Thoughts of Italy conjures up images of beautiful rolling hills, basking in that famous Italian sunshine, stunning cities, ancient churches and colourful picturesque houses all stacked on a hill overlooking the sea.
By and large, this has come to be a big reason why most of us visit (or indeed, want to visit) Italy.
Thing is though, there’s so much more to this amazing country that this and we recently got to explore this first hand!
It started with a beautiful drive from Verona to the Trentino region of Italy (with a pit stop for lunch by a beautiful lake). Trentino is home to the Italian Alps and the famous Dolomites of Italy though you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in Canada or the Rockies in the US.
It looks and feels nothing like Europe, let alone Italy!
The best place to be located here is Madonna Di Campiglio, where you get easy access to all of this. You can fly into Madonna Di Campiglio from Verona and drive here (it’s a really beautiful drive to plan to leave yourself enough time to be distracted by making several stops on your way) or you could also do the same from Milano Bergamo Airport (same distraction the entire way so leave enough time to travel slowly and stop to take it all in).
Madonna Di Campiglio is well-known for its skiing but everything changes come summer – dramatically so too! The lush mountains look nothing like the snow-clad ones of winter and the Dolomites are nothing short of jaw-dropping. Winter is great to visit here but summer is another thing entirely!
I will be going through all of the places we visited in more details in upcoming blog posts but wanted to give you an idea of why this place absolutely deserves to be in your travel plans.
Let’s start with the view from the mountains around Madonna Di Campiglio – the most impressive of which is the view of the Dolomites.
Next up, we headed up the top of slopes (where I know a Blue run will exist in winter – which I can do all the way down to the town before trying to get back on a red run again – I promise lots of internal screaming as I make my way down that red run. I’m doing it fine, but try telling that to my internal panic)…
…part way down the mountain though, about 15 – 20 minutes from the chairlifts, there’s a valley of some sort in the mountains and this is where we camped out on the grass and listened to Jack Savoretti serenade us in the Italian Alpine sunshine!
We then carried on to explore the national park nearby (which you can get picked up from your hotel and free entrance if you have a card from the area – which again usually comes free with your hotel)… next time though, I’d love to spend enough time to hike up to the glacier here. It was like a 3 hour hike from where we stopped but I’d absolutely love to hike all the way to it.
We also did some hiking (and by some, I mean a lot).
Like I said, I will give you more details about all of this in upcoming posts but by now, I hope you can see from the photos why I said this is just a part of Italy that almost no one expects. It’s just so incredible – albeit in a very different way from most parts of Italy!
The best part is that if you’re really into the more typical side of Italy, you don’t have to give that up either. There are beautiful sunny Italian cities (along with the promise of delicious pasta) – like Trento, which we stopped in for a day, and other castles and gems as you make your way across Trentino!
Long story short, Trentino is a part of Italy where you can have your cake and eat it too! You can see all the regular stuff you’d expect from Italy… and then, you can see a part of Italy that most people (except maybe the Italians) would ever know about or would ever think to visit!
Italy is just the gift that keeps on giving, isn’t it?