Alto Adige/Sudtirol presents itself in all its splendour. The valley floor with its cycle path along the river, the paths along the hillside, the mountains above us. Stage of a certain commitment. The stage is quite long, but it can be interrupted due to the presence of numerous refreshment points located along the route; moreover, two different routes can be followed in the first part: one with historical references as it largely follows the Via Claudia Augusta, the other easier and more current along the Adige cycle path.
From the center of the town of Salorno head towards the railway station and take the cycle path that follows the river along the left bank, up to Cadino. Here there are two alternatives: follow the cycle path, along the motorway, up to Nave San Rocco, where you then have to go up to Pressano. (cyclists, from Nave San Rocco, take the track up to Trento: 18.5km). Or follow the historic road, following the signs for “Ristorante Cadino”. If you opt for this route, you will follow a country road amid rows of apple trees that leads to the crossroads with State Road 12. Then you take the road that climbs the slope of the hill with signs for Castello di Monreale or Koningsberg. After the castle, you continue to climb in the middle of the wood, cross a small stream and come out in the middle of vineyards onto a beautiful country road. You cross an ancient medieval bridge erected over a probable previous Roman building. You arrive in Canazzi and from there you descend towards San Michele all’Adige.
HIGH VARIANT: In Canazzi there is an alternative: continue on the asphalted and busy road directly up to Pressano (we will pass near a Maso (Maso Rosabell) leaning against a small hill on the top of which a Roman stone indicates the direction of a Roman road, part of the Via Claudia Augusta road network.
The entrance to San Michele all’Adige is in front of the ancient Augustinian monastery, now home to an Agricultural Institute and the Museum of Uses and Customs of the Trentino People, which is well worth a visit. Leaving the Museum, you reach the small square of the Locanda dell’Aquila (bar and refreshment): on the facade you can admire the remains of medieval frescoes including the representation of a Wildmann (Wild Man), a mythical figure of the Alpine imagination. On the opposite side of the square, under an overpass, a narrow pedestrian underpass leads back to the cycle path. After crossing the bridge, on the other bank along the river (signs for the cycle path for Trento) there is the cycle path up to Nave San Rocco, a historic ferry point from one bank of the Adige river to the other. Here you cross the Adige again, climb towards Pressano; first you meet the ancient Roman road Claudia Augusta. You can admire the medieval houses with the typical Germanic “korfenster” architecture, i.e. with cantilevered windows from the facade. You pass in front of one of the renowned wine cellars of the area (Cesconi), and then the country road between the vineyards (via Furli) leads downhill to Lavis. You pass in front of the Church of Sant’Uldarico (Ulrich), a German bishop who was also a pilgrim to Rome on several occasions and certainly passed through here. We arrive at the Avisio river. Before taking the bridge over the Avisio, you can admire and visit the magnificent nineteenth-century building of the Ciucioi Garden: it is an imaginative “vertical” castle built by an agronomist to grow citrus fruits. A unique and fairy-tale artifact. The stream is crossed on an iron bridge. Immediately after the bridge (bar, refreshment point) you are in the territory of the Municipality of Trento. Go up a flight of steps following the signs for the SAT 472 path – Via Claudia Augusta. At the top of the stairway, a path starts in the middle of the woods which reaches a paved road which leads to Gazzadina. For many stretches it is on the Via Claudia Augusta with some interesting stretches of original Roman paving. Cross the hamlet of Bolleri, then Martignano. The town is an ancient settlement originating from miners (Knappen) who came from Austria and Germany called by the Prince Bishop of Trento to exploit the silver mines of the mountain that overlooks it: Calisio, or Monte Argentario. A long road in the sun in the middle of the vineyards finally leads to the Coste Park. The Park stands on the site of an ancient red and white marble quarry: from here all the stones for the construction of the city of Trento were extracted. In steep descent, you arrive at the start of path 3 for Trento-Port’Aquila. After the Madonna delle Laste sanctuary, Trento is entered through one of its medieval gates: Port’Aquila, set in the Castello del Buonconsiglio. Once through the door, you arrive in the historic center of Trento: the Cathedral and its beautiful square.