Category: Travel to Trentino Alto-Adige

Trento to Innsbruck via Bolzano

Today’s guest blog post comes from one of our readers, John Fellin. Since many of us make pilgrimages back to our ancestral roots in the Trentino-Alto Adige, John’s post will be of particular interest to our travelers. My husband and I often travel by train while visiting Northern Italy and I found this to be very helpful information. Mille grazie John!

 

John:

Below is a translation from the regional newspaper Il Dolomiti about a new train service uniting three great Tirolean cities. The service restores a previous service that was severed when Italy annexed the South Tirol. It means that if you’re visiting the Val di Non, you can take “al tram” (the light rail line) to Mezzacorona and transfer to this new service to go to Innsbruck. “ÖBB train” stands for the Austrian Federal Railways (German: Österreichische Bundesbahnen or ÖBB).

 

Il Dolomiti (English Translation):

For the first time a direct, round-trip train will be established between Trento/Trient, Bolzano/Bozen and Innsbruck. In addition to this there will also be an Italo return train from Bolzano/Bozen to Rome.

This is the news from December 9th that will come into force with the new timetables for trains and buses in Trentino – Alto Adige/SudTirol.

There will be an ÖBB train which will depart in the morning and in the evening, will connect Trento/Trient, Bolzano/Bozen and Innsbruck in both directions. In the morning it will start from Trento/Trient at 6:40 am and with intermediate stops in Mezzocorona/Kronmetz (6.52 hours), Egna/Neumarkt (7:05 am) and Ora/Auer (7:10 am), arriving in Bolzano/Bozen at 7:28 am, arriving in Innsbruck at 9:02 am. Departure in the evening from Innsbruck is at 9:00 pm, arrival in Trento/Trient at 11:59 pm.

There will be a new connection between Bolzano/Bozen and Trento/Trient, departing from Bolzano/Bozen on weekdays except Saturday at 20:06.

You can read Il Dolomiti at: https://www.ildolomiti.it/ 

 

About John Fellin:

John is a second generation, 100% Tyrolean American, with all of his grandparents hailing from the Val di Non. He speaks both Italian and Nones, and has remained in-touch with his Trentini cousins. His father’s family is from Revo and his mother’s side is from Vigo Ton (Vich per Nones).

Guest Post by Cecelia Joliat

Cecelia Joliat, a descendant of the Genetti family, is the granddaughter of Regina Branz Daly (1931-2017) and Dr. Joseph E. Daly (1919-2013). She is also the great-granddaughter of Henry Branz (1897-1971) and Erminia Genetti (1896-1971).

Last year Cecelia made the long journey to her ancestral home of Castelfondo in the Val di Non. Today Cecelia shares with us an essay she composed about her family’s homeland along with personal photos from her trip. Many thanks Cecelia for your beautiful words and images!



The Val di Non – by Cecelia Joliat

Winter and spring had met in the valley and decided to form a truce; through the air was warm, little patches of snow clung to the grass and hid in the shadows of the houses at the base of the mountains. The mountains themselves served to break up the monotony of the blue sky, which threatened to swallow the valley whole. Indeed, the Val di Non was a place of perfect peace and clarity, a place where the tedious actions of every day life seemed to be carried away with the wind. It was there that my family packed its belongings and, with heavy hearts, left the comfort and security of their homeland to travel to America.

Over a hundred years later, I was inspired to make a personal pilgrimage to the land of my ancestors, and what I found exceeded expectation. The hillsides were covered in bare apple trees, slumbering in preparation for the next harvest, and the roof of every church glittered like a green gem. Train tracks cut swaths through the fields and bored holes in the sides of the mountains, with the stops punctuating the vast stretches of empty land in between. Neither photographer nor painter could do such sights justice.

No measure of time spent in the valley would have been long enough, so when it came time to leave, I left with the same heaviness of heart that my ancestors had. The windows of the train framed the snowy peaks, quaint farms, and ancient castles until the sun retreated and I was left peering into the darkness, hoping one day to return. ~ by Cecelia Joliat

 

(click on photos to view larger)

 

 

Canederli – A Tyrolean Food!

Canederli di Speck, photo from "Italian Food, Wine, and Travel"

Canederli di Speck, photo from
“Italian Food, Wine, and Travel”

I just came across a delectable post on the blog: Italian Food, Wine, and Travel. Written by Chefbikeski, the Culinary Director and Owner of Italiaoutdoors Food and Wine, the yummy post is entitled: Canederli di Speck – Traditional Dumpling from Sudtirol.

If you travel through the provinces of Trentino-Alto Adige in northern Italy, you’ll find various versions of these heavenly bread balls on most menus. Stop at a mountain hut while hiking (also known as a Malga or an Alm) and canederli will be the main attraction, handmade with love in the back kitchen!

Canederli can be sweet or savory, made steamed or poached, with meat or no meat, eaten alone or in a bowl of broth. They are sumptuous dumplings created by combining leftover stale white bread with milk, butter, flour, eggs, seasonings and whatever else you want to throw into the mixture. Upon one of my visits to a traditional malga, I had a tri-color combo of canederli – white (made with cheese), red (made with beets) and green (made with spinach). The dish was delicious and VERY filling!

For a taste of our ancestors, stop by the Italian Food, Wine, and Travel blog and clip their recipe for Canederli di Speck. For those of you who have never tried “speck”, it is a smoked prociutto-style ham that is made in Trentino-Alto Adige. My mouth is watering just thinking about the salty, smokey slices of speck that always accompanied every breakfast when we visited the city of Bolzano in Alto Adige. Click here to read the full blog post by Chefbikeski.

Want to try your hand at other Tyrolean dishes? I found two cookbooks on Amazon that you might like:

Traditional Cooking – Tyrol (Amazon link)

Cook Book from Tyrol (Amazon link)

Our thanks to Italian Food, Wine, and Travel. Stop by and read more of their wonderful travel posts, illustrated with beautiful photographs of Italy.

Photos from Bolzano

Just a few more photos for your enjoyment.

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Countryside above Bolzano with the Dolomite peaks in the background.

cows

While hiking in San Genesio high above Bolzano, you pass many alpine pastures with well-fed cows!

landscape

View of the Dolomites and vineyards from San Magdalena.

vineyard

The Santa Magdalena vineyard produces an excellent regional wine.

piazzawalter

Evening at Piazza Walther, city center of Bolzano, Italy. The Duomo is in the background.

Castelfondo and Fondo, Trentino, Italy

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Louise at Casa Genetti

Ciao! I finally have an afternoon to chat with you! There have been so many wonderful adventures during this trip to Italy that I will probably have a year’s worth of blog posts to write when I get home. For now I’ll just share the highlights.

I spent most of last week exploring the villages of Fondo and Castelfondo located only a few kilometers apart in Trentino, Italy. My husband and I hiked the beautiful and mysterious canyons that weave through the area (more on this later), visited the Genetti casa in Castelfondo, made new friends, reconnected with old friends, and enjoyed the company of my Italian Genetti cousins.

Over the past five years I have had the pleasure to correspond by email with several people from this area – some found me, others I tracked down for help with various genealogy questions.

MarcoGenettiMeDino

Marco Genetti, Louise Genetti Roach, Dino Marchetti

Last week I met with Marco Genetti of Fondo and Dino Marchetti of Castelfondo. Somewhere in the distant past Marco and I may be related. Since most Genettis can trace their ancestral root to Castelfondo, it’s a matter of finding a common relative. Marco shared a very impressive collection of documents with me along with his family tree. His family moved to Fondo from Castelfondo in the mid-1600s. Since I do have the original baptismal records from the village going back to 1565, I will be doing my homework when I arrive back in New Mexico to find out if we share a many times great-grandfather from centuries gone by. I also made a connection with Dino Marchetti through my 3rd cousin, Brian Lockman. You see I am also a Marchetti from Castelfondo through my fraternal grandmother (Brian and I share a great great-grandfather). It turns out that Dino is an accomplished historian and once the town mayor. Although we are not related, Dino was especially generous with his time, taking us on a tour of Castelfondo, giving us a book he had authored about the village, and sharing his archive of vintage photographs. Grazie mille to you both!

MarcoRomanoAndrea

Marco Romano, Louise Genetti Roach, Andrea Cologna

I also met with my friends Marco Romano (a researcher and historian) and Andrea Cologna. Marco and Andrea were kind enough to be my guides on my first trip to Castelfondo in 2011. I have kept in touch with them over the years and treasure their friendship and wisdom. We had a lovely lunch together in Tret.

And of course I spent a good bit of time with my Genetti famiglia. Last Sunday the family gathered for a hike into the very high country above the village. Since my husband and I love hiking, this was a real treat. In the Trentino-Alto Adige, everyone (both young and old) gets out on the trail. And on weekends, it’s a family event!

3SistersAndLouise

Me with three of the Genetti sisters: Maria, Louise, Lidia and Luciana (missing is Adriana).

My closest Italian Genetti cousins are related through my great-grandfather, Damiano. The four Genetti sisters (Maria, Lidia, Luciana and Adriana) are my third cousins, once removed. This means that they are of my father’s generation and their great-grandfather and my great-grandfather were first cousins. Our closest common relative is my great great great-grandfather, Alessandro Genetti. The photo to the left shows me with three of the sisters. Unfortunately Adriana could not make it that day.

The family gathered in the morning at Maria’s home in Castelfondo. The sisters live elsewhere (Bolzano, Trento) and have summer places in the village of Castelfondo (some have apartments in the original Genetti homestead). With all the little ones packed up and ready to go, we headed higher up into the mountains above the village. After parking, getting hiking sticks and strollers out, we trekked up a beautiful path that wove through peaks and above valleys. Past grazing cows with jingling bells hitched to their collars, we hiked with other families to a mountain hut or “malga”. These respites tucked into the hills were originally a refuge for shepherds during the summer when they grazed their herds in high mountain pastures. Now they are restaurants run by farm families that feed passing hikers. The dishes are simple traditional fare – tasty home cooking such as dumplings and venison, beer and wine, apple strudel for desert. What a great way to hike with a meal waiting for you at the end of the trail!

GenettiFamily

Genetti cousins

After lunch we gathered outside the malga for a group photo, then hiked back down the trail. The day ended with espresso at Lidia’s apartment in the old Genetti home in Castelfondo. A great ending to a week filled with memories, friends and family.

malga

The mountain hut or malga where we stopped for lunch.
That’s Leonardo, Chiaro’s son and Maria Genetti’s grandson running ahead on the path.

On the Road

plazawalter-2 I bet you’re wondering where I’ve been. Well I am enjoying life in Italy right now. My first few days were in Milan and the past week I’ve made my home in Bolzano in the region of Alto Adige or Sud Tirol. What a glorious city this is! A mix of German and Italian, it has an endearing old-world charm. The city center is closed to traffic, making it a wonderful place for walking and biking. My little apartment is a block away from the outdoor market. Open 6 days a week, it offers fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts, breads, cheeses and dried meats. With a bar, restaurant or gelateria on every corner, there is a plethora of choices when it comes to food. Italian, German and Tyrolean specialties abound, but one can also find new cuisines on some menus.

 

bolzanomarket-2It seems that every available inch of farm land inside the city boundaries and climbing the surrounding terraced hills is brimming with fruit – grapes, apples and pears. The trees are so laden with apples you wonder how it is possible to grow so many on a single tree. And yet there are acres and acres of orchards and vineyards everywhere!

On this trip I have also had the good fortune to meet several of my Italian Genetti cousins. This is the best part of genealogy, when the stories of ancestors come alive and family connections are made that transcend international boundaries. Thank you to Chiara, Stephano, Leonardo, Benedicta, Laura and Lidia for making me feel welcome and a part of a much larger family. This week I hope to connect with a few more Genetti and Marchetti cousins.

rittenhiking-2I had planned to write a blog post every few days while I’m here, but as you can see that hasn’t happened. I do apologize – I’m just having so much fun hiking and seeing the sights that it’s difficult finding the time to write. But I will try to correspond more during the next few weeks since I want to share all of these lovely experiences with you. Ciao for now!