Things to do and see in Bolzano, Italy: overview, interesting facts
The picturesque town located 260 m above sea level, surrounded by the majestic Alpine mountains. Resting in a wide valley crossed by two rivers, it is not accidentally called the “gateway to the Dolomites”. This natural treasure of humanity beckons connoisseurs of magnificent landscapes and lovers of unusual architecture.
The capital of the province of the same name
Charming Bolzano in Italy, the sights of which have made its appearance unique, is the capital of South Tyrol (province of Bolzano). Located in the region of Trentino-Alto Adige, it has a unique identity, of interest to tourists. It is a temperamental Italian and thorough German town, lost in the mountains, not far from the border with Switzerland and Austria.
A treasure trove of natural and architectural monuments, surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Dolomites, it has a developed infrastructure. A meeting place of different cultures, it is a harmonious blend of rich history and modernity. Getting to know the distinctive Bolzano means discovering the many characteristics that are born where the cultures of the Mediterranean and Central Europe intersect. After all, despite being an Italian city, 25% of the population speaks German and calls it Bozen.
A bit of history
The history of Bolzano in Italy goes back to 15 B.C. The first settlements in the form of military outposts founded by tribes of Lombards, Ostgoths, Franks appear on the impassable marshes.
In the XII century, a small settlement goes to the bishop of Trento Ulderich II, who united several neighboring settlements into one. Almost 150 years later, Bolzano is taken over by the Habsburgs, becoming a major political and economic center of the County of Tyrol. German immigrants flocked to Bolzano, and factories were founded, which contributed to the rapid development of the city.
After the French Revolution the town became part of Bavaria, then Italy and later the Austrian Empire. In 1919 it became a part of Italy again. Soon the autonomous region of Trentino – Alto Adige is created, which is divided into 2 provinces: Trento and Bolzano.
Some travelers consider the main attraction of Bolzano in Italy to be the lush nature, which throws a real aesthetic shock. Others highlight the amazing architecture, which is an incredible mix of different styles. Getting to know the city begins with the main square – Piazza Walther, which contains the most interesting monuments. From there, all the main streets lead to this Italian gem.
Piazza Walther, named after the Medieval German poet, is the site of annual fairs, festivals and theatrical performances. In the middle of the local landmark stands a sculpture dedicated to the talented creator.
What is worth seeing in Bolzano? One of the most beautiful buildings in the square is the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary with its pointed tower. The building, famous for its colorful dome with balustrades and gargoyles, was severely damaged in 1944 by bombing. After the war ended, restoration work began, during which it was discovered that several churches existed on the religious site.
The Gothic portal is decorated with sculptures and the northern facade with a crucifixion of Christ. The interior decoration fascinates with the unreal beauty of frescoes by old Italian masters.
San Antonio Castle
A stone’s throw from the historic center is one of the most interesting sights in Bolzano – an ancient castle, built in the 13th century. Surrounded by vineyards, it is open to visitors all year round. The well-preserved structure stands out because of the high tower with numerous windows.
But the best-preserved Franciscan monastery, hidden behind a high stone wall, is the main treasure of the historic center. It is one of the main historical monuments not only of the city, but also of all Italy. The Baroque architectural complex was founded in 1221.
An unusual landmark of Bolzano (Italy) is a medieval castle, built on a steep cliff. The spectacular location makes a lasting impression on visitors. The powerful citadel, built for defensive purposes, once belonged to the Habsburgs, who rebuilt and restored it.
You can admire the amazing beauty of the administrative center of the eponymous province and consider all the sights of the city of Bolzano in Italy by taking the cable car. The landing point is located near the train station, after which begins an amazing flight over the mountain range. Passengers overcome almost five kilometers in 12 minutes, rising to a height of 950 meters. The picturesque panoramas are simply breathtaking.
Where to walk?
As in other European cities in the resort there are several squares. Two of them are connected by the street Portico, which is only 300 meters long. Tourists walking along it instantly get into the atmosphere of the Middle Ages. On the oldest street, where Tyrol merchants lived, there is no place for modern art.
Another street Dei Bottai is a tourist paradise. The incredible number of souvenir shops, trendy stores drives all shopaholics crazy, refreshed after a successful shopping in the cozy restaurants that serve national dishes. Here everyone will lose track of money and time.
But Via Della Mostra is an elite neighborhood where only the city’s wealthy can buy homes. Strolling along it allows you to find out how the city’s upper castes live.
The cultural center of the region
Interesting sights of Bolzano in Italy are local museums, the exhibits of which tell about the history and culture of the region.
The Archaeological Museum keeps invaluable artifacts, telling the story of the emergence of a small settlement that turned into the modern city, as well as its formation during the Middle Ages. The main exhibit of the rich collection is the mummy of an unknown man, found by two mountaineers. The primitive man, found in the Alps, was buried more than 5 thousand years ago, along with an axe and a quiver of arrows. And local scientists recreated the life of the ancient Tyrolian.
The Museum of Modern Art surprises with its unique architecture. The glass building, which looks very unusual, attracts hundreds of tourists. The institution is often used as a platform for exhibitions of authors who have achieved international fame.
Fun city festivals
The entertainment and sights of Bolzano are sure to become the object of attention of all tourists. The cozy little town has always been the point of trade routes between Northern and Southern Europe. In 1070 the first fair was held here, and the traditions of its holding remain to this day.
In February, there is a festival of ice music, which is an amazing spectacle. On a stage made of snow panels, performers play instruments carved out of ice. This festival combines the eternal beauty of nature and the amazing power of art.
Tourists visiting the city in March participate in the cheese festival. More than 90 varieties of flavorful product from all over Europe are on display.
At the end of July there is a fun event that attracts hundreds of tourists. Various music bands come to the festival to celebrate the beginning of the strawberry harvest, and local producers showcase the best varieties of sweet berries. A giant strawberry cake is the highlight of the colorful event.
But the most memorable is the Flower Festival, held in the main square in early May. Growers from all over the region come here to sell seedlings and plants. A fragrance of flowers fills the air and brings a festive atmosphere. During and after the event, all the homes of the locals are decorated with floral arrangements, bringing life to an already vibrant town.
Vacationers can always find themselves in the heart of fun events, having a lot of fun visiting the city’s festivals and getting to know the main attractions of Bolzano in Italy.
Hotels: where to stay?
The charming town is adored by tourists from different countries, and therefore all hotels should be booked in advance. There are a lot of them here, and every vacationer will find a place to stay.
Wealthy travelers choose apartments in the city center. Il Battente 1862 is a luxury hotel, located in a building of the XVII century. Antique furniture and exquisite interior create the appropriate atmosphere.
Parkhotel Laurin, located near the city’s cathedral, is built in the Art Nouveau style. Decorated with designer furniture and works of modern artists, it combines the charm of antiquity with the latest technologies of the future. The ideal combination of price and quality will appeal to the most demanding tourists.
Stadt Hotel Citta is located on Walter Square, a 5-minute walk from the train station. Comfortable rooms with wooden furniture, a spa and a cozy restaurant will not leave anyone indifferent.
And vacationers who want to save money on accommodation, choose country hotels. House-farm Tollhof surrounded by dense vineyards and majestic mountains. Here the signature wine is also produced, and each guest can taste and buy the variety of sparkling drink he or she likes.
The picturesque Hotel Urbanhof Prantenberger is hidden in thickets of orange trees. It is a true holiday home, where clients forget about their problems while enjoying the marvellous nature.
The capital of South Tyrol: how to get there?
The airport in Bolzano serves both domestic and international flights. But unfortunately it is impossible to get to the most German city in northern Italy from Moscow, as there are no direct flights from Russia. You can fly to Verona or Rome, and then take local lines to the multinational.
From the airport there are buses number 10A and 10B, and the stop is located near the arrival terminal.
There is also a train station, which can be reached from Verona, Trento or Merano. Trains from Austria and Germany make a stop, and on Thursdays there is a direct train from the capital of our homeland, following the route Moscow – Nice.
Bus network of the city is extremely developed, and in Bolzano you can get from Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, Romania and other countries, as well as from nearby Italian cities.
Another option to get to the tourist paradise is to rent a car. You should take the highway A22 Brenner – Modena, which crosses the town from the south and north. Traveling by car is very comfortable, as the roads in the country are of excellent quality. And everyone who came to the resort will be able to feel the charm of Northern Italy in Bolzano.
As holidaymakers admit, it is a dynamic city that does not run out of desire to explore it. Guests find themselves in a special atmosphere, where medieval antiquity perfectly coexists with Tyrolean flavor. Travelers who have already been to the resort know exactly what to visit a tourist in Bolzano, Italy. All its main attractions can be easily bypassed on foot, and such a walk is the best way to get acquainted with the charming capital of the province of the same name.
Every day the tourist infrastructure is improving, and foreign visitors are pleasantly surprised by the changes. And seekers of inspiration and tranquility find peace of mind here, adjusting to the right mood.
Bolzano, a city in the Dolomites, its nature and places of interest
Bolzano is the northernmost Italian city. It is located on the border with Austria. That is why the Dolomite Alps are the main attraction of this well-maintained and quiet city. It is ideal for leisure. Lovers of both architectural and natural attractions will be interesting and informative here. It is a city of entertainment, art, culture and leisure. It is where the cultures of the Mediterranean and central Europe meet.
Bolzano is a city in the Dolomites, its nature and places of interest
points of interest
The church is named after Saint Maria Assunta and is an important religious building in the city. Architecturally, the cathedral is an excellent example of the Romanesque-Gothic style. It is compared to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
Openwork bell tower, 65 m high, is a kind of landmark for tourists in the city. Of interest are the red and yellow marble facade and the tile roof in green and yellow colors as well as the elegant “wine” door, through which wine was sold by special order in the past. Inside are fifteenth-century frescoes and a statue of Our Lady of Nursing.
Today, just as eight centuries ago, Bolzano residents come to the main square to shop. This is where the market is located. This is the place where you can feel the relaxed European atmosphere. In the square there is the Neptune fountain, the inhabitants jokingly call it “the master with a fork”. Here you can also find a beautiful Neo-Gothic building, where Mozart and Goethe used to stay.
A pedestrian street departs from the square. It is unusual because it is under the arcades . The street has been popular since 1180. It has stores, boutiques, bars and restaurants. Moving from store to store you can admire the frescoes and stucco, which decorate the arches. In Bolzano it is said that to walk under the arches is to read the history of the city.
The museum is famous for housing a unique mummy of a man who lived in these parts for over 4000 years. The mummy was preserved thanks to the ice, which is why it was called the ice man. It was found by a German mountaineering couple in 1991. In the museum you can see the ice man with his clothes, quiver, bag and some tools.
Fans of the Middle Ages will love the Roncolo Castle, famous for its group of frescoes depicting knightly tournaments, daily life, hunting scenes and literary scenes. Another true symbol of Bolzano is Firmino Castle. It is located on a hill and in ancient times occupied a strategic position. In one of the towers there is a museum whose collection tells about mountaineering.
The ideal way to admire the glaciers and the Dolomite Alps is to take a ride on the cable car. There are three of them in town. Colle is the oldest in the world . It opened in 1908, thanks to a hotelier who wanted to take tourists to his hotel at 1134m in the town of Colle. On the summit there are now many typical rural houses with farms and cheese dairies. In them you can taste cheeses and drink wine. And for lovers of outdoor activities there are many hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulty.
A pleasant excursion will be a trip to the Rensio area, a hilly area with numerous vineyards. It is the main wine-growing district of the city. Here the grapes of the variety Santa Magdalena are grown. A walk to this area includes a visit to the wineries and a tasting. In addition to the postcard scenery, you can visit the church of Santa Magdalena with frescoes of XII-XIV centuries.
Winter Bolzano is the perfect place to combine walking in the city with winter sports. It is an ideal place for skiing or hiking in snowshoes, where there is almost no snow in Bolzano in winter.
Bolzano is loved by tourists for its diverse and exciting vacation. Whoever has been there, he will definitely want to come again.