A Trip to the Alto Adige

Italy is divided into 20 regions (like the states in the U.S.).  We are staying in the Trentino-Alto Adige which is "one of the five regions that have a special autonomous status that enables them to enact legislation on some of their local matters; these are marked by an asterisk (*) in the table below."  Specifically our apartment is in Nosellari which is in the southern part of the Trentino-Alto Adige known simply as Trentino.

Region   Capital   Area (km▓)  Population 
Abruzzo L'Aquila &0000000000010794.00000010,794 &0000000001324000.0000001,324,000
Aosta Valley* Aosta &0000000000003263.0000003,263 &0000000000126000.000000126,000
Apulia Bari &0000000000019362.00000019,362 &0000000004076000.0000004,076,000
Basilicata Potenza &0000000000009992.0000009,992 &0000000000591000.000000591,000
Calabria Catanzaro &0000000000015080.00000015,080 &0000000002007000.0000002,007,000
Campania Naples &0000000000013595.00000013,595 &0000000005811000.0000005,811,000
Emilia-Romagna Bologna &0000000000022124.00000022,124 &0000000004276000.0000004,276,000
Friuli-Venezia Giulia* Trieste &0000000000007855.0000007,855 &0000000001222000.0000001,222,000
Lazio Rome &0000000000017207.00000017,207 &0000000005561000.0000005,561,000
Liguria Genoa &0000000000005421.0000005,421 &0000000001610000.0000001,610,000
Lombardy Milan &0000000000023861.00000023,861 &0000000009642000.0000009,642,000
Marche Ancona &0000000000009694.0000009,694 &0000000001553000.0000001,553,000
Molise Campobasso &0000000000004438.0000004,438 &0000000000320000.000000320,000
Piedmont Turin &0000000000025399.00000025,399 &0000000004401000.0000004,401,000
Sardinia* Cagliari &0000000000024090.00000024,090 &0000000001666000.0000001,666,000
Sicily* Palermo &0000000000025708.00000025,708 &0000000005030000.0000005,030,000
Tuscany Florence &0000000000022997.00000022,997 &0000000003677000.0000003,677,000
Trentino-Alto Adige* Trento &0000000000013607.00000013,607 &0000000001007000.0000001,007,000
Umbria Perugia &0000000000008456.0000008,456 &0000000000884000.000000884,000
Veneto Venice &0000000000018391.00000018,391 &0000000004832000.0000004,832,000
                      (some text above and table from Wikipedia)

On September 29th and 30th we made a short but excellent trip north to the high Dolomites of the Alto Adige.  Our first destination was Kastelruth (Italian: Castelrotto) which like much of the Alto Adige is culturally more German than Italian.  We picked Kastelruth on Rick Steves' recomendation :

"Kastelruth is the ideal home base for exploring the Dolomites — Italy's ski country.
With its traffic-free center, a thousand years of history, an oversized and hyperactive
bell tower and traditionally clad locals, it seems lost in another world."

We weren't disappointed.  The town is a charming Sud-Tirol village with about 6,500 inhabitants.  It is full of sports shops, cafes, restaurants  and hotels.  In the very middle of the old part of town we came upon this Albergo.  What's wrong with this picture?  Well, as we walked towards the Albergo we saw police scurrying toward it and running inside.  I imagined a robbery was in progress.  But no, they were just making sure that the car was only unloading baggage because it is in a pedestrian zone.

Albergo in Kastelruth

A view from the edge of the villiage.  I believe the peaks in the background of the photo are known as the Schlern, a Sud Tirol landmark.

View of the Schlern from Kaselruth

Driving on we came to St. Ullrich, the village in the photo below.  You see, Jeff really does come on these trips.

Above St. Ullrich

We continued on and eventually looped back to Bolzano which we had passed on our way to Kastelruth.  The drive through the mountains was exceptionally beautiful and striking.  It was a warm sunny day with blue skys.  We couldn't have asked for a better day.  At every turn and twist of the road we came upon a perfect vista.  We were having the ride of our lives.   Ah!  Ooh!  Beautiful - the chorus went on and on.

Here are some photos of the Dolomites in  the Alto Adige we took along the way:  I believe the wall of rock mountains in the background of the next photo is known as the "Rosengarten".

Mountain View

Mountain View

 Mountain with snow

Mountain View 

If you care to see our path on a map, start at Kaselruth and then onto St. Ullrich and Canazei.  Then back to Bolzano.
We arrived in Bolzano at about 5 PM and started to look for a hotel.  We drove around for about 15 minutes and saw no sign of a hotel.  Finally Sueann asked a woman on the street and she directed us to the nearby Post Gries Hotel, a very nice hotel with very pleasant staff.  There we paid 103 Euros for a smallish room with bath and with breakfast.  We very much like this little hotel and I am sure if we ever again overnight in Bolzano, it will be our home.

That evening we walked down the street toward the center of town and stopped at a few bars for a glass of wine.  The locals were friendly and enebriated.  We had fun.  We saw quite a few people drinking an orange colored beverage that we had seen a few times before.

We like Bolzano very much.  The air is wonderful - maybe even clearer than here in Nosellari.  The town is spotless with respect to trash, a  sure give-away that the culture is Germanic.  The buildings are charming and the people are friendly (not so Germanic).  After we left the Post Gries in the morning we walked into the center of town and sat down in an outdoor cafe. It was about 9:30AM.  We spotted a man with an orange colored drink that we had seen many people drinking the night before.

Eugene with a Venetziano

This is Eugene.  He told us the drink is called a Venetziano and is made from white wine, carbonated water and an orange colored bitter aperitif called Aperol.
So here we are at 9:45AM in Bolzano:

Sueann and Jeff with a Venetziano

Here is what the cafe looked like

Bolzano Cafe

We left the cafe and walked around the center of Bolzano.

Bolzano bridge with flowers on lamp posts

The photo below shows part of the main square of Bolzano which is know as Piazza Walther named after the German troubador Walther von der Vogelweide (c. 1170-1230),  The statue depicts the troubador.

Walther himself:

Monument to the troubador Walther 

Later in the day we visited the Museum of Archeology where there is a great presentation about "Ítzi", the Sud Tirol ice man of 5,000 years ago.  He was discovered in 1991 preserved in ice.   The exhibits in the Museum were excellent.  They have applied many scientific disciplines to uncover a world of information about the iceman and his era.  If you should ever be near Bolzano, a stop at the Museum will be rewarding.  For more info see

Very best wishes to you,
Sueann and Jeff

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