Ossana (Val di Sole)


  • At the entrance to the Val di Peio, the town of Ossana is made up of the hamlets of Fucine and Cusiano
  • Village with the most beautiful sky in Italy
  • The land of 1000 nativity scenes


At the entrance to the Val di Peio, the town of Ossana is made up of the hamlets of Fucine and Cusiano. It is dominated by the Tower of the Castle of San Michele. It was once the religious pole of the entire valley, but also the center of temporal power which saw its fulcrum right in the medieval castle. The fortress stands on a spur of rock which dates back to the time of the Lombards.

Ossana can be visited both in summer and in winter, for various reasons. From the village, a pleasant walk leads to the town of Val Piana, the starting point for excursions on foot. In the summer, you can also take long walks admiring the famous starry sky.

In winter, on the other hand, it is ideal for lovers of alpine skiing, given its proximity to the districts of Marilleva, Pejo and Passo del Tonale, as well as being famous for its 1000 nativity scenes set up during the Christmas period.

The Castle of San Michele

Powerful walls, a drawbridge, a fortified forepart and a mighty 25-metre-high keep make up this fortress placed in a strategic position, on a rock spur between the Trentino region and the Upper Brescia area, above the town of Ossana.

The history of the Castle of San Michele has been linked, since ancient times, to the morphology and context of the territory. The Upper Val di Sole was the route by which merchants and caravans reached the Trentino and Tyrolean districts, after having set off from the valleys of Brescia and Bergamo, but also from Lake Garda.

The castle therefore had the function of outpost and control, but not only: assigned to the episcopal committee as part of the royal and imperial tax authorities, it was the site for collecting taxes and levies, also paid in kind, in the form of agricultural products.

The fortress belonged to various noble families: from the Prince Bishops of Trento to the Tirolo-Gorizia counts, then in the 15th century the investiture passed to the de Federicis, then to the Heydorfs and the Bertellis. Its name derives from the chapel inside dedicated to the homonymous saint. It is now owned by the Province of Trento.

During the Christmas period, its ancient walls host the crib review of Ossana, which can include an extraordinary crib symbol of the Great War. After more than twenty years of restoration, the castle of San Michele has recently been reopened to the public.

Village with the most beautiful sky in Italy

What makes Ossana unique most of all is the fact that it was awarded in 2017 by “Astronomitaly”, the National Network of Astronomical Tourism, as the “Village with the most beautiful sky in Italy”. The strong point of the delightful Trentino village is its particular starry sky which can be admired without sources of light pollution.

Here stargazing, or “admiring the stars”, can really make you dream. What could be more spectacular than looking up at the sky after sunset, when the Solandre peaks stand out against a canvas made of illuminated stars?

Ossana is the ideal place where you can enjoy nature under an incredible Milky Way. The Municipality of Ossana has, in fact, obtained the quality certification “The Most Beautiful Skies in Italy” according to the assessment provided by Astronomitaly, the first project for the development of astronomical tourism in Italy as a new form of responsible and sustainable tourism, which respects nature and protect the celestial heritage.

Thanks to the “Gold” certification, the town of Ossana has entered a prestigious ranking, currently made up of only 13 locations (five of which in Sardinia, one in Umbria, two in Abruzzo, two in Lazio and one in Tuscany). The certification aims to enhance places with a low percentage of light pollution and the concrete commitment to the development of astronomical tourism in Italy.

There are two places of interest, immersed in nature, which have given Ossana this recognition: the suggestive Malga del Doss, an ancient, recently renovated malga where you can stay and wake up surrounded by mountain peaks and luxuriant woods, and the locality of Valpiana, vast naturalistic area crossed by a stream with crystal clear waters and beautiful nature trails.

The country of 1000 nativity scenes

During the Christmas period, Ossana becomes the seat of one of the most prestigious and important nativity scenes in Trentino. A record nativity! There are a thousand characteristic nativity scenes handmade by artisans, artists, voluntary associations and school children. The nativity scenes are placed in the most particular glimpses of the village, in the stables, in the corners of the houses and in the vaults.

There are dozens and dozens of cribs arranged with care here and there, united by a single denominator: to arouse emotions and serenity in the hearts of all visitors. Every year the collection is enriched thanks to the commitment of volunteers and collectors who make it possible to showcase truly special and unexpected jewels and installations.

In addition to the beautiful route through the village to admire the nativity scenes, in Ossana you can also admire the Christmas Market, where you can buy the best local handicrafts displayed in characteristic wooden houses. Do not miss the tasting house, where you can taste the famous mulled wine and delicious sweets!

The botanical garden

In the locality of Derniga, during the summer season you can visit the botanical garden which collects as many as 26 species of the trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants most frequent in Val di Sole and in the Trentino woods. The Derniga wood was recovered on a previous forest nursery dating back to the early 1900s and rearranged as an educational area for schools and guests.

An easy trek

From Ossana to Malga Valpiana, it is a popular and peaceful walk in the greenery of the Valpiana, a suggestive side of the Val di Sole, ideal for a family outing. The small flat valley, not surprisingly called Valpiana, from the town of Ossana enters the north-eastern sector of the Presanella Group. You can park your car near the church of S. Vigilio in the heart of the village, follow the Strada Valpiana up to the first hairpin bend, where you turn left to follow the Sentiero de la Léc.

Going up in a thick fir forest, the Valpiana will soon open up at the Valpiana refuge. Then continue on the forest road that will take you to the 1311 meters of Malga Valpiana, a suggestive and panoramic refreshment point. Leaving the Malga, continue towards the waterfall and the “Sas Pisador” rock climbing wall, and then descend on the same forest road traveled on the outward journey.

How to get

If you arrive from the A22 Brennero, exit at Trento Nord for those coming from the south, exit San Michele all’Adige for those coming from the north. Then continue in the direction of Cles, Val di Non, along the SS43 and, having passed Cles, take the SS42, towards Passo del Tonale, Val di Sole. From Bergamo and Brescia, you can take the SS 42 del Tonale.