ITS FOOD & DRINK
Take the de-boned thigh of a pig, round off the tip and immerse it in a basin (dry) filled to the brim with salt, pepper, juniper berries and other Mountain spices for two weeks. Smoke it all and voils, the -perfect speck", the gastronomic pride of Trentino Alto Adige, that should be tasted either in thick or thin slices, possibly accompanied by crusty rye bread. Another equally appetising salami is the Kaminwurz that, as the name suggests, is smoked over the camino (fireplace). Trentino Grana, Nostrano, Mountain Toma and Casolūt are the most popular cheeses, accompanied by slices of bread with an almost unpronounceable name: Kaisersemmel (Imperial rose), Breatl (loaf), Brotklee (trigonella bread) and Palabirabrot (pear bread). What can we say about the other two local gastronomic -queens": polenta and apples? Original and incomparable, just like the desserts: from strudel (puff pastry filled with apples) to krapfen (filled with marmalade) and Zelten (sweet bread filled with candy and dry fruit). Recipes worth trying include, goulash (stew, enriched with hot spices and onion), pheasant done in white wine, fried cheese (Asiago), canederli (dish with breadcrumbs), Meranese snail soup and finferli and porcini mushroom fagottini. The wines are also special: Merlot, Carbernet, Pinot, Chardonnay, Riesling and excellent local spumantes.
For those in search of something alternative, Trentino Alto Adige is the perfect retreat for you. Breathtaking landscapes act as a backdrop and are popular destinations for winter sport fans and mountain lovers in general. Naturally, the Dolomite peaks or lakes (297 in total): from Garda to the one at Molveno, passing through Caldonazzo, Levico, Ledro and Braies. The Doss Castel di Fai in Paganella is one of the most famous archaeological sites in Trentino where traces of a prehistoric settlement were uncovered. And, on the subject of orange blossom (normally every second Sunday in January) at Casterotto, you can watch an original peasant wedding, a reminder of the wedding ceremony used on the Altipiano until the early 1970ęs. For those who love a mystery, donęt miss a visit to one of the many castles in Trentino Alto Adige, like the Trostburg (Ponte Gardena), Tirolo (Merano), Taufers (Campo Tures), Beseno (Besenello) and Rovereto. Regulars to wellness centres can experiment with new treatments and thermal cures, especially in Merano, where radioactive mineral water from Monte Virgilio is used for treatment purposes. For the more inquisitive, a date in August at Longiar (Bolzano) for the Mill Festival with Ladin specialities and visits to operational mills, while the gourmands can opt for the Speck Festival in Bolzano (May) and the Yoghurt Days in Vipiteno (July).