Itinerary: Bolzano, Ruffrè, Cavareno, Fondo, Merano
Scenic drives in Italy: the upper Val di Non in Trentino
The upper Val di Non, in the Trentino region, is a huge plateau with rolling fields, green forests, and beautiful places where to enjoy views over Bolzano, Merano, and over the whole Val d'Adige (Valley of the river Adige). The canyon of Rio Novella, Monte Penegal, and Monte Macaion mark the western and eastern borders of this wide valley.
Start out from the city of Bolzano, and after a short drive you will get to the upper 'Val di Non' crossing Passo della Mendola (Mendola Pass) with its typical hairpin turns carved into the rocks. While ascending you will enjoy unforgettable stunning views over the valley below!
Val di Non is traditionally connected to the production and growing of apples. In fact, the valley is an ideal habitat for this fruit because of the climate and the particular composition of the soil, both of which have a positive effect on the apple's organoleptic characteristics. The main varieties that grow here are Golden Delicious (with a yellow or green peel and a crisp, juicy pulp), Red Delicious (red-peeled, pulpy, and sweet), and Renetta Canada (with a yellow or green peel, and a sweet or sour taste).
The most representative towns of Val di Non are Fondo, Malone, Sarnonico, Cavareno, and Ruffré. The historical Shrine of St. Romedio, the witness of the Christian faith, is particularly interesting, as well as the many churches and chapels with beautiful frescoes and sculptures that are scattered across the valley and help us retrace the history of the area and its people.
If you want to relive the history of Val di Non, from the Ice Age to Late ancient times, you should pay a visit to Museo Retico near the town of Sanzeno.
Also, do not forget to visit the Emerald Lake and the Rio Sass Canyon.
Some pictures of Val di Non: