Close to the valley bottom, the mountains of Valsugana, the Lagorai Chain and the Vezzena Plateau, take us back to the calm atmosphere of old times, when stress and frenzy were not known.
You can cover dozens of itineraries on foot, by riding a mountain bike or a horse to enjoy breathtaking views while discovering history, culture and still alive local traditions.
A natural environment ruled by tranquility and natural beauties such as wide conifer woods, small lakes, Alpine pastures and prairies.
THE LAGORAI CHAIN
It is one the widest, striking and less known mountain chains in the Eastern Alps.
It unravels for about 50 kms and it is made of Permian quartz porphyry. The maximum height is reached by the 2,754 metres of Cima di Cece (Cece Peak).
This chain is characterized by wild nature and it enshrines several marks of ancient pastoral settlements. This chain was shaped by the Quaternary glaciations and it is very rich in lakes of glacial origin (more than 100 located situati at about 2,000 metres of altitude) and in streams. Limited human interventions have contributed to protecting flora and fauna. You can find numerous species of minor wild animals, but also the most famous Alpine mammals: chamois, roe deers, deers, marmots with thick fur and, as regards aviary fauna, some golden eagles, peregrine falcons, capercaillies and black grouses. Woods and the minor Alpine flora are also very interesting. During the First World War the Austro-Hungarian front was here and today you can see a number of remains of defensive structures scattered on the whole chain.
Lagorai offers to lovers of hiking easy and short itineraries (half-day excursions), but also more difficult itineraries and very long and striking excursions that can last a day or more. In this case you could enjoy the warm hospitality in the characteristics malghe (Alpine huts), which are left open by the owners also during winter time to give shelter to hikers. During winter time Vetriolo, the Valle dei Mocheni and Roncegno are ideal starting points for itineraries of Alpine skiing and for excursions using snowshoes.
HOW TO GET THERE
Starting from Levico Terme go along SP 11 where you can see a beautiful view of the Valsugana. You will reach the village of Compet and then Vetriolo (13 kms from Levico Terme). You can also follow another path: from Levico Terme, more precisely from Guizza place, you can take Strada dei Baiti (Baiti path), which, among beautiful meadows and thick woods, goes up to Vetriolo. You can also reach Vetriolo from Pergine Valsugana, from the Assizzi place, by following SP 12, passing through Vignola Falesina and reaching Compet.
In the summer time there is also a bus line to and from Vetriolo.
If you are in Roncegno, take SP 65 towards Ronchi (the panoramic route) up to the fork. At this point turn left towards Pozze and Cinquevalli villages.
THE VEZZENA PLATEAU
The Vezzena Plateau offers to visitors who reach the 1,417 metres of its pass true tranquility and relax. There you can enjoy a green stretch of meadows and pastures surrounded by thick woods and full of typical Alpine malghe (huts), ancient shelters for animals during the mountain pasture and also used for dairy activities.
During the First World War the area, including the plateaus of Folgaria, Lavarone and Luserna, was the scene of fightings and battles as witnessed by the numerous Austrian forts, which were part of an Austro-Hungarian line of defence. Near the pass you can see the ruins of the Austrian fort Busa Verle (Werk Verle); above you can visit Vezzena Peak Fort (Werk Spitz Verle), fortress and observatory point called ‘the eye of the plateaus’, built in a strategic position near sheer rock faces. You can see other forts on the plateaus of Folgaria, Lavarone and Luserna, as well as military cemeteries and the ruins of the military hospital.
The area is rich in hiking and mountain bike itineraries. If you are well trained, you can follow the paths marked by SAT, the Società Alpinisti Tridentini, Cima Vezzena, also called Pizzo di Levico (m.1908) and Cima Mandriolo (m.2051), where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the valley. There are beautiful hiking itineraries also towards the Luserna plateau, which is a linguist island where Cimbro, an ancient German dialect, is still spoken.
During winter time the plateau offers to lovers of cross country skiing dozens of slopes in an unspoilt and striking environment, llinked to the Centro Fondo Millegrobbe (Cross Country Ski Centre Millegrobbe). Lovers of Alpine skiing can enjoy the structures of Malga Rivetta. This is also an ideal area for lovers of snowshoes and of sleddog.
Cheese is the typical product of the plateau, and it is therefore called Vezzena Cheese. It is one of the most ancient and genuine cheeses of the Trentino dairy production. It is made in the malghe and in the small dairy farms of the Lavarone and Folgaria plateaus, where pastures are rich in aromatic flavours. It was favoured by the Habsburg family: they say that Franz Joseph used to eat some Vezzena cheese after every meal.
HOW TO GET THERE
You can get to the Vezzena Plateau starting from Calceranica, going through Bosentino and Vattaro, following SP della Fricca. After Lavarone go on towards Monterovere place and then Vezzena Pass (38 kms from Calceranica).
You can also start from Caldonazzo, more precisely from Lochere place and reach the plateau after 15 kms, by following the SP Monterovere, also called ‘Menador’, ‘Pegolara’o “Kaiserjägerweg”. It is a military road which dates back to the First World War. The road, which goes up in hairpin bends and offers an incomparable view of the Valsugana Valley and of Caldonazzo and Levico Lakes, is narrow and on a very steep slope at some points, being built by sheer rock faces.
Lovers of sports can reach the plateau on foot by starting from Caldonazzo and following two demanding paths (paths of Valscura and of Menador), which are marked by S.A.T.
LAGO DI ERDEMOLO - Erdemolo Lake
Estimated time: ca. 5/6 hours
Uphill gradient: ca. 750 metres
Notes: excursion among rocks and rhododendron on the marvellous Lagorai chain [panel title="VIGOLANA"] Starting point: Centa S. Nicolò – Rifugio Paludei
Estimated time: ca. 7 hours
Uphill gradient: ca. 1100 metres
Level: intermediate. To be done after some training
Notes: a window on Caldonazzo and Levico Lakes.
Estimated time: ca. 3 hours
Uphill gradient: 1213 metres
Notes: from the summit you can enjoy a beautiful view on Caldonazzo Lake.
Estimated time: ca. 6 hours
Uphill gradient: ca. 1000 metres
Notes: during the trip you can discover the characteristic masi (houses) in the Valley. From the top you can see most of the Trentino area.
Estimated time: ca. 5 hours
Uphill gradient: ca. 755 metres
Level: intermediate – some short ladders in the trail
Notes: cool valley with a nice stream