Castles and vineyards in Vallagarina
Cultural and food and wine routes
There is no part of this valley where crenellated walls or ramparts are not visible immersed in the greenery of the surrounding vineyards. Evocative places, which tell of the past of battles and legends, between love, mystery and magic
Your journey will begin right here south of the valley. Coming from the province of Verona, your gaze will be captured by the Sabbionara d’Avio Castle. Continuing north, one after the other, imposing and majestic castles surrounded by vineyards will accompany you to the gates of Trento.
Thematic: history, culture, food and wine, viticulture
Time: 2 days
Period: March – November (weekend or weekdays)
Places: Rovereto and Vallagarina
The Sabbionara d’Avio Castle or Avio Castle already existed in the year 1053. It represents one of the oldest castles in the whole of Trentino. The castle historically owned by the Castelbarco family, passed in 1509 under the dominion of the Venetians and then to the Habsburgs. The castle therefore encloses within its walls almost all the troubled history of Vallagarina.
To reach it you will pass through the vineyards of the town. This area in fact represents one of the most suitable for the production of red wines including the historic Enantio or Lambrusco a Foglia Frastagliata, a true native vine of Trentino. Only a few producers have been able to preserve it over time and still today produce it with passion.
Going up the Adige river, on the bank to your right, you will meet some of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Ala has been awarded the orange flag by the Italian Touring Club. In this area, only one virtuous company cultivates the Casetta grape, almost maniacally preserving its identity. Historic native Trentino variety, now almost extinct, on which the La Cadalora company aims to preserve the identity and origins of a vine that in the past represented a source of income for the area.
Continuing north you will arrive in the area of Marzemino Superiore di Isera, which takes its name from the town of Isera. Once in the center, following the vineyards that adorn the hills of this town with your gaze from below, you will find a perched building, almost invisible in periods of thick vegetation.
Castel Corno, one of the most evocative of Trentino, was erected on a huge limestone obelisk which gives it this horn-shaped appearance, hence the name. Recent and important restorations have consolidated the ruins.
Many legends and evocative stories have been woven around this castle whose origins predate the birth of Christ. For those wishing to visit this castle, a stop at the historic center of Isera will be mandatory. This town is not only the area of origin of one of the most prestigious Marzemino of Vallagarina, but also home to prestigious places of the food and wine tradition. La casa del vino the Locanda delle tre chiavi and the trattoria – vineria de Tarczal will be happy to prepare excellent traditional dishes but in a modern way combined with tasty glasses of Marzemino wine.
Continuing along the Provincial Road SP90 of the right Adige, immediately after Isera, you will arrive in the Municipality of Nogaredo. Looking upwards, surrounded by vineyards and flower meadows, you can admire Castel Noarna.
Probably born as a fortification in Roman times, Castel Noarna has dominated Vallagarina since the 11th century. Passing through history, from the hands of the Castelbarco family and the powerful domination of the Lodron family, today the castle is owned by the Zani family who, have managed to maintain the original appearance of the castle over time. In the 9 hectares of organically grown vineyards, prestigious organic wines are also produced, including Nosiola, from the homonymous native Trentino variety. Castel Noarna full of prisons and secret passages, it was also the seat of the infamous “witch trial“, a place full of myths and legends, an ideal place for lovers of stories and mysteries
At the end of this spectacular day among vineyards and castles, between history and nature, you cannot but end the day around a table sipping a glass of wine while admiring a breathtaking view. The Locanda D&D Maso Sasso and its owners will welcome you to taste typical Trentino dishes cooked with local ingredients in dialogue with you.
Wake up early in the morning with a delicious breakfast in one of the welcoming accommodation facilities in the area.
The next destination is Rovereto at the Rovereto Castle. Imposing manor built in the fourteenth century by the Castelbarco but passed under the dominion of the Venetians in the fifteenth century who took possession of it and transformed it into a military fortress with a defensive function, with four mighty bastions. In 1509, following the Venetian defeat, it passed into the hands of the Habsburgs, who controlled it until the end of the Great War.
The castle, also called Castel Veneto, is now home to the Italian War History Museum which houses one of the most complete collections of objects dating back to the Great War. The castle is located in the heart of the historic city center.
Castel Pietra rises on the slopes of the hill of Castel Beseno in the municipality of Calliano, north of Rovereto. The name recalls the boulders fallen from the overhanging Cengio Rosso, on which Castel Pietra was built and expanded over the centuries. The castle has its origins in the Middle Ages. The main purpose of the construction of this castle was the defense and control of the territory. In fact, its strategic position made it a must to go from south to north without getting lost in the immense swamps of time. For many years, until the defeat of Venice in the early 16th century, the castle marked the border between Tyrol and the Republic of Venice.
Reachable by bicycle or on foot with a walk of about 1 hour, in the municipality of Besenello, it is possible to visit Castel Beseno, the largest castle of medieval origin in the whole of Trentino. A colossus of approximately 16,500 square meters, built on top of a hill surrounded by an imposing defensive wall. Here, too, you can hear the legends and stories that have accompanied the castle over the centuries. The castle fell into disrepair over the centuries, abandoned to its fate until the Trapp Counts ceded it to the Autonomous Province of Trento who recovered it by opening it to the public and incorporating it into the museum heritage of Trentino. The castle overlooks the valley, controlling access from south to north and east to west.
At the foot of the castle you can admire immense vineyards where, around the castle, Moscato Giallo is grown, a gem of Trentino enology from which an almost golden straw-yellow wine comes to life, with typical and tasty aromas the Moscato Giallo Superiore Castel Beseno. This wine was born precisely to underline the historical link of the Trentino fortresses to the territory and to local viticulture. This wine is now produced by a few producers who enhance its production while preserving the ancient production technique.