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Let’s get to know Bolzano in Trentino-Alto Adige!

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Let’s get to know Bolzano in Trentino-Alto Adige!

Bolzano in the region Trentino-Alto Adige. Although Mussolini tried to make it ‘as Italian as possible’ at the time of fascism, the German and Austrian influences were stronger and, to this day, the city is considered a piece of Austria in Italy. Also called Bolzan or Bozen, it is a territory full of natural beauty mainly because it presents different angles of the Dolomites, a very popular mountain range in winter.  The Il Catinaccio mountain draws attention in the center of the city and only enchants its visitors even more.Let’s get to know Bolzano in Trentino-Alto Adige?Stay with us and make the best of boot country! Here at the Travelling to Italy Do you make the trip of your dreams come true!! Also get to know our Section Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your Vacation!

A little more about Bolzano

The name Bolzano is said to derive from the ancient Celtic people who ‘founded’ the city, called Bautius (or Baudius) from which it derived from Braedium Bautianum or Baudianum, meaning ‘farm of Bautius/Baudius’; then it became Bauzanum, and later, in Italian, it was called Bolzano; in German Bozen and in Ladino Bulsan or Balsan.

Another hypothesis says that the name derives from Castellum Balteanum or ‘camp on marshy land’, from the Indo-European balt (the same root from which the word Baltic comes); Fact is: Bolzano is a little gem! In the city, the official language is German, since the region once belonged to Austria, but most of it also speaks Italian. At the end of the year, the city gets a special perfume and red and green tones, coming from the charming Christmas markets. How about a Walking Tour of the Old Town and Roncolo Castle? Click here to learn more!

1) Let’s get to know Bolzano in Trentino-Alto Adige! VISIT PIAZZA WALTHER

It’s a city that looks like it’s straight out of a fairy tale book and its Main Square is the nerve center for tourists and locals alike. Piazza Walther brings together fun, excellent bars and restaurants and entertainment, both in summer and winter. The square was built in the 19th century and was dedicated to Walther von der Vogelweide, a poet and satyr. There is a statue of the poet that stands out in the center of the square.

With the church and the mountains in the background, the monument is a wonderful spot to take beautiful photos. During the fascist era in 1935, the sculpture was removed but reinstated after World War II. There, take the opportunity to get lost in the charming adjacent streets. The place is ideal to find souvenirs and visit the markets full of pleasant surprises. How about a Dolomites Snowshoe Tour: Private Tour Near Bolzano, click here to learn more!

 

2) Are we going to visit Bolzano in Trentino-Alto Adige! VISIT THE CATHEDRAL

In the same square is  the impressive Cathedral (Duomo) erected in the thirteenth century with its impeccable and impressive combination of two architectures: Romanesque and Gothic. Its façade of yellow and red stones has gargoyles and is crowned with a huge bell tower. In the spacious interior of the church, there are three naves. It is said that the first church in the city was built here at the end of the 12th century, and gained its Gothic version in the 14th century.

Impossible not to notice the beautiful pillars and ornaments. Another attraction is the frescoes depicting biblical images. The painting of Our Lady is stunning! The vaulted ceiling seems to blend in with the pulpit, with panels on the pedestals decorated with cherubs and various ornaments. In the museum that is housed in the Cathedral, it is possible to see medieval and baroque pieces. Many of them in gold, silver, as well as luxurious garments and bibles from the Renaissance period. The museum also tells a little about the history of the city and explains the importance of the church to the region. The Cathedral is open from Monday to Saturday, the museum from Tuesday to Saturday.

3) Are we going to visit Bolzano in Trentino-Alto Adige? VISIT THE ARGE KUNST MUSEUM AND THE DOMINICAN CHURCH

There are also  the Arge Kunst Museum and the Dominican Church. In the Church it is possible to observe some frescoes; the adjacent cloisters are remnants of a medieval monastery and the 13th-century church blends Gothic with Baroque style, which was added centuries later.

4) Are we going to visit Bolzano in Trentino-Alto Adige? VISIT PIAZZA DOMENICANI

From there you reach Piazza Domenicani (Dominican Square), a quiet square next to the church. The façade is simple but charming. The church and cloisters are known for their collection of religious paintings. Among the highlights is the Chapel of San Giovanni (St. John), which contains a cycle of frescoes from Giotto’s school. The church is open every day and the cloisters from Monday to Saturday. Admission is free, but bring a few coins to turn on the lights inside the Church.

5) Let’s get to know Bolzano in Trentino-Alto Adige! VISIT THE VICTORY MONUMENT

Also not to be missed is the Victory Monument, commissioned by totalitarian dictator Benito Mussolini. It is home to several exhibitions that tell the story of the city when it was oppressed for being more German than Italian, it is an important milestone in the country’s history.   The monument was inaugurated in 1928 and there is an arch that stands dividing the German and Italian groups in the region. For years it was cordoned off and was only reopened to the public in 2014.

The monument is made of Zandobbio marble from Bergamo and features, in Latin, an inscription on the façade, which means: ‘Here, on the border of the fatherland, there is a landmark. From that point on, we educate others with language, laws, and culture,’ plus a carving of a floating angel. Once there, be sure to take a tour of the BZ ’18-’45 museum inside the monument. The exhibition documents the entire attempt to ‘Italianize’ the region and all the tension created by opposing political ideologies and different languages.

Piazza della Vittoria (Victory Square)

Relax on the lawn  of Piazza della Vittoria (Victory Square) which, despite the city council’s attempt to change its name to Peace Square, after a plebiscite, residents voted in favor of keeping its controversial name. Here there is also a charming market on Saturdays, worth a visit!

6) Let’s get to know Bolzano in Trentino-Alto Adige! VISIT PIAZZA DELLE ERBE

Also worth a visit is Piazza delle Erbe, which was created in the thirteenth century. There you can find fruits, vegetables, cheeses, breads, sweets and local products such as Speck, a type of German ham, salted and smoked, delicious! It is also possible to see a beautiful fountain that has an imposing statue of Neptune.

7) Are we going to visit Bolzano in Trentino-Alto Adige? VISIT THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM

Another important tourist spot is the famous Archaeological Museum. The Museo Archeologico dell’Alto Adige is almost entirely dedicated to Ötzi, the iceman who is one of the oldest mummies in the world. Ötzi’s body was discovered in 1991 in the Italian Alps and is more than 5,000 years old! The accessories found next to the body, such as clothes and weapons, are also part of the exhibition that enchants those eager for history!

The Attractions of the Museum

On the ground floor, the repercussion of the discovery by the press is shown; on the first floor, you can see his belongings such as goatskin pants, a bearskin hat, suede shoes, a leather loincloth, a dagger, arrows, and a copper hatchet, all from the Copper Age. After a short walk, you’ll come face to face with Ötzi. It is ‘preserved’ in a cold room where the temperature is -6°C.  The conditions are similar to those of the glacier in which it was found.

What is Ötzi?

Ötzi is a natural mummy that has not undergone any artificial processes, such as those used to preserve Egyptian mummies. On the second floor there is an exhibition about the studies and research done on Ötzi, as well as telling a little about how he lived, what were the possible causes of his death and diseases he may have contracted during his life. It’s very interesting! On the top floor there are some exhibitions that, from time to time, change.

Useful Information about the Museum

The Museum is closed on Mondays except on public holidays and in July, August and December it is open every day (usually from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm). There are discounts for seniors, people with disabilities, children and students. Children under 6 years old are free. The ticket costs 10 euros.

 

 

Take one of the most beautiful tours in Bolzano: the Funivia del Renon

Now let’s talk about one of the MOST BEAUTIFUL tours in  Bolzano: the Funivia del Renon, which takes you to the most German part of Bolzano: Soprabolzano and Oberbozen.

Useful Information

The cable car ticket costs €6.00 – one way; and €10.00 – round trip. The climb takes about 10 minutes and the landscape seems to change like magic the further we go! Pay attention to the schedules:  La Funivia del Renon departs from Bolzano and Soprabolzano every 4 minutes until 9:00 p.m. and then every 12 minutes until 9:48 p.m. The last spin is at 10:45 pm.

The Ritten Card is also available, which entitles you to a ticket to Collalbo, where the Pyramids of the Earth (Ritten Erdpyramiden) are located, which are beautiful conical rock formations. The amount varies according to the days of the tour and ranges from 14 to 240 euros. For more information I suggest you visit the official website of the Ritten Card, click here to learn more.

 

 

 

Let’s get to know the Wine Route in Bolzano!

In Bolzano there is also theWine Route, which offers tastings and tours of the best wineries in the region. The tours are by appointment and, for more information, you can enter the official website, Clicking here, or request information at the hotel itself. Another tour that may be interesting for those who like hiking is the Route of the Castles. To be read What are the types of Italian wines?

The Route of the Castles is made by trails, so I suggest that it be a guided tour, especially for the most remote, to avoid getting confused on the paths and getting lost. For more information you can click here or request itineraries at your hotel. The tourist information center in Bolzano is located at Piazza Walther, 8; The general information office is located at Via Alto Adige, 60.

How to get to Bolzano?

1) How to get to Bolzano? BY TRAIN

Head to Trento, from where there are direct trains to Bolzano. The journey takes about 50 minutes.

Did you know?

Trenitalia is Italy’s leading railway transport management company. Find out here What is the difference of trains in Italy? Buy your ticket online in advance and save a lot, read the Post How to buy a train ticket in Italy?

2) How to get to Bolzano? DRIVING

Bolzano is 300 km from Milan. Follow the A4 to Verona and from there take the A22, which will take you to Trento. From Trento to Bolzano, take the A22 and 60 km later you reach Bolzano. Read also TRAVELING BY CAR IN ITALY: EXAMPLES OF ITINERARIES.

If you are renting a car, read our posts in the section Driving in Italy on the blog Travelling to Italy. In addition to car itinerary tips, we have everything about signs, tolls, roads and many more tips.

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Important to know

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