The major village in the Val Rendena is MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO, an upmarket ski resort 70km from Trento known as "Campiglio" for short. This is where the Austro-Hungarian aristocracy holidayed in the nineteenth century, although not much of that era remains – what you see now is a very twentieth-century resort, hotel balconies groaning under the weight of geraniums. Winter sports and a quiet summer hiking season are Campiglio's reason for existence and the climbing and walking in the Dolomiti di Brenta are superb.
A dozen buses a day run from Trento to Madonna di Campiglio's main square, while thrice-daily trains head to Malé, 23km north, from where handily timed bus connections will take you to into town. The Alpine Guide office (daily 10am– noon & 4–8pm; Tel:0465.447.501, Web: www.guidealpinecampiglio.it ) has information on hiking trails and vie ferrate and offers a variety of climbing courses and mountain excursions in summer. Internet facilities are available at the library (Mon– Sat afternoons) upstairs at the lakeside sports centre.
As Campiglio's hotels can be pricey and often insist on a three- to seven-night minimum stay, the best option, if you're walking, is to overnight in a rifugio.