Südtirol and Dolomites - Enrico Massetti - ebook

Alto Adige – Südtirol is a German speaking province, where food is more similar to Austrian food than to Italian. Smoked speck is a specialty here. And… don’t forget the mountains, both in winter and in summer time there is always something to do.In Bolzano – Bozen in German, a city where Italian and German cultures seamlessly blend together, between the many architectural sites we recommend beginning from a “lesser” work, yet one which have a great symbolic interest: the Porta del Vino (the “Wine Gate”) inside Bolzano’s gothic Cathedral, artistically engraved with images of peasants at the work between the vines.Homage to wine, which here is produced with excellent results – just one more reason for this region’s appeal. Not to be missed is the Domenican Church, with its 14th century fresco on the “Triumph of Death” in clear Giotto style. Finally, Merano is a pretty and highly popular tourist center with ancient porticoes and a suggestive historic center.This is a guide to the mountain Italian province of Südtirol. It describes its provincial capital city of Bolzano with its surroundings of San Genesio, Sarentino Valley, Ritten, Rosengarten, Carezza Lake, and Steinegg, as well as the Pusteria and Venosta valleys, including Merano and its surroundings of Senales Valley, Passeir Valley, Naturns, Lagundo, Schwemmalm, Vigiljoch, Ulten Valley and Naturns. It also includes the Seiseralm - Alpe di Siusi, with Kestelruth, Fie allo Scillar and the Alta Badia Valley, as well as the Val Gardena with Santa Cristina, Selva and Ortisei.The guide includes extensive descriptions and photos of the localities covered.The guide includes a section on Südtirol food and recipes.

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Südtirol and Dolomites


Enrico Massetti

Copyright Enrico Massetti 2016

Published by Enrico Massetti

All Rights Reserved


Third edition


Südtirol - Alto Adige


Südtirol is located in Northern Italy between Austria, Switzerland and Italy. The province center of Bolzano (Bozen) is at the center of the province. Three languages are spoken in the province: German, Italian and Ladin (in some valley).

Bolzano - Bozen

Bolzano - Bozen

“For me, Bolzano – Bozen is a mountain transformed into a city. The moment you move, it changes appearance. You edge forward and the profile is different, you go back and discover new faces. It speaks different languages. At its heart, it is an actor, enchanting and contradictory, haughty an alluring, warm hearted and chilly.”R. Messner

At the Crossroads of Culture

Bolzano – Bozen, the only city in the world with both a competition in honor of F. Busoni and a house where Mozart slept. An elegant salon where different people meet, an exchange of cultures, music, and performances.

The central Piazza Walther named for the troubadour Walther von der Vogelweide, one street named for Dante and another for Goethe; a conservatory carrying the name of Monteverdi an Orchestra of Haydn. A trilingual University, and an Academy of Design and a Film School both bilingual. This is what makes Bolzano – Bozen a little big capital of European atmosphere!

Bolzano – Bozen: The Gateway to the Dolomites


Bolzano – Bozen lies 265 m above sea level along one of the most important routes running from the Mediterranean to the North Sea, connecting North and South. It is surrounded on all sides by mountains. Above the city, in the Dolomites, lies the “Rosengarten“- the  legendary realm of Laurin, the dwarf king. His enchanted garden glows an unearthly red at twilight.

Mediterranean climate with alpine splendorWith a yearly average high of 16.6°C (62°F) a yearly average low of 6°C (43°F), and no fog, Bolzano – Bozen has a very mild climate.

In fact, a part of Bolzano – Bozen, the formerly independent town of Gries was a health resort in the last century, beloved by all because of its climate.

Bolzano – Bozen is the portal to a world without borders, from the green of parks and grapevines to the living rock of the Dolomites. Pink mountains fringed with snow form a backdrop while below lie palms, olive trees, cedars, and magnolias on the slopes of the hills. An elegant frame for the meeting between the fresh northern wind and the radiant Mediterranean sun, a benediction for vines sagging with the weight of bountiful bunches, filled with the flavors of days gone by.

Bolzano – Bozen: The Countryside in the city

From Bolzano

There are over 300 hectares (740acres) of grapevines within the city limits, a full one seventh of the total area. In the fall, the aroma of freshly crushed grapes wafts through the city from its 27 wineries.

Bolzano – Bozen: Some history

The recorded history of Bolzano – Bozen began with the arrival of Roman garrisons in the 1st century BC, although the area had been inhabited at least 2.500 years earlier.

Today’s town center began 900 years ago and is characterized by Gothic architecture. It was constructed by the bishops of Trento at a key junction between North and South and included an arcaded avenue to display goods, with German-speaking tradesmen on one side and their “Italic” counterparts on the other.

Although it was often touched by war, Bolzano – Bozen has preferred peace, favoring first the exchange of merchandise, later languages and customs. .

The wealth that rolled out of the arcades helped the church to erect such artistic monuments as Giottoesque frescoes, a cathedral bell tower designed by a Swabian architect, and the carved wooden altar by Michael Pacher. With the 20th century came Jungenstil and Neo-Gothic styles.

Ötzi – the Iceman

The Iceman on display at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano - Bozen is one of the world’s best-known and most important mummies.


On a sunny day two hikers were walking in the Ötztal Alps. Descending from the Finail peak in the Tisenjoch area, they decided to take a shortcut and left the marked footpath. As they walked past a rocky gully filled with meltwater, they noticed something brown on the gully bed. At first they thought it must be some sort of rubbish, but on closer inspection they realized with horror that they had discovered a human corpse.

Six days after the mummy was discovered, an archaeologist inspected the corpse and the finds and, based on the typology of the axe, immediately dated the whole find to be “at least four thousand years old”.

Until this discovery, such a well preserved find of a human several thousand years old – fully clothed and with numerous personal belongings – had never before been seen anywhere in the world.

The Iceman is one of the oldest mummies in the world. However, it is not only his historical age that makes him particularly valuable for scientists but also the way in which he was mummified. Ötzi is a so-called “wet mummy”, i.e. one in which humidity is retained in individual cells. The body tissue is elastic and suitable for performing detailed scientific investigations. Moreover, he is a natural mummy, unaltered by burial rites or other interventions. The Iceman with his complete clothing and equipment provides a snapshot of Stone Age life in Europe.

South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology

Via Museo/Museumstraße 43, I-39100 Bolzano/Bozen

Information & reservationtel: +39 0471 320 100  (Monday-Friday: 9 am - 12 pm and 2.30 pm - 4.30 pm)email:info@iceman.it 

Walking in Bolzano

Bolzano is the ideal starting point for walks and hikes in the environment of the city.

Along the hills above the city winds a crown of pathways bordered by typically Mediterranean vegetation. The “Guntschna- an the Oswaldpromenade” are two pearls: terraces above the city lined with palm trees, magnolias, cedars, agaves and laurel.

Other walking paths bring you to the different castles of the town.

•          Passeggiate del Lungotalvera Wassermauerpromenade

•          La Passeggiata del Guncina Guntschnapromenade

•         La Passeggiata di Sant'OsvaldoOswaldpromenade

•          Passeggiata del Virgolo Virglpromenade

Passeggiate del Lungotalvera Wassermauerpromenade



The promenade along the  river Talvera  and Isarco is like a green oasis in the middle of the town. Here you can spend some relaxing time or you can choose to do or watch some sports: football, volleyball, baseball…

La Passeggiata del Guncina Guntschnapromenade



The Guntschnapromenade goes up in serpentines starting from Gries.  It is dedicated to the Duke Heinrich from Habsburg and was one of the famous parts of the health resort since the middle of the 19th Century.  Today it is a nice walking path with a beautiful view on the town with the “Rosengarten” in the background.

La Passeggiata di Sant’Osvaldo Oswaldpromenade



The Oswaldpromenade goes from St. Anton to St. Magdalena bordering the numerous vineyards on the hills of the town. The traditional red vine “St. Magdalena” is produced here.

Passeggiata del Virgolo Virglpromenade



The walking path at the feet of the Colle mountain begins near the castle “Haselburg” in the south of Bolzano. It connects the castle with the “Virgl”, one of the first parts of the town to be inhabited in prehistoric times. Two interesting churches can be found there: the Romanic Church of St. Vigil an the Baroque Kalvarien-Church.

Cable cars in Bolzano

Three routes to high pastures

Bolzano is located in a broad valley basin and the cool heights are nowhere far away. In just a few minutes any of the three cable cars take you up to the mountain woodlands and meadows on the Colle, San Genesio and Renon mountains.

Above 1000 meters altitude you can enjoy magnificent views of the surrounding Dolomites, enjoy walks across lush pastureland and fill your lungs with crisp mountain air.

•          Colle

•          San Genesio

•          Renon - Ritten

Note: the cable cars are usually closed for one week for planned maintenance during the month of November.

Colle - Kohlern

Kohlern cable car

A trip to Colle – Kohlern mountain by cable car is a step into history, for this is the oldest cable way of the world. The original gondola can be viewed at the upper terminal and is well worth a visit.

San Genesio

San Genesio from Albergo Saltner Edelweiss

The view of the Rosengarten Dolomite massif from Tschagglberg high plateau is without doubt the finest of all. Sunsets enjoyed from the Salto mountain are an unforgettable experience, when the Dolomite peaks glow as they reflect the setting sun.

Renon - Ritten

Renon - Ritten

Bolzano’s home mountain beckon with plenty of sun and pretty walks with the unique Sciliar and Alpe di Siusi meadowlands as a backdrop. There is also a ski area perfect for families.