Every year in Trentino Alto Adige several chestnut feasts are held.
I usually attend the one in Roncegno; a village not far from Caldonazzo.
At this feast you can taste various chestnut cakes; mulled wine and roasted chestnuts. There are also many stalls where you can buy various things; handicrafts; food; used things and so on.
During this feast there are also some entertainments for children; folk music and a guided excursion through an old chestnut wood.
Time ago this event was held in Levico Terme, at Parco delle Terme. From 2006 this event has been held at Parco dei Tre Castagni in Pergine Valsugana. It is a village some km far from Trento.
This festival lasts a week end. One of the reason to attend are the beautiful compositions with pumpkins and other things. Besides there are also some attractions for children; creative workshops, trips on ponies etc. There are also various stalls where you can buy pumpkins of various kinds, honey, cheese, crafts...
This is an event to welcome spring. It is usually held in april at the Parco Asburgico in Levico Terme..
Ortinparco includes workshops about compositions with vegetables and natural items, guided visit at the park, music, various expositions, a country market with several stalls and other things.
Levico Terme is four km. from Caldonazzo.
This beautiful Christmas market is held in a big park; Parco degli Asburgo. Usually here you can find around 40 wooden houses where you can buy some tipical food, Christmas decorations for your house or a small present. As in other Christmas market here you can also have a drink; a meal or a snack.
A nice spot with some animals farm is created here also.
At Valsugana Expo; in Borgo Valsugana, you can spend some hours buying various things. furniture, plants, bicycles, country animals, food and so on.
Here you can also have a lunch, a dinner or a drink.
What I like most of Valsugana Expo is that this is a place where you can see various country animals; horses, rabbits, chicken and so on.
Borgo Valsugana is some km. far from Caldonazzo.
Have a look at the web site below to know the dates of this event.
This part of Italy is bilingual: both Italian and German is spoken and all the signs are in both languages. This is due to the local history, during which this area belonged to Bavaria, Austria and finally Italy.
South Tyrol/Alto Adige is an autonomous region of Italy, so things tend to be a little different than in the rest of Italy!
I was really surprised to hear people switch from Italian to perfect German and back - quite impressive to me!
All over the Welschnofen area you will find these crucifixes and chapels - a sign of the deep religiousness of the people living here. Most of these crosses are old, some are quite recent. They used to be put up for various reasons: at crossroads, as a sign of thankfulness, to prevent evil or as rememberance of a deceased. Oftentimes you will find the figures and chapels decorated with flowers.
For some more pictures, please have a look at my travelogue as well!
Never forget, here you are almost always a guest at first, not a customer. Some tourists think locals wait desperately for an English native speaker, for trying out finally their poor English.
In South Tyrol, most of the locals speak German which is great if you know it - you can easily get by. However, apart from some touristy areas, there are not many who speak English.
By the way, the Italians like it when tourists try to speak Italian even if they speak English, they really appreciate the effort no matter how stupidly you could sound.
Some survival Italian phrases for daily use:
Do you speak English?: Parla Inglese?
I can't speak Italian: Non parlo Italiano
I don't understand: Non Capisco
How much is it?: Quanto costa?
A table for two, please: Un tavolo per due, per favore
The bill, please!: La fattura, per favore!
Thank you: Grazie
Good Morning: Buon giorno
Good Evening/Night: Buona sera/notte
How are you?: Come sta?
Where is the toilet?: Dove si trova il bagno?
At the corner/left/right: All'angolo/a sinistra /a destra
Every year; at the end of july and the first days of august a Medieval festival is held in Pergine Valsugana. Almost all the village is turned into a Medieval village with people dressed in Medieval-like costumes. A siege to the castle is scheduled (the real one happened in 1356). Other attractions at this festival are; duels, archery, several stalls, music and other performances.
Even if one is not particulary religious, it's tough to resist the setting of the quaint little churches that dot this area of Italy. I might even be moved to attend masses then! It is a deeply Catholic area so do show respect when hiking through it.
South Tyrol is a really interesting area because there is a population of Ladins that were Romans sent to conquer the Celts living in this area in the time before the fall of Rome. They continue to live here and speak the Ladin language - a form of Latin - and wearing their traditional garb. Much like the mennonites but an ancient version complete with conical hats.
They are an ethnical group which seems to be in decay and because that might sound negative, it means just the opposite, they will remain as they did since centuries. They have succeeded in saving their ancient mountain culture and language.
The Ladin homeland - Ladinia ( Patrje Ladine ) - has no official country status. The Ladin capital is Cortina d Ampezzo ( Ampez ), the national flag is a horizontal tricolor of pale blue, white and green.
Novadays, the number of Ladin native speakers is in the near of 20.000.
You will notice that the farmers in that area all wear a blue apron! Without this apron they do not feel dressed! This apron has a long tradition: it used to be made from linen and was white, but over the centuries the blue apron has become the sign of farmers and craftsmen in Alto Adige. If you look closely you can even find embroideries on top - oftentimes flowers and sometimes even a funny saying!
Südtirol / Alto Adige also has very distinct regional costumes - and these vary from valley to valley! If you are lucky, you can see those traditional costumes at some festivity, otherwise you will for sure find them in the local museums!
One of the local specialties are the dumplings - especially the Speckknödel (bacon dumplings). Should you go out, try to order them, they are delicious!
At the local butchery they did sell home made Speckknödel as well, and so one night we had them for dinner (together with a salad) - yummy!
If you are curious, the link below gives you the recipe. Good luck and GUTEN APPETIT!
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