The Vallagarina begins at the Murazzi gorge to the south of Mattarello. Humans have inhabited this area since Roman times or earlier. Pomarolo and Besenello are first mentioned in records from the 12th century. The valley is dotted with fortresses, showing the strategic significance of its location at the southern gateway to the Alps. Some of the fortresses were built by the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. The 12th-century Beseno castle above Besenello is the largest fortress between the Reschenpass and Verona. You can easily spot the impressive structure from afar. Its interior is decorated with many frescoes. The castle complex houses a branch of the museum at Buonconsiglio castle. It is well worth a visit, not least because of the spectacular views of the Vallagarina below.
38060 Besenello, Via al Castello 4, +39 0464 834600, opening hours from mid-March to mid-May: Tue–Sun 9:30 am–5 pm, from mid-May to the beginning of Nov: Tue–Sun 10 am–6 pm, from Nov–mid-March: Sat and Sun only, 9:30 am–5 pm, www.buonconsiglio.it
Castel Pietra, 38060 Calliano, Via Castelpietra 1, +39 335 588 28 91, contact the private owners of the castle to arrange a guided tour, www.castelpietra.info.
Castello di Castellano, 38060 Castellano, +39 0464 801 177, contact the private owners of the castle to arrange a guided tour.
Castel Noarna, 38060 Noarna di Nogaredo, Via Castelnuovo 19, guided tours with a wine tasting available daily for groups of 10 or more upon prior arrangement, www.castelnuoarna.com.
Tridentine Diocesan Museum, Palazzo Libera, 38060 Villa Lagarina, Via Garibaldi 10, +39 464 490 374, open Wed–Fri, 2–6 pm, Sat and Sun 10 am–12:30 pm and 2 pm–6 pm, www.museodiocesanotridentino.it