The Trentino Alto Adige region is all about mountains and wide valleys. The Region has always been separated from "real Italia" and is still closely related to the Austria. Trentino Alto Adige Region consist of two independent provinces, the Trentino (Trento Province) in the southern portion of the region and the Bolzano Province in the north. The entire region is covered by the mountain ranges of the Central and Eastern Alps, Prealps and the Italian Dolomites. The region is bordered by Austria, the Veneto Region, Switzerland, and Lombardy Region. The capital of Trentino Alto Adige Region is the Trento.
The Trentino Alto Adige was acquired by the Italian State as part of the accords of WWI. A rich region that has had a tourism tradition since the early 1800's. This can be noted by the facilities and care the region has put into the tourism industry. Trentino Alto Adige is mostly a region known for its outdoor recreation like skiing in the winter, and hiking in the summer. As well the region is well known for Lake Garda and the water sports near Riva del Garda and Torbole.
Just as the natives of Alto Adige and Trentino have two distinct cultures, they also have two distinct wine zones. Alto Adige is quite mountainous; many of the grapevines grow on south or east-facing slopes on the western hillsides. Only 15 percent of the land is cultivable. The most popular grape variety is a red one, Schiava, more commonly known in the South Tyrol by its German name, Vernatsch. This variety accounts for over 60 percent of Alto Adige's wines and is the basis of locally popular, light-bodied red wines. The most highly regarded of these is St Magdalener or Santa Maddalena, grown on the picturesque slopes overlooking Bolzano. The best known wine is Caldaro or Kalterersee, produced from vines around the pretty lake of that name at the rate of nearly 15 million bottles a year.
Trentino thrives on polenta, usually made from corn but also from potatoes or buckwheat, which is used in a sort of cake called smacafam, baked with sausage, salt pork, and sometimes cheese. Preparation and different ingredients are dependent upon the area. Some valleys use corn meal mixed with flour Saracen wheat, resulting in a strongly-flavored polenta, darker in color. Polenta is prepared with potatoes and local cheese served with cucumbers, pickles, or bean salad in other areas.
In Alto Adige the cuisine has a German influence and lacks the typical Italian flavors. They use spices and other ingredients unknown to other regions. Canederli is a popular dish here. It is served as a soup and served with goulash.