Nestled within the Dolomites, Trentino’s castles provide culture lovers with stunning architecture, fascinating history, and plenty to see and do this season

Situated in the heart of the Italian Alps in northern Italy and known for its diverse landscape and the soaring Dolomites, Trentino is inviting visitors to a summer of world-class culture taking place across the many castles that dominate its valleys and ancient roads. Well connected with nearby cities including Verona, Bergamo, Milan, Venice, and Bologna, the lesser-known region is home to crystalline lakes, emerald forests, around 200 castles which display the region’s rich heritage, a unique combination of distinctly Italian and Alpine cultures.




Throughout the summer, visitors can embrace the rich history of Trentino with the Trentino dei Castelli. This extraordinary train ride transports culture lovers to four of the region’s most spectacular castles across a single day and offers delicious refreshments made from local produce. From the provincial capital, guests will climb the stunning slopes of the Valli del Noce to Castle San Michele di Ossana, which stands on a rocky spur and has a breathtaking keep overlooking the entire Vale di Sole.  From there, passengers will be escorted along the Val di Sole to Castel Caldes, a stunning manor demonstrating an architectural typology unique to Trentino in which Venetian, German and Lombard cultures collide. The journey then concludes with Castel Valer, an elegant private residence 40 metres in height, and Castel Thun, one of the most exciting examples of castle architecture in Trentino, which is still richly furnished and embellished with numerous works; the most valuable is the “bishop’s room”, entirely clad in pine wood, with a coffered ceiling and a monumental door.


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High above the village of Stenico in the Giudicarie Valley, Castel Stenico is one of the oldest castles in the region and is home to the iconic ‘Tower of Hunger’, the Chapel of St Martin and the Sala del Camino Nero Hall. This summer, the castle is welcoming the highly anticipated “All Crazy for Japan” and the “Encounters in Japan” exhibitions which will see the historic location become home to a host of Japanese culture, including cinema, origami, suminagashi, calligraphy, Oshie (Japanese dolls), and manga. The exhibition will be fully interactive with various concerts, theatre shows and hands-on workshops.


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Set in a scenic spot among the apple orchards at the foot of the Brenta Dolomites, Castel Belasi is a fortified complex dating back to the late 13th century. Embodying the spirit of both Mediterranean and Alpine cultures, the castle, with its characteristic pentagonal tower, has reopened to the public after extensive restoration. As well as being a treasure chest of historical artefacts, the castle is also home to the provincial Historical Photographic Archive and temporary exhibitions of world-class contemporary art. This summer, the castle is hosting the “Come Pioggia,” an exhibition created in collaboration with the Trento Science Museum. Running from 11 June to the end of October, the exhibition sees a series of works by young Italian and international artists centred around the theme of ‘imagining positive tomorrows within today’s turbulent society’.


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Those looking to experience the glamour of inhabiting a castle can indulge in a private tour of Castel Valer, one of the few castles in Trentino still lived in today. Having been the private residence of the Spaur Family for 26 generations, visitors can now explore 12 castle quarters, including the Gothic kitchen, Madruzzi’s rooms, the hall of coats of arms, the loggia and gardens in a tour lasting 1 hour and 30 minutes. Only available by booking online, the guided tours are available in English and aim to bring the ancient glories of the castle back to life through a host of fascinating stories and historical tales.


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A twenty-minute drive from Trento Castel Pergine is Italy’s first collective historical asset and the site of an annual exhibition of sustainable tourism. New for this year, the castle’s gourmet restaurant “Semola Fina al Castello,” housed in the Baronial Palace, has entrusted young chefs Manuel Merlo and Sofia Omodeo Iuli to offer a sustainability-oriented menu using local and organic products. This summer season, Castel Pergine is also hosting its 30th art exhibition by Bavarian artist Andreas Kuhnlein. “Traces of Humanity” consists of 23 sculptures and sculptural groups highlighting the strong natural connotation of the castle complex’s parks.


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