Bolzano Italy

Bolzano is a delightful historic town which is within easy reach from Lake Garda. It is approximately 100km from Riva del Garda and is an easy journey north up the E45 through Trento. Bolzano is known as the ‘Capital of the Alto Adige’, the gateway between the Italian speaking Trentino district and the German speaking Sud-Tirol and it has a distinctly Tyrolean atmosphere and architecture.

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The centre of the town

The centre of the town is the Piazza Walther where the 15th century Duomo towers above the square. It has an elaborately decorated fretwork spire which is 65m high and a multi-coloured façade adorned with gargoyles and balusters. One of the particularly lovely features is the ‘wine door’ which is decorated with figures hard at work tending the vines. It reflects the importance of the grape industry in the local economy as well as alluding to biblical references. Within the Cathedral are the frescoes of the Stories of St Christopher and the Madonna and Child by Friedrich Pacherare.

In the centre of the square is the statue of Walther von der Vogelweide, a 13th century traveling entertainer known as a ‘troubadour’. He was apparently born in this area and is honoured in the square.

Other Sights in Bolzano

To the north of the square visitors can explore the streets of charming houses, decorated with intricate carving on the gables. Oval ‘oriel’ windows and flower-decked balconies add to the appeal of this lovely area. The outdoor market sells an array of fresh local produce as it has for centuries. It begins at the Piazza Grano and lines the arcaded Via dei Portici. Other highlights of a visit to this lovely town are the museums, the Dominican church with its 14th century frescoes and the remains of the famous 5,000 year old iceman.