Northwest of Trento lies a mountain range with a separate identity from the more famous Dolomitic peaks to the east. With their saw-toothed peaks and glaciers, the Dolomiti di Brenta have a rougher character than, say, the Catinaccio/Rosengarten range in the main Dolomites – and their trails are far less well-trodden. While they are steep, few peaks rise above 3000m, and the paths are easy to follow. It should be said, though, that the walking is strenuous. Climbers come here for the towers of Cima Tosa and Cima Brenta, accessible by vie ferrate – iron “ladders” knocked into the rock. If you are looking for easier strolls, Val Genova has a gentler beauty, with a woodland path taking you past a number of waterfalls cascading down the mountainside.
The range is circled by a good but slow and winding road, the southern half of which passes through the quiet lake resort of Molveno. The Trento-to-Madonna di Campiglio road takes you past the frescoed churches and wooded valleys of the Valle Rendena before arriving at Campiglio itself, the best base for skiing in the area, and a transport hub for walkers and climbers. The northern half of the Brenta mountains is bounded by the Val di Non and the Val di Sole, both served by the privately run Trento–Malè railway.