Snowy mountain peaks, miles and miles of apple trees growing right on the hills, cute tiny houses in Tyrolean style, the smell of apple strudel, hot wine and cinnamon… These are the images that come to one’s mind when thinking about the Italian city we would like to tell you about today. Wait, an Italian city with houses in Tyrolean style? Exactly! As usually Italy is full of surprises and apart from sea, good wine and delicious pizza it has also such untypical for the Mediterranean area places as Merano – the city we would like to present you today.
Actually this place does not belong to the Mediterranean area because it is located in the very north of Italy, in a couple of kilometres from the Austrian border. The two equally recognized local languages exist here: the classic Italian language and the South Tyrolean dialect of German. As already stated above, the culture in Merano hardly has something in common with the Italian one and is very close to Austrian or German. So where to go and what to see in Merano?
A joyful walk in the town centre
Merano is surrounded by mountains. Walking around the historic centre of the city you can see typical buildings in Neoclassical style and Liberty (Puccini Theatre and Hotel Emma) as well as German Gothic style (Duomo of St. Nicolas). Don’t miss the original “Portici” street which is both a touristic attraction and a shopping area of the city.
Museums of Merano
For the lovers of history the Civil Museum of Merano is a highly recommended place to visit. Another interesting place is Castello Principesco – the residence of Tyrol princes. We would also advise you to visit the Hebrew Museum located in the synagogue of Merano and the Museum of Women Evelyn Ortner (a unique place with no analogues in the world). Touriseum is a museum that talks about the history of Alpine tourism looked at from a local Tyrolean point of view.
Terme of Merano
Terme is a bathing establishment, an open air swimming pool filled with hot thermal water that comes directly from the natural fonts. After a sightseeing tour in the city centre you would appreciate a lot some water relax. Being a popular place both among tourists and local people the Terme of Merano is also an impressive example of a modern architecture and design.
Wine degustation in Merano
If you come to Merano in autumn don’t miss the Merano Wine Festival – one of the most prestigious events for the wine connoisseurs all over the world. The festival takes place in a beautiful building right on the river side. More than 300 local producers and 120 foreign winemakers offer their production both for degustation and for sale at the festival.
The Christmas market in Merano
In case you visit Merano some weeks later, from the early December to the first days of January you are lucky to see another typical South Tyrolean occasion: the local Christmas market. Here you can find everything you may need: from cute handmade toys and typical Christmas sweets to wooden furniture and useful devises for kitchen. But first of all the Christmas market would let you feel the real Christmas atmosphere. Don’t miss an occasion to learn to dance the typical Tyrolean dances and if you feel cold, warm yourself with a glass of hot wine!