The Val di Non and the beauties of Nature: the Lake of Santa Giustina
There is something in Trentino Alto Adige that speaks of pure love: maybe the clean air, maybe the clear waters that flow between the valleys, maybe the unspoiled Nature that dominates it all.
The Val di Non, the widest valley in the heart of the Northern side of the region, is a perfect example of pristine Nature. Surrounded by the mountain chain of the Brenta Dolomites (UNESCO world heritage) the valley is a green stretch over the horizon, dotted with watercourses and immersed in the orchard of the famous “Val di Non” apple, that here finds its most fertile soil.
From the collecting of the waters of the Noce river was born the Lake of Santa Giustina, a blue mirror between the hills. Known also as Lake of Cles, the Lake of Santa Giustina take its name from the namesake ancient hermitage, whose ruins can still be visited alongside the lake shore.
Despite its artificial nature, the lake gives off that quiet calmness, perfectly fitting for some pretty relaxing walks, the faint breeze between your hair and the beating heart of Nature all around you.
However, it’s in the moment when the level of its waters lower, that the Lake of Santa Giustina reveals its most fascinating secrets.
The Val di Non is also known as the Valley of Canyons, because of the network of deep cracks carved in the stone that makes the landscape so unique. In times past, the land was completely covered by huge glaciers, which kept hiding the erosion of the underground watercourses till the moment they melted away.
The final result was a tangled network of streams that creep into the cracks and angles of the calcareous rocks, some of which flowed into what today is the basin of the Lake of Santa Giustina: its riverbed is covered in what seems like ancient wrinkles of rocks. An unusual view indeed.
The town of Cles, the center of the Val di Non
The Val di Non is definitely a natural heritage of great value, but this is not the only worth of this land. We’re actually talking about the piece of territory that, more than any other in the entire region, has the biggest concentration of castles and historical palaces, all surrounded by the green hues of the valley, just like in a fairy-tale.
The town of Cles is a prime example. Sprawled on the right side of the lake of S.Giustina, seated on a green plain, Cles is a small town waiting to be discovered, starting from its odd place name. The name has in fact an old origin, given that it started to be an important business and trading centre since the Roman times. Therefore, its linguistic roots are many and different: it could come from the Latin ecclesia “place of gathering”, or from clavis “central place” or from the pre-latin Clavasses.
Anyhow, it’s clear that it had a role of prime importance in the ancient times, role that it kept playing in the following centuries, when it became the birthplace of the bishop Bernardo Clesio, main historical character of the council of Trento against the Lutheran Church.
Belonging to the bishop’s family is the Castel Cles, a massive medieval building overlooking the Lake of Santa Giustina, developed and decorated by the same Bernardo Clesio with a Renaissance style. Hemmed by old defensive walls, the castle grows around the two main watchtowers, which delimit the severe façade of the building.
The Assossorile Palace as your wedding destination
The town of Cles offers you an exclusive location for your wedding day: the Palazzo Assessorile. Built in the fifteenth century, it combines a severe and medieval external structure with inner spaces decorated with Renascence taste, a mix of colourful upholsteries and precious frescoes.
The credit of its rich decoration goes to Aliprando de Cles, grandson of the above-mentioned bishop, who decided to use the building as palace of residence for himself and his beloved wife. The inner rooms talk the language of love, Aliprando’s love for his Anna, to whom he dedicated an entire hall, beautifully decorated with panels reminiscent of Roman bas-reliefs.
Another room well suited for your wedding day is the Room of Erker. Located on the second floor of the building, it holds a small chapel, where the religious ceremony can take place. Its vault tells the story of the allegory of the four season: the romantic message of the decoration, which enhances the necessity of all four seasons to complete the cycle of life, is the final touch to your perfect day.