Italy is full of cities that boast great histories, a variety of cultures, delicious cuisines, manifold landscapes, and equally pleasant people. You will be surprised to see the array of festivals and fun events that happen within different cities in Italy. Bolzano, Italy is indeed among those Italian cities that are famous for its history and famous tourist attractions that are lots in number.
Bolzano is the capital of the South Tyrol region in northern Italy and the largest city in that area. The city is located in the Bolzano bowl at the convergence of three rivers- Eisack, Talfer, and Adige. During the Middle Ages, the city was extremely important for trade as it served as the meeting point for the two primary Alpine routes— The Brenner route over Brenner Pass and the Via Claudia Augusta through Reschenpass. Today, Bolzano is an important centre for education, agriculture, business, economy, modern lifestyle and industries. The city excels in the field of science and research. The immense support from the government and private sectors has resulted in plenty of innovations in the field.
The multilingual and multicultural Bolzano city gets its variety of events and culture because, in ancient times, the city was under the reigns of the Romans and the Germans with the influence of Italy. The city used to be a marshy area as it would often get flooded with either of the three neighbouring rivers. The first settlements in the town were of the descendants of Etruscan refugees who later flew from Italy to invade the Gauls. In 15 BC, the Romans built settlements here under the reign of General Nero Claudius Drusus. In the Middle Ages, Bolzano gained independence from the Romans. The city was ruled by the Bavarians, the Longobards, the French, and the Goths. During the 1300s, the city came under the rule of the county of Tyrol; and this was the time when the commercial projects took flight.
The 14th Century started the rule of the Habsburgs for Bolzano, which continued for nearly six centuries and came to an end in the 20th Century. With the expansion of Bolzano southward through into new "Semirurali" districts and the industrial region, where there had previously only been orchards and vineyards, fascist Italianization got a new urban plan in 1935. This significantly changed Bolzano's appearance. Thirty years later, lots of development and modernization took place, and Bolzano turned from a commercial town to a tourist city, and Bolzano has been growing magically ever since.
If one thinks- What is Bolzano famous for? It has so many things to offer that you might need a good 7-day holiday in the city. Storm Runkelstein Castle, Duomo di Bolzano, Franciscan Church and convent, Walther Square, and Dominican Church are all the monuments you must visit and absorb as much of history as you can. A stroll under the majestic Arcades will give the true experience of being in Bolzano. The views from the splendid Dolomites of the Italian Alps are truly breathtaking! The winters are harsh here and the food you get just matches the low temperatures here. Thanks to the German, Roman, and Italian influence that has proved to make the food in Bolzano is a true heaven for the taste buds. Treat your palette with freshly baked pretzels, the sweetest kapfren and rollen (pastries), delicious canederli (dumplings), and alpine pasture cheese made in the beautiful mountains itself. Bolzano restaurants are equally amazing with great ambiance and good food.
Bolzano is the best city to roam around if you want to experience a mix of cultures, different backgrounds and histories. Business tycoons would love to stay here for a day or two to know more about the economic centre of Tyrol County.
Click by Ritten_Renon from Flickr
South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology
This museum was specifically built to store Ötzi- a well-preserved natural mummy. This middle-aged merchant died in the snowy Alps Mountain nearly 5000 years ago. His body was naturally mummified by ice glaciers. Nearly 30 years ago, the body was found intact with all the clothes and objects found valuable to identify the age of the body and the lifestyle. Every year hundreds and thousands of visitors come just to meet the IceMan!
Click by Dan from Flickr
The heart of Bolzano, or shall we say the 'living room' of Bolzano is Piazza Walther (Waltherplatz). Since it is the centre of the city, you will see monuments and special places in every direction you look. The centre of the square is studded with an eye-catching fountain while the south end leads you to the magnificent Duomo of Bolzano. Beautiful markets are held at the square but the square comes to life when the largest Christmas market in South Tyrol takes place in December. Bask in the sun with the many beautiful outdoor cafes at the square while your favourite coffee makes you ready for the exciting day in Bolzano!
Click by Franco Vannini from Flickr
Puez-Geisler Nature Park
Puez-Geisler Nature Park also known as Puez-Odle Nature park is located in the Alps mountain range in Bolzano. It is home to some of the highest peaks in the Dolomites. The park houses the Odle di Funes group or the Geisler Group which are the most popular destinations in the entire Italian Alps range. Since the park is bordered by the Ladin and German-speaking areas you will find two to three names of one place. The north of the park is surrounded by the Odle d’Eores and Sass de Putia peaks, while the south is dominated by the Puez Group, Sassongher, the Cir, and the Gherdenacia mountains.
Click by Luca Sartoni from Flickr
Duomo di Bolzano
Duomo di Bolzano or the Bolzano Cathedral is the primary place to worship in the city. The place has been used by people since the 4th century to build holy places. The cathedral was destroyed by the Allied bombings of 1944. During its renovation, the remains of 2 to 3 churches and pavements were found. The church has a bell tower that contains a concert of 5 bells. All the bells are mounted with Tyrolean momentum in double octave salute queen chords in C 3. The tiled ceiling is the most interesting and beautiful feature of this Gothic building. It is built with yellow, white and green diamond-like stones which makes it stand out from its surroundings.
Click by southtyrolean from Flickr
This castle is one of the most important buildings in Bolzano. It served as the seat to the Counts of Tyrol and hence is also known as Tyrol Castle. It was built in the 12th Century and wears the best Gothic architectural designs with pointed roofs and round towers. As stunning as the castle is from the inside, it gives panoramic views around it too. The castle looks at the breathtaking views of the Vinschgau valley to the west and equally enchanting around the other directions. Just near the castle, a Bird Care Centre is built which offers these spectacular flight shows atare regular intervals.
Click by William Murphy from Flickr
Another popular holy place in the town, the Dominican church was built in the 13th Century. The historic building holds the rich history of the city and depicts the good ol' stories through its beautiful sculptures. It is dedicated to St. Dominic and the adjoining buildings are the remains of the Dominican Monastery. The Gothic building also houses Baroque elements from the 17th and 18th Centuries. The church witnessed the bomb raids of World War II, these parts were turned into the Bolzano City gallery and Bolzano Music Conservatory.
Click by Jim Hedd from Flickr
Wine Tastingin Bolzano
Bolzano is also known as "The City of Wine" You will find many vineyards and wineries that sum up 30, in multiple locations. For all wine lovers, wine tasting is not the only activity to know how your favourite wine is made. Engage yourself in various wine adventures like wine hikes, wine cycling tours, guided wine tours, visiting wine museums, and even wine academies! Isn't that amazing? Enjoy the scenic views of gorgeous valleys and vineyards while you devour your favourite red wine. The markets in the town offer the best-aged wines to take as a souvenir for your loved ones or add a gem to your exclusive wine collection.
Click by vic15 from Flickr
The distance between Trento and Bolzano is nearly 50 to 55 kilometres. A bus journey as quick as 40 minutes takes you to the gorgeous city full of Alpine woods, crystal-like lakes, mischievous rivers, and deep valleys. Trento is from one of the wealthiest cities with advanced technologies, a luxurious standard of living and great business opportunities. The city alone houses a bunch of the most visited museums in Italy. The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto is ravishing by well-known artists like Giorgio de Chirico, Antonio Rotta, Giorgio Morandi, Carlo Carrà, and Felice Casorati.
Click by Stephen Colebourne from Flickr
The city of Merano looks a lot like Bolzano as it is located in marshy land, between the Passeier Valley and the Vinschgau Valley. The primary churches like St. Barbara's Chapel and the St. Nicholas' Church both built in the 15th Century stand proud and high to tell the history of the town. The iconic Steinerner Steg stone bridge that passes over the Passer river is another best piece of work from the past. The city gates- Passeirer Tor, the Bozener Tor, and Vinschgauer to make the majestic landmarks of the city. Merano too offers the best of the wines. The staple Meraner Leiten wine is the best red wine you can find in the city.
Click by st3c from Flickr
Lana is a city next to Bolzano that is located in the Etschtal Valley and falls in the Alpine mountain range just like Bolzano. The city is quite famous for sports and adventure. Cycling, swimming, and hiking are the most fun and tiring activities here. Sports games like golf, ice-skating, tennis, football, and minigolf among others are what the tourists enjoy the most while in the town. A 30-minute bus ride from Bolzano's city centre is the most convenient way to commute. Taxi rides to the city take around 20 mins considering there are no halts like buses’.