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Visiting Val Di Non In Trentino: Apples, Aristocrats And Alpine Lakes


Modified: September 26, 2023

by Aviva Bassett



Welcome to the enchanting region of Val di Non in Trentino, Italy. Nestled in the heart of the stunning Italian Alps, Val di Non is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and mouth-watering cuisine. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or a food lover, this picturesque valley has something for everyone.


Val di Non is famous for its apple orchards, which adorn the landscape with vibrant colors throughout the year. The region’s ideal climate and fertile soil make it a perfect location for apple cultivation, earning it the title of “The Land of Apples.” As you meander through the orchards, you’ll be surrounded by the sweet scent of ripening fruit and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.


Aside from its apples, Val di Non is also steeped in history. It has been inhabited since ancient times, and its strategic location along trade routes made it a coveted territory throughout the centuries. The influence of various civilizations can still be seen in the historic architecture and cultural traditions that have been passed down through generations.


One of the most fascinating aspects of Val di Non’s history is the role of aristocratic families in shaping the region’s development. From grand castles to charming historic estates, the aristocrats have left their mark on the landscape, creating a captivating blend of elegance and rustic charm.


Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to explore in Val di Non. The region is known for its stunning alpine lakes, such as Lake Tovel and Lake Santa Giustina, offering opportunities for hiking, boating, and simply immersing oneself in the tranquility of nature. The crystal-clear waters and surrounding forests make these lakes a dream destination for nature lovers.


No visit to Val di Non is complete without indulging in the local cuisine. From hearty mountain fare to delicate pastries, the region offers a gastronomic experience that will delight even the most discerning palate. Sample delicious dishes like canederli (bread dumplings), polenta served with savory stews, and mouth-watering strudel made with fresh local apples.


Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a glimpse into the region’s captivating history and culture, Val di Non is the perfect destination. With its stunning natural beauty, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality, this hidden gem in Trentino will surely leave a lasting impression on your heart.


History of Val di Non

The history of Val di Non is as rich and fascinating as its landscapes. The region has been inhabited since ancient times, and evidence of early settlements can be found in the form of archaeological sites and artifacts. The valley’s strategic position along trade routes brought various civilizations to its doorstep, shaping its development through the centuries.


During the Roman era, Val di Non was part of the Province of Raetia and played a crucial role in connecting the important cities of Aquileia and Noricum. The Romans established settlements and built roads, leaving behind a legacy of engineering expertise and cultural influences that are still evident today.


In the medieval period, Val di Non was ruled by different feudal lords, including the Prince-Bishops of Trento. The bishops, who held both spiritual and temporal power, left an indelible mark on the region’s architecture and governance. Magnificent castles and fortified towers were constructed to protect their territories and assert their authority.


One of the most significant events in Val di Non’s history occurred in the 16th century during the Protestant Reformation. The region became a hotbed of religious dissent, with numerous residents embracing the new ideas spreading across Europe. This led to clashes between the Catholic Church and the Protestant movement, with repercussions that would be felt for centuries.


In more recent history, Val di Non played a role in World War I. The mountains surrounding the valley were part of the Dolomites front, and many battles took place in the area. The remnants of trenches and fortifications serve as reminders of the sacrifices made by soldiers during the conflict.


Today, Val di Non is a region that preserves its historical heritage while embracing modernity. Visitors can explore the medieval castles that dot the valley, such as the majestic Castel Thun and Castel Stenico, both of which offer fascinating insights into the region’s noble past. The local museums also provide a glimpse into Val di Non’s history, showcasing archaeological finds, historical artifacts, and interactive exhibits.


As you wander through the charming villages and picturesque landscapes of Val di Non, you can’t help but feel a sense of connection to the past. Every stone and every story is a testament to the resilience and spirit of the people who have called this valley home throughout the centuries.


Apple Orchards in Val di Non

Val di Non is renowned as “The Land of Apples,” and it’s easy to see why. The region’s favorable climate, fertile soil, and dedicated farmers contribute to the cultivation of some of the finest apples in Italy. The apple orchards that dot the landscape of Val di Non are a sight to behold, with their rows of trees bursting with vibrant colors and fragrant blossoms.


Val di Non boasts a wide variety of apple cultivars, each with its own unique flavor and characteristics. From the crisp and sweet Golden Delicious to the tart and juicy Granny Smith, there is an apple to satisfy every palate. Other popular varieties grown in the region include Red Delicious, Fuji, Gala, and Braeburn.


The apple orchards in Val di Non not only provide a picturesque backdrop for visitors but also contribute to the local economy. The apple harvest, which takes place in late summer and early autumn, is a time of great celebration and hard work. Farmers and their families come together to pick the apples by hand, ensuring that only the best quality fruits make it to market.


Visitors to Val di Non can experience the apple-growing process firsthand by taking part in guided tours of the orchards. These tours offer a fascinating insight into the cultivation techniques, the importance of sustainability, and the strict quality control measures that are implemented to maintain the high standards of Val di Non apples.


One of the highlights of the apple-growing season is the Apple Festival, held annually in October. This vibrant event showcases the region’s apple heritage through a series of activities, including apple tastings, apple-themed competitions, and traditional folk performances. It’s a joyous celebration of Val di Non’s agricultural traditions and the hard work of the local farmers.


For those looking to bring home a taste of Val di Non, there are numerous local markets and farm stands where you can purchase fresh apples and other apple-based products. From apple jams and jellies to apple-based liqueurs, there is an array of delectable treats to tempt your taste buds.


Visiting the apple orchards in Val di Non is a truly sensory experience. The sight of the lush, green orchards, the scent of the blossoms in the air, and the sweet taste of a freshly-picked apple all combine to create a memorable and delicious adventure.


The Role of Aristocrats in Val di Non

Val di Non has a rich history intertwined with the influence of aristocratic families. The aristocrats played a significant role in shaping the region’s culture, economy, and architecture throughout the centuries. Their legacy can still be seen in the grand castles, elegant estates, and cultural traditions that define Val di Non today.


During the medieval period, Val di Non was ruled by feudal lords, including the Prince-Bishops of Trento. These powerful aristocrats not only held spiritual authority but also governed the territory as secular rulers. They constructed magnificent castles and fortifications, such as Castel Thun and Castel Stenico, to strengthen their control and protect their lands.


The aristocrats of Val di Non were not content with merely fortifying their territories. They also sought to beautify the landscape by creating elaborate gardens and parks. These meticulously landscaped areas, often featuring manicured lawns, ornamental fountains, and vibrant flower beds, were a symbol of wealth and refined taste.


Aside from their contribution to architecture and landscaping, the aristocrats of Val di Non played a vital role in the region’s economy. They were instrumental in the development of agriculture, particularly apple cultivation, which continues to thrive in the valley today. With their knowledge and resources, they introduced advanced farming techniques and contributed to the region’s agricultural prosperity.


The influence of aristocratic families in Val di Non extended beyond the tangible aspects of architecture and agriculture. They also shaped the region’s cultural traditions and social fabric. Noble families hosted and patronized artists, musicians, and writers, creating a vibrant cultural scene. They organized elaborate parties, theatrical performances, and musical concerts, attracting artists from near and far.


Even today, the aristocratic heritage of Val di Non is proudly preserved through various cultural events and traditions. The locals actively participate in historical reenactments, showcasing the customs and costumes of past centuries. These colorful festivals and processions provide a window into the world of Val di Non’s aristocracy and offer visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the region’s rich history.


Exploring the grand castles, strolling through the beautifully manicured gardens, and witnessing the cultural traditions of Val di Non allows visitors to step back in time and appreciate the enduring legacy of the aristocrats. Their contributions have left an indelible mark on the landscape and culture of this enchanting valley.


Exploring the Alpine Lakes in Val di Non

Val di Non is not only known for its apple orchards and rich history but also for its breathtaking alpine lakes. Nestled amidst the majestic mountains, these pristine lakes offer a serene and picturesque setting for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.


One of the most famous lakes in Val di Non is Lake Tovel. Surrounded by lush greenery and towering peaks, this stunning turquoise lake is a true gem. In the summer months, visitors can enjoy activities such as hiking and mountain biking along the picturesque trails that encircle the lake. For a more leisurely experience, take a stroll along the shoreline, taking in the beauty of the crystal-clear water and the vibrant colors of the surrounding landscape.


Another must-visit lake in Val di Non is Lake Santa Giustina. This small but captivating lake is located in the heart of the Adamello Brenta Nature Park and offers a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Fishing enthusiasts will appreciate the abundance of trout in the lake, while hikers can explore the nearby trails that lead to breathtaking viewpoints overlooking the water.


For those seeking a more adventurous experience, Lake Malghette is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Surrounded by rugged alpine terrain, this secluded and pristine lake is accessible via a moderate hiking trail. The challenging ascent rewards visitors with panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and the chance to witness the untouched beauty of nature.


Exploring the alpine lakes in Val di Non not only allows you to immerse yourself in nature but also provides the opportunity to discover the rich biodiversity of the region. Keep an eye out for unique flora and fauna, including alpine flowers, wild animals, and rare birds that call the area home.


Whether you choose to spend a peaceful day by the lake, go on a scenic hike, or indulge in water activities like kayaking or paddleboarding, the alpine lakes of Val di Non offer a tranquil and revitalizing experience. The serene beauty and untouched wilderness create the perfect backdrop for relaxation and connection with nature.


Visiting the alpine lakes in Val di Non is a reminder of the raw and awe-inspiring power of nature. Take a moment to savor the quiet moments, listen to the gentle lapping of the water, and appreciate the harmony between the mountains and the lakes that make Val di Non such a remarkable destination.


Local Cuisine in Val di Non

When it comes to culinary delights, Val di Non does not disappoint. The region’s rich agricultural heritage and fertile soil make it a paradise for food lovers. Val di Non offers a delectable array of traditional dishes that celebrate the flavors of the mountains and the bounty of the land.


One of the iconic dishes of Val di Non is canederli, or bread dumplings. Made from stale bread, milk, eggs, and a variety of flavorful ingredients such as speck (smoked ham), cheese, or spinach, canederli are a hearty and satisfying comfort food. These delicious dumplings are typically served in a flavorful broth or with a rich sauce.


Polenta is another staple of the local cuisine in Val di Non. Made from coarsely ground cornmeal, polenta is often enjoyed as a side dish or as a base for savory stews. The slow-cooked polenta becomes creamy and comforting, perfect for pairing with braised meats, wild mushrooms, or melted cheese.


Val di Non is also known for its mouth-watering strudel. This traditional pastry is made with flaky layers of pastry dough and filled with a tantalizing combination of fresh local apples, raisins, nuts, and aromatic spices. The result is a sweet and fragrant dessert that perfectly showcases the region’s apple-growing heritage.


Aside from these traditional dishes, Val di Non also offers a wide range of local delicacies. The region is famous for its exceptional cheese production, particularly the Trentingrana cheese. Aged for at least 15 months, this hard cheese is full-bodied and bursting with flavor. Pair it with a glass of local wine for an unforgettable gastronomic experience.


Val di Non is also home to an abundance of wild mushrooms, which are foraged and used in various dishes. The earthy flavors of wild mushrooms are showcased in dishes such as risotto, pasta sauces, and hearty soups. If you’re lucky enough to visit during the mushroom season, don’t miss the opportunity to try these seasonal culinary delights.


To wash down all these delicious dishes, Val di Non offers a selection of locally produced wines and spirits. The region is known for its apple-based liqueurs, such as Calvados and Grappa di Mela, which provide a unique and fruity twist to the traditional digestif.


Whether you’re dining in a cozy mountain hut, a charming trattoria, or a fine dining restaurant, the local cuisine in Val di Non will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more. The emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients and the passion for preserving traditions create a culinary experience that is truly unforgettable.


Activities and Attractions in Val di Non

Val di Non offers a wide range of activities and attractions that cater to all interests and ages. From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone in this enchanting region of Trentino.


For outdoor enthusiasts, Val di Non is a playground waiting to be explored. Hiking and trekking opportunities abound, with trails of varying difficulty that lead you through stunning alpine landscapes, dense forests, and picturesque valleys. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner looking for a leisurely stroll, there’s a trail to suit your preferences.


Mountain biking is another popular activity in Val di Non. With numerous trails and bike parks, both beginners and experienced riders can enjoy the thrill of riding through breathtaking scenery. Bike rentals and guided tours are available for those who want to make the most of their biking adventure.


If you prefer a more leisurely experience, take a scenic drive through the valley and enjoy the stunning views from the comfort of your car. The winding roads will lead you to picturesque villages, charming hamlets, and panoramic viewpoints where you can stop and soak in the beauty of the surrounding landscape.


A visit to Val di Non wouldn’t be complete without exploring the region’s rich cultural heritage. Visit the impressive castles that dot the landscape, such as Castel Thun and Castel Stenico, to step back in time and admire the architecture and historical artifacts on display. You can also immerse yourself in the local traditions by participating in festivals, craft workshops, and folk performances that showcase the region’s unique cultural identity.


For a peaceful and contemplative experience, head to one of the region’s many churches and sanctuaries. These places of worship are not only architectural gems but also hold a deep spiritual significance. The Santuario di San Romedio, perched on a cliffside, is particularly renowned for its picturesque setting and spiritual atmosphere.


Val di Non is also a paradise for food lovers. Take a culinary tour and indulge in the local flavors through food tastings, farm visits, and visits to artisanal food producers. Learn about the traditional techniques used to create regional products and sample the renowned local cheeses, apple-based delicacies, and fine wines.


If you’re traveling with children, Val di Non has plenty of family-friendly activities. Explore educational nature parks, where kids can learn about local flora and fauna, or visit adventure parks with ziplines and obstacle courses for a fun-filled day of excitement. The region also offers horseback riding, fishing, and boat trips on the lakes for a memorable family outing.


Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping activities or more relaxed cultural experiences, Val di Non has it all. Embrace the natural beauty, immerse yourself in the local traditions, and create unforgettable memories in this captivating region of Trentino.


Getting to Val di Non

Val di Non is easily accessible by various modes of transportation, allowing visitors to reach this picturesque region with ease.


If you’re arriving by plane, the closest international airport is Verona Airport (VRN), which is approximately 90 kilometers (55 miles) away from Val di Non. From the airport, you can rent a car or take a taxi to reach your destination. Alternatively, there are train and bus options available from Verona that can take you to Val di Non.


If you prefer to travel by train, the nearest railway station to Val di Non is Trento, which is well-connected to major Italian cities like Milan, Venice, and Florence. From there, you can take a regional train or a bus to reach Val di Non. The train journey itself offers beautiful scenic views as it winds through the mountains.


For those who enjoy driving, Val di Non can be easily reached by car. The region is well-connected to the major Italian highway networks, with the A22 Brennero-Modena highway passing nearby. From cities like Verona, Trento, or Bolzano, follow the signs to Val di Non and enjoy a leisurely drive through stunning mountain scenery.


Once you arrive in Val di Non, it’s recommended to have a car to explore the area at your own pace. Having your own transportation allows you to easily reach the apple orchards, lakes, and attractions that are scattered throughout the valley.


Public transportation within Val di Non is also available. There are bus services that connect the various towns and villages within the region. The bus routes cover most of the major attractions and allow you to travel conveniently between different locations.


As you travel to Val di Non, make sure to check the local transportation schedules and plan your journey accordingly. It’s also advisable to consider the weather conditions, especially during winter when mountain passes may be affected by snowfall.


Regardless of the mode of transportation you choose, the journey to Val di Non is part of the experience itself. Immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes as you make your way to this charming and captivating region in Trentino.



Val di Non, with its breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and delectable cuisine, is a destination that leaves a lasting impression. Whether you’re drawn by the allure of apple orchards, the charm of aristocratic heritage, or the tranquility of alpine lakes, Val di Non has something for everyone.


From the moment you arrive, you’ll be greeted by the sweet scent of ripening apples and the stunning backdrop of the Italian Alps. The region’s apple orchards, earning it the title of “The Land of Apples,” provide a picturesque setting where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.


The role of aristocrats in Val di Non is evident in the grand castles and elegant estates that grace the landscape. These architectural marvels offer a glimpse into the region’s noble past and the influence of the ruling families. The cultural traditions and historical significance associated with the aristocracy create a distinctive charm that adds to the allure of Val di Non.


Exploring the alpine lakes in Val di Non provides a peaceful and rejuvenating experience. From the stunning turquoise waters of Lake Tovel to the secluded beauty of Lake Santa Giustina, these lakes are a haven for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike. The opportunity to witness the untouched beauty of nature in the midst of the mountains is truly awe-inspiring.


Val di Non’s local cuisine is a treat for the taste buds. From hearty bread dumplings to mouth-watering apple strudel, the region’s traditional dishes celebrate the flavors of the mountains and the agricultural bounty. The locally produced cheese, wine, and apple-based delicacies further enhance the gastronomic experience, leaving you with a true taste of Val di Non.


As you engage in various activities and explore the attractions of Val di Non, you’ll be mesmerized by the stunning natural beauty and the rich cultural heritage of the region. The blend of outdoor adventures, historical sites, and traditional customs creates a unique and unforgettable experience.


Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, cultural immersion, or culinary delight, Val di Non offers it all. The warm hospitality of the locals, combined with the region’s natural and cultural treasures, will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.


So, pack your bags and embark on a journey to Val di Non – a hidden gem in Trentino that promises to enchant, captivate, and leave you yearning to return.