© Marlene Mauer

South Tyrol Special: Bolzano

An aperitivo accompanied by traditional nibbles in the early evening is part of the tradition south of the Brenner Pass. And where better to enjoy it than at sunset in the medieval city centre of Bolzano? This is how to relax after a day at the gateway to the Dolomites.

26 June 2022

"See and be seen" is the motto in the sophisticated bars and casual pubs of the South Tyrolean capital Bolzano. For a social get-together with an Aperol Spritz or a Veneziano, for example, the Walther's on Waltherplatz, the bar in the time-honoured Hotel Laurin or the lounge of the Exil Café are ideal. In the future, the newly renovated Parkhotel Mondschein will also become the city's central meeting place.

Design: After a makeover, the "Parkhotel Mondschein" reopens its doors in May. ©Marlene Mauer

Already considered one of the most original stops for a cool drink are the "fish benches" at the marble tables of the former fish stalls in Dr.-Streiter-Gasse. Although Bolzano is celebrated for the wine of its surroundings, craft beer is also highly valued. It is not for nothing that the International Craft Beer Meeting (on May 13 and 14), held against the fine backdrop of Maretsch Castle, is a celebration in honour of the brew.

Indulgence: Chef Matteo Taccini is at the stove in the "Contanima" restaurant in the "Hotel Laurin" - he learned at the world's best restaurant, Copenhagen's "Noma". ©Contanima


Bolzano's historic old town, with its pergolas and arcades, is home not only to small family-run boutiques and international luxury labels, but also to art and culture. World-famous is the Iceman, Ötzi, who is exhibited in the Archaeology Museum. If you are looking for nature, you will find it not far from the city centre on the Guntschna, Virgil or St. Oswald promenades; here you can take a relaxed stroll. Youngsters can let off steam on the Talferwiesen meadows, where they can play soccer, baseball or softball, while the grown-ups can stretch their legs in the sun after a walk.

Culture: On the banks of the Talfer River lies the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Bolzano, Museion, a platform for international and South Tyrolean artists. Seasons Agency/Jalag/Hoffmann, Moritz

Bonus: Time and again in the city, between houses, churches and monuments, the peaks of the Dolomites by. One of the most striking mountain landscapes in the world is within reach and just waiting to be explored. Those who have a little more time: The High Altitude Trail number 9 leads directly from Bolzano to the small town of Santo Stefano in the neighboring province of Belluno in a twelve to 14-day hiking tour. An unforgettable experience!


Gourmet tips

In Viaggio 

At the In Viaggio restaurant, Claudio Melis takes his guests on a sensory tour. For this, he has created nine dishes from South Tyrolean and Italian ingredients, some with resonant names such as "Clockwork Orange". The culinary adventure begins in the heart of Bolzano. The restaurant is only open in the evening, children under twelve and dogs are not allowed.


The Vögele is a traditional inn (built in 1277) in the middle of the provincial capital. Here, in a rustic ambience, the South Tyroleans' favourite traditional dishes are served at a high standard - the menu includes roasts, Erdäpfelblattln (potato dumplings) and homemade pasta. A must-try is the Knödlkischtl (dumpling dish), and sometimes you can even dance here ...

©Alex Filz

Restaurant Lion's Den

In addition to upscale gastronomy - the menu features, among other things, scallops, Black Angus beef and Venetian-style calf's liver - the Löwengrube shines with a wine bar that has a selection of over 1000 varieties to offer. For wine lovers, the oldest tavern in Bolzano is a must-visit!


Shopping tips 

Shimmering bags
Bolzano designer Sylvia Pichler has made her current bag collection from satin in blue and pastel shades. In the range: lunch bags, tote bags and clutches. At € 308,-.

©Stefania Zanetti

Collector's item
The figures of this chess set were moulded from ceramic and painted by hand. The traditional company Thun is known especially for its angel figurines. Approx. € 770,-.


Local look
In the Bolzano flagship store of Luis Trenker there is trendy alpine fashion to discover. The store is named after the famous South Tyrolean mountaineer, actor and director.

©Luis Trenker

Alpine chic
The Lufritzi belt from Luis Trenker impresses with bright color. At € 119,-.

©Luis Trenker 

Finest chocolates
The internationally trained and award-winning patissier Andreas Acherer conjures up delicious macarons and the finest chocolates. His store is a must for those with a sweet tooth. Box at € 12.50.



Hotel tips

Parkhotel Laurin

©Parkhotel Laurin

Since 1910, this centrally located venerable hotel has been winning over its guests with charm, chic style and zeitgeist. Each room features designer furniture and original artwork. First-class regional and Italian dishes are served in the two restaurants. The Laurin Bar offers Art Nouveau frescoes, a relaxing atmosphere and delicious drinks. 

Parkhotel Laurin
Laurin - Street, 4, 39100 Bolzano Autonomous Province of Bolzano - South Tyrol, Italy
Tel.: +39 0471 311 000
Price: double room incl. breakfast from € 220,-.


Hotel Griffin

The boutique hotel welcomes its guests in a historic building on the main square. 33 rooms await, each designed by a different artist. There are "old masters" and "fresh minds" to discover. Inside, breakfast is served on original Thonet chairs; outside, the sunny terrace beckons.  

Hotel Griffin
Waltherpl., 39100 Bolzano, Autonomous Province of Bolzano - South Tyrol, Italy
Tel.: +39 0471 318000
Price: Double room including breakfast from € 291,-.


Castel Hörtenberg

Framed by four high towers, the hotel in the Renaissance castle appears at first glance to have fallen out of time. Its facilities are more than contemporary: guests can look forward to luxurious rooms, an outdoor pool and a spa area with saunas and beauty treatments. 

Castel Hörtenberg
Hörtenbergstraße, 4, 39100 Bolzano, Autonomous Province of Bolzano - South Tyrol, Italy
Tel.: +39 0471 180 0355
Price: Overnight stay in a comfort room from € 301,-.


Hotel Magdalenerhof

Oasis of tranquility: not far from Bolzano's old town, nestled in gentle greenery, guests can spend relaxing days here. ©Room Numbers/Tiberio Sorvillo/Luca Guadagnini

A gem in the middle of the St. Magdalena wine region: affectionately called "Magda" by regular guests, the Magdalenerhof is a charming retreat in the midst of lush greenery and yet only a few minutes away from Bolzano's old town. Regional and seasonal ingredients are used to create delicious dishes at the Magdalenerhof - locals, as well as guests, rave about the truffle pizza from the wood-fired oven and the home-smoked salmon served in the hotel's own restaurant. In the wine cellar from the 14th century, where in former times the Vernatsch was stored for the St. Magdalener, one finds today a collection of noble drops. Guests also feel at home in the bar, where the historic timberwork of the house has been stylishly integrated into the contemporary interior. In the library, which is furnished with noble furniture in muted colours, guests not only read but also taste the whiskies of the house. In fine weather, guests enjoy a cozy sundowner by the pool in the evening with a view over the city. The Magdalenerhof has 52 rooms, four of which are spacious suites. Families feel particularly at home in the 60-square-meter premium suite, which offers plenty of room for fun and games. High-quality interior, a cozy ambience and partly wonderful garden views round off the living experience. A small but fine gym offers guests the opportunity to work out or jog directly through the beautiful landscape. True to the motto of the house "Like at home - only better" vacationers spend carefree moments in the Magda. 

Hotel Magdalenerhof****
Rentscherstrasse 48a, 39100 Bolzano, Italy
Tel.: +39 0471 978267
Price: double room including breakfast from € 170,- per night


Wine from Bolzano 

Wine Manufactory Fliederhof 

Small, fine and with a lot of love for the vine - a real insider tip for connoisseurs: "Class instead of mass" is lived every day in the Fliederhof wine manufactory - the winery in St. Magdalena, run by the Ramoser family, is a real insider tip. The wine produced here convinces not only with excellent quality, but also with its distinctive taste. Martin Ramoser, the young boss and winemaker, was born with a love of wine. His father Stefan lovingly tends the vines all year round, while his mother Astrid welcomes arriving guests, lets them taste the fine wines under the large walnut tree in front of the house and gives cooking tips. From the first to the last touch: everything here is done by the family owners themselves. This dedication can be tasted in the wines, which have such resonant names as "Stella" and "Gaia". Another aspect that makes the Fliederhof stand out is the way the vineyards are handled. The grapes are grown biodynamically, which means that strict attention is paid to preserving the natural quality of the soil. Thus, grasses and herbs are sown in the vineyards in the fall, and to strengthen their natural resistance, the vines are given teas and biodynamic preparations. The result: healthy soils with a diversity of flora and fauna - and a quality that you can taste in the wine. By the way, the St. Magdalener Classico "Marie", the absolute favourite drop of the Ramosers, is particularly in demand! Tasting dates and farm-gate sales on request.

Lilac farm wine manufactory
Untermagdalena 33, 39100 Bolzano, Italy
Tel.: +39 338 78 34 595

A classic: Fine fruity and pleasant - this is how the wine called "Marie" can be described. ©Tobias Kaser Photography

Museum Tip

Ötzi Museum

In the South Tyrolean Museum of Archaeology you can experience history up close. More than 5000 years old and thus older than the pyramids of Giza and the stone circles of Stonehenge: we are talking about Ötzi, the Iceman. Murdered during his crossing of the Tisenjoch and preserved by ice, the Copper Age Man bears witness to an era long gone. In the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, in the heart of Bolzano, interested visitors can visit the mummy discovered in 1991 and learn all about the spectacular find. Until November 2022, the special exhibition "Stone Age Connections" provides more information about the trade routes and mobility of the Stone Age, because trade was already flourishing in Europe more than 5000 years ago. For example, the copper of Ötzi's axe came from Tuscany and the flint of his blades from the Lake Garda region. Opening hours and prices at

A piece of history: one of the most spectacular prehistoric finds of the recent past attracts visitors. ©South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology

Text: Marie-Theres Auer, Marion Genetti and Michaela Hessenberger

This article appeared in the Falstaff TRAVEL issue Spring 2022.

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