It is said Merano and many immediately think of markets. And to the sweet emotion of Christmas between decorations and mulled wine. Nevertheless things to see in Merano there are many more. It is probably the best season to find out is in spring, when the first warmth of the new sun wake up the flowers. And in this case, over two hundred thousand are popping up in the splendid gardens of Trauttmansdorff castlethe botanical garden overlooking Merano which is basically a palette of petals.
Or if you prefer a complete sample of all the nuances nature can offer. Spread over an area of 12 hectares with over 100 meters of elevation gain, the gardens offer extraordinary colorful views that would have excited the princess to whom they are dedicated: Sissiaka Elizabeth of Bavaria, empress of Austria. The Austrian empress was at home in Merano and traces of his walks can still be seen in the gardens.
Sissi, the empress who loved to walk
Sissi, in fact, despite the crinoline dresses and running was not exactly a queen activity, it was one great lover of physical activity. And even without a suit there was no denying long walks. He then built “pleasant paths covered with gravel»In the downy oak wood near the Castle« to be able to walk undisturbed from the hustle and bustle of the world ».
And on some of these historic paths that wind around the castle the guests of Trauttmansdorff enjoying the view of the unique city, in the context of the Alps, for the mild climate and vegetation. Very little mountain. But almost like a paradise on the sea.
Things to see in Merano. And those to drink
An oddity that is not the only one: because it seems strange to say it but ranging between the things to do and it really seems that here we have managed to draw the best card, to find the right way to not miss a beat: whether we are talking about apples , wine, beer and water. In fact, everything is top of the class. Give her Golden apples delicious that tuft the hills, to the vines of Slave, Pinot Noir and Merlot that ensure Doc toasts, passing through what since 1857 has been the “gold” of Foresta, la Forst beer produced between the curves that climb towards the Val Venosta.
«Over 300 employees, 700 thousand hectoliters produced per year, seven types of beer in addition to the subsidiary Menabrea are worth 5% of the Italian market. Yet here it is like working in an extended family », they explain from the brewery that with tenacity continues to be handed down and managed all in pink. An afternoon out for a walk among the vats and the aromas of the cooking rooms of the Foresta company it’s one of the best ways to find out that it’s easy to say beer. But that here a tradition that comes from afar is respected.
The production lines have recently been changed: the bottles run quickly on the belts with a jingle that seems to be artfully concerted. Those with some defects are discarded immediately. Everything is projected to the future, but here things are still done calmly and as protocol dictates.
What to see in Merano: the pampering of the thermal baths
Could it be thanks to the good air? Or of excellent water? The air – water cocktail is the same one that is found at the famous Thermal baths just beyond the river in the center of Merano where you can treasure the radon water that comes down from the Monte San Vigilio.
Here, in the pools designed by Matteo Thun, ten years of wonders have just been celebrated and we are thinking of an expansion of the outdoor park, including hot tubs and hydrojets, because thermal pampering is the first desire of those who come to ski in winter and in the other seasons instead dedicate themselves to walks. Walks on the paths and walks in the center, among the houses.
Yeah, then just a few steps and that’s it the cathedral, dedicated to San Nicolò. He shares the faithful, prayers and candles with the other church, the robust one Holy spiritwhich stands out over the Passirio riverbut this is where you breathe the all German and Central European taste of frescoes that also adorn the outside of the church.
Walking on the Tappeiner promenade
From here, to add other ideas to the list of things to do and see in Merano, you can leave for one of the many walks, loved, of course, also by Sissi that lead along the river and up the hills: there is the one in winter that you go all the way with the sun in your face while in summer you change the river bank to stay in the cool of the shade.
Or there are the four kilometers of the Tappeiner promenadecommissioned by Franz, doctor of the Val Venostafor the benefit of the inhabitants of the whole basin of Merano. It would be nice if the medicines were always so pleasant to sip. The forty-five minute walk, including palm trees and prickly pears, lead to the village of Quarazze, but they can also be extended to over an hour if you want to reach Lagundo on foot (no fear: there are also buses or taxis to return to the point of arrival. And here, don’t forget, we are South Tyrol: everything is very well marked), without losing the visit of the stupendous Tyrol Castle.
Shopping and good food in Merano
Are you one of those who, among the things to do and see in Merano, cannot fail to foresee a nice shopping session? No problem. Back in the city here is the long mundane grind Laubengassethe via dei Porticiwhere the best boutiques and cafes with tables always outdoors even in winter, while for those who enjoy gluttony more than fashion, here is the tasty address not to be missed: the “Pur” flavors market which has recently opened in the premises of the Kurhausin the course of Liberty.
For those who are not yet tired to finish the day, there is nothing better than a walk through the manors of the villages of Tesimo And Prissiano, not by chance defined as “towns of castles”. At one time, several noble families chose these locations in search of a bit of coolness in the summer and a trace of the elegance of the time is still visible today in some historic buildings. The two-tower complex of Leonburg Castle Today it is in private hands and therefore not accessible to the public but most of the seven castles of Tesimo-Prissiano can be visited at least in part: Katzenzungen Castle it hosts for example exhibitions and meetings, a Fahlburg Castle it is now possible to sit at the tables of a café and the historic residence Sant’Erasmo (Wehrburg) even includes a hotel.
After the castles, the flavors of the valley
After the walk, your appetite grows: here is the right address. This is about the restaurant Sissi (what other name?), on the edge of the pedestrian area but a stone’s throw from the Passirio. The restaurant is sober and elegant without fuss, the cuisine is refined (and starred) and the creative chef without compromises in the commonplace. After a good lunch, everyone tastes better.
Then at that point you can decide what to do to continue the visit and find out what else to see in Merano. A good idea to digest is to return to take one of the walks that embrace the center without haste. Seen from above, the city will seem to have always known it and among the charm of castles and flowers, feeling like a member of the court is child’s play. If by chance you meet during a walk Sissi remember not to call her you. She walks like us. But she is always an empress.