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Paganella Plateau: the region and the localities
The Paganella Plateau varies in altitude from 800 to 1,100 metres. It is dominated by Mount Paganella, which rises to 2,125 metres at the Roda summit.
This massif rises with high cliff faces above the Adige Valley and the city of Trento to the east, and offers a spectacular view of the Brenta Dolomites to the west.
Mount Paganella does not have a Dolomitic nature, and is separated from the Brenta Dolomites – the only Dolomitic group west of the Adige river – by the Molveno Valley.
A Trentino folk song declares Mount Paganella to be the most beautiful of all mountaintops. It is adored by local inhabitants, who often make a trip of one or more days to the area’s famous tourist spots: Molveno, Andalo, Fai della Paganella, Cavedago and Spormaggiore.
For those who love mountains and outdoor holidays, the Paganella Plateau has something to offer in every season of the year. There are endless
opportunities in summer for via ferrata climbing (including the new Via Ferrata delle Aquile), rock climbing and hiking. Winter sports enthusiasts
can enjoy snowboarding, freeriding, cross-country skiing and ski mountaineering, not to mention the fifty kilometres of downhill ski slopes in the
Paganella ski area.
The area is dotted throughout with alp huts and mountain lodges linked by a network of paths that make it perfect for outdoor pursuits at all altitudes.
Locally produced foods that can be savoured on the Plateau include honey, cheese and cured meats in particular. One of these is “lucanica di cavallo”,
a seasoned sausage containing pork and horse meat. Purely pork meat varieties include lonzino, smoked in a special way, and speck, a traditional
A classic Fai della Paganella dish is tortèl di patate, made from a batter of grated raw potato, flour, salt and cheese, which is fried or cooked in a wood oven. By tradition it is eaten with borlotti bean salad, cheese, cabbage, pickles, carne salada (a corned beef speciality) and sliced cured meat. The local cuisine, influenced by proximity to major wine growing areas, makes extensive use of the renowned Trentino wines, especially those from the Adige Valley.
A typical meal ends with renowned regional desserts, now widely popular, such as torta di fregoloti and zelten (varieties of cake) and apple strudel.
After a strenuous day on Mount Paganella, you need to get your strength back!
Molveno (864 metres) has been attracting tourists for over a century, and has won awards from the Touring Club and Legambiente for its
environmental protection measures and its important landscape.
It is best known for the picturesque old town centre and the swimming lake, with its flat beaches and the nearby peaks of the Brenta group reflected in its waters.
Many excursions set off from here, often to the Brenta Dolomites, where mountain lodges such as the Pedrotti alla Tosa, the Selvata, the Croz dell’Altissimo and the La Montanara can be found, the latter just a few minutes from Molveno by cable car and chairlift.
Andalo (1,030 metres), with its small lake, is one of Trentino’s important seasonal tourist and sporting venues.
The Andalo Life Park, equipped with up-to-date facilities for all kinds of sports, such as swimming, ice skating, mountain biking, horse riding, mini-golf, rock climbing and many others, makes this small town an ideal holiday venue.
In addition, in Andalo you can find two circular Nordic skiing routes, with night lighting and artificial snow, and slopes that descend almost to the town centre. The two lifts between Andalo and the Paganella ski slopes also operate in summer for easier access to the plateau.
Fai della Paganella (958 metres) is located on a scenic plateau on the slopes of Mount Paganella. It is a typical mountain village in a picturesque setting enjoying enchanting views of the Adige Valley. Ski lifts are available at the small hamlet of Santel, about a kilometre from the village. The nearby Paganella Bike Park includes a network of mountain bike trails of various levels of difficulty, totalling approximately 400 km in length.
Cavedago (864 metres) is a small settlement of farmhouses with the wood-tiled roofs typical of mountain houses. It nestles on the western slopes of Paganella, surrounded by woods and meadows, with marvellous views of the Non Valley and the Brenta Dolomites. The Paganella ski slopes are a few minutes from Cavedago by car.
Spormaggiore (565 metres) looks out over a wide sweep of the Non Valley. It is the home of the Bear House of Adamello Brenta Nature Park, which is located in the Spormaggiore Wildlife Park, a vast protected area where typical alpine wildlife such as brown bears, wolves, lynx, wild cats, foxes and eagle owls can be seen at close quarters. With many paths and mountain bike trails, plus tennis and football facilities, Spormaggiore is particularly suitable for family groups, who can also savour the excellent produce of its beekeepers and fruit growers.