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. Wow, 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.
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.