Adriatic and Venetian Civilization Part 2: From Bolzano to Venice

venice to bolzano cover small

 

This is the continuation of the itinerary: Adriatic and Venetian Civilization Part 1 from Venice to Bolzano

Bolzano

Maretsch Castle - Photo © Dichtung & Wahrheit (Poetry and Truth)
Maretsch Castle – Photo © Dichtung & Wahrheit (Poetry and Truth)

BOLZANO: This ancient city at the meeting point of three rivers (the Adige, the Isarco and the Talvera) preserves a quaint atmosphere of old houses, towers, porticoes, courtyards and Alpine architecture. There is a handsome Gothic Cathedral (14th century) with a stone pulpit of German workmanship, and a Baroque altar. In the Gothic Franciscan Church, we find a carved altar by Hans Klocker and a graceful little cloister. In the Dominican Church, there are frescoes of the Romagna school (Gothic, about 1340) and a Madonna of the Veronese School.

The interesting Museum houses Italian and German works of art, and beautiful products of local handicrafts. A pleasant evening may be spent wandering through Bolzano’s elegant and picturesque streets.

The next morning, after 37 miles on the Brenner Highway or the new Autostrada we reach TRENTO.

Trento

Castello del Buon Consiglio
Castello del Buon Consiglio – Photo © www.buonconsiglio.it

We spend the day visiting Trento.

Where to stay in Trento

There are high quality hotels, apartments, B&Bs and farm stays available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Riva del Garda

On the morning of the next day, we leave Trento by the road which crosses the Adige and heads towards Vezzano, Arche, and Bagni di Comano, a lovely drive through pine woods to Arco (26 miles from Trento). This little town, dominated by an ancient Castle perched on a cliff was a famous holiday resort at the time of the Austrian Empire. Three more miles and we reach RIVA DEL GARDA.

RIVA DEL GARDA, magnificently situated at the northermost tip of Lake Garda, the largest Italian lake. Riva still preserves some medieval walls, a 13th century Tower and a Parrocchiale (Parish Church) with 16th century paintings, as well as the 14th century Palazzo Pretorio.

Where to stay in Riva del Garda

There are high quality hotels, apartments, B&Bs and condo hotels available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Lake Garda

In order to go down the lake, we will choose the road along the west side, which we should drive by day passing by magnificent views, through tunnels and below cliffs. We pass through Limone and Tremosine, from which, on the opposite shore, may be seen the town of Malcesine with its beautiful towers, at the foot of majestic Mt. Battle. The road carries on along the foot of cliffs of red rock overhanging the lake; typical Mediterranean vegetation begins to appear in the form of orange and olive trees. Passing through Campione and the tiny port-town of Tignale, we come (18 miles from Riva) to Gargnano, with its beautiful Romanesque Church and 15th century cloister and sculptures. Less than a mile away we come to Bogliaco, with its vast Villa Bittern (18th century), and Toscolano Maderno, an ancient village with a Romanesque church 14th century frescoes inside and the Palazzo Gonzaga (1600). Continuing along the lake, beneath slopes clothed with olive groves and cypresses, we come to GARDONE.

Salo' Piazza - Photo © giovanni4648
Salo’ Piazza – Photo © giovanni4648

GARDONE RIVERA, holiday resort is also famous for the remarkable group of buildings known as the Vittoriale, the museum-residence of Gabriele d’Annunzio (1863-1938), the great Italian poet, and a heroic military figure of the 1915-1918 War.

Immediately after Gardone comes the ancient town of Salò with its old palaces and narrow streets, and a handsome Lombard gothic Cathedral with a Renaissance doorway and a sober interior (Polyptych by Paolo Veneziano, elaborate Gothic altar-piece on the high altar, paintings by Veronese and by Brescian artists). From Salo, after some 12 miles through rolling countryside of vineyards and turreted castles, we come to Desenzano.

Where to stay in Gardone Riviera

There are high quality hotels, apartments, B&Bs and condo hotels available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Where to stay in Salò

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Verona

Verona arena
Verona – Arena

One full day should be reserved to visit Verona

Where to stay in Verona

There are high quality hotels, apartments, B&Bs and guesthouses available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Vicenza

Villa Pisani Maze
Villa Pisani maze

The next morning we leave Verona early and after a fine drive (32 miles), skirting the hills, come to Vicenza.

Where to stay in Vicenza

There are high quality hotels, apartments, B&Bs and counry houses available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Monte Grappa

Leaving Vicenza, and traveling some 14 miles along the foot of Monte Grappa, we reach Cittadella, standing within its marvelous 14th century walls, and after another 7 miles, Castetfranco the birthplace of Giorgione, with its red medieval walls, its Castle, its old painted house and the Cathedral which contains, together with works by Veronese and Bassano, one of Giorgione’s masterpieces: a Madonna, painted in 1504.

Ferrara

Ferrara Cathedral
Ferrara Cathedral

From Rovigo, after a 23 mile drive over the plain of the Po Delta, we reach the Po, at Pontelagoscuro, and then immediately enter FERRARA, well worth one day visit.

Where to stay in Ferrara

There are high quality hotels, apartments, B&Bs and guesthouses available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Ravenna

Ravenna Mosaics
Ravenna Mosaics

We then proceed to RAVENNA, also worth one day visit.

Where to stay in Ravenna

There are high quality hotels, apartments, B&Bs and condo hotels available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Comacchio

We leave Ravenna by the Via Real and skirting now the sea, now the marshes, at present in the process of being, we come to COMACCHIO

COMACCHIO, which stands next to where the Etruscan city of Spina lies buried. it is a charming little town, with picturesque views from time to time along its canals, such as at the spot known as Treponti. Seventeen miles from Comacchio we come upon the magnificent Abbey of Pomposa, an ancient ecclesiastical fief, and a highly important cultural and political center during the Middle Ages. The beautiful 9th century church with its Romanesque bell-tower (157-ft. high) now .stands isolated in the open countryside. Next to it is the Refectory with frescoes which may be considered the masterpiece of 141 century Emilian painting, and across the way, the Palazzo delta Ragione, where the feudal bishops administered justice.

Where to stay in Comacchio

There are high quality hotels, apartments, B&Bs and campgrounds available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Chioggia

Carrying on towards the Po, for another seven miles, we reach Mesola, the picturesque village which grew up around a former Hunting Lodge (1583) of the Este Family. After crossing the flat plain, through which the various branches of the Po thread their way, we reenter Venetia at Contarina (47 miles from Ravenna). Crossing several more rivers, including the Adige, we reach (19 miles from Contarina) CHIOGGIA.

CHIOGGIA, an enchanting town which looks rather like a country cousin of Venice. It stands on a group of islands-crossed by three large canals and is, at one and the same time, town and port for the fishermen, whose bragozzi (fishing-smacks), with their brightly colored sails, serve to liven both the sea and the waterways.

Fine churches, such as San Domenico, San Giacomo and the elaborate Gothic San Martino and public monuments, such as the 17th century Vigo Bridge, remind us that the Queen of the Adriatic is not far off. In fact, from Chioggia, keeping left round the shore of the Lagoon, we reach (25 miles) the main Padua-Venice road, between Dolo and Mira, and then, passing by the marvelous series of splendid 17th and 18th century villas along the Brenta, soon arrive in Venice.

Where to stay in Chioggia

There are high quality hotels, apartments, B&Bs and campgrounds available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Recommended itineraries in Italy

The Cuisine of Trentino-Alto Adige – a bit of History.

San Candido Sudtirol

The Dolomites were among the most isolated places on earth until a century ago, reachable only on foot over Alpine passes that remained snowbound throughout the winter. Conditions were tremendously difficult, and as a result few outsiders were particularly  interested in the area, despite it’s being quite close to the Val D’Adige, the main migration and invasion route between Italy and Germany.
The fact that the local population originally lived in conditions of extreme poverty meant that the typical dishes of Trentino became very uniform and substantial in character. In some secluded valleys, this archaic flavor has been preserved in certain recipes, which are still in use in farm kitchens open to the public.

In the Noce valleys for example, the main condiment was butter. Pork was the most respected meat bred in the “tres” of the farmstead: the “lucaniche” and the “l’osocò”, especially if smoked, conserved at length the secret flavor which the family butcher had given them. Lamb’s meat and tripe were very popular. Tripe was cleaned, the fat removed, and then boiled for several hours. It was eaten with a soup made from home grown vegetables and flavored with oil and onion.

The meal was served almost always with polenta which was a meal in itself in the “monchi” recipe: spoonfuls of “polenta” were put on a plate, similar to large “gnocchi”, sprinkled with grated cheese and flavored with melted butter and sage. Another tasty dish was “polenta rostida”, slices or pieces of polenta reheated in pig’s fat, with cheese and chopped potato.

San Candido Sudtirol

Bread history.

Bread was made from rye flour and was baked in the village oven by the women four times a year and was then stored in a dry place on wooden racks. Important dishes were “menestra dei frigoloti”: “minestra da orzi” with pig or mutton bones added, gnocchi “de comède” (mountain spinach), potato and garlic soup: milk was the main ingredient.

For breakfast it was common to eat fried potatoes with “ciciole”, the leftovers of pork fat dripping, or with lard; for lunch or dinner, after a bowl of “menestra da orzi” (barley soup), “torta de patate cruve” (potato cake) was served (finely chopped potato was put into a copper plated pot, with a pinch of salt and a spoonful of white flour and pig’s fat was added; it was then placed in a very hot oven for about three quarters of an hour, until the dough started to turn golden).

At the farmstead, in the winter evenings, grannies used to prepare for their grandchildren an imported German dish called “smorm” (omelettes made with flour and eggs, cut up into small pieces and sprinkled with sugar). When the cow had calved, the calf’s first milk was used to make a cake called “de colostro”, when a pig was slaughtered, a special cake was made in preparation for the harsh seasons: the “torta de sangue” (blood cake).

San Candido Sudtirol

Desserts history.

The “torta de levà” was eaten on Sundays: fermented yeast was added at two different intervals to white flour, some eggs, a knob of butter; after mixing together it would be left to stand and then placed in the oven until cooked.

In Valle del Fersina, situated in the east of Trentino, where a language of German origin is still spoken today, “mocheno”, “kropfen” and “stròboi” are very common. These cakes have a particular flavor and are eaten during holidays and local village feasts.

The basic ingredients are eggs, milk, sugar, beer, flour, grappa and yeast but the secret lies in being able to pour the dough through a funnel into a frying pan of hot oil. The “mochen” women are capable of creating a sort of circular net of mixture which when cooked is sprinkled with icing sugar.

In Valle di Fiemme “canocèi”, typical ravioli of the Alpine area have a fundamental ingredient, potato filling, which acts as an absorbent. They were the main dish during holidays, and even though they didn’t constitute a very substantial meal they took time to prepare and the women farm workers had more time available during their days off.

The filling is made with potato, cheese (usually “Puzzone di Moena” or “Nostrano di Cavalese”, nutmeg and chives. This is rolled into dough cut into rounds and folded in half moon shapes. After cooking in boiling salted water, parmesan cheese, melted butter and sage, and a sprinkling of poppy seed, can be added.

The “minestra de orzét” (recipe below) is still eaten today in Valsugana, made with vegetables and barley. Tarts with blackberries, bilberries or raspberries, picked from the woods in the area, make some of the best desserts.

San Candido Sudtirol

 Strangolapreti – “Strangle the Priest”

A bit of folklore: “strangle the priest”…

Now, strangolapreti literally translates into priest chokers. But no, these are not some sort of Satanist dish. Italian cuisine has plenty of recipes called strozzapreti, strangolapreti, strangulaprieviti and so on.

They all hint at the fact that priests had (have) a reputation for being gourmands. Legend wants that some of them liked these dishes so much they ended choking themselves upon them. Plus, given the role the Church has always played in Italy, it was always expected for parishioners to be kind enough to present their priest with food presents. This probably did not always happen out of free will but more out of social pressure and dishes with such names were born.

So don’t be surprised if you’ve seen or made a similarly named recipe: there’s many different ones, all traditional. These ones are small dumplings made of spinach, eggs, bread and flour. I’m sure there’s many ways to serve them but they are usually eaten with sage butter and plenty of parmesan.

Südtiroler Weinstrasse – Wine and Bike: In Pursuit of the Vine

Wine cellar on the Wine Road
Wine cellar on the Wine Road

There is perhaps no experience quite so delightful as cycling along the South Tyrolean Wine Road on a warm, sunny day. Italy’s oldest wine road reaps the benefits of the region’s dry, mild climate and more than 300 days of sunshine a year. Visitors will find a number of activities along the way-and some noteworthy culinary indulgences.

The serene and picturesque wine road comprises three different routes for cyclists. Each one follows a trail that winds through breathtaking landscapes with opportunities to stop and see castles or visit wine cellars along the way. Cyclists will have the opportunity to taste the region’s most important native grape varieties: Lagrein, Vernatsch, and Gewürztraminer. International reds and whites grown in the area are also on offer: Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet all have a long history of cultivation in South Tyrol.

The three cycling routes that make up the South Tyrolean Wine Road meander along the Adige (Etsch) River and through the verdant orchards that thrive in the valley. The trails have no demanding grades: even beginning cyclists will enjoy winding through apple orchards and vineyards. You’ll pass old railroad lines, bike alongside lakes and ponds, and see medieval castles and stately mansions. Open wine cellars offer a welcome place to stop and take a break.

All three paths are open throughout the year. They can be cycled as a single trail or combined together for those seeking a longer route.

The Northern Wine Route:
In Pursuit of Lagrein and Sauvignon

 The Northern Wine Route: In Pursuit of Lagrein and Sauvignon
The Northern Wine Route:
In Pursuit of Lagrein and Sauvignon – photo © Compusol

The northern route of the South Tyrolean Wine Road begins in the city of Bolzano (Bozen) right in the central square, Piazza Walther (Waltherplatz). The trail leaves from Bolzano’s old town and leads through Cardano (Kardaun), Rencio (Rentsch), Gries, Terlano (Terlan), Vilpiano (Vilpian) and Nalles (Nals). The return leg runs from Andriano (Andrian) to Frangarto (Frangart), and then back to Bolzano. You can choose to do the Bolzano – Terlano leg by train.
This trail is 45 kilometres long and departs from the bustling heart of Bolzano, the capital of South Tyrol, in the direction of Gries. It passes through the vineyards where the region’s most important native noble red is grown. This is also the homeland of the popular indigenous blend called Santa Maddalena (St. Magdalener). You will cycle past the historical winery along the way, the Kellerei Bozen, Muri-Gries monastery cellar and H. Rottensteiner.

At this point, we highly recommend a side trip to see the extraordinary Runkelstein Castle, a medieval gem: its exceptionally well-preserved frescoes alone are worth the trip. Near the castle, which also has a tavern, you’ll find a nice selection of wines to take home with you at the wine estate Schmid Oberrautner.

The wine trail continues from San Maurizio (Moritzing) behind Gries through a unique landscape full of vineyards, historic mansions and estates. The route passes the wine estate and sparkling wine producer Von Braunbach and the award-winning Kellerei Terlan and Kellerei Nals Margreid, which both feature wine tasting of the well-known Sauvignon.

At Vilpiano, the route crosses vineyards and orchards, continuing to the other side of the valley, where it leads through the wine village of Andriano and to the Walcher Estates Distillery which offers guided tours and tastings of its single-variety grappas.

The northern wine trail continues in the direction of Frangarto up to Firmian Castle. The imposing medieval castle towering high above Bolzano has been home to the main Messner Mountain Museum since 2004. The museum, which is located at five different sites, explores the history of mountaineering and man’s relationship with the mountains.

Back in Bolzano, visitors can enjoy the city’s Italian lifestyle, perhaps by enjoying a leisurely espresso on the plaza, and see some of its contemporary art and architecture. South Tyrol’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, the Museion, is a must for fans of contemporary art.

Where to stay in Bolzano

There are quality hotels, apartments, villas and guesthouses available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Where to stay in Cardano

There are hotels available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Where to stay in Terlano

There are quality hotels, condo hotels, villas and farm stays available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Where to stay in Vilpiano

There are quality hotels available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Where to stay in Nalles

There are quality hotels, condo hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Where to stay in Frangarto

There are quality hotels available, check them out and make a reservation here.

The Central Wine Route:
In Pursuit of Pinot Blanc and Schiava (Vernatsch)

The Central Wine Route: In Pursuit of Pinot Blanc and Schiava (Vernatsch)
The Central Wine Route:
In Pursuit of Pinot Blanc and Schiava (Vernatsch) – photo © Compusol

The central route, which is 23 kilometres long, leads through some of the most charming and historical villages along the South Tyrolean Wine Road. These include Cornaiano (Girlan), Appiano (Eppan) and Caldaro (Kaltern), known for the French grape Pinot Blanc and Schiava, an indigenous variety.
This bike trail, the shortest of the three, begins in front of Caldaro’s well-known estates Cantina Kellerei Kaltern and Erste + Neue. From there, the path leads through the woods up to the two charming lakes at Monticolo (Montiggl): this is a great place to take a little breather or even jump right into the water.

The route continues to Cornaiano, an historical wine village with an interesting feature: the town’s subterranean wine cellars have a surface area greater than that of the entire village. Many wineries, including Girlan and Niedermayr, offer guided tours and tastings. Fischerhof Farm is a distillery: the family makes premium spirits right on the farm that you can sample.

The next leg of the central wine trail is to San Paolo (St. Pauls). Here, you’ll find the old Schreckenstein Manor: the estate has a popular wine bar and unique cellar designed for the lively harvest festivals traditionally celebrated in South Tyrol. The route continues on to San Michele (St. Michael), the main village of Appiano. In the heart of this historical area of cultivation, which is dotted with castles and mansions, we find the St. Michael-Eppan and J. Brigl wineries. The next stop along the trail is the prestigious Stroblhof Estate, which has a fabulous restaurant and terrace garden.
The next stop, Hocheppan Castle, is an absolute must-see. The castle was built in the twelfth century but is still in use today and affords breathtaking panoramic views across the entire valley, stretching as far as the stunning Dolomites.

From here, our route leads us back to Caldaro, which is well known for its lake and as the place of origin of the Schiava variety of grape. There is a cluster of prominent wineries around Caldaro that includes Steflhof and Klosterhof. Wine House PUNKT is definitely worth a stop, as is Peter Sölva & Söhne Winery and the sleek, ultra-modern wine shop, the winecenter, at Kellerei Kaltern.

Where to stay in Caldaro

There are quality hotels, apartments, condo hotels and guesthouses available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Where to stay in Cornaiano

There are quality hotels available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Where to stay in Appiano

There are quality hotels, apartments, villas and condo hotels available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Southern Wine Route:
In Pursuit of Gewürztraminer and Pinot Noir

Southern Wine Route: In Pursuit of Gewürztraminer and Pinot Noir
Southern Wine Route:
In Pursuit of Gewürztraminer and Pinot Noir- photo © Compusol

The longest of the three cycling trails that comprise the ancient South Tyrolean Wine Road begins in the wine village of Cortaccia (Kurtatsch) and leads in the direction of Margrè (Margreid), Cortina s.s.d.v. (Kurtinig), and Salorno (Salurn). On the way back, the trail passes through Egna (Neumarkt) and Ora (Auer) then continues up to the village of Termeno (Tramin). Doing the Salorno – Ora leg by train is a convenient option if the length of the trail seems challenging to you.

The southern route of the South Tyrolean Wine Road, which covers 39.2 kilometres, begins in the heart of the winegrowing village of Cortaccia and leads south towards Magrè, passing Tiefenbrunner Castel Turmhof Winery. This estate, which dates back to the twelfth century, has a tavern in the garden of the castle – a perfect place for a quick snack.

Continuing south, the trail passes a grape vine in Magrè that was grafted way back to 1601. Pioneer viticulturist Alois Lageder opened Paradeis nearby: this chic wine bar and shop offers tastings, meals, and a good selection of bottles – it’s also a nice place to just hang out. The trail continues on to Cortina s.s.d.v., a lovely hamlet that locals nicknamed “Little Venice” for its recurring floods.
Salorno, the southernmost village in South Tyrol, is dominated by Haderburg Castle, a fortification high atop a cliff that was first mentioned in the 11th century. Farther northerly are the centuries-old arcades of the medieval trading village Egna worth seeing and Ora, the picturesque at the foot of Castelfeder, the Arcadia of Tyrol.

On the way back, the trail passes through the village of Termeno, which is quite known in the wine world: the German name of the town, Tramin, is the namesake of the much-loved Gewürztraminer. Gewürztraminer reaches its zenith here: we highly recommend a visit to some of the town’s historical wineries, many of which feature striking contemporary architecture. Cantina Tramin, Hofstätter, Elena Walch and the Hofkellerei W. & G. are four of the most prestigious estates. A trip to Traminer Weinhaus is another must: you’ll find the wine store just before the trail leads back to Cortaccia. Cyclists can lock their bikes here, and see the historical Schwarzer Adler restaurant: its vaulted ceilings and contemporary architecture are definitely worth the visit.

Where to stay in Termeno

There are high quality hotels, apartments, condo hotels and guesthouses available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Where to stay in Cortaccia

There are high quality hotels, apartments and guesthouses available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Where to stay in Salorno

There are high quality hotels and hostels available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Kronplatz Region: Antholzertal – Gais-Uttenheim – Gais-Villa Ottone – St. Martin in Thurn – Bruneck


This is an excerpt from the book “Südtirol and Dolomites”.

Pre da Peres, Anthorlzental - Photo © mel.2405
Pre da Peres, Anthorlzental – Photo © mel.2405

 

12 villages situated in the heart of the “Pustertal” provide a quiet attractive holiday arrangement. In the Kronplatz Holiday Region everybody can find that particular holiday atmosphere he is looking for, quiet places for those who want to be the own and get away of the venal stressing continue of city life.

Antholzertal

The romantic Anthorlzental, the Anterselva valley, one of the most beautiful and unspoiled valleys in South Tyrol, is appreciated by people who want to be in the heart of nature.

This valley with its majestic mountains is the right place for anyone who wants to relax as well as for ramblers and skiers!

Gais-Uttenheim – Gais-Villa Ottone

Spend the most beautiful time of the year in our town surrounded by a landscape of indescribable harmony and natural diversity….. An entertaining and eventful holiday is guaranteed from the middle of May to the middle of October: “Trips, excursions – that’s what to do in the hiking paradise on the sunny side of the Zillertaler Alps”. Here you can go on excursions and hiking up to three-thousand-meter mark.

Where to stay in Gais-Villa Ottone

There are quality hotels, apartments available, check them out and make a reservation here.

St Martin in Thurn - Photo © Buferanera
St Martin in Thurn – Photo © Buferanera

St. Martin in Thurn

We are delighted that you have chosen to spend your most beautiful time of the year in San Martino in Badia.
In our resort you can enjoy a wonderful holiday, far away from mass tourism, and indulge in your favorite sports and leisure activities.

San Martino in Badia, Antermoia and Longiare’, three charming villages in the heart of the Dolomites, the so-called “Pale Mountains”, await you.

Our family-run establishments will endeavour to give you an interesting insight into Ladin history, tradition, culture and cuisine.

Holidaying in San Martino in Badia means: hiking in the marvellous Parco Naturale Puez-Odle (nature reserve), relaxing in idyllic countryside, discovering the charm of ancient cultures and enjoying some unforgettable winter days in the Dolomiti Superski ski region!

Where to stay in St. Martin in Thurn

There are quality hotels, condo hotels, farm stays and B&Bs available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Bruneck Evangelical Church - Photo © diegudrun
Bruneck Evangelical Church – Photo © diegudrun

Bruneck

Colorful like the seasons – its central location is not the only reason for the picturesque town of Bruneck being the heart and soul of the verdant Puster Valley.

The Gader Valley extends towards the mountain world of the Dolomites in the south, the Ahrn Valley meets the glacier world of the Zillertaler Alps in the north. A small big world as colorful as the seasons and whose range of recreational activities is practically inexhaustible. Numerous natural recreational and sports activities 365 days a year are just as alluring as the many equally popular successful sports and cultural events.

Bruneck was first mentioned in a document in 1256. Shortly afterwards Bruneck became the economical center of the Puster Valley. Today, our town is geared towards the tourism trade and offers all of the prerequisites necessary for an interesting, varied, relaxing vacation. There are over 4,000 beds available in all categories in Bruneck, Reischach, St. Georgen, Stegen, Aufhofen, Dietenheim, Luns, Amaten and Percha.

In addition, there are cozy cafes and restaurants as well as the Stadtgasse, one of the most beautiful shopping streets in the South Tyrol.

Where to stay in Bruneck

There are quality hotels, apartments, B&Bs and condo hotels available, check them out and make a reservation here.


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Courtesy of suedtirol.info

Kronplatz Region: S. Lorenzo di Sebato – St. Lorenzen in Pustertal – Pfalzen


This is an excerpt from the book “Südtirol and Dolomites”.

St Lorenz Pusterta
St Lorenz Pustertal – Photo hotel-saalerwirt-pustertal

12 villages situated in the heart of the “Pustertal” provide a quiet attractive holiday arrangement. In the Kronplatz Holiday Region everybody can find that particular holiday atmosphere he is looking for, quiet places for those who want to be the own and get away of the venal stressing continue of city life.

S. Lorenzo di Sebato – St. Lorenzen in Pustertal

The air is filled with history! The wide and ample section of the Pustertal valley in which St. Lorenzen is located has cast its spell over the people since the dim and distant past. Castles from the Middle Ages, prehistoric settlements and the remains of the Roman community of Sebatum form the backdrop to a unique area shaped by man. The valley bottom is characterized by imposing buildings, impressive mansions and idyllic village centers, while the sunny slopes are dotted with scattered hamlets often set on breathtakingly steep spots and sites. This wonderful area, shaped and cultivated by the hands of hardworking farmers and still boasting a great number of unspoiled spots and areas, will greatly impress you and leave you with some unforgettable memories.

St. Lorenzen, the gateway to the Dolomites, the green gem of the Pustertal valley, with its pearls of Montal, Onach, Ellen, St. Martin, Moos, Maria Saalen, Stefansdorf and Sonnenburg. Places where you can find happy people who know how to enjoy life. The optimal location as a gateway to the Dolomites is only one of the countless highlights of our market municipality – and by the way, already the ancient Romans had recognized the ideal strategic position of this place. Only its altitude (800 m) and climate are moderate. Everything else is absolutely great, the landscape, the panorama, the possibilities for hiking, recreation and excursions, the location of the village at the foot of the famous Kronplatz, the history and the people, and besides many other things the warm hospitality.

Where to stay in S. Lorenzo di Sebato

There are quality hotels, apartments, B&Bs and farm stays available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Pfaltzen Pustertal
Pfaltzen Pustertal – Photo www.pfalzen.info/en

Pfalzen

PFALZEN, a charming, picturesque village on the Pustertal Sunny Road welcomes you !

The sunny village with its incorporated outlets of Issing and Greinwalden, as well as the hamlets of Platten (4,750 ft) and Kofl (4,460 ft) have a total of 2,222 inhabitants and is rich in culture and tradition. During the last few decades, it has developed from a farming background to become a thriving community. Even in Roman times, the village was renowned for its sunny location. The ideal summer resort !

Besides farms, commercial enterprises and businesses, the tourist industry plays a main role here. The tourist industry offers around 1,100 beds, reaching from private accommodation to 4-star luxury hotels. The gastronomy spoils its guests with international cuisine, as well as South Tyrolean and Italian specialties.

Pfalzen is marked by its surviving nature and cultural scenery. A hiker can rejoice in the splendor of fragrant meadows and alpine pastures, a refuge hut, a shingle roof, quietness, … listening only to the sound of his steps in the meadow. Areal gem of nature.

Any guest active in sports can find a variety of activities for his holiday: tennis, keep fit, mountain biking, ordinary biking, swimming in the Issing lake, a possibility with truly special scenery.

Whether you are looking for quietness or relaxation, combined with true South Tyrolean hospitality, you do not have to go any further. Pfalzen gives you simply more enjoyment in life.

Winter lovers will also find everything to fulfill their hearts desire. Some like it lively and fast, others prefer it peaceful, varied and cozy. Pfalzen has something for everyone.

For our lively guests, the nearby Kronplatz area with more than 57 miles of downhill runs in all directions is the ideal place. With 32 modern lift facilities, the base terminals connect the ski mountain to one single carousel.
Skiing – an experience of fascinating length, breadth and depth. Also for snow boarders and trend sport activists. The Kronplatz has been a top address for some time now.

Since the inhabitants of Pfalzen are engaged in environmental protection, the ski bus won’t cost you a penny and brings you directly to the base terminal in Reischach.

For those, who prefer it cosy and peaceful, our village also offers miles of cross-country skiing trails, a newly built illuminated natural toboggan run, an ice-skating area with curling, or simply beautiful white winter scenery under clear skies and with clean air for long walks.

In addition, throughout the winter, on Tuesday and Thursdays, we offer excursions to the most beautiful nearby cross-country areas. A great opportunity for cross-country skiers and hikers – with a ski guide.

Where to stay in Pfalzen

There are quality hotels, apartments, B&Bs and condo hotels available, check them out and make a reservation here.


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Courtesy of suedtirol.info

Kronplatz Region: Rasen im Antholzertal – Kiens – Terenten


This is an excerpt from the book “Südtirol and Dolomites”.

Rasen im Antholzertal
Rasen im Antholzertal

12 villages situated in the heart of the “Pustertal” provide a quiet attractive holiday arrangement. In the Kronplatz Holiday Region everybody can find that particular holiday atmosphere he is looking for, quiet places for those who want to be the own and get away of the venal stressing continue of city life.

Rasen im Antholzertal

Antholzer Valley is a side valley of the green Puster Valley; it branches off to the left of the interstate, 10 km outside of Bruneck. The climate, the sunny location, the special lure of the countryside, and the extremely romantic mountain world offer guests pleasure, tranquility, an relaxation at all times. That’s why it’s a preferred and popular vacation destination. The two beautifully picturesque villages of Niederrasen and Oberrasen are situated at the beginning of Antholzer Valley. Massive rock faces rise above dark green forests in the background of the valley – the topmost peak of the jagged, high mountain region of the Rieserferner is on Hochgall (3,445 m / 11,303 ft). The wonderfully situated lake, Antholzer Wildsee, lies at the end of the valley.

Kiens
Kiens – Photo www.brunelle.it

Kiens

The summer meadows bloom. The glowing colors seem to call everyone who passes to stop for a little while and to look at the beauty. Together with Your children You want to find out new things in nature, to walk through shadowy larch-forests, to roam along lonely paths in the mountains. Your bikes are ready for a tour. A splashing mountain stream accompanies the music of nature. The view pans to the rocky mountain-peaks of the Dolomites. A breeze of wind brings the wonderful smell of freshly cut hay. Discover the unknown. A variety of foot-paths and hiking routes with rewarding destinations, mountain tours, swimming in the pond of Issing, cycling, mountainbiking, playing tennis, fishing, canoeing and rafting, children’s programme a.s.o.

Nestling in green fields You find the native villages, home is waiting for You, Kiens, Ehrenburg, St. Sigmund and Hofern.
This are summer days with lots of fun, variety and relaxation. A summer full of joy.

Who stays in Kiens has a better live. Therefore we welcome You dearly in Kiens.

Where to stay in Kiens

There are quality hotels, apartments and guesthouses available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Terenten
Terenten – Photo © www.pustertal.net

Terenten – Terento

The wonderful landscape on the sunny highland plateau (1,210 m above sea level), the wide view of the Dolomites to the south-east and of the mountains of the Sarntal Valley to the west transmit a feeling of freedom and peace. You will find many old farmsteads spread across 1.500 m marked by many contrasting landscapes. The town has 1,600 inhabitants and it offers 1300 beds for tourists. Here you will find intact natural settings and an extremely pleasant climate. According to statistics the sun shines on the town for more than 2000 hours every year. In the winter the sun shines from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and in the summer from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. So you can really say that “in Terenten the sun never sets”.

Comfortable lodgings, plenty of sports activities in the summer and in the winter, and everything you can desire for wonderful holidays and to forget the stress of everyday life …

Where to stay in Terenten – Terento

There are quality hotels and condo hotels available, check them out and make a reservation here.


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Kronplatz Region – Olang Valdaora

Valdaora-Val Pusteria-Pustertal
Valdaora-Val Pusteria-Pustertal – Photo © giovanni paccaloni

12 villages situated in the heart of the “Pustertal” provide a quiet attractive holiday arrangement. In the Kronplatz Holiday Region everybody can find that particular holiday atmosphere he is looking for, quiet places for those who want to be the own and get away of the venal stressing continue of city life.

Olang Valdaora

In the four villages Oberolang, Mitterolang, Niederolang and Geiselsberg. Surrounded by the Dolomite mountains of Olang and Prags in the South and the Rieserferner mountains in the North, the locality of Olang is placed in the most beautiful spot where the sun seems to shine round the clock.

The mountains seem to call you far away and at the same time they intensify the feelings for this country, this tradition, these people – you feel save and happy. Your eyes can almost touch the mountain peaks, the senses hear the invitation of the mountains. Piz da Peres, the Three Fingers, Flatschkofel, Maurerkopf and Kronplatz – charming rocks, monuments of nature.

Olang - Valdaora
Olang – Valdaora – Photo www.olang.info

Perfect starting point for many walks or tours – no matter if you want to go for a pleasant walk to one of the close mountain huts or far up to the peaks which tower above Olang – there are footpaths for every demand. For mountain bon vivants we have something special – uncountable benches on the edge of the forest invite for a little rest. You sit like in a theater, the only actor is the breathtaking mountain scenery.

In late autumn when all the area is clothed in a white coat and the temperature is getting closer to the zero point, we know only one thing: Skiing on the Kronplatz, the top skiing area in Southtyrol, cross-country-skiing in the snowy valleys, sledging, skating, paragliding and many more.

Where to stay in Olang Valdaora

There are quality hotels, apartments, farm stays and condo hotels available, check them out and make a reservation here.


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Stelvio National Park

 Val di Pejo - Photo © Giuliano Bernardi www.fotobernardi.it
Val di Pejo – Photo © Giuliano Bernardi www.fotobernardi.it

The Stelvio National Park has been established in 1935 in order to “protect and improve flora, increase fauna and in order to preserve the special geological formations and the beauties of the landscape” of the Ortler-Cevedale mountain range, moreover, in order to “promote development of tourism” in some of the most beautiful valleys of the Alps.

Thus the Stelvio National Park, which according to its extension is by itself the most extensive of the Alps, represents only the heart of an ever wider protected area which stretches over nearly 400,000 hectares.

Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio is the largest not only among the historical Italian parks, but also in the whole Alpine chain.

It stretches in the heart of the Central Alps and includes typical valleys shaped by the action of ice and water flowing down from the imposing massif of the Ortles-Cevedale group.

Majestic ridges, luxuriant forests, high mountain green grasslands crossed by foaming streams springing from perennial glaciers form the landscape of the Park.

Many rare animal and plant species live in wide ecosystems present in territory thanks to its remarkable differences in height and to its morphological variety.

The landscape is scattered with villages and “masi” at the bottom of the valleys and on the mountain slopes: they are charming evidences of rural and religious architecture which complete the setting in harmony with the surrounding environment.

Features of the Protected Area

Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio covers an area of 134,620 hectares in the heart of the Central Alps, and it includes the Ortles-Cevedale massif and its lateral valleys. The protected area borders in the North with the Swiss National Park of Engadina, in the South with Parco Regionale dell’Adamello in Lombardy, and it is directly linked to the near Parco Naturale Adamello-Brenta in Trentino. Towards the East, a few kilometers away, there is Parco Naturale di Tessa, while in the West Parco di Livigno e della Valdidentro will soon be established.

This area lies in the center of the Alpine chain and in one of the largest and most interesting protected territories in Europe. The idea to preserve this great Alpine landscape dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, and became reality on 24th April 1935. At the beginning, the Park extended itself for 96,000 hectares. In 1977, it was enlarged until it reached the present area.

Stelvio Park - Photo © surio
Stelvio Park – Photo © surio

In the national park there are all the possible Alpine formations: from the high altitude glaciers (Ortles 3,905 m), to the mountain summer pastures and terraces, to the bottoms of valleys (Laces 650 m). Within the borders of the Park, it is possible to admire glaciers, mountain summer pastures, wide woodlands, cultivated lands, mountain chalets where people dwell all year long, villages, and towns.

As you can easily imagine, for decades various interests have collided in the area: on the one hand, people committed themselves to protect and maintain the natural area, on the other hand, projects keeping the pace of progress and of technology were presented, such as the extension of the road net, the use of hydraulic energy, and the tourist exploitation of mountain areas.

The Park landscape is marked by the typical harmonious presence of untouched Alpine territories and cultivated areas. Hydro geologic conditions mark the landscape of the national park, where glacial lakes and foaming mountain streams are present. Wide ecosystems rich in flora and fauna exist thanks to the differences in height and to the variety of the territory morphology.

Lake in Val di Pejo
Lake in Val di Pejo – Photo © Giuliano Bernardi www.fotobernardi.it

The Park Valleys

Numberless valleys descend from the huge mountain massifs of Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio: they have been more or less mastered by man, and shaped by the erosion carried out by the glaciers of by the flows of the watercourses.

Each valley has unique features: for instance, Val Venosta alluvial cones are among the most extended of the Alpine ridge; the long Val Martello, whose initial part is dominated by the Cevedale peak; the valley of Trafoi, dominated by the Ortles and by many peaks covered with ice.

The Val dell’Ultimo is a green valley, rich in waters and lakes, like Val del Rabbi that, along with Valle del Peio, is renown for its mineral and curative waters. However, also in Valtellina, in Bormio and in Valfurva, thermal waters have given birth to a very ancient tradition.

Through the most important valleys of the Park, ancient roads wind along the itineraries followed by prehistoric hunters or by people looking for minerals or transporting goods to exchange. For instance, along the road from Bormio to Torri di Fraele, in the direction of Engandina and the Tyrol, the important market-town of Glorenza was built: nowadays it is still surrounded by walls, and it lies at the gates of the Park.

Along the ancient routes, villages and town districts have risen. The colonization of the areas at higher altitudes and used as summer mountain pastures started from these settlements in the 13th century. The summer mountain grazing was an essential activity to survive at lower altitudes. Many of the “malghe”, still used today, offer hospitality to excursionists.

Ermellino - Ermine
Ermellino – Ermine – Photo © Giuliano Bernardi www.fotobernardi.it

Fauna

Many specimens of the Alpine fauna live in all the sections of Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio, except the great predators which became extinct because of man. We find herds of deer which prefer the thick woods and the roe deer, which live at their borders.

At higher altitudes, we can see the chamois and in some valleys the wild goats have come back.

The fox, the ermine, and the marmot cannot miss; there are also many squirrels, hares, and less frequently we can find badgers and weasels. If we look up among the branches of the trees, or up to the sky, we will find a number of bird species, such as the chough, the raven, and the crow.

There are woodpeckers, capercailzies, and hazel grouses.

There are also some birds of prey: the buzzard, the sparrow hawk, and the owl. Various couples of golden eagles are nesting on breathtaking walls and now it is also possible to see also the lammergeyer.

It is necessary not to forget the inhabitants of ponds and streams, and of course the insects contributing to complete the food chain in the territory of the Park.

Giglio - Lilium Photo © Giuliano Bernardi www.fotobernardi.it
Giglio – Lilium Photo © Giuliano Bernardi www.fotobernardi.it

Flora

Nature-loving people can find in the park territory a number of arboreal and floral species beyond any possible expectation.

The difference in height from the lowest point to the Ortles peak, together with a large variety of pedological situations and particular microclimates, allows the growth of different and rare botanical species, such as a species of the Ranunculaceae family, growing at more than 3,500 meters of height, or the Soldanella pusilla, the Linnea borealis, and the Drosera rotundifolia.

From wetlands to detrital areas, from calcareous to siliceous soils, each clod of the earth is covered by a various and colored flora which catches the eye.

More info are available on the Official site of the Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio

The Ritten Train


This is an excerpt from the book “Südtirol and Dolomites”.

Ritten train in summer

The Ritten railway opened for service on 13th August 1907, at that time connecting the main square of Bozen, the Waltherplatz with Klobenstein, making Ritten easily accessible for tourism.

In 1907 a narrow gouge railway was completed from the center of Bozen to Klobenstein, dropping the cog engine required for the steep 1000-meter ascent of the mountain in Maria Himmelfahrt and continuing as a tramway, which still is in use today, to Oberbozen and Klobenstein.

Zahnradb_hist.jpg

The railway brought such guests as Sigmund Freud, who celebrated his silverwedding at Bemelman’s hotel in Klobenstein, and Bronislaw Malinowski, considered by many the father of modern anthropology, who bought a house in oberbozen and lived there until 1939.

The writer Hans von Hoffensthal, who was bor on the Ritten, claimed when it was opened that the introduction of the railway changed the character of the Ritten for ever, but the complention of a paved road in 1971 brought further changes, and in 1966 the cog railway gave way to a cable car from Bozen to Oberbozen. Many people now use the cable car or highway to commute to and from Bozen in daili modern variation on the old June to September “Sommerfrische”.

Where to stay in Ritten – Renon

There are quality hotels, apartments, country houses and condo hotels available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Renon train - Photo © gianmy57
Renon train – Photo © gianmy57

Kronplatz Region – Pustertal Valley: Bruneck – St.Vigil in Enneberg – St. Lorenzen in Pustertal – Pfalzen


This is an excerpt from the book “Südtirol and Dolomites”.

Bruneck
Bruneck – Photo Zefram

12 villages situated in the heart of the “Pustertal” provide a quiet attractive holiday arrangement. In the Kronplatz Holiday Region everybody can find that particular holiday atmosphere he is looking for, quiet places for those who want to be the own and get away of the venal stressing continue of city life.

Bruneck

Colorful like the seasons – its central location is not the only reason for the picturesque town of Bruneck being the heart and soul of the verdant Puster Valley.

The Gader Valley extends towards the mountain world of the Dolomites in the south, the Ahrn Valley meets the glacier world of the Zillertaler Alps in the north. A small big world as colorful as the seasons and whose range of recreational activities is practically inexhaustible. Numerous natural recreational and sports activities 365 days a year are just as alluring as the many equally popular successful sports and cultural events.

Bruneck was first mentioned in a document in 1256. Shortly afterwards Bruneck became the economical center of the Puster Valley. Today, our town is geared towards the tourism trade and offers all of the prerequisites necessary for an interesting, varied, relaxing vacation. There are over 4,000 beds available in all categories in Bruneck, Reischach, St. Georgen, Stegen, Aufhofen, Dietenheim, Luns, Amaten and Percha.

In addition, there are cozy cafes and restaurants as well as the Stadtgasse, one of the most beautiful shopping streets in the South Tyrol.

Where to stay in Bruneck

There are quality hotels, apartments, B&Bs and condo hotels available, check them out and make a reservation here.

St. Vigil in Enneberg - Photo Zefram
St. Vigil in Enneberg – Photo Zefram

San Vigilio – Marebbe – St.Vigil in Enneberg

St. Vigil is a well-known summer and winter-sports vacation area with a century-long tradition. The village center is situated at 1201 meters altitude beneath the mighty Dolomites mountain peaks, near one of the most beautiful natural parks in the Alps: the natural park Fanes-Senes-Prags.

Where to stay in San Vigilio

There are quality hotels available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Pustertal
Pustertal – Photo © TV Kronplat

S. Lorenzo di Sebato – St. Lorenzen in Pustertal

The air is filled with history! The wide and ample section of the Pustertal valley in which St. Lorenzen is located has cast its spell over the people since the dim and distant past. Castles from the Middle Ages, prehistoric settlements and the remains of the Roman community of Sebatum form the backdrop to a unique area shaped by man. The valley bottom is characterized by imposing buildings, impressive mansions and idyllic village centers, while the sunny slopes are dotted with scattered hamlets often set on breathtakingly steep spots and sites. This wonderful area, shaped and cultivated by the hands of hardworking farmers and still boasting a great number of unspoiled spots and areas, will greatly impress you and leave you with some unforgettable memories.

St. Lorenzen, the gateway to the Dolomites, the green gem of the Pustertal valley, with its pearls of Montal, Onach, Ellen, St. Martin, Moos, Maria Saalen, Stefansdorf and Sonnenburg. Places where you can find happy people who know how to enjoy life. The optimal location as a gateway to the Dolomites is only one of the countless highlights of our market municipality – and by the way, already the ancient Romans had recognized the ideal strategic position of this place. Only its altitude (800 m) and climate are moderate. Everything else is absolutely great, the landscape, the panorama, the possibilities for hiking, recreation and excursions, the location of the village at the foot of the famous Kronplatz, the history and the people, and besides many other things the warm hospitality.

Where to stay in San Lorenzo di Sebato

There are quality hotels, apartments, B&Bs and farm stays available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Pfaltzen Pustertal
Pfaltzen Pustertal – Photo www.pfalzen.info/en

Pfalzen

PFALZEN, a charming, picturesque village on the Pustertal Sunny Road welcomes you !

The sunny village with its incorporated outlets of Issing and Greinwalden, as well as the hamlets of Platten (4,750 ft) and Kofl (4,460 ft) have a total of 2,222 inhabitants and is rich in culture and tradition. During the last few decades, it has developed from a farming background to become a thriving community. Even in Roman times, the village was renowned for its sunny location. The ideal summer resort !

Besides farms, commercial enterprises and businesses, the tourist industry plays a main role here. The tourist industry offers around 1,100 beds, reaching from private accommodation to 4-star luxury hotels. The gastronomy spoils its guests with international cuisine, as well as South Tyrolean and Italian specialties.

Pfalzen is marked by its surviving nature and cultural scenery. A hiker can rejoice in the splendor of fragrant meadows and alpine pastures, a refuge hut, a shingle roof, quietness, … listening only to the sound of his steps in the meadow. Areal gem of nature.

Any guest active in sports can find a variety of activities for his holiday: tennis, keep fit, mountain biking, ordinary biking, swimming in the Issing lake, a possibility with truly special scenery.

Whether you are looking for quietness or relaxation, combined with true South Tyrolean hospitality, you do not have to go any further. Pfalzen gives you simply more enjoyment in life.

Winter lovers will also find everything to fulfill their hearts desire. Some like it lively and fast, others prefer it peaceful, varied and cozy. Pfalzen has something for everyone.

For our lively guests, the nearby Kronplatz area with more than 57 miles of downhill runs in all directions is the ideal place. With 32 modern lift facilities, the base terminals connect the ski mountain to one single carousel.
Skiing – an experience of fascinating length, breadth and depth. Also for snow boarders and trend sport activists. The Kronplatz has been a top address for some time now.

Since the inhabitants of Pfalzen are engaged in environmental protection, the ski bus won’t cost you a penny and brings you directly to the base terminal in Reischach.

For those, who prefer it cosy and peaceful, our village also offers miles of cross-country skiing trails, a newly built illuminated natural toboggan run, an ice-skating area with curling, or simply beautiful white winter scenery under clear skies and with clean air for long walks.

In addition, throughout the winter, on Tuesday and Thursdays, we offer excursions to the most beautiful nearby cross-country areas. A great opportunity for cross-country skiers and hikers – with a ski guide.

Where to stay in Pfalzen

There are quality hotels, apartments, B&Bs and condo hotels available, check them out and make a reservation here.


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