I recently moved to the region north of Veneto, to Trentino Alto Adige (or Trentino Süd Tyrol). The region has two principal cities, Bolzano, further north, and Trento.
This post focuses on a wee village just 3 minutes up from Trento by cable car, called Sardagna. The town isn’t visible from Trento, but elements of it are. One can see the cables rising up from the riverside Funivia station (cable car) up to an edifice at the top. Further along the cliff stands a church bell tower and from the same area a waterfall graces the side of the cliff. What can be seen is beautiful to appreciate from the city, but the view of Trento and the countryside from Sardagna is dazzling.
To be honest, I’m afraid of heights. Cable cars are frightening to me. This one holds like 8 people standing like sardines. There are no seats (which I hate as my legs get wobbly on these torture buses). But, as I mentioned, the ride is just under 3 minutes – totally doable. Still, it was 38F/4C degrees out and I was sweating. I was determined to see this town I have been admiring from the ground so I sucked it up and did it.
Truth be told, I didn’t make it to the town itself. It’s about a 10-15 minute walk into a mountain valley. I was thinking about the hike back and as I had an appointment, I decided to leave the exploring to another day (yes, I’m committing to doing that 3-minute torture ride up again). Oh, and the ride down was definitely easier for me.
I had arrived in Sardagna around 10:30am. I have to say, I was able to snap a couple decent pictures. My photography isn’t done with care, usually. I snap pictures for the memory, not for the artistic beauty. Long ago I realised that no matter how good the photo, the experience can never be captured. Hence my carelessness. But this time, I did good! (pat myself on the back)
From the cable car you can see Doss Trento, a lone hill that rises up 309 meters. At the top is the Mausoleum of Cesare Battisti, and you can clearly see the path that leads to the top. It’s rather impressive from this vantage point (no pictures from the funivia – I was busy breathing through my phobia). You can see the Adige River winding between the city and the hill; the reflection of the sun on the water is magical.
At the top of the cliff, just outside the cable car station in Sardagna is a bar, Trento Alta. It is both a bar and a restaurant. I can only imagine how lovely it must be in the summer! Just in front of the bar is a vista point from where you can see the whole of Centro Storico do Trento (historical Center of Trento. You can see the Buonconsiglio Castle, the Duomo (San Vigilio), and a couple other “smaller” churches (see photo insert with the high-tech graphics – haha!).
Disclosure: when I fly in or out of a city I know, one of my favourite activities is to identify the buildings and streets. I always have a window seat and I entertain myself with identifying our position in the air. I do the same when enjoying views. I follow the streets, find the major landmarks, and try to find the rooftops of my most frequented locations. I’m super keen on reading maps, and this is like a live map without street markings. Ya, this is what nerds do for fun.
In conclusion, if you have time to spend in any country, but specifically here in Italy, you have to see the little villages. There is a charm one cannot get from the cities. There is community that is lost in the chaos of the city. And, it offers a chance to stop and breathe; to the in the beauty of this country.
Bolzano, the other principal city that I mentioned above, will be in a future post. Keep your eyes peeled for that soon-ish.