On 3 November 2018, Bondone was officially named one of “Italy’s Most Beautiful Villages”, becoming the sixth place in Trentino to boast this important accolade.
A municipality on the south-western border with Lombardy, made up of two settlements: the oldest of these is Bondone, high up (720 m asl) on the right-hand slope of Val d'Inola. It is a typical mountain village, whose little streets offer not only tranquillity but also brightly coloured painted murals. Make sure to visit the Natività parish church, which dates back to 1300, and Castel S. Giovanni, an ancient fortress of the Lodrón Counts from the 11th century. It is a great starting point for picturesque outings to the Bocca di Valle, the Rifugio Alpo lodge, and Cima Tombea (a panoramic viewpoint for Lake Garda and the Valvestino plain).
In the central piazza, visitors can admire a trio of bronze statues depicting a little girl kneeling down beside a kid goat, a man behind her holding a bundle of firewood in his arms, and an immense pile of wood known as a poiat to one side. The monument represents the history of the charcoal burners who would go to work in the woods at the end of March, producing charcoal and generally returning to their homes in autumn. To this very day, during certain periods of the year, visitors to Bondone can witness the construction of the poiat and the production of charcoal from wood; until the 1950s, this was an indispensable resource for economic activities.
Points of interest
Bondone, the most beautiful village in ItalySince 2018 Bondone, a small village nestled on the Alpine slopes overlooking Lake Idro, has been included in "The most beautiful villages in Italy" club. To visit it is to enter a place suspended in time, when the charcoal burners walked along the cramped narrow streets, under arches and along steep staircases. A time recalled by the monument of the charcoal burner found at the entrance to the village, a bronze work that depicts the typical wood pile (the poiàt), a man setting it up and a girl leaning on a goat. Located on the town periphery is the nineteenth-century church of the Nativity of Mary, nestled on a terrace overlooking the valley and Lake Idro below. In August the village hosts an important international festival of street artists entitled Bondone in strada.
Castel San Giovanni
Castel San Giovanni is a mansion perched on a rocky spur, which presides over the whole of Lake Idro and the Valle del Chiese, like a silent and austere guardian. Its origins are shrouded in mystery, but from the 1200s until the mid-1900s it was the property of the Lodron counts. Characterized by a military architecture with a Renaissance layout, and made with tonalite stones sourced from the Val di Daone, it was occupied until the beginning of the 18th century. Plundered for centuries by the local population in search of building materials, it was finally restored by the Bondone Council and you can now visit it as well as enjoying a view of incomparable charm and beauty.