friendly doggos and be surrounded by views of the famous Dolomites.
Where to visit
Putting the over-commercialised vineyards to shame, Barone a Prato located in Val di Cembra is as authentic as winemaking gets. High above the valley and within walking distance from historic castle ruins, the view is enough to admire, but the underground barrels and dusty bottles of vintage wine is where it’s at. Sip (read: glug) a glass of their smooth Pinot Nero or fresh Chardonnay whilst soaking in the view of the vast plain of vines.
Always judge a person by the olive oil they have in their kitchen? (Us too, don’t worry), then you need to make a trip to Maso Botés olive farm, located in the little village of Varignano. Just a short drive away from the legendary Lake Garda, featuring spectacular views and olive trees growing in every type of soil and terrain in Trentino, this family-owned olive oil farm singlehandedly proves that which olive oil you pick has a profound impact on taste.
Our top top? Pack as much oil as you can carry (especially their zesty lemon blend). Drizzle over a burrata or plate of pasta and prepare to fall in love. It’s worth stocking up on a few bottles, as this one sadly isn’t available on UK shores.
What to take back with you in your luggage…
As any foodie will know, the produce you bring back with you is almost as important as the food you consume. You need something to jazz up your next dinner party pantry tour, right? (No? Just me?).
You can’t go wrong with an Italian supermarket. They’re the grown-up version of Toys “R” Us, but instead of scrambling over a limited edition Barbie, we’re oohing and awing over the size of the locally-grown artichokes. I mean, size matters.
The Felicetti family is the go-to pasta-maker in Trentino and even counts M&S’s fresh range as one of their long-term customers. So, yes, you technically can get it from your local Marks’, but picking up their own range of fresh pasta is an opportunity that you don’t want to miss.
When it comes to picking up a boozy gift for your loved ones, Trentodoc is the way to go. The sparkling wine is grown specifically in the Trentino region and the crisp fizz will make the perfect unique prezzie for any champagne aficionado.
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