As the train rolled through the epic landscapes of mountains, vineyards and bright blue rivers I was transfixed by what was outside the window. I loaded up Google maps to drop a pin at this incredible place I had to come back to, utterly unaware of the station we had pulled into. My map told me I had just arrived at Trento and in a panicked frenzy, I hauled my luggage off the train. Shit, could a city could actually be surrounded by this much natural beauty?
I was like a kid in a sweetshop as I strolled out of the station admiring the towering mountains around me. This is the kind of city break I can get behind, and I’d seen nothing more than the arrivals board yet. I was onto a winner in Trento, the city I hadn’t even heard of a few months ago.
To really appreciate the magnificent setting of Trento, the capital city of the Trentino region, you need to head to higher ground. A relatively cheap cable car will oblige and quickly transport you to Trento Alta, a small mountaintop village with insane views of the city and the valley around it.
Looking down on Trento
Don’t rush, take it all in slowly. Hell, sit down and grab a bite to eat and a glass of local Müller wine at Trento Alta Bistrot, a restaurant and garden just seconds away from the viewing platform. It’s time to settle into that relaxed, in awe and well-fed state that an Italy city break conjures up, but without the crowds and the never-ending list of must visits that the likes of Rome supplies.
In the ‘sunny side of the alps’, there’s no need to exhaust yourself, and I knew this was going to be a city break where I would come back feeling cultured but also rejuvenated, a far cry from the weekends I’ve spent ticking off the attractions at many other cities to return home in desperate need of a holiday.
Book your rail tickets for Italy in advance and secure savings
In general, when travelling by train in Italy and Europe, the best value fares are those booked in advance.
With a variety of high-speed and slower trains serving Italy, you can usually find the right journey at the right price. I’d suggest searching for routes and tickets on Italiarail before travelling to secure discounts.
If you are planning to travel to Italy for more than one or two trips, consider purchasing an Italiarail travel rail pass which will allow savings on extended travels.