A few miles south of glitzy Madonna di Campiglio lies the tiny town of Pinzolo. Come summer, mountain bikers and hikers flock to this beautiful corner of the Rendena valley – while winter brings skiers to its snow-covered slopes. Wander down the town’s cobblestone streets and breathe in its Bavarian character before taking to the hills for spot of alpine adventure.

Northern Italy’s charming alpine secret, sitting pretty beneath the domineering Dolomites

Things to do


Drive or take a cable car from Pinzolo to Parco Naturale Adamello Brenta. With the spectacular Dolomites as your mountain backdrop, follow well-marked paths to the Nardis Waterfall. Then head to Lake Nambino. Its crystal-clear water reflects the green firs and golden leaves of the walnut trees around it, making it a mesmerising place to relax. Keep your camera ready for any far-off sightings of brown bears or ibex.


From cycling and paragliding, to downhill slalom and cross-country skiing, the extraordinary scenery creates the perfect year-round panorama. In need of a challenge? Pack your hiking boots and compass to take on the Dolomite di Brenta Trek. If you’d rather not venture that far for an adrenaline rush, there’s an indoor ice skating arena to whizz around near your luxury retreat in Pinzolo.


For something on a much smaller scale to the Val Rendena landscape, visit the 14th century Church of San Vigilio in Pinzolo itself. The church’s walls are painted with the eerie ‘Dance of Death’ frescos. These depict the egalitarian story of sinners both rich and poor, young and old, being led by skeletons to their death. In nearby Madonna di Campiglio, you’ll come across the Santa Maria Antiqua church and famous ‘Stone of Sissi’ – named after the Austrian Empress who holidayed here in 1894.


In late February, stop by Madonna di Campiglio for the annual Habsburg Carnival, when fireworks light up the sky and colourful parades take over the streets.

Top tip from SLH

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