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Alpe Cimbra. The Perfect All-Year Holiday Destination.

*As seen in The Logbook.

Alpre Cimbra is famous for its uncontaminated natural beauty and its profound history.

Attracting lovers of winter and summer activities it offers an all year-round destination attracting international visitors, sport travellers, families, singleton adventurers and business executives.  Speaking with Daniela Vecchiato, director of the Alpe Cimbra Tourism Board, we uncovered some of the reasons why this location should be at the top of your bucket list of places to visit.

ABOUT THE LOCATION

There are over 100 businesses including restaurants, hotels and residences operating at Alpre Cimbra who count the 700,000 yearly visitors as customers or guests. Throughout the year the location is popular for its various and copious activities that keep people returning throughout the summer and winter months. Winter visitors enjoy 100 km of slopes for alpine skiing and 80 km for Nordic skiing. During summer months, although these are also available during winter, there are many ways to enjoy the outdoors including biking, golfing, trekking and climbing.

And for the days where you want to give the legs a bit of a rest, the restaurants provide the finest Italian cuisine with gourmet chefs preparing the most sumptuous dishes and the finest wines. Also, there is a wealth of fascinating history dating back as far as the First and Second World Wars where this region played an important part.

THE TEAM KEEPING EVERYTHING RUNNING

Daniela has a degree in business management and as director of the Alpe Cimbra Tourism Board, she works with a team of three to collaborate daily with the local businesses. The team work hard to keep the flow of the 700,000 arrivals a year as smooth as possible as well as managing all the areas of tourism including marketing and promotion.

“Visitors tend to stay for about five days,” she says, “And in both summer and winter we see as many families, school groups and senior groups as we do sportive and athletic packs.”

And, to keep things moving as smoothly as possible, part of Daniela’s role is to avoid or overcome any challenges facing the location that may hinder the enjoyment of their many visitors. These can include small challenges such as keeping up with the demands of social media and digital growth and the larger, more industry wide challenges, of climate change.

“You need all your data and research to be able to see potential challenges when they are still on the horizon and then you can prepare for them,” she says.

For such things as digital growth, the answer was simply to employ a highly capable full time professional who could proactively nurture their growth and development. For larger issues such as climate change Daniela saw the necessity to plan ahead.

“Climate change has not yet affected us here,” she says, “But it has affected other destinations, especially those relying on skiing opportunities. To guarantee skiing for our visitors throughout the season on 100% of our slopes we make use of the latest technology in snowmaking systems.”

ACCOMMODATION AND ATTRACTIONS

There is a selection of accommodation available at Alpe Cimbra with many focussed around the activities available. For skiers there are hotels right on the slopes and for cyclers or hikers there are hotels nearest the best routes with small additional details to make your stay easier. Some of these can be little things like convenient storage for your equipment or places to park your bicycles. On Alpe Cimbra’s website these hotels are kindly categorised for easy searching.

With roughly 3000 beds available, the average price starts from €60.00 per night per person and there is a certain standard that you can expect in such a prestigious tourist destination.

Naturally, the ski slopes are very popular during the winter, but there are plenty of activities such as fat biking, dog sledding, sledding, snow tubing or tobogganing, indoor and outdoor ice-skating, ice karting and baby parks with air games.

Nordic walking is another widely practiced activity, even in winter, and it is possible to attend courses for beginners and guided excursions. During the summer season, visitors enjoy trekking and mountain biking on the many trails, bathing in Lake Lavarone or visiting the many historic sites. The Après-Ski bars are close to the slopes and there is a fair share of wine bars, mountain huts and restaurants around town, offering the flavours of Trentino and typical delicacies of the region. Some of these include the cheese “Vezzena”, speck, mountain honey, wines from the finest Trentino wineries and the Cimbrian cuisine of the tiny and charming German-Cimbrian community of Lusérn.

FORT BELVEDERE-GSCHWENT

This entire region played a significant role in the First World War as it was directly on the front lines between Austria-Hungary and Italy. A feature of this involvement and one of several fortresses within Trentino, Fort Belvedere-Gschwent is one of the largest Austro-Hungarian mountain fortresses.

Featuring  impressive architecture, it is perfectly preserved thanks to the loving attention by the businesses devoted to retaining the history of this area. Inside it includes an updated exhibition dedicated to the local and international repercussions of the First World War. Making use of multi-media tools and an interactive path, a tour of the fort ensures an engaging experience for patrons. Through different sounds and pictures, the interactive path illustrates the daily life in the fort, making detailed reference to soldiers’ experience of living and fighting together.

“A great amount of thought has been put into engaging patrons while on the fort tour,” Daniela reveals, “The history of this region is very relevant, and visitors are able to learn more about what it has endured. In a way, the horror of the past makes the present beauty even more valuable.”

The tour provides an insight into the realities of war and the daily life of the soldiers. Through the use of animated displays, voice overs, full length silhouettes and authentic howitzers visitors are able to better appreciate the conditions of soldiers over a hundred years ago. Some of these are focussed on the daily routines, while others such as the Diaries of Machine Guns paints a picture of a witness during a conflict. While a voice-over narrates pieces of letters and diaries, backlit bright flashes of light simulate blazes of the machine guns accompanied with the background sound of a series of gunshots.

Others touch on the beauties that were experienced at the time such as the Angel of The Italian Alpine Trooper, which is a unique perceptual experience combining the natural beauty of the landscape of the Val Astico and the poetical enchantment of some historical and literary works recited by two female voices.

LAKE LAVARONE (The cleanest lake in Italy)

Surrounded by forests and meadows at an altitude of 1,080 metres above sea level on a high plateau in Chiesa, Lake Lavarone is beautiful and captivating. A popular spot for bathers and water sports enthusiasts thanks to it being 400 meters long, 250 metres wide and 17 metres deep at its deepest point. During winter there is skating on its surface and diving courses are available to take you into the hidden depths under the ice. Here you can even visit the eerie remains of an ancient spruce tree at the lake bed.

Lake Lavarone has in fact held the Blue Flag award for its water quality for many years and is often referred to as the cleanest lake in Italy.  In the early part of the 20th century it was one of the favourite walking routes for the famous, if often misquoted, Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, who spent several vacations in Lavarone.

MOUNTAIN BIKING

Folgaria, Lavarone and Lusern in Trentino are the ideal places for mountain biking, E-Biking and racing bike holidays.

For the real enthusiasts.

With a wealth of trails and routes riders are spoilt for choice, but a recommended start would be the challenging downhill trails of Bike Park Lavarone where there are a range of difficulties to satisfy every biker.  For passionate road bikers, the uphill of Passo Coe, leg of the Giro d’Italia would be a good one to try, just remember to take water.  Alternatively, if visitors are not well- trained, it’s a great chance to discover the magic of the Alpe Cimbra Alps on one of the E-bikes.

E-bikes are particularly popular and with good reason. Even for cycling enthusiasts, the leisurely pace of E-biking up the mountain, with several rechargeable areas along the way, has its attraction. Convenient stopping points for lunch are available up the route, perfect for a treat of refreshing drinks and delicious Trentino cuisine.

“E-biking is a unique and picturesque way to see the sights of Alpe Cimbra,” Daniela reflects, “It also can be enjoyed at a pace that will allow visitors to discover the rich biodiversity of Alpa Cimbra that thrives around the lakes and across the mountains.”

COMING TO ALPE CIMBRA

As Alpe Cimbra is an all year-round destination it does attract an ever growing number of visitors. Both from groups who have never visited before and those who return each season to enjoy the different activities and luxuries on offer. As such it is advisable to book accommodation and activities well in advance. Fortunately, www.alpecimbra.it allows you to easily navigate the options and book through their website with tremendous ease.

“We are always on hand to help,” Daniela says, “There are many options available here, so we are always happy to lend a hand to visitors needing assistance planning their perfect trip.”