The region of Trentino-South Tyrol - or in Italian, Trentino-Alto Adige - is an autonomous province in Northern Italy. The area that was historically part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire became a part of Italy after World War I. It is, to this day, an officially trilingual and highly multicultural region. Moreover, this region that covers an area of only a little over 13,000 square kilometers presents a huge diversity, both in natural scenery and cultural heritage.
South Tyrol, which is the area more to the North bordering with Austria and Switzerland, is most well-known as the region of the Italian Dolomites. With 60% of the territory being above 1,500 meters high, it is a true paradise for the lovers of mountain sports. Skiing, hiking and rock climbing are amongst the most popular activities, and the many mountain ranges and valleys offer an abundance of choices to guarantee that everyone will find something to his or her taste.
South Tyrol is not a budget destination and hotels are much easier to come by than hostels. Normally, there is one hostel per larger city, with one hostel in Bolzano, one hostel in Trento, one hostel in Brunico and one hostel in Rovereto. However, for tourists who do not mind affording themselves some luxury, they will be spoiled with a wide selection of nice hotels. To get around, you would definitely need your own vehicle; renting a car gives you the opportunity to base yourself in one hostel and commute to other places. It is also worth going to a more isolated location, such as the mountains, where hotels are normally the nicest and most authentic.
There is definitely enough to see in Bolzano itself to make it worth it for you to stop over here for a few nights. The city boasts numerous castles, ruins and palaces, most of which are accessible on foot, by bicycle or with the help of public transportation. The Roncolo Castle is a beautiful example of Medieval architecture and fresco painting while the Mareccio Castle enchants visitors with its beautiful location right against the Rosengarten mountain range. In addition, the city offers three funicular railways that lift visitors up on the nearby mountains to admire the panorama from the top. Such a trip can also be a good excuse for some wine tasting as the region abounds with wineries and some of the best wine cellars are located on the side of these mountains.
As for Trentino, the presence of mountains is still important, but not as much as for South Tyrol. Here, the top attraction would be Garda Lake, the biggest lake of Italy and a popular holiday area. With cute little castles and majestic villas surrounding the lake, it can be both a nice day-trip destination for cycling around or bathing and also for cultural discovery. The region of Trentino is definitely more backpacker-friendly than South Tyrol and the capital of the region. Trento offers a few alternatives for budget accommodations. Once in the city, you might want to discover the historical centre with its main square and dome as well as the Buonconsiglio Castle that hosts an archeological museum these days.
Hi, I'm JudyM,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Trentino-South Tyrol hostels. Welcome.