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Bolzano

Bolzano, the city in the midst of vineyards and Castle
Situated in the far north of Italy, the chief town of South Tyrol stuns immediately for its splendid views, with dazzling Dolomitic spires that act as a backdrop, but it also amazes for its unpredictably mild climate in every season of the year, which is seen in the many Mediterranean plants that grow here: palms, cypresses, oleanders, cedars, which give it a balsamic air.
 
Bolzano is, therefore, the ideal city for long relaxing walks, such as those of Guncina and Sant’Osvaldo, paths created at the end of the nineteenth century, but it is also a spectacular city for its different levels: from the city palaces, a height of 1,000 metres can be reached in a short time, to the farmhouses and huts of the Colle (Hill) and the plateaus of San Genesio and Renon.
 
One of the features of Bolzano is also its enviable European flavour which makes it unique. Not only are two languages generally spoken, Italian and German, but it also welcomes young people from all over Europe for educational holidays.
 
Castel Roncolo
The castles
Its past traditions are alive and strong, and visible in the numerous castles of the area – approximately 400, including ruins – and in the museums, some of which are truly unique.
Its no coincidence that Castel Roncolo, one of the most striking castles of South Tyrol, is called “the illustrated manor”; it contains important cycles of frescoes of chivalric tradition, depicting tournaments, ladies and minstrels, and tells the unhappy love story of Tristan and Isolde. 
 
The museums
One of the most unique museums is the Archaeology Museum of South Tyrol, which houses the ‘ice man’, known also as Otzi, a mummy found 5,300 years after his death due to the melting of the Similau Glacier; the body of the man, still incredibly well preserved, remains the main attraction for many tourists visiting the city.
 
Mountain Museum in the Firmian Castle
Another must-see museum is the Mountain Museum, established by the mountaineer from South Tyrol, Reinhold Messner: it is heart of a series of museums located throughout the area and situated in Castello Firmian, one of the emblems of South Tyrol. This castle was owned in the fifteenth century by Duke Sigismund the Wealthy, who made it the most prestigious of his residences, calling it Sigmundskron, or Sigimund’s crown. The history of the birth of the Dolomites is told with great precision in the Museum of Natural Sciences.
 
The Cathedral of Bolzano
The Cathedral
The symbol of the city is, however, the Cathedral, which is dedicated to the Assumption of Our Lady, a true gem of Romanesque and Gothic art with a filigreed belfry inspired by Swabian art. On the north side of the chorus, the “wine door” can be found, a room where, due to a special concession at the end of the fourteen century, wine – one of the main local economic resources - could be sold in the parish church. This is a genuine Gothic masterpiece, which is embellished with sacred but also profane figures, such as the statue of the vine grower intent on his work.
 
 
The Christmas market
The Christmas market
Craftsmanship is still a prominent feature and many small stores offer products in wood or made with traditional fabrics, products which at Advent attract visitors from all over Europe to the large Christmas Market, a treat for the eyes and a temptation for those visiting, with its coloured goods displayed in chalets. It is no coincidence that this is one of the most famous and largest, as well as the oldest, markets in the whole of Italy.
 
Extreme care is given to representing the Nativity, and the offer of figures for the Nativity scene is truly vast with piece that are impossible to find elsewhere. But among the goods displayed, there are also stalls that offer typical local specialities, such as ‘vin brulé’ and hot apple juice, drinks that accompany apple fritters, doughnuts and the famous strudel, a true local delicacy. 
 
 
The vineyards
Vitilvinicola production
In addition to tourism, the production of wine is extremely important to the city, which is surrounded by extensive vineyards. Some 27 local vineyards produce fine wines including the renowned Magdalener (St. Magdalene, in honour of the much venerated local saint, to whom a spectacular festival is dedicated at which thousands of people attend) and the celebrated Lagrein, in two versions: Dunkel (dark) and Kretzer (more rose and rare).
Lo strudel di mele
Le specialità gastronomiche
Le specialità del territorio sono diverse: i canederli (grossi gnocchi di pane raffermo) gli Schlutzkrapfen (ravioli agli spinaci), il gulasch di cervo, il carré di maiale con crauti, e i deliziosi paitti a base di senza trascurare il pesce di lago e di torrente. Da non perdere sono i dolci, dallo Strudel al Kaiserschmarren e alle torte di cioccolata, crema o ricotta.
 
 
Where to sleep in Bolzano
 
Bolzano is a welcoming city and offers different possibilities for accommodation.
To find the ideal hotel and the best offers you can do a search for the stars but also for districts or landmarks.

 

STARS
Hotels for stars, differentiated by type of services:
DISTRICTS
Hotels in the districts
 
 
AIRPORT
Hotels near the airport
 
 
 
Text by Anna Fusai
Photo: Sisterscom.com, Shutterstock
Video: www.bolzano-bozen.it
Copyright © Sisterscom.com
Update June 2018 by Alisè Vitri
 
 
Tourism Board
www.bolzano-bozen.it
where to go
Monuments
CATHEDRAL
The Cathedral of Bolzano is the cathedral of the Diocese of Bolzano-Bressanone and its interiori is home of three different churches: an early Christian basilica, a late Medieval and a Romanesque basilica. On the North side is possible to see the Crucifix by the Veronese School, with a small votive image that shows the symbol of the pilgrim of Santiago de Compostela. In the churchyard south of the building is possible to view the monument to Peter Mayr and made by Georg von Hauberrisser.
RONCOLO CASTEL, AN ILLUSTRATED MANOR HOUSE
Located at the entrance of the Val Sarentina, to the north of the city, the Roncolo Castle was built in 1237 on a rock and, over the years, was renovated and enlarged several times. Inside houses splendid frescoes narrating scenes of courtesan life, episodes of hunting, jousting tournaments and moments of everyday life.  Periodically cultural events and exhibitions animate  the courtyard and rooms of the castle.
www.roncolo.info
WALTHER SQUARE
The Piazza Walther, built in 1808, 1901, was dedicated to Walther von der Vogelweide (1170-1230) in 1901, one of the greatest German poets and storytellers of the Middle Ages. With the union of Alto Adige to Italy, the square was named King Vittorio Emanuele III while after World War II was restored the name of the German poet. At the center of the square stands the monument in Romanesque Revival style, in white marble, dedicated to Walther.
 
Museums
SOUTH TYROL MUSEUM OF ARCHAEOLOGY
The South Tyrol Archaeological Museum, opened in 1998, documents the entire history of the province from the Palaeolithic age to the Carolingian epoch, and is well known especially for Ötzi, the Iceman. The famous Iceman is one of the most remarkable archaeological discoveries of recent decades.
Photo: copyright: © Museo Archeologico dell’Alto Adige/foto-dpi.com
www.iceman.it
MUSEION-MUSEUM FOR MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART
The Museum Museion, hosted in the building designed by Architect's studio KSV Krüger Schuberth Vandreike of Berlin, is intended as a centre of contemporary culture. The halls of the museum exhibits modern art and represents a point of reference for local art as well as representing different art forms such as architecture, movies, theater or performance.
www.museion.it
MMM MESSNER MOUNTAIN MUSEUM FIRMIAN
The Mountain Museum project by mountaineer Reinhold Messner is at Castel Firmiano. The museum collection is exhibited in the turrets, rooms and courtyards, and offers a complete vision of the universe of the mountain and the relationship that it has with the man. Inside there are exposed pictures, relics and natural objects and, each year, the museum is enriched by a temporary exhibition.
www.messner-mountain-museum.it
 
Excursions
CHRISTMAS MARKET
The Christmas Market of Bolzano, known as "Christkindlmarkt" is awaited event each year. From November to December, numerous exhibitors presenting their products and hundreds of lights illuminate the streets of downtown and in the background you can hear the traditional melodies of Advent.
www.mercatinodinatalebz.it
RENCIO AND SANTA MADDALENA
In this wine area is cultivated the "schiava", famous ruby red table wine. In addition to wine, i spossible to visit two churches: one dedicated to San Lorenzo (1180) and another to Santa Maddalena, situated in a stunning panoramic position on the hill's summit, and hosting a precious fresco cycle on all its interior walls, dating to 1300.
 
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