The hamlets of Val di Fiemme, with their killer views and small museums, constitute part of Italy’s most prized cultural heritage sites. In addition to its stunning looks, products and culinary highlights, visiting this valley is a must for mountain and fine dining lovers alike
Val di Fiemme: timeless nature and landscape
Carved by the Avisio stream, Val di Fiemme is one of the main valleys of Western Trentino together with nearby Val di Fassa and Val di Cembra. The valley and naturalistic landscape is located between two of the country’s largest natural parks, Paneveggio Pale di San Martino and the Alto Adige Monte Corno park. The former is located in an area rich with great chromatic contrast: pink Dolomite slopes, the dark rocks of Cima Bocche, the green pastures of the summer farmsteads. The park includes a large portion of one of the mountain groups present in the UNESCO list of heritage sites, the Pale di San Martino, one of the largest in the area. Highlights include the Foresta dei Violini, a forest of red firs named “the violin forest” due to the ancient luthiers who used this pine wood for their musical instruments. The other great national park that marks the border of Val di Fiemme is the Monte Corno park. It boasts the widest array of flora and fauna of the entire Trentino Alto Adige region. Anemone, wild lily, orchid – in addition to a vast rocky area of chalky dolomia rocks – add to the breathtaking landscapes of the area.
Art and culture in the valley
Among its solemn peaks, the Dolomite territory conserves artistic and cultural resources also. Among the many attractions, we strongly suggest visiting the Museo Diocesano museum in Trento, and its archeological artifacts below the paleo-Christian basilica of San Vigilio. The Museo Geologico delle Dolomiti geologic museum in Predazzo boasts the grandest collection of invertebrate fossils in Italy. During summer, it’s also possible to extend the visit to the Sentiero geologico del Dos Capèl trail, a guided hike of the surroundings. Always in Predazzo, precisely in the town of Bellamonte, is an unusual museum: Museo Etnografico del Nonno Gustavo, which aims to make visitors experience the ancient traditions of the valley’s inhabitants at the time of our grandfathers. Over 300 years of history are represented in the 1800 pieces collected in the museum, these are mostly tools used in the past by lumberjacks, farmers, blacksmiths, carpenters and other artisans, in addition to everyday kitchen tools. Art lovers will love the Centro Arte Contemporanea in Cavalese, with its ongoing showcase of local artists.
Local specialties: what and where to find them
After long hikes and excursions, a food stop is in order. The soil here is rich and generous, with lots to offer to food lovers, starting with wild herbs and greens, roots, lichens and berries. This never ending supply is used by local chefs whose wish is bringing to the table the true flavor of this area. The best can be sourced in the Terre Alte farms, which together with the Oltre coop is part of the Antiche Radici project, whose goal is recovering ancient farming traditions of the Val di Fiemme.
Not to mention the vast array of high altitude pasture and farmsteads, characteristic of the area’s dairy richness. Like in the Val di Fassa, the production here focuses on washed-rind cheeses like Cuor di Fassa or the better known Puzzone di Moena. A great address for dairy products in this area is Caseificio Sociale Val a Cavalese, which produces 30 kinds of cow’s milk and goat’s milk cheeses, and that is part of Gruppo Formaggi del Trentino distributing group. Visiting Trentino also means tasting speck, another local delicacy which shines at Il Maso dello Speck in Daiano. For other cured meats and salumi is also the Dagostin butcher, in the Varena area.
Suggestions based on the Ristoranti d’Italia guide
Costa Salici, Cavalese (TN): This is the ideal place for a taste of traditional Trentino cuisine. Great attention is given to seasonal cycles and care in regards to ingredient quality define the local cuisine. The menu rotates around signature dishes that employ the gifts of the earth. The garden with a view of the Dolomites completes the informal and warm setting.
El Molin, Cavalese (TN): El Molin is the brainchild of chef Alessandro Gilmozzi, a lover of botany and nature. His goal is bringing to the table the flavors of the surrounding woods, with the use of buds, lichens and all that the local soil has to offer. Everything is homemade, from the antipasto to the house gin. Every dish is created to narrate a corner of the valley. From last year in spring, the chef expresses his creativity on wheels with the El Lares food truck that serves gourmet sandwiches filled with typical Trentino fare.
Osteria de l’Acquarol, Panchià (TN): Alessandro Bellingeri and Perla Cardenas, like many of their colleagues, have decided to focus on classic, timeless recipes, redesigning them to suit modern palates and personal taste. Making the meal even more pleasant is the typically Alpine ambiance, with wood finishings, warm colors in addition to the evocative setting set by hotel Rio Bianco, the Val di Fiemme’s most ancient.
Where to stay
Agriturismo Fior di Bosco | Loc. Comuni Valfloriana (TN) | tel. 0462 910002 | www.agriturfiordibosco.com
Hotel Rio Bianco | Panchià (TN) | via Nazionale, 42 | tel. 0462 810060 | www.riobianco.it
Where to shop
Caseificio Sociale Val di Fiemme | Cavalese (TN) | via Nazionale, 8 | tel. 0462 340284 | www.cascavalese.it
Dagostin | Varena (TN) | p.zza del Mercato, 1 | tel. 0462 340422 | www.dagostin.it
Il Maso dello Speck | Daiano (TN) | pozze di sopra, 2 loc. Ganzaie | tel. 0462 342244 | www.titospeck.it
Terre Alte | Castello Molina di Fiemme (TN) | via Latemar, 1
Where to eat
Costa Salici | Cavalese (TN) | via Costa dei Salici, 10 | tel. 0462 340140 | www.costadeisalici.com
El Molin | Cavalese (TN) | p.zza C. Battisti, 11 | tel. 0462 340074 | www.elmolin.info
Osteria de l’Acquarol | Panchià (TN) | via Nazionale, 42 | tel. 0462 813082 | www.osteriadelacquarol.it
L’itinerario gastronomico della Val di Fiemme è disponibile nella nostra guida Foodies 2016 (acquistala qui)
by Michela Becchi
translated by Eleonora Baldwin