I strongly believe in the power of letting things happen the way they are supposed to, lately.
I used to be a very organized person when it came to traveling. I prepared everything in detail, made a list of the things I wanted to see and do and tried to stick to the plan as much as I could. And obviously, I used to freak out when things changed, all of a sudden, as sometimes happens in life.
But I have changed quite a lot – mainly because I am getting old, I know. I tend to organize things less and go with the flow. I plan trips and book flight tickets, of course, but I don’t panic if I need to change my plans because somehow I know that such change will bring something positive with it.
an awesome view of the Dolomites
This is why I was not disappointed when I had to cancel my upcoming trip to the UK, last September, and choose another destination. I knew there was something good in this change of plans and it couldn’t be truer: if there hadn’t been such a swing of things, I wouldn’t have discovered the lovely Valle dei Mòcheni, in Trentino Alto-Adige.
My husband and I were looking for a very quiet location – we don’t like touristy places that much, and Trentino Alto-Adige can be a bit of it sometimes – where we could spend some time with our dog. I remember my friend Stefania, who once wrote a guide to visit Trento for this blog, telling me about this little-known jewel of a valley and we decided to give it a go.
a very blurry but happy photo of us on the top of Dosso di Costalunga
The Valle dei Mòcheni, a little mountain valley just over 20 km from Trento, surprised us with her charm: a simple and quiet area where the vibe is relaxed and there is a close connection with nature. Nature is not spoiled there, as it sometimes happens in certain alpine locations, but taken into extreme consideration. This gives the valley a genuine and untouched feeling, where you can really decompress and take life at a slower pace.
Since we were with our dog, who is not used to traveling much, going to hotels was definitely not an option, so we rented a baita (a mountain cabin) via Vacanze in baita, a website I came across while googling for some nice accommodation. We couldn’t have been luckier as we found a lovely baita in the middle of the woods but at the same time quite close to the nearest village and with the loveliest owners: they used to bring us produce from their vegetable garden almost on a daily basis and picked some flowers to welcome us and to say goodbye.
our baita in the woods
As you may imagine, we had a great time in Valle dei Mòcheni. As I said, the area is quite small, so it can be visited very easily in a week, as we did. If you are a fan of hiking, there are a lot of very nice paths, some of which have a really breathtaking scenery. since the valley offers great views of the almost 2400 meter high peaks of the eastern section of the Lagorai range. We especially liked climbing up to the Dosso di Costalta, from which you have a 360° view over Valsugana Valley and Caldonazzo Lake.
If you are more into food, you are in the right place as breeding and cheese making are some of the most important activities in the area. During our stay, we visited La Capra Felice, a small farm producing goat cheese run by the lovely Agitu, an Ethiopian lady who chose this area to build her own cheese-making activity. We also had the chance to taste the amazing frozen yogurt by Mas La Grisota, a farm run by a very young couple who breeds cows and makes awesome organic milk and cheeses.
cows grazing in the fields, a common sight in the area
We also had the loveliest Sunday lunch at Mas del Saro, a nice agriturismo in the woods. Being an agriturismo means that they cook and serve only the food and vegetables they grow in their farm, changing the menu on a monthly basis depending on what nature and the seasons have in store. As you can see, everyone is in close contact with nature there and this really gives you a great feeling of being part of it as well.
But Valle dei Mòcheni is not just nature and food, there is an interesting cultural side to be discovered as well. As a matter of fact, the valley has been inhabited by a German community since the Middle Ages, who came to the place attracted by the gold, pyrite and quartz mines. The community obviously had their own language, which is still spoken today by about 2.000 people and is now officially considered as a minority language. If you want to find out more about this unique cultural aspect, you can visit the Bernstoler Kulturinstitut, the Cultural Institute of the valley.
me enjoying the scenery
One of the (many) things I liked about the valley was the fact that it was quiet and remote yet very close to other interesting locations. From there, we easily managed to visit Trento for a nice afternoon stroll, go for a walk around the lake at Levico Terme and even reach the amazing Riva del Garda on Garda Lake. That area of Trentino is awesome and staying in the Valle dei Mòcheni gives you the opportunity of visiting it while staying in a very quiet and simple location – which is something I really treasure a lot!
So, if you are interested in visiting a unique area, where you can relax and be in contact with nature, I totally recommend you this lovely remote corner of Italy: it might not be as trendy as other alpine locations but it is definitely more genuine – and equally charming. And if you visit, don’t forget to try the amazing Treccia Mòchena, a typical sweet made with brioche pastry filled with jam and cream. It’s heaven on earth!