The sea trapped in the stone. In time, the coral reefs of the waters of Thetis were pushed up by the collision of earth plates. This is how the Dolomites were born, castles of rock that preserve the traces of the millenary marine life. Majestic, unbelievable and white, different from any other mountain for their pallor and the exceptional geological composition.
The famous architect Le Corbusier called it "the most beautiful work of architecture in the world." UNESCO, on June 26th, 2009, has declared it a Natural Heritage Site.
And the Expo in Milan is now an opportunity to beckon on the Pale Mountains million of visitors looking for a holiday in the Italian beauty.
Trentino has created six itineraries for those arriving from the universal exhibition.
The first one is dedicated to discover the geology of the Dolomites: four stages to discover a 350 million years long history.
You walk capturing landscapes and culture: the "Marmitte dei Giganti" (carved by glaciers 20 thousand years ago in the Valley of Lakes), the gorges of Limarò, the Dolomites of Brenta (between Val Rendena and the Non and Sole valleys). Second day, always looking up, from Passo Grostè to Vallesinella with its waterfalls.
Another day will include a climb in Fiemme and Fassa valleys, in eastern Trentino, up to the Latemar and Catinaccio, accessible to all thanks to the lifts and the many paths affordable. Finally, a walk at altitude to have a close encounter with the "Queen" Marmolada, limestone mountain that with its glacier is the largest of the Dolomites.
With its three natural parks Trentino is also a land rich in natural jewels among the valleys and mountain pastures. The second proposal is the discovery of green oasis, with hikes of rising level, from the very easy ones, suitable for families, in the company of the operators.
You can choose between the park Adamello-Brenta, the fauna of Spormaggiore, which is the kingdom of the "lord of the woods", the bear, and the park of Paneveggio - Pale di San Martino, with his heart of spruce, famous as the "Forest of the violins", for the wood loved by Stradivari.
Another idea, that gourmet travelers will surely like, is the tour of the huts that have excellent cheeses. They are those of the Dolomites of Fiemme, Fassa and Primiero - Vanoi, where graze selected bovine breeds as the gray alpine, fed with erbs with thousand properties. In Trentino there are more than 400 alpine pastures in summer: 170 produce milk, 96 turn it into butter, cheese, cream, cottage cheese, thirty are also restaurants and other offer bedrooms or educational activities and workshops.
The ‘Non’ and ‘Sole’ valleys urges you to explore the orchards: there are three varieties of apples that have the ‘DOP’ and are grown between imposing castles open to the public.
Stories of love for the land are also those who come from the vine cellars of Trentodoc, the bubbles that have made the Trentino known on tables all over the world. These are stories and characters to be known with a tour of the cellars, in the Adige Valley, Piana Rotaliana, Vallagarina, Valley of the Lakes and Basso Sarca, Cembra Valley and Valsugana, in the summer they open their doors to good wine’s fans, for tours between rows and barrels.
Finally, olive tree groves, another jewel of gastronomy and nature in Trentino. The oil made from it is one of the most sought after by gourmets. Even today, the olive grove of Arco, immortalized in a famous watercolor by Albrecht Dürer in 1500, is still the largest in northern Italy.
The itinerary includes a walk on Mount Brione, an oasis surrounded by over 700 plant species where grow also rare orchids, on top of the Mount there are still the Austrian forts from late nineteenth century.
Not only. From Riva del Garda you can walk or mountain biking the historic Ponale Road, overlooking the waters of the lake, an ancient connection with the Ledro Valley. And in the hinterland you must visit Canale di Tenno, one of the "most beautiful villages in Italy".
Summing up, Trentino thanks to Milan Expo shows off a permanent exhibition of natural treasures, perfectly equipped for hiking on foot or on two wheels. The only limit is having to choose.