The Alps have their own unique climate and are characterized by a picturesque beauty that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Every part of this mountain massif is unique, in summer and winter. Let’s now take a look at a selection of the most romantic Italian Alps towns.
Northwest of Turin is the city of Aosta. It lies near the Italian entrance to the Mont Blanc tunnel in the Aosta Valley under the peaks of the highest Alpine mountains. Romanesque elements are known in the city and due to its location it was one of the important ancient military cities. Its conflicted history can still be seen on the walls of the city walls, which have been preserved in almost perfect condition. Along the walls there are equally well-preserved towers, which are also related to the history of the city. There is a Romanesque theater, a vault dedicated to Emperor Augustus and an ancient cathedral that further reveal the unique culture and development. Every history buff should simply see this city.
In addition to the beautiful mountain landscape, there are also a number of medieval castles near the city. The beautiful Fenis Castle, located about 10 kilometers east of Aosta, is worth mentioning. It was built in 1340. It boasts wall paintings from the 15th century as well as being photogenic with the high mountains in the background.
It is a beautiful city at the foot of the Bergamo Alps. The dominant feature of this charming city is Citta Alta – the historic center on a hill surrounded by Venetian walls. But the heart of Bergamo is Piazza Vecchia with its fountain surrounded by cafe tables. It’s an intimate place, but not overwhelming – from the hill of the old town, on clear days, there are wonderful views of the Alpine peaks and the lower town (Citta Bassa) below. You can get here by the historic Funicolar cable car. At the top, it is also worth visiting the interior of Palazzo della Ragione – the oldest Italian public palace or Palazzo Nuovo – the palace with the historical library of Angelo Mai. When visiting the lower part of the city, it is worth walking along Sentierone Street, famous for its boutiques, and visiting the Church of St. Bartholomew with the Lorenzo Lotto altar.
Once an important point on the route connecting Europe with the Mediterranean basin. Today it is the capital of the Trentino region, considered by many to be the most beautiful region of the entire Alps, earning it the nickname “Wonderful Trento”. The first point of a visit to the city will certainly be the Piazza Duomo, the central square. Today, this place is an important destination for lovers of luxury goods – a number of boutiques of world-famous Italian designers are recognized at the same level as those in Milan, Italy. In Piazza Duomo it is worth sitting in one of the cafes and admiring the frescoes decorating the tenement houses around the square.
Another important point is the basilica with Neptune’s fountain from the 18th century in front of the entrance. Interestingly, this is one of the two double fountains in Trento. A tourist gem is Castello Buonconsiglio, a monumental castle built over the centuries. Trento has a specific microclimate, thanks to which the weather is pleasant even in the coldest months – restaurants and cafes set up tables in summer gardens…. already in February. Less than a kilometer from Piazza Duomo is the MUSE museum – this is an Alpine Copernicus learning center with an impressive area of 12,000 square meters. The museum offers an open space full of realistic, often interactive exhibits.
This Italian city is a textbook example of a partnership between Germans and Italians – when it comes to architecture. South Tyrol is partly German. We see it above all in the main square, Piazza Walther, full of apartment buildings or in the Neo-Gothic character of the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Bolzano also offers an encounter with history through the South Tyrolean Archaeological Museum, in which the biggest attraction is the more than 5,000-year-old mummy of the ice man – Otzi. Art lovers cannot miss the Moseion Contemporary Art Center and the Mountaineering Museum.
However, monuments and museums are nothing compared to the magnificent view of the surrounding peaks of the Italian Alps – the Dolomites. The best way to admire the alpine scenery is to ride the cable car from Bolzano to the top of Colle Kohlern (1130 m). The conditions for skiers are also great here. The ski resorts in Bolzano are known throughout Europe and are ranked among the best places for winter sports lovers every year. Bolzano is also a city of wine and apples – a paradise for gourmets, connoisseurs of wine and good cuisine. Unique vineyards, monumental fortresses and stylish restaurants will surely remain in the memory of visitors for a long time.
Thanks to its location in a valley protected by the peaks of the Tessa massif, the parks and gardens of Merano are full of Mediterranean vegetation. You can reach the snowy slopes of the Meran 2000 ski area directly … from under the palm trees. In addition, the city owes its popularity to a Viennese doctor who made it famous in the 1930s as one of Europe’s spa cities.
Buildings similar to the architecture of Salzburg, combined with the climate of the Mediterranean regions, meant that famous people began to gradually come to Merano, including the Empress of Austria-Hungary – Sisi, after whom the local hotels, cafes and the entire hiking trail were named! Promenades are a characteristic feature of the Merano landscape, the most interesting of which – the Tappeiner Promenade – was considered the most beautiful mountain promenade on the old continent.
In addition, it is mainly Trauttmansdorff Castle that is considered a botanical gem. It is located a few kilometers east of the spa and is surrounded by a majestic botanical garden. And although there are almost 800 fortresses, castles and residences on the South Tyrolean hiking trails, the beauty of Trauttmansdorff Castle cannot be surpassed. For example, only 4 kilometers further is Tirol Castle, which is the permanent residence of the Count of Tyrol. But see for yourself.
Bressanone or Brixen, the third largest city and the oldest city in South Tyrol, is located north of Bolzano. The first mention of the city is found in documents from 901 and you will find many important historical and cultural monuments here. For example, here stands the cathedral from the 10th century, which is decorated with medieval and Renaissance frescoes. The cathedral was later rebuilt in the Baroque style. Even Rodenegg Castle, located nearby, offers many beautiful frescoes to see.
The city is considered the artistic center of this Italian valley. Bressanone lies at the confluence of the Eisack and Reinz rivers and is home to a major ski resort known as The Plose. There is much to admire here, whether you visit the pharmacy museum, the Christmas markets or the orchards and vineyards.
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On the Boite River in the heart of the Southern Alps lies the city of Cortina d’Ampezzo. Travelers from all over the world come here for great skiing conditions, modern accommodation and spectacular views. In the 19th century, Cortina d’Ampezzo was a craft center for the production of handmade wooden, glass and copper products, which contributed to the development of tourism in the area.
Important cultural institutions in the city are the Museum of Modern Art, Paleontology and Ethnography. A popular historical monument in the city is the basilica, which was constructed between 1769 and 1775. This place has also served as a background for many movies. In 1963, for example, The Pink Panther was filmed here or For Your Eyes Only in 1981. Cortina d’Ampezzo can also boast of a successful music scene, for example every year it attracts music lovers to the Dino Ciani festival and Academy.