The Velvet City, with its palazzos and fountains
Ala is a leading agricultural and commercial centre located in the southern part of the Vallagarina at the foot of the Monti Lessini, which still retains its ancient splendour.
Its historical city centre is one of the most interesting of the Trentino and is a true architectural gem, with its cobbled roads and traditional courtyards, as well as the typically medieval layout of the "Villa Alta".
Famed for the production and sale of silk velvet in the 18th century, Ala comes to life once a year for the Città di Velluto (Velvet City) when it re-enacts its memories of the time and opens its piazzas, palazzos and gardens for artistic, musical and poetry events. Of its many noteworthy historical buildings, special mention must be made of Palazzo Angelini, which has been recently restored, Palazzo de' Pizzini - where both Napoleon and Mozart stayed - and the Museo del pianoforte antico (Ancient Piano Museum).
The town features 67 fountains which underline the primary importance of water here. A symbol welcoming travellers of the past, these fountains still continue to perform the same role for visitors today.
Wonderful hikes can be enjoyed in the Valle di Ronchi, with its untouched natural landscape.
Nordic walking is very popular here as well on the Lessina Trentina Plateau, among the meadows, mountain flowers, beech trees and wild cherry trees.
At the foot of the Monti Lessini lies the medieval town of Ala
Ala, important farming and craft town, lies at the foot of the Monti Lessi, in the southern part of Vallagarina. Its historical center is a true architectural gem, probably one of the loveliest in whole Trentino. Its paved streets, courtyards and the typical medieval plan form of Villa Alta are really amazing.
Worth visiting are recently restored Palazzo Angelini and Palazzo de’ Pizzini, frequented by Napoleon and Mozart and now seat of Museo del Pianoforte Antico. Ala was famed for manufacturing and selling silk velvet in the eighteenth century.
A festival called Città di Velluto (Velvet City) takes place annually in Ala to celebrate that age and the whole city house music, art and performance events.
As if to underline the importance of water, 67 fountains are to be found in the town as a symbol of hospitality to everyone, both travelers of the past and today’s visitors.
Ala provides dramatic walking opportunities in the Valle di Ronchi, with its unspoiled natural heritage. Nordic walking has become very popular here as in the whole Lessina mountain range, where you can enjoy walking through meadows, mountain flowers, beech- and wild cherry trees.
Ala can be reached from north and south along the Brennero state road 12 or the motorway A22, exit Ala-Avio and Rovereto Sud, or on the state road SS 12 - SP 17 to Pilcante - SP 211 Monti Lessini.
Directly to the railway station of Ala, or Trento or Rovereto, excellent bus services to Ala.
The nearest airports are Verona Catullo (90 km distance), Venice Marco Polo (195 km), Milan Linate (245 km) and the new airport in Bolzano (60 km).