Surrounded by hills blanketed in vineyards, Bolzano is the capital of South Tyrol and considered a global hub of mountaineering. It’s famed as the home of Ötzi the Iceman at its archaeological museum and boasts a Renaissance-style castle and Gothic-Romanesque cathedral.
Things to do in Bolzano
See the preserved body of Ötzi the Iceman at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, which was designed specifically to showcase this 5,000-year-old ice mummy. Step into the glacier-like chamber where he’s exhibited and explore the interactive displays detailing life in the southern Alpine region during the Copper Age.
Dominating the city skyline is the Bolzano Cathedral, a 13th-century landmark fusing Nordic and Renaissance elements. Browse the artistic masterpieces and reliefs depicting saints Augustine, Gregory and Jerome, then admire the exquisite gold artefacts and sacred Baroque outfits at the Treasures of the Cathedral Museum.
Stroll to the picture-perfect Maretsch Castle, a Renaissance-style residence on the outskirts of Bolzano’s Old Town. Originally built in the 12th century by Berthold von Maretsch, it’s surrounded by vineyards and hosts the annual Bolzano Wine Tasting Festival each spring.
Interested in the mountaineering culture of the Alps? Travel to Sigmundskron Castle, a late-Middle Ages fortress housing the Messner Mountain Museum, which was created by Italian mountaineer Reinhold Messner. Learn about the geology behind mountains and glaciers, their religious significance to mountain dwellers and the history of mountaineering in the region.
Getting around Bolzano
Bolzano is around three hours’ drive from Venice Marco Polo Airport and is connected by train to cities and towns across Northern Italy, Germany and Austria. The centre of Bolzano can be explored on foot, with buses and cable cars connecting the surrounding mountain villages.