Alto Adige (South Tirol), the most northern region
of Italy, in the heart of the alpine circle, has
a surface area of 7,400 sq. km. With valleys and
mountains following each other, its landscape presents
a varied aspect, from the mountainous zone of Ortles
(Solda, Trafori, Val Martello) to the polling peaks
of the Dolomites and to the porphyry walls of Bassa
Atesina. A dominant and majestic scene of the Altoatesine
Alps is constituted by the Dolomites that owe their
name to the particular calcareous rock of which
they are compounded. Their origin stems from the
Triassic period, one hundred and fifty million years
ago. These mountains, born from an ancient sea and
thanks also to their particular colouring, have
always fascinated naturalists and poets. A third
of the Altoatesino territory is protected under
a landscape and environmental profile, which in
guaranty and a promise of interesting walks across
the following itineraries: the Natural park of Sciliar,
the Natural park of Puez-Odle, the Natural park
of Monte Corno, the Natural park of the Dolomites
of Sesto, the park of the Vedrette di Rics, the
Sarentine Alps park and the National park of Stelvio.
Cities. The independent province of Bolzano is
endowed with a special statute. Bolzano in the main
town of the province and seat of the local government.
Other centers are Merano, capital of Tirol, Bressanone,
Brunico and Vipiteno.
Alto Adige is a land of castles. To visit and to
live in: as some of them have been transformed into
hotel castles, it is possible to enjoy a hospitality
that has, in itself, an ancient taste. The following
is a list of the names of the oldest castles to
visit: Castel d'Appiano, Appiano; Castel Ganda,
Appiano; Castel Roncolo, Bolzano; the episcopal
castle of Bressanone; the Tures castle of Campo
Tures; Castelbello of Castelbello; Casteldarne of
Casteldarne; Castel Monteleone of Cermes; the convent
of Sabiona of Chiusa; Castel Presule of Fié;
the abbey of Monte Marina, Malles; the princely
castle of Merano; Castel Forte of Ponte Gardena;
Castel Rodengo of Rodengo; Castel Badia of St. Lorenzo;
Castel Scena of Scena; Castel Coira of Sluderno;
Castel Font ana of Bolzano; the abbey of Novacella
of Varna / Novacella; Castel Velturno of Velturno
and Castel Tasso of Vipiteno.
They love broad slopes, gliding across undisturbed snow
leaving a white spray of powder behind them, nestling
into the bends while turning, seeking direct contact with
the snow by stroking it, spectacular somersaults in the
half-pipe are expressions of their zest for life. A feast
for the eyes for style aesthetes: the snowboarders.
Glide across the snow-covered landscape with the warm
winter sun on your back – cross-country skiing in
South Tyrol is salutary for both body and soul. Devotees
are spoilt for choice, with 1800 kilometres of well-groomed
trails amid magnificent mountain scenery: whether classic
or skating style, simple circuits or long-distance skiing,
South Tyrol offers endless variety for all tastes and
Exchange the ski lift T-bar for skins, experience the
profound calm of the mountains, make your own trail in
the soft, undisturbed powder snow... Ski touring brings
you into perfect harmony with nature. Absolutely essential:
good equipment, stamina and physical fitness, comprehensive
planning and an awareness of natural dangers.
Sledges and sleighs have served Alpine people since time
immemorial as means of transport across the snow. Lunge-
and bob-sleigh racing down artificial ice tracks have
become exciting Olympic sport disciplines with racers
reaching 90 mph. In South Tyrol sledging is also a more
relaxed activity best enjoyed in jolly company: first
the climb with the sled ‘on a lead’, then
fun and refreshments in a congenial mountain hut, followed
by the brisk, exhilarating descent.
Fancy performing a triple Rittberger or toe loop, or a
pirouette? No? Well, there’s no point in overdoing
it. Then perhaps moving to your heart’s content
on thin blades around an ice rink? An amusing game of
ice skittles perchance, or a dance to lively music? Whether
on frozen lakes or artificial ice, skating in South Tyrol
is fun for all ages.
Whether frozen waterfalls or artificial ice towers –
in winter climbers are drawn by the challenges offered
by steep walls of ice. South Tyrol has plenty to offer
devotees, with climbs for all ability levels throughout
the region to provide the icy ‘kick’. Anybody
who’s never experienced this feeling can become
initiated into the fascination of ice climbing with the
help of an expert guide.
walks & hikes.
Winter holidays with a difference, away from the ski slopes:
walking and hiking along well-groomed winter pathways
rather than commotion. Experience the peace and quite
of the forests under their blanket of snow, with only
deer, squirrels, foxes and hare as company and draughts
of inexhaustible crisp, pure Alpine air. The perfect way
It has become the latest trendy winter sport! And anyone
who has tried touring on these ‘rackets’ knows
why: on showshoes you can discover winter in its purest
form, conquer vast expanses of powder snow and reach heights
which were once only accessible to ski mountaineers. High
up and remote from the crowds, the climb up to South Tyrol’s
summits is rewarded with a grandiose panorama.
Pure romance: whether beneath the clear blue sky or the
stars, pulled by blond-maned Haflinger horses across the
snow-blanketed landscape. With everybody wrapped up well
in warm rugs, a relaxing ride across meadows and Alpine
pastures is a unique experience for all.
Walking in the great outdoors is one of the most natural
ways of staying fit and healthy.
And Südtirol’s mountains with their unspoilt
nature and pure, crisp Alpine air provide the ideal settings.
Whether you prefer pleasant walks following pathways
and forestry tracks across flowery meadows and through
woods, or challenging hikes and climbs in the high mountains,
in Südtirol nature lovers and sport devotees are
spoilt for choice.
Nordic walking was developed in Finland and its popularity
is still booming. Its advantages are well proven: 90 %
more muscles are exercised, while the strain on the musculoskeletal
system is reduced by 30 % compared with conventional jogging.
In addition it burns 400 calories per hour. All good reasons
to visit South Tyrol’s Nordic Walking Parks, or
join in guided tours across the regions sensational landscape.
In the tracks of Giro d’Italia racers across the
Dolomite passes? Beneath glaciers on high Alpine pastures?
Or with the family among vineyards and orchards?
This and much more sums up Südtirol on two wheels
and two pedals – a fascinating sporting activity
against a stunning mountain backdrop. Südtirol offers
all imaginable ingredients for a perfect cycling holiday
full of adventure!
refuges and huts.
Walks and hikes among the high Alpine grazing lands where
fatigued ramblers can replenish their energy and spirits
in one of the many log huts offering delicious mountain
delicacies, while in the very high regions beyond the
timberline refuges offer weary hikers accommodation, superb
South Tyrolean food products… and the unforgettable
experience of a sunset in the high mountains.
When the temperature soars, when the body cries out for
relief, there is nothing to compare with plunging into
a swimming pool. Almost every village in Südtirol
has one: open air swimming pools with extensive lawns,
water parks, slides, springboards, shade trees, sunloungers
and typical Tyrolean snack bars. One thing is certain:
you won’t miss the seaside!
Südtirol is a veritable paradise for riding enthusiasts
with plenty on offer for riders of all abilities. At an
easy trot, cantering or at a gallop on a gentle-natured
Haflinger or on a spirited Arabian horse, there is no better
way to become intimately acquainted with Südtirol’s
magnificent mountain landscape. Whether you are looking
for relaxation or excitement, look no further than Südtirol’s
Parks in South Tyrol.
The nature parks of South Tyrol are extended natural and
cultural landscapes, representative of our region. They
are under special protection. The value of nature parks
lies in their contribution to the conservation of nature
and landscape, to research and education. Furthermore, they
are important recreational areas, able to offer an immediate
experience of nature to their visitors.
Südtirol’s historical religious buildings present
an unusual blend of northern and southern elements –
a merging of the great epochs of European art in Südtirol.
Nestling picturesquely in the landscape the numerous churches,
chapels, monasteries and convents in the towns and villages
or standing solitary on hilltops will captivate you with
their sculptures, late Gothic altarpieces and magnificent
frescoes, remnants of a golden age when the arts flourished
Discover Südtirol’s eventful past, revealed
in its 400 castles, manor houses, stately residences and
ruins. Some loom high above the valley floor, others nestle
among vineyards or guard the low-lying areas from aloft.
The imposing keeps and towers, the walls and battlemented
parapets, knights’ halls and castle chapels are
vestiges of bygone days and reminders of momentous events
which shaped the course of history. Encounter these fascinating
remnants of a golden age, of knights, lords and ladies
of the castles, jousting and chivalry.
Südtirol’s landscape is rich in caves, stones,
rocks, lakes and plants. However, some natural outward
forms conceal a deeper significance which may only become
evident on closer observation. Often there is more than
meets the eye and some are steeped in mystery or the subjects
of legends and sagas. Many of these intriguing places
merit a fascinating journey into Südtirol’s
Darkness, the only light supplied by miners’ lamps:
such was the ambience in the galleries when, for centuries,
face-workers descended deep below ground to extract copper,
lead, zinc or silver in Südtirol’s four mines.
Today visitors can put on hard hats with a lamp attached
and gain insight into this ‘underworld’, experiencing
at first hand the tough environment in which miners had
to toil centuries ago.
Taste our traditional foods that stem from fresh farmers
produce. Find out about the secrets of traditional production
methods, learn about the importance of the Alto Adige
quality seal and taste the abundance of our products.