Rango: One Nutty Village

March 26, 2014 / Places
Rango, Trentino-Alto Adige

A tiny dot on the map up in the Bleggio Plateau of the Trentino’s Giudicarie area is the focus of my latest photo shoot: Rango.

Rango: One Nutty Village | ©Tom Palladio Images

One of only four designated Borghi più belli d’Italia (the most beautiful villages of Italy) around the region, this village gets high marks for maintaining its rich historical past and overall appearance. It’s picture-postcard perfect.

Rango: One Nutty Village | ©Tom Palladio Images

Back in the day, Pliny the Elder noted that the inhabitants of Rango were transplanted Etruscans from the Po Valley who re-settled in the Brenta Dolomites to escape the invading hordes of Gauls and became known from then on as Raetians.

Rango10_WM

Rango — a bustling metropolis of a couple dozen carved-out-of-the-bedrock homes that lean on each other for support and stability — has a rich folkloric past. At first glance, it appears as if Father Time didn’t move a muscle as the mountainside village with its rocky architecture remains true to its roots.

Rango: One Nutty Village | ©Tom Palladio Images

During my walk around, I made my way through low-ceilinged archways, narrow undulating alleys, across a few footbridges and through open courtyards.

Rango: One Nutty Village | ©Tom Palladio Images

It wasn’t until the tail end of the shoot that I finally came into contact with a real-life descendant of the Raetians of Rango named Giuseppe. He was a rustic-looking, friendly man who was hard at work down at the large granite fountain in the main square washing his… walnuts.

Rango: One Nutty Village | ©Tom Palladio Images

Turns out, the fertile highlands have been the perfect growing spot for walnut trees that have been yielding the “pride of the valley” since the 16th century, the Bleggio walnut.

Rango: One Nutty Village | ©Tom Palladio Images

With a thin shell that’s easy to crack, the meaty inside has a pleasant taste and spicy flavor. The prized nuts are added to regional desserts, turned into a strong liquor called nocino and even used in producing walnut salami, the rave of the area and beyond.

Rango: One Nutty Village | ©Tom Palladio Images
Rango: One Nutty Village | ©Tom Palladio Images
Rango: One Nutty Village | ©Tom Palladio Images
Rango: One Nutty Village | ©Tom Palladio Images
Rango: One Nutty Village | ©Tom Palladio Images
Rango: One Nutty Village | ©Tom Palladio Images
Rango: One Nutty Village | ©Tom Palladio Images
Rango: One Nutty Village | ©Tom Palladio Images
Rango8_WM
Rango: One Nutty Village | ©Tom Palladio Images

Rango, one nutty village worthy of a visit. If you run into Giuseppe down at the fountain, do tell him I said hello.

by Tom Weber

Tom is a veteran print-broadcast journalist who resides in the Colli Euganei (Euganean Hills) in the province of Padova in the Veneto region of northestern Italy. He hosts the eclectic travel/foodie/photography blog The Palladian Traveler.com, is a regular contributor to Los Angeles-based TravelingBoy.com, and is a member of the International Travel Writers Alliance. Feel free to follow Tom as he “meanders along the cobblestone to somewhere.”

17 Responses to “Rango: One Nutty Village”

  1. Great article Tom. Thanks for the continual surprises from a place we both love, Italy.

    Reply
  2. Sebastian Russo

    these photos are breathtaking and thank you for taking us there with you..

    Reply
  3. Lorraine Morton

    Beautiful pictures and intro to Rango. Sure wish I could just *poof* and wish myself there.

    Reply
  4. Poalina

    We visited there almost 2 yrs. ago, up in the Dolomiti, got great pictures, very interesting area. Ate in a (new) large restaurant, with rooms to rent upstairs,
    had a western theme. (US movie )

    Reply
    • Paolina — Good for you. You’re one of the few. Glad you had a great time and brought back some nice pic memories.

      Reply
  5. The photos of the walnuts are gorgeous, as well as the ones of the carved stone houses. I hope to visit this beautiful spot soon!

    Reply
  6. A wonder to travel to such an unknown (to me), and out-of-way place this morning for a few minutes time. I thank you for the trip! Bellissima davvero!

    Reply

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