Trentino - Alto-Adige
For Italians, but especially for the inhabitants of this land in the northeast of the country, the Trentino and Alto Adige are two clearly distinct regions. One, the province of Trento, more Mediterranean and washed by the waters of Lake Garda, the second - the province of Bolzano - is also known as Südtirol, to emphasize its proximity, not only in terms of geography, with the Austrian Tyrol region. You will find the majesty of the Dolomite mountains and endless golfing possibilities with five 18-hole courses and seven 9-hole courses in both.
The golf season here is a little shorter compared to the rest of Italy, though there are exceptions. On the average, courses are open from March to November, and it could not be otherwise, as many of them are located on land exceeding 500 meters above sea level. This is a region of mountains and what mountains they are! These are the Dolomites, the mountain massif that is a Unesco World Heritage site of breathtaking beauty. The Brenta group, the Three Peaks of Lavaredo, the Marmolada, the Sciliar and the Rosengarten are the stars in front of the camera lens. You must always have a camera in hand when you travel around this area, whether for golfing or cultural excursions.
History enthusiasts will enjoy strolling through Trento, an art city abounding with monuments. After visiting the Buonconsiglio Castle which has been the residence of bishops since 1255, continue on to the Romanesque Duomo of San Vigilio and its enchanting square. The city's most beautiful buildings are found on these streets with their splendidly frescoed facades. If you are planning a holiday in springtime, keep an eye on the calendar for the Trentino Wine Exhibition held in the heart of the city's historic district at Palazzo Roccabruna. It consists of a series of events dedicated to the region's outstanding enological products including tastings, discussions and different approaches to pairings proposed by the expert chefs of the Strade del Vino e dei Sapori (Wine and Flavor Routes).
Not to be outdone, Bolzano is a veritable open-air museum which architecturally has been able to blend Baroque, Rococò, Gothic Revival and Romanesque Revival styles for a splendidly harmonious effect. But it is also a blending of different cultures, perfectly visible in the customs, traditions and in the local enogastronomy, where spaghetti can be found rubbing elbows with schlutzkrapfen (spinach ravioli), knödel (boiled dumplings) and goulash, typically northern cuisine dishes. Two truly interesting tourist itineraries start from Bolzano: the Wine Route, which winds through the valley floor of the Oltradige and South Tyrolean Unterland all the way to Salorno, touching on well-known communities such as Appiano, Caldaro, Termeno, Egna, Ora and Nalles, surrounded by castles and lush vineyards where the premium Alto Adige wines are created. And the spectacular Dolomites Road, which links Bolzano to Cortina d'Ampezzo motoring through the main Dolomite passes.
Deciding which is the most beautiful course in these two regions is an arduous task. In Trentino, you simply cannot miss the Dolomiti Golf Club in Seio di Sarnonico at almost 1000 meters of altitude in the upper Non Valley: technical and demanding, the course is sculpted from a woodland of firs on an upland surrounded by the Brenta Massif and the Maddalena Mountains, and is completely flat. The Folgaria is more undulating at 1250 meters of altitude in the setting of the Folgari, Lavarone and Luserna highlands and a clubhouse with the ambiance of days gone by, created from the renovation of a maso - the typical country home of the region - dating back to 1700. There are three 18-hole courses in Alto Adige: the Passiria Merano in San Leonardo, which boasts a mild climate and alternates flat fairways and large greens with uphill holes and sloping terrain or with pronounced differences in level. Merano is the ancient capital of the Tyrol region, as well as a city of spas and a refined tourist destination: the attractions for a perfect holiday are certainly not lacking here. The Golf Club Petersburg, 32 kilometers south of Bolzano is located at 1300 meters of altitude with fairways that are skirted by long rows of age-old pines: a defensive game is recommended to deal with the course's natural difficulties which harmonize perfectly with the appeal of the landscape surrounded by the Brenta Dolomites. Last but not least, the Golf Club San Vigilio Siusi in Castelrotto, 22 kilometers northeast of Bolzano, overlooked by the spectacle of the Sciliar Massif and extending over 60 hectares amidst ponds, streams, cliffs and wide fairways alternating with demanding or more relaxing holes, which is sure to please players of all levels. Over a plate of polenta and cheese, a glass of Alto Adige wine, an apple strudel and a gentian liqueur, your holiday will finish all too quickly.