South Tyrol has charm written all over it. With the Dolomite mountains surrounding it, the colorful Alpine houses dotting the greenery and the bluest sky covering it, you wouldn’t know where to look first. Winter or Summer, sports are ideal in this beautiful Italian region but there is also another side to this German-speaking Italian Alpine region to be enjoyed. Explore the outstanding towns tucked away in-between the mountains… here are 5 that are not to be missed.
Founded in the Middle Ages and has served as a refuge for kings and emperors, this alpine town has since retained its richness in splendor and culture. The imposing Zwolferturm, the tall clocktower at the center of the town divides the New Town from the Old Town, both of which have main pedestrian roads lined with colored buildings housing shops, restaurants, hotels and houses.
You cannot help yourself from loving this town once you enter its ancient door. Typical of South Tyrolean villages, the houses that line the streets are painted in wonderful pastel colors that are reminiscent of dollhouses. Klausen is considered as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, according to the Italian club “I Borghi Più Belli d’Italia”. Dominating the town is the Monastery of Sabbiona, a Benedictine monastery which is one of the oldest pilgrimage places and the first residence of the bishop of Tyrol. It’s a worthy walk because the monastery is a place to see and from there, you can see a picturesque view of the town and the surrounding area.
Brixen is a big town with castles around it. At the older part of the town, the streets become narrower and the pastel-colored buildings from the Middle Ages greet you with its Alpine town characteristic. It’s busier than the other small towns and the restaurants and shops are innumerable. It’s a perfect place to sample the gourmet South Tyrolean cuisine that the chefs in the area are offering. The 10th Century cathedral at the main square of the town is to be seen – especially its cloister still covered with frescoes from the 10th to the 15th Century.
A large town located at the mouth of the Passeier Valley where the Passer Valley flows through. When you need to go to a good spa, Meran is the place to be as it is largely popular for them. Like Brixen, the old part of the town is busy with shops, restaurants and hotels. A popular place to sample the local food is Forsterbrau but since everyone goes there, it can get quite busy even if it is big and has indoor and outdoor seating. Trauttmansdorff and Tirol Castles are close by and worth a visit each.
St. Ulrich (Ortisei)
Small enough to have a relaxing holiday in the Alps but big enough to accommodate all your needs. A lovely Alpine town popular with families to take advantage of what the Dolomites has to offer. It can be sports, shopping, relaxing or just lounging around the town to have a cocktail.