The itinerary starts from the Brenner Pass and, past Terme del Brennero, driving downhill you get to Colle Isarco/Gossensass, an important summer and winter resort located at the entrance of Val di Fleres and surrounded by pine forests; then you reach the wonderful Vipiteno/Sterzing, a town with an unmistakable style mirriring the Habsburg influences. Christmas is certainly the most fascinating period for visiting the streets of the old town centre, the pedestrian walk with its Mitteleuropean charm and the well-known Christmas markets. However, the fascination of this town can be discovered all year long. The Mines and Multscher museums, the parish church built in the XV century, the church of the Holy Spirit and the medieval hospital are, in fact, charming attractions for the tourists. Moreover, you can take a tour to the nearby sites, such as the Mareta/Mareit baroque castle, unique in its kind in South Tyrol, or to Val Racines/Ratschingstal where you can admire the Stanga/Stange waterfalls created by the Racines stream in a narrow rocky gorge. Not far you find the Monteneve mine, that until 1979 had been exploited for its zinc and lead deposits.
Back to Vipiteno/Sterzing, continue along the main road to Passo di
Pennes/Penser Joch. The drive along this stretch is exciting thanks
to the winding road, and from the Pass you enjoy a splendid view on the
Breonie Alps. The distintive Pan di Zucchero pyramid, the Cima Libera,
the Parete Bianca, the Tribulaun, the Croda Alta and the Gran Pilastro
come into sight along the border line, showing their beauty and majesty.
From here descend to the valley bottom of Val di Pennes/Penser Tal
and enter the Val Sarentina/Sarntal.
Now you can have another
stop and drive towards Valdurna/Durnholz, an ancient little
village on the lakeshore, with a richly freascoed parish church.
there is the village of San Martino/Reinswald, with local arts
and crafts varying from leather to herbs liqueurs distillation.
on the main road you will meet Sarentino/Sarnthein, a little
charming village with a typical South Tyrolean style and its
characteristic streets, where you can buy an excellent speck.
the road towards Bolzano/Bozen, you get to the Renon/Ritten area
through a narrow and winding road leading to the steep slope of the
valley. Renon Valley is well known for Collalbo/Klobenstein and
the red Earth Pyramids, incredible pinnacles that are indeed a true
geologic miracle. In Collalbo take the time to visit the XVII century
church of Saint Anthony with its valuable paintings. From Collalbo
continue to Longostagno/Lengstein to get to the Earth
Pyramids/Erdpyramiden, the true attraction of the area. You can get
to the pinnacles on foot: it takes about 10 minutes.
Back again on your bike, now the road you have to drive along to get to
Bolzano/Bozen winds among the vineyards, via Auna di Sotto/Unterinn,
offering an exciting drive to the more skilled bikers. A few km from
Bolzano/Bozen you find the so-called Giardino del Sudtirolo/Südtirols
In the south of South Tyrol people used to discuss their
relevant issues while sipping a glass of wine. This tradition was
already well-rooted in Goethe's times. Later, around the sixties, when
the Wine Route was created, and even nowadays, the same tradition
persists. Moving from winery to winery is not recommendable when
you have to drive. Nevertheless, if you buy a couple of bottles and
taste them at home, you definitely won't regret it!
located in this area are close to each other and characterized by rural
traditions; most of them are devoted to wine-growing, like Appiano/Eppan, an active little town and quiet oasis immersed in the
green, lush nature, surrounded by vineyards - it is also a nice resort,
especially in autumn. Choosing an interesting alternative route, you get
to Caldaro/Kaltern, another important wine town, and to its lake. Driving uphill, the view on the Adige valley and on the Dolomites is
Past several hairpin bends you cross the Passo della
Mendola/Mendelpass, a pass covered by forests and located between the Mounts Roèn
and Pénegal, then you enter the Alta Val di Non. Continue downhill to Fondo,
a nice hamlet located in a wide valley, safe from the cold winds.
Ascend the Passo Palade/Gampenjoch, a pasture area at the foot of
Mount Luco that towers the Val di Non - going on, at first you meet
Castel Monte Leone, and after a long tunnel, you get a beautiful view on
the Adige valley, from Merano to Bolzano, and on the Dolomites. The road
winds among meadows and forests, then you arrive at Lana, located on the
valley floor of Val d'Ultimo and called "the orchard of Tyrol". Merano/Meran
comes into sight among the orchards.
Merano/Meran, located at the confluence of the rivers Adige and
Passirio, is an international, well-known spa with a wonderfully mild climate. Strolling in the old city centre, along the characteristic via
Portici, you reach the Cathedral, built in Gothic style in 1263 and
consecrated to St. Nicholas. On the outskirts there is the Prince Castle
built in the XIV century and restored in 1480. The manor is a rare
example of Gothic building. The residential area of Maia Alta is really
nice and there you find the race-course, one of the meeting points par
excellence, famous for its exciting Haflinger horses races; every year,
in September, the Grand Prix takes place here. Walking along the river
Passirio is very pleasant, both in winter and summer. The town is famous
for its wine cure in autumn, for its thirty castles located among the
vineyards and for the beautiful outskirts. Tirolo/Dorf Tirol is really
interesting - its popular castle overlooks the picturesque Scena/Schenna
valley. Leaving Merano/Meran from Porta Passiria, follow the road along
the brook that flows through the valley, and past Rifiano you find San
Martino/St. Martin, at the foot of the Passirio Alps. Drive uphill past San Leonardo/St. Leonard, located at the confluence
of two valleys, Alta Val Passiria and Val di Vannes, at the foot of
the high pass connecting Mount Croce and Mount Giovo. Turning left to reach Passo del Rombo/Timmelsjoch,
Italian/Austrian custom, and continuing on you get to Ötztal.
right and following the hairpin bends, you pass by Vàltina and enter the
alpine Val di Vannes. Past the last bends in the pastures, you arrive
at Passo del Giovo/Jaufenpass. Driving downhill on the opposite
slope you can enjoy a fabulous view on the mountains. Passing by Calice,
continue to Casatéia, Val Ridanna. Then follow the road
to Vipiteno/Sterzing, Colle Isarco/Gossensass.