What about going to the less traveled path in Italy? I invite you to discover the beautiful Rovereto, a town that has a fascinating history, fantastic arts, outstanding nature, and great bubbly wine. Yes, I know, it sounds just like another typical Italian town, but trust me, Rovereto is different. The city has its own pace, there is no need to rush there, you go slow with the flow. Without noticing, you‘ll be enchanted by the unique things to do in Rovereto and probably will start thinking about postponing your departure date.
But what is it that makes Rovereto so special? Well, different from other famous Italian destinations such as Milan, Florence or Rome, Rovereto is still unknown. It’s a destination a friend would recommend to you, a place where you can wander around without bumping in big groups of tourists. It’s a town where you can breathe history, taste the real Italian flavors, get active, and also relax at its beautiful outdoors.
Did I convince you to travel to Rovereto, Italy yet? Keep reading and discover the best things to do in Rovereto, places to visit, experiences to have, and most importantly, where to go for wine tasting. This guide wouldn’t be complete without travel tips and recommendations on where to stay in Rovereto. So right after all the attractions and what to see in Rovereto, you will find travel planning tips. Enjoy reading it, and later on let me know if I convinced you or not.
11 Awesome things to do in Rovereto, Italy
Before we start talking about the top things to do in Rovereto, let me explain a bit of its history and location. This information will help you understand why this town is so magical and why you should travel to Rovereto in Italy soon.
Rovereto is located in the Trentino-Alto Adige region, North of Italy, between Lake Garda and the Italian Alps. It sits right at the crossroad between Italian and German culture; it was very influenced by Venetians and strongly affected by WWI. It’s also surrounded by beautiful small towns like Mezzocorona, famous for its wine. Rovereto has strategic geography and cultural position. Its history dates back to the Middle Ages, with layers and layers of architectural beauties, castles, and war fortresses.
Rovereto occupies a picturesque valley surrounded by vineyards and incredible mountains that are an invitation for hiking and mountain biking. If you are a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or something in between, our suggestions of what to do in Rovereto will impress you for sure.
1 – Stroll around the city and discover the history behind its buildings
Exploring the old town on foot is the first thing you must do in Rovereto. You might find it a bit confusing to navigate through its tiny curvy streets in the old town, but getting lost is also part of the fun. Don’t forget to look up to admire the buildings, the paintings on the facades, the churches, and fountains. When you find Neptuno’s Fountain, stop for an Italian espresso or a creamy cappuccino at La Caffeteria Bontadi.
You can wander around by yourself, but I highly recommend a guided tour. We had a passionate guide that explained the architecture and all about the interesting places there, such as the Turkish House, the Chiesa di San Marco where Mozart held his first public concert in Italy, and many other places. Rovereto old town is that type of place that makes you wonder if you should buy a house in Italy and stay there forever.
There are so much history and art in Rovereto’s streets that you can easily spend a day walking around and taking it all in. Of course, you must have a few stops for great food and gelato. And that, my friend, leads us to our second most important thing to do in Rovereto.
2 – Taste the best gelato in Rovereto, Italy
Zenzero Gelateria is worth a visit for three reasons:
1st – they have the best artisanal gelato in Rovereto, and you must try the ginger flavor;
2nd – it’s 20 minutes away from the old town, so if you get there on foot, you can order double to replenish the calories you lost walking;
3rd – you can enjoy your gelato by the river Adige, which is just a lovely experience.
There are many gelaterias in Rovereto, most of them advertise that they have the best gelato in town. I know it’s all about personal taste, but it was a local friend who took us there, and it was totally worth the walk. Plus, you get to discover a different side of Rovereto. Gelato sightseeing is my new favorite hobby!
3 – Visit the Rovereto Castle and War History Museum
Here you have two of the most important attractions in Rovereto in only one place. The Castello di Rovereto dates back from the 14th century, and since the 15th century, it had been transformed into a military fortress and it served this purpose until The Great War. Rovereto Castle holds an important place in Italy’s architectural history, as it is one of the best examples of late Medieval Alpine fortresses. Nowadays, it houses the War History Museum.
In the War History Museum, you can have a glimpse of what happened in Italy during the war. The collection has uniforms, artifacts, and machinery from WWI and other conflicts like the Colonial War, WWII, and the Cold War.
4 – Get Lost at MART – Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Rovereto and Trento
When I say get lost, I’m not joking. Be ready for four floors or better say five thousand square meters of art. The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Rovereto and Trento is a place you simply can’t miss. To admire the collection that has around 20,000 pieces of art, you will need at least half a day. At MART Rovereto, you will find paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, installations, and more, making it the center of modern art in Italy. Not only the exhibitions are great, but the building itself is a masterpiece.
5 – Futurist House of Art Fortunato Depero
You’ve probably already seen a few works from the Futurist artist Fortunato Depero, like his illustrations for Campari or iconic covers for Vogue magazine. The Italian artist grew up in Rovereto, and in 1957 he founded a museum with an irreverent focus: innovation and irony to knock down all hierarchy in the field of arts. Depero is a pioneer of contemporary design, and you can discover his work at the Futurist House of Art in Rovereto.
You can visit the three museums we recommend here and other attractions in Rovereto with one tourist card. The Trentino Card covers the whole region and offers free entrance to attractions, museums, castles, discounts in activities, public transportation, and more. If you are planning to follow our tips on what to do in Rovereto and thinking of exploring the region, I would suggest you get the Trentino Card. You can find all the information about Trentino Card here.
6 – Have lunch at La Terraza sul Leno Restaurant
Got hungry? Fancy some lunch with a view? Up to a homemade pasta or maybe pizza? Is your stomach growling? If you nod to these questions, find your way to La Terrazza sul Leno restaurant, choose a table outdoors and have a gorgeous meal with a river view. Our suggestions? We loved the tuna pizza and the spaghetti with zucchini and cheese. Don’t forget the local white wine.
7 – Have an aperitivo at Osteria del Pettirosso
As we are talking about good food, let’s move to the 7th best thing to do in Rovereto, Italy. Aperitivo is one of the Italian traditions that I like the most, it’s something between happy hour and dinner, which means that from 6 PM restaurants and bars will be serving great drinks with a food buffet or finger food served at the table. You pay for the drink or a bit more, and the food is included.
At Osteria del Pettirosso you will find delicious nibbles paired with outstanding wine. They have a wine bar, so you can try different types of Trentino wine to go along with local cheese, salami, and the traditional Carne Salata, a specialty cold cut from the region.
Now that you know where to go to satisfy your appetite for good food, art, and history, let’s move to outdoor activities in Rovereto. The city and region have incredible nature, mountains, valleys, and vineyards that are waiting for you.
8 – Visit Forte Pozzacchio for incredible views
Pozzacchio Fort is the last fortress constructed by the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the late 1800s, early 1900s. It’s one of the most modern forts built at that time and only in 1915 it was occupied by the Italians, and then remained with them until the end of The Great War.
A visit to the fort gives you an in-depth perspective of how the region of Trentino was a war zone, and how the battles happened in such a rash environment. The history of the Pozzacchio Fort is impressive and sad, although the beauty of the place and incredible views smooth the sadness aways.
You can reach the fort by car or public transportation, but we got there in a more adventurous way, cycling from Pozza di Trambileno (a village nearby the fort) to Pozzacchio Fort. We had electric mountain bikes, which helped a lot to cover the almost 5 km uphill, the path was thrilling and the views breathtaking.
If you love to cycle and want to have this unique experience in Rovereto, join a tour or go by yourself. Talk to Yourebike team, they have great e-bikes, and they can help you organize the trip to Pozzacchio Fort or any other fantastic place in Rovereto.
Don’t forget to buy your Travel Insurance!
Cycling to Pozzacchio Fort is too adventurous for you? Or maybe you want more cycling tours in Rovereto? Well, whatever your answer might be, our next suggestion of things to do in Rovereto fits your plans, because you can whether do it by bike or by car. It’s outdoors and not too extreme, and it ends with some great wine, so I bet you’ll love it.
9 – Cycling through vineyards for a Trentodoc tasting
We did a cycling tour to Balter Azienda, and for me, it was the best thing we did in Rovereto and it’s easy to explain why. It involves nature, history, good food, and wine, and on top of that, we met amazing people and a gorgeous dog.
We met our guide at Yourebike and cycled from Rovereto town to Balter Azienda. We had e-bikes, which made the way up easy and enjoyable. The road is beautiful, it leads through the vineyard ending at Balter property, which has a tower from the 16th century. The tower was used for military purposes and now it’s part of Balter Azienda, an important name on Trentino wine production.
A visit to Balter Azienda includes a tour in the house and a visit to the production line. You will learn about the grapes, the types of wine they produce and discover the particularities of Trentodoc, Trentino’s signature sparkling wine. Better than learning about it is to taste it, so be prepared for a wine tasting paired with local food. If the sun is shining, take time to explore the garden, enjoy the views, and relax. As drinking and cycling are dangerous, don’t forget to plan a pick-up service to take you from the winery back to town.
We are ending our list of things to do in Rovereto, Italy, with views and sunsets. So be ready for an overdose of nature and, of course, another excellent meal.
10 – Hike to Monte Zugna for the views, sunset and polenta
You’ll need to drive to Rifugio Malga Zugna, it’s around 40 minutes from Rovereto town. From there, you can follow the trail to the top of Monte Zugna. The walk is beautiful and peaceful; on the way up, you will find ruins left from the war. Just stop to read the information and learn a bit more about war history.
When you arrive at the top, forget the history and focus on the incredible view. With a clear sky, you can see Lake Garda and the other peaks around, it’s breathtaking! When you feel it’s time, find your way back to Rifugio Malga Zugna and make sure you have a table booked for dinner.
I can easily say that they serve the best polenta we have ever eaten, so be ready to eat a lot. Try the polenta with walnut sauce, it was spectacular. Then go to the restaurant garden to witness the sunset, it was majestic. As I told you before, there is something magical in Rovereto, and you can only feel it when you are there, living precious moments like this one.
11 – Campana dei Caduti – Bell of the Fallen
We end this list of what to do in Rovereto with another great view packed with history. A huge bronze bell rings 100 times over the city every evening at dusk. The ritual is to remember the soldiers that died during every war, and you can be part of this moment.
The huge Bell of the Fallen cast in Trento in 1924, was made of bronze from canons of the participants in WWI. It was first placed at Rovereto Castle, it had to be repaired twice, and since November 1965 it’s located at the edge of Colle di Miravalle, where you will have a panoramic view of Rovereto.
If you have time, go there a few hours before sunset to visit the complex that has a photo exhibition and a place that is kind of a park. You can stroll around the woods and even walk to the Castle Dante Shrine, another unique attraction in Rovereto. The shrine houses the remains of 20,000 soldiers.
We are done with our suggestions of what to see in Rovereto, so let’s talk about accommodation. We searched the best hotels in Rovereto for all travelers, from luxury to budget ones, so we can help you find that perfect room for your trip.
Where to stay in Rovereto, Italy
We spent two nights at Casa del Pittore, and we loved it. It’s a small boutique hotel in Rovereto, and it has beautiful décor. We had the feeling of staying at a friend’s house, a huge, comfy, and elegant one. We stayed in Cama Matrimoniale Deluxe room with a nice balcony, an incredible shower, and a majestic bed.
The hotel Casa del Pittore is located by the old town, making it the perfect base for those who want to get around on foot, by bike, or even by car. Breakfast was yummy with homemade brioches, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and perfect cappuccinos. You can use the jacuzzi at the rooftop for an extra dose of relaxation, which I can say must be the ideal way to end a day of activities in Rovereto. With great amenities, private parking, and lovely service, it’s easy to understand why the property is rated as a superb hotel in Rovereto.
Another excellent place to stay in Rovereto is Hotel Leon d’Oro. It offers modern and clean rooms with a perfect location. The hotel is 2 minutes away walking from Rovereto train station and also close to Rovereto best attractions. The hotel offers beautiful rooms and common areas, an outdoor pool, and breakfast included in the room rates. Had we not stayed at Casa del Pittore, the Hotel Leon d’Oro would have been our choice.
For those who want a unique stay with a countryside feel, check out Agritur Masa Brenta. The 16-century house is located 6km away from Rovereto town, but it’s surrounded by beautiful nature, which makes up for the distance. This is one of the hotels in Rovereto that has a sustainable approach, using solar power and connecting the visitor to farm activities. The property can be reached by bus departing from Rovereto train station, so if you don’t have a car, you can get in and out of the hotel using public transportation.
Are you traveling to Rovereto on a budget? Don’t worry, we got you covered. Ca’rina Guesthouse has rooms with mountain views located only 1.1Km away from MART Museum. This is an excellent option for those looking for cheap hotels in Rovereto without giving up on comfort and location. Ca’rina got extra points for its positive reviews and for having breakfast included in its affordable room rates.
Did you know you can rent a house or an apartment in Rovereto via Airbnb? Curious? Sign up here and get a discount on your first booking!
How to travel to Rovereto, Italy
Traveling to Rovereto is quite easy as the city is well connected with trains and buses. If you are coming from another country, you’ll probably need to fly to one of the airports close to Rovereto. Your best options are:
– Verona Villafranca Airport (from where you can take a train to Verona central station),
– Canova di Treviso Airport (the bus nº 6 connects the airport with Treviso central station),
– Caravaggio di Orio al Serio, also known as Bergamo Airport in Milan (from the airport you can get to Bergamo or Milan train stations and from there to Rovereto by train).
You can travel to Rovereto from everywhere in Italy by bus or train. Usually, buses are the cheapest way to get to Rovereto, but depending on where you are coming from, it might not be the most comfortable option for a long journey. If you decide to go by train, you can choose between the regional trains and the Freccia high-speed trains. Booking your train to Rovereto in advance is the best option as you can take advantage of the promotional and cheap fares with Freccia.
Getting around Rovereto is easy: the town is small and most attractions are within walking distance. However, you might need to get a bus or a car for outdoor experiences. All information about Rovereto public transportation is here. If you want to have the freedom to explore the city and region at your own pace, you can rent a car at the airport or in Rovereto town. Check the best rates for car rental in Italy here.
So, did I convince you to visit Rovereto? Our trip to Rovereto was during summer, the weather was beautiful and perfect for some day exploring, in the city and out. If you like cold weather, keep in mind that Rovereto is also a winter destination. You can definitely visit all the attractions we mentioned before and even go skiing. Rovereto is close to many ski areas, you can be on the slopes in less than an hour.
If you like adventure, read our posts about Skiing in Folgaria Lavarone or our biking and hiking Alpe Cimbra in summer. All the activities we mentioned in these articles are 30 minutes away from Rovereto and can be reached by car or public transportation.
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