Nambino Lake picturesquely situated on the border of the Brenta Dolomites and the Rhaetian Alps, in the UNESCO, protected Adamello Brenta Nature Park, is the perfect place for a mountain trip for those seeking relaxation in the bosom of nature, also for families with small children. The easy trail requires about 40 minutes of walk, a small climb up the slope of a pine forest, and on the spot: a large meadow, the panoramic path around the lake and a hostel with an excellent kitchen and a restaurant terrace over the water. I invite you to the Madonna di Campiglio area in western Trentino.
Nature parks in Trentino
In the last post about Trentino, I wrote about the Paneveggio Nature Park – Pale di San Martino in the eastern part of the region, near the border with Veneto. It is one of two nature parks located entirely in the area of Trentino – the autonomous province of the region of Trento – Alto Adige, on the above map marked with a dark green color around the village of San Martino di Castrozza. In Trentino, there is still a part of the dello Stelvio National Park – the largest national park of Italy, the greater part of which falls on the territory of the Lombardy region. The Adamello Brenta Nature Park, about which I will write on the blog for the first time today, is the second of the Trentino nature parks and, like Paneveggio – Pale di San Martino, entirely protected by UNESCO. On the above map, you can see its area around the village of Pinzolo and Madonna di Campiglio. Also pay attention to the area where the dark green field does not cover and which, as it were, divides the park into two parts, starting with Madonna di Campiglio. This is Val Rendena valley, more about which later in the post.
Alps and Dolomites – a few words about differences and divisions
Before I take you to the next easy trail in the Italian Alps, I have to explain some very general issues regarding the division of these mountains. I realize that for everyone the difference between the Alps and the Dolomites is obvious. By the way, the multifaceted division of the Alps is a very broad topic and there is nothing wrong with the fact that you can get lost. The mountains that are lokated in northern Italy are the Alps, the same ones we can see in France, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, and Switzerland. However, the Alps are divided. The Alps, among others, are divided to Dolomites, located entirely on the territory of Italy, differing from the Alps, among others, with the geological structure and the genesis of the uprising. The Dolomites are made of soft sedimentary rock – dolomite (a mineral composed mostly of a mixture of calcium and magnesium carbonate), while the remaining Alps are made of hard granite. The difference between the Dolomites and the “classic” Alps can be seen with the naked eye, without being a geologist. The Dolomites are characterized by very jagged peaks from almost white rock, while the Alps are formed by long chains, from which although individual peaks grow, but they are more concise. The Alps themselves are very diverse, in Italy even in terms of the location in particular regions of the Lombardy Alps, the Piedmont Alps and the Ligurian Alps. In western Trentino, however, we deal with the Rhaetian Alps, which are also located on the territory of Austria and Switzerland. Now a UNESCO question. The Dolomites are almost entirely covered by the protection of the Organization. Paneveggio Nature Park – Pale di San Martino is exclusively the Dolomites. The Adamello Brenta Nature Park is partly the Dolomites, partly the Rhaetian Alps, but the whole as a park has also been under UNESCO since 2009.
Adamello Brenta Nature Park – Geopark
Now we are coming back to the Adamello Brenta Nature Park. You already know the difference between the Dolomites and the Alps. It is important to understand the specificity of this park. You probably noticed that in the header after the dash I wrote the word “Geopark”. The Adamello Brenta Nature Park, stretching over an area of around 620 km², includes the Brenta Dolomites and the Adamello-Presanella Massif, part of the Retic Alps. In the area of the park, there are mountain ranges completely different in terms of geology. In the Granite Rhaetian Alps glaciers, waterfalls, rivers and post-glacial lakes can be found more often. The Brenta Dolomites are poorer in this respect. Thus, the unusual geological diversity of this area meant that the name “Geopark” was added. Park divided between valleys: Valli Giudicarie, Val Rendena, Val di Sole and Val di Non offers about 700 km of trekking paths with different levels of difficulty. The area is also an enclave of many species of plants and wild animals, including brown bear, eagle, groundhog, and capricorn.
Val Rendena – between the Dolomites and the Rhaetian Alps
© Dolomiti Campiglio, edit Italia by Natalia
Let us return to the valley of Val Rendena, in it there are numerous towns and mountain villages in which most of the routes and cableways start. The valley is very popular both in winter and summer. Excellent infrastructure, a wide range of accommodation and a variety of attractions make the climbing enthusiasts here demanding a high form, as well as families with children. Val Rendena separates the Brenta Dolomites from the Retic Alps. Living in one place – for example, just like us in Madonna di Campiglio in a beautiful hotel with a view of the mountains – you can take the cable car one day and walk among the white peaks of the Dolomites, and another trekking with views of the alpine glaciers. There are many small picturesque valleys from Val Rendena, such as Val Genova or Val Borzago. As a curiosity, I will add that here in the Val Rendena the river Sarca has its origin, the same one that continues into Garda in the small town of Torbole sul Garda is the main watercourse for the largest Italian lake. Now, from Val Rendena, let’s move to Nambino Lake.
From Madonna di Campiglio to Nambino Lake
Nambino Lake is located just behind the town of Madonna di Campiglio. You can walk to the beginning of the trail, you can also get there by car and park, and then start a short trip to the lake. Below I presented both routes on maps (I set the parking lot as a destination). Drivers will certainly pay attention to this strange curve surrounding the town on the left. It is a bypass running in a tunnel carved in the rock. Madonna di Campiglio has a center completely closed to car traffic. Arriving from the south you can reach the center, but wanting to get to the northern part of the town you have to go on the main road and go around the town bypass. Analogously, the other way.
By car to the beginning of the trail to Nambino Lake
Walk to the beginning of the trail to Nambino Lake
Beginning of the trail to Nambino Lake
A large, prone and wild car park is also the place where the road ends. Coming from Madonna di Campiglio, turn right in the place where the board informs about Rifugio Nambino Lake. In the initial episode, the path runs horizontally. Madonna di Campiglio is located at an altitude of 1522 m, Lake Nambino at an altitude of 1768 m while reaching the car park we have already about half the difference in height.
Although this friendly little bear was placed in the information board mainly as an attraction for children, in fact, the Adamello Brenta Nature Park in the part located in the Retic Alps is the place in the Italian mountains, where you can meet brown bears, as I mentioned in the paragraph above. What’s more, the the probability of meeting a teddy bear – on less frequented routes – is so large that it informs the relevant boards. A place so wild that there is no reach even to mobile telephony – not to mention the Internet – and signs warn about bears I will describe in one of the next posts about Trentino. Returning to Lake Nambino, one of the most popular attractions around Madonna di Campiglio. In the place where this board stands is the lower station of the rope lift, which is transported to the lake shelter for supplies or luggage, but only those who decide to book accommodation in Rifugio Lago Nambino, enjoying excellent reviews. We’re going further. The path will start climbing uphill, but this section falls in the forest and is shaded. In the drone film posted later in the post, you can see in advance how short the episode is.
Looking back – towards Madonna di Campiglio – you have a beautiful view of the Dolomites. On this day, unfortunately, white peaks have been covered by clouds
Nambino Lake with a path around it
Nambino Lake can be easily detour by an accessible path. Passing time is not more than half an hour. It is worth going for this walk because from the opposite bank to the hostel building there is a beautiful view of the rifugio reflected in the water surface, with the chain of the Rhaetian Alps in the background. In turn, the next end of the lake offers a breathtaking panorama with the Brenta Dolomites in the distance, but the weather must be nice. We had quite a good one, it was warm and cheerful, only the clouds ruined some views and colors in the pictures and the film. There are no ski slopes or cable cars on the Nambino lake, you can find peace and quiet are peace and quiet. At the shelter, several routes begin in the higher parts of the mountains.
The same view on a clear day. See how the beautiful Brenta Dolomites – Val Rendena located on the other side – can be seen from here. Unfortunately, during our tour of the peaks were shrouded in clouds © Giacomo Giuliani
Fishing and picking mushrooms in the Italian Alps
You probably noticed a guy fishing in this idyllic venue. Here, I need to alert you to local regulations regarding fishing and collecting mushrooms. In Italy, there are valid licenses to be obtained and limits to be followed. From the information I have, it seems that even local residents must have permission to catch fish in the park. No authorization is punishable by a high mandate.
Beware of vipers in the Italian Alps
The vipers living in the Adamello Brenta Nature Park – and probably in other parts of the Italian Alps – are dangerous. An adult will not be killed, while a child or dog bite may end tragically. I received this information from a licensed park guide who accompanied us at Lake Nambino and was clearly frightened at the sight of the reptile, although the viper crawling through the path was probably more terrified. Fortunately, I managed to take a photo of the escaping creature.
The Nambino lake is culinary. What to eat in the surroundings of Madonna di Campiglio?
I used to write on the blog about Trentino cuisine in the context of Lake Garda. In the area of Madonna di Campiglio, you eat, particularly meat. Meat, including a lot of venison, freshwater fish from lakes, forest mushrooms, cheese, meats, that is all that can be found or hunted in the forest or obtained as a result of grazing and breeding animals. Numerous apple trees are grown in the surrounding Val di Non valley, mainly golden delicious and red delicious. The first one is popular in Polish stores, the second I only ate in Trentino. Apples are here often found in the kitchen used among others to numerous cakes, in which the strudel di mele leads the most (apple strudel). Another very popular cake is the chocolate Sacher Cake from Vienna.
Where to eat? Hostel Rifugio Lago Nambino
After a walk around the Nambino Lake, an ideal idea for relaxation can be to lay on a blanket or a meal at the Rifugio Nambino. I’m very positive about our dinner from mid-September 2018. Above all, the place itself. We took a table outside, right next to the railing, to enjoy the beautiful view of the mountains and the lake. The view of surroundings is not the only thing however, there are plenty of beautiful places in Trentino. Another advantage is the service. The nice owner of the Serafini family running the shelter since 1933 offered a tasting menu consisting of specialties. As an appetizer, we received a board of cold meats and cheeses, as well as a great meal – the same trout from Lake Nambino prepared in four different ways. As the first dish, we received canederli – local dumplings eaten in Tyrol, as well as a great fresh homemade paste in two versions, including forest mushrooms. Believe me, it was heaven in my mouth! I would like to stay overnight in this beautiful place. I am curious if any of you will decide. Be sure to let me know in a comment how it was. You can book accommodation in Rifugio Lago Nambino here. The hostel is open from mid-June to the end of September, from the beginning of December to Easter Monday, and in other periods of the year only on weekends.
Nambino Lake from a bird’s eye view. Italy with drone.
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All the best
The post was created in cooperation with the Trentino Region.