Dolomita di Brenta –the Wildest part of the Alps

The Dolomita di Brenta is a mountain group that is part of the Dolomites, listed on the UNESCO heritage list. Although these mountains are certainly not the highest in the Alps, they might well be contender as some of the most impressive. The Dolomites in the Northeast of Italy are characterized by their roughness and purity. The sheer peaks are an impressive sight hiding adventurous trails, such as via ferrata, and mountain hut treks. It is the main reason why enthusiast hikers and mountaineers have visited the region for over 100 years.

About the Dolomita di Brenta

The Dolomita di Brenta is a mountain group in the Italian Dolomites. It is fully located within the borders of the province of Trente, isolated from the rest of the Dolomites. The massif is surrounded by four valleys: Val di Sole, Val di Non, Valli Giudicarie and Val Rendena.

The highest peak of is the Cima Tosa with an altitude of 3176 meters. Its glaciated summit was first ascended in 1865. The region is especially popular with travelers looking to do the via ferrata, a challenging trail well-known in the area. One of the main attractions of this region is Lago di Tovel, a mountain lake that has had a deeply red color since the ‘60s.

Accommodation around the Dolomita di Brenta

The Dolomites always have appealed to adventure seekers looking for something more challenging than just hiking. But even in winter, this region attracts visitors. The most famous winter sport destination is Madonna di Campiglio in Val Rendena, if you are looking for fine hotel, these are worth checking out:

Feeling Hotel Fontanella, is a modern family-run building, with a wide and spectacular view of Lake Molveno and the Brenta Dolomites. At Hotel Fontanella you will not only relax! In Molveno and the Brenta Dolomites you can practice many activities both in summer and in winter, fun is guaranteed in every season at the Hotel.

Vallesinella, located at the gates of the Nature Park at the foot of the Adamello Brenta Dolomites, surrounded by nature and just 4 km from Madonna di Campiglio. The only 3-star hotel in Madonna di Campiglio near the Vallesinella waterfall and at the foot of the Brenta Dolomites.

Hotel Lory, is centrally located in this picturesque village and on arrival you will marvel at the fantastic view over the mountains and the lake of Molveno.

Hiking around the Dolomita di Brenta

The Dolomites are well-known for the via ferrata routes, a combination of mountaineering and hiking. Via ferrata is derived from Italian, meaning “iron road”. These protected climbing routes are secured with steel cables and ladders attached to the rocks. A specific via ferrata kit is required to preventfalling.

Dolomita di Brenta Trek

The Dolomiti di Brenta Trek is a circular hiking route over the Brenta mountain massif that enables you to visit the wild, evocative Adamello Brenta Nature Park.It is a multi-day trek designed to give hikers the opportunity to stay overnight in mountain refuges and taste the delicious and traditional Trentino cuisine. The Dolomita di Brenta trek is without doubt one of the top walks in the Italian Dolomites and should be on every hiker’s to do list!

Nature trail

This 4-hour nature trail celebrates the forces of nature such as water, which has the ability to shape and heal. Starting at the Comano Spa and leading towards the deep gorge of Canyon del Limaro, along the river Sarca to Adamello, this trail is not to be missed when visiting the Dolomita di Brenta region.

Lago di Tovel

Lago di Tovel
Lago di Tovel Photo by Giulio Giuffa

An easy hike, but one well worth doing is the circular trail around the lago di Tovel. It takes about 1h 20 minutes to complete, and it not only offers great scenery of the lake, but of the neighbouring peaks of the Brenta Dolomites as well.

Valesinella waterfalls

Valesinella waterfalls
Valesinella waterfalls Photo by Janet

Not too difficult with little altitude difference (400m) makes this a trail doable for families with children. The distance of 10 kilometer makes this a semi-day trip from your base and affords the opportunity to take your time and have a picnic along the way. The hike starts in Valesinella, easily reachable with public transportation from Madonna di Campiglio.

The Lagorai Trek

This trail is part of the Dolomiti Panorama Trek which connects the Dolomiti Trekking and Dolomiti Pala Ronda Trek. It is a five-day walk which explores the wild and off-the-beaten path region of mountain lakes, pastures and forests. Rare wildlife can be spotted if you are lucky. The area is populated with red deer, golden eagles, and chamois.


Village of Tenna
Village Tenna Photo by Manveer Jarosz

Village Tenna is in a privileged position when it comes to idyllic settings. Located on a hill, it offers view ofnearby Lake Levico and Caldonazzo. Also, the quaint town Pinzolo has drawn active travelers for decades since the options here are endless--skiing, hiking, mountain biking, and paragliding.The cable car in town makes it possible to reach high altitudes in minutes. From this point, you will be granted great views over the Brenta Dolomites. On the eastern side of the Dolomita di Brenta, you will find the town of Andalo, another great option if you love panoramic views reachable by cable car. This charming village is nestled in a beautiful valley and has a distinctive German flair in its streets. Another beautiful town is Molveno, sitting at the northern end of Lake Molveno with the Dolomita di Brenta soaring behind. With several hiking trails in the region, this is a hotspot for travelers who love the outdoors. The resort town Madonna di Campiglio, on the other hand, is the main place to stay when visiting.

Rifugio Brentei

Mountain Hut - Rifugio Brentei

Rifugio Brentei is a mountain hut constructed in 1932. It is often reached from Madonna di Campiglio via a hike that takes about 4 hours. A lot of climbers use it as an overnight for climbs to Crozzon di Brenta (3135m) and Cima Tossa (3173m). From the hut, one can see the famous northern ice gorge of Cima Tossa. The refuge has 90 places to accommodate visitors and is open from June to September.

Rifugio Angelo Alimonta

Mountain hut - Rifugio Angelo Alimonta

Located at an altitude of 2850 meters, this privately-owned mountain hut offers views of the glacier Vedretta dei Sfulmini in the heart of the Brenta Dolomites. The hut can be reached via different routes from Madonna di Campiglio, but the most common passes by the Rifugio Brentei. It is often used by hikers and mountaineers as a resting place for climbs over the via ferrata Via delle Bocchette.

Rifugio Silvio Agostini

Mountain hut - Rifugio Silvio Agostini

This mountain hut was named after the Italian mountain guide, Silvio Agostini,who died in the mountains in 1936. It was built in 1937, expanded in 1975, and restored in 1995. It is a good starting point for climbs to Cima d’Ambiez and Cima Tossa, both peaks in the Brenta Dolomites.

Rifugio XII Apostoli

Located at an altitude of 2487 meters in the province of Trentino, this refuge is owned by the Società Alpinisti Tridentini. It is a special place to visit as there is a small church nearby which holds a ceremony every Sunday to commemorate all the mountaineers who have lost their lives in the mountains. The name derives from a group of 12 rocks nearby that sit close to each other like the twelve apostles.

Madonna di Campiglio: Grostè Sessellift − Talstation, Rifugio Graffer

To Rifugio Brentei from Madonna di Compaglio

Starting at the lively mountain resort of Madonna di Campiglio, the hike to the Rifugio Brentei, high up in the Brenta massif,has impressive views. It is positioned at the center of the rocky amphitheater of the high Val Brenta, right in front of the imposing north wall of the Crozzon di Brenta, in the Adamello-Brenta Natural Park.

Things to do around the Dolomita di Brenta

dolomita di brenta

The Italian Dolomites are famous for their via ferrata routes. These trails have protected sections that secure hikers and climbers with steel cables and ladders. The origin of this activity lies in WW I, when soldiers crossed these rugged peaks. For those who feel a little less adventurous, there is an option to visit some beautiful lakes. Lake Molveno, Lago di Tovel and Lago di Toblino are only a few worth visiting. Lake Molveno is situated in the Adamello - Brenta nature park, one of the largest protected areas in the Alps. Exploring it gives you a chance to see some typical alpine wildlife. Plus, there are about twelve brown bears still wandering around the park, but the chance of actually seeing one is close to nil.

Hiking with kids

While via ferrata is typically known as a more challenging activity, it can be a great one to do for a family holiday. Via ferrata routes have several levels of difficulty, and the Via Ferrata Col Rodella and Via Ferrata Roda de Vael both are great options for a guided experience with children. The trails are well suited for brave youth and a great way of building up experience. The only question that remains is: what to do with the terrified mom?