Ala: holidays among art, history and sport
Ala, hamlet of ancient Roman origins, rises at the feet of the Lessini Mountains, at the beginning of Valbona and Valle di Ronchi, in the southern section of Vallagarina. Thanks to the historical dwellings, churches and elegant alleys making up the old town, Ala received in 2007 the orange flag of the Italian Touring Club. Known as the velvet town and surrounded by the nature of the Lessini Mountains, Ala offers cultural tourism and sports activities, especially trekking, mountain biking and Nordic walking.
Ala, crossed by the Adige River, is one of the most interesting historical towns of Trentino, so much that it received the orange flag of the Italian Touring Club. The town has always been a crossroads between European and Mediterranean cultures, and hosted noblemen, artists and kings. The many baroque buildings stand as a proof of this ancient glory. Moreover, two of these buildings are monuments to the ancient commercial soul of the town, which during the XVIII century manufactured and sold velvet fabrics: Palazzo De' Pizzini di Lenna, nowadays housing the Museum of ancient pianos, and casa nova, which hosted Mozart, Napoleon, Francis I and Maria Theresa of Austria.
Many other buildings are worth a visit too, such as Palazzo Gresti, Palazzo Angelini, Palazzo Taddei, Palazzo Azzolini and Palazzo Zandrighi. Since this was an ancient transit town, Ala features 67 fountains and several churches which were built for travelers: St Mary's Parish Church, St. Valentine's Sanctuary, and the church of San Pietro in Bosco.
Every year in July takes place Ala, città di velluto (Ala, velvet town), an historical reenactment of the ancient glorious days of the town.
A short trip takes you from Ala to the Lessini Mountains, where you can admire the ancient beeches and conifers, and the farm houses with stone roofs. Here you have at your disposal many trails for practicing Nordic walking, trekking and mountain biking. In the area takes place also an important mountain bike race, the Lessinia Bike. If you prefer relaxation, visit Valle di Ronchi, a valley leading to the Piccole Dolomiti mountains. Have a look at the ancient mill Fucina Cortina, now turned into a workshop, or walk on the Strada dei Ladri (The Thieves Road), the trail used in the XIX century by smugglers.
If you like motorsports, Ala has also a race track for karts, minibikes and scooters.