The absent-minded shepherd

The absent-minded shepherd trail is an easy walk for children and families. The trail is a 1.5 km loop. It starts and ends at the same point, a few steps from the Predazzo-Gardonè cable car. No reservation required.

The path partly unwinds through the woods, at times it is panoramic and sunny. It takes about an hour, with no guide need. The walk is ideal for families and children. For small children a baby carrier backpack is recommended as only some stretches are accessible with a stroller. You are in Gardonè at 1650 m in Val di Fiemme in the Trentino Dolomites World Heritage Site.

The best way to walk the path of the absent-minded shepherd is with a game book: clues, drawings, riddles, little stories to feed the imagination.

The thematic path of the absent-minded shepherd is an easy walk to discover the mountains, the past know-how and the world of bees.

  • Gardonè is located at 1650 m in Val di Fiemme in the Trentino Dolomites
  • Predazzo-Gardonè cable car takes 10-12 minutes
  • dogs welcome (with muzzle)
  • easy walk of about 1 hour
  • free trail without reservation
  • Info Point Gardonè for information and gamebooks 
  • gamebooks to discover the shepherds know-how and the mountains
  • gamebook to discover the industrious and fragile world of bees
  • gamebook to respect the forest and nature
  • gamebook with a treasure hunt hidden by the dry leaf gang
  • gamebooks in the company of Fanè, the cook of the forest

Observe, play, learn

A family holiday in Trentino in the Val di Fiemme mountains offers fantastic surprises. If you are looking for an active holiday with children and you don’t hold back when it comes to playing, if you want to spend your family holiday and have fun, you rather don’t miss the Path of the absent-minded shepherd!

It is an easy walk for children with games waiting to be discovered. The path is a loop circuit with no need for a guide. The walk is suitable for families and children. We recommend to bring along a baby carrier for small children (0-2 years).

Arriving in Gardonè by cable car, there are three ways of discovering the path of the absent-minded shepherd:

  • an easy walk with the children, play with them, solve riddles, find clues that help discover the objects Martìn forgot, learn about the world of bees, the secrets of water and the Latemar springs guided by the gamebooks that you find at the Info Point Gardonè;
  • the travelling-itinerant shows along the path: see the programme here on Tuesday we will look for the Dahù, a strange little animal with two short legs and two long legs
  • walk along the path, train your sight, discover the forgotten objects of Martìn and the world of bees with the children.

Gamebooks are fun

The absent-minded shepherd path is made for playing. You are in Trentino in Val di Fiemme at the feet of the Latemar mountains. The best way to discover this thematic path is with a gamebook: clues, riddles, short stories to learn from nature.

Choose among many gamebooks: three describe Martìn and his adventures as a budding shepherd; one tells about the Salvanel during a storm, one tells about the delicate and fragile world of bees with . You can search for the treasure hidden by the dry leaf gang or help Fanè, the cook of the woods, complete his recipes. If you are looking for an active holiday, if you do not hold back when it comes to playing, if you have chosen a family holiday in Trentino, the absent-minded shepherd path is for you.

While walking leaf through the gamebook pages, solve the riddles and at the end of the itinerary, if you complete it, you will get a prize at the Info Point. Some of the prizes are made in wood by local craftsmen, designed by the students of the Art school G.Soraperra di Pozza di Fassa.

At the Info Point you can get everything: reading suggestions, booklets and small presents to bring back home from your family holiday with children in Trentino in Val di Fiemme, near Predazzo.

At the Info Point Gardonè you will find our gamebooks 

  • the absent-minded shepherd and the mountain pasture life (also in english and german)
  • the absent-minded shepherd, Martìn and the water
  • grandpa’s secrets
  • Salvanel del Feudo and the fury of the storm
  • Mì and the bees
  • the Band of the Dry Leaf
  • Rufa and the album of the Forest
  • in the kitchen with Fanè: the Lords of the Seasons
  • in the kitchen with Fanè: the flying galley

Discover the local mountain know-how

On the path of the absent-minded shepherd, you discover the once very common mountain know-how: many families had at least one cow, mowed the lawn and carried the timber down to the valley. These activities still continue in Val di Fiemme today but with modern tools and only a few people carrying them on.

It is the cycle of nature: from the tree to the table, from milk to cheese, from herbs to natural remedies to feel good, from bees to honey. Along the path, discover the tools of the trade: the fork, the rake, the “gerla”, the bucket and the stool, the manger, the backpack, the boots, the milk cans, the sickle, the hat, the “cosae” (a wooden container for the stone to sharpen the scythe), the “crachesa” (a support with shoulder straps to carry wood or milk cans).

Once, children took the cows to pasture, collected the hay and spent the summer in the mountain pastures. Someone, after school, still does it. At the beginning of the season there was the “montega”, the animals going to pasture, and in autumn the “desmontega”, the return to the valley before winter. The right person to tell what life was about on the Latemar 50 years ago in Val di Fiemme, is Albina. 

Jump into nature

On the  absent-minded shepherd path during your holiday in Trentino, you can see how the water cycle works through the various stages: evaporation, condensation, precipitation. Water is wealth for man, nature and fauna.

Halfway through take off your shoes and walk barefoot on the sensory path. You will recognize moss, pine cones, larch branches, river stones, logs and bark. The sensory journey (kneipp path) is a regenerating massage, ideal for a holiday in contact with nature.

There is a beautiful water mill: making it was a real challenge, it is made of wood, taking water from the stream and carrying it into a canal. With your help, a bird, a roe deer and a cow will appear. To see them, all you need is curiosity. Continuing on the path, pay attention to the majestic silver fir: it is the only one, among the many spruces and larches, that lives on Monte Feudo about 170 years old.

Learn sweetness from the bees

Along the path you will find a signpost with a detour: it will lead you to our experimental apiary. There are different types of hives: the one with a solid wooden base and walls made of durum wheat straw. Inside it is covered with mature excrements and wax to be safe and cozy.

The traditional hive, has been completely dismantled, cleaned, reconstructed and painted. Then there is the one obtained from a large empty tree trunk, with a solid roof, covered by larch tree slates. Then the oval shaped hive, made by local artisans who followed Rudolf Stenier’s principles.

Stenier believed that bees love soft and round shapes and it was man for his convenience who built rectangular structures. There is the “Kenya top bar” hive and the didactic one. All around, meadows full of flowers: rhododendrons, arnica, raspberries and calendula.

The hives are not positioned in a single file, but in a way that the orientation of the flight allows the bees to enter and exit without hindrance. To observe them, there is a powerful telescope on the path: you can take your time to study their movements as they will continue to look for the most beautiful flowers. 


1650 M
1,5 KM

Stay tuned!