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Beautiful Bolzano

Home » Travel Blog » City Breaks » Bolzano, Italy

I had never heard of Bolzano in the South Tyrol where the locals speak both Italian and German. However, after just 24 hours this little stop has been the highlight of my Italian adventure to date! What a gorgeous little find!

From Venice, it’s a train journey to Verona and then a connection to Bolzano…. subject to the type of train you book it’s about a two-hour trip and worth every minute for the mountain views!

Accommodation

We were staying just 24 hours with accommodation booked in a centrally located, luxury two-story apartment with a garden terrace from the rather fantastic Stay Cooper brand. We were at first a little concerned given that the directions took us into a shopping mall opposite an ironmongers, a Poundland (but in euros) and a ladies’ underwear shop. At least every eventuality was covered or not as the case may be!

We need not have worried as the code access worked and the apartment was, I have to say the best I have ever experienced on a road trip. It was immaculate, high quality and complete with everything you may need including a coffee machine, dishwasher, microwave and a little outside garden terrace! The only problem we encountered was Tony, much to my amusement, could not get the TV to change the language as it was set to Hebrew!

Oberbozen Soprabolzano

Despite the weather being somewhat stormy and with lightning expected we took the somewhat questionable decision to take a 12-minute ride in a metal box suspended a thousand metres over the South Tyrol countryside. The cable car is next door to the railway station, so ideally located in the centre of town. It cost us 10 euros each for the return journey to Oberbozen Soprabolzano, which is like a base station from which you can venture onto other mountain retreats by a cute little mountain train or just hike. This area is spectacular with not only the mountain views but also the vineyards and little villages dotted all around.

With time against us, we chose to have a little look around the tiny village and then take a meal at the cosy alpine-style, Gasthaus Babsi which serves up rich hearty food such as Ghoulash with bacon dumplings, Wiener Schnitzel or simple but delicious pasta and pizza options.

About the Town

Having come back down the mountain with a belly full of food and a complimentary Grappa, we tottered around town in order to get our bearings and soon fell in love with Bolzano.

This is a classy, picture-postcard, mountain town with luxury boutiques, charismatic bars and stylish restaurants. What’s more the people in Bolzano are so incredibly friendly and welcoming. With the mountains on the doorstep, it is the perfect resort to base yourself at if you want to get out and explore the South Tyrol.

The main heart of Bolzano is at Piazza Walther which lies at the centre of town. The square was built in 1808 under the Bavarian rule and dedicated to King Maximilian Joseph I. Today, the square is a meeting place for all as well as playing host to the traditional Christmas Market, and also the Flower Market during the spring.

At the edge of the square is the Assumption of Our Lady Cathedral (see main image) which is a 65 metre Gothic building and considered to be the main landmark of the town.

Bolzano Market

The following morning was soggy and the air full of rain however I got up early and discovered at the Piazza delle Erbe square, a sensational outdoor market serving up everything from truffles to olive oils and flowers to cheese and meats.

There are many markets taking place in Bolzano. There are the daily fruit and vegetables market on the Piazza delle Erbe square in the old town of Bolzano and the weekly farmers’ markets and the large Saturday market at the Victory Square which has clothes as well as local produce.

Museo Archeologico dell’Alto Adige

Further afield I crossed the Talvera Bridge to see the Victory Monument which celebrates the success of the Italian army over the Austro-Hungarian Empire during the First World War.

After Tony had surfaced and watched the local weather in Hebrew, we visited the Museo Archeologico dell’Alto Adige located a couple of blocks from the Talvera Bridge. The Museum is home to the famous Iceman known as Otzi. It is believed that over 5,000 years ago he ascended the Schnalstal valley glacier and died there before being discovered in 1991. Entrance to the museum was 14 euros per adult which allows you to visit the four floors of history and artefacts plus view, through a small port hole window, Otzi’s body laying in a tomb.

Gateway to the Dolomites

This medieval town is at the gateway to the Italian Dolomites and for me is an undiscovered gem of a town. There were very few English speaking visitors making this a truly authentic Italian/German experience.

Till next time…

Contact

For more information on visiting Bolzano in Italy, contact the Italian Tourist Office or your local travel agent or tour operator.

All photos were taken by myself and be credited if used, to @justonefortheroad

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