South Tyrolean villages: the most beautiful to discover (even in winter)

Medieval villages surrounded by the imposing peaks of the Dolomites, clear alpine lakes and breathtaking landscapes.

LARGE’South Tyrol it boasts some of Italy’s most beautiful villages worth discovering.

In winter the atmosphere becomes magical between the Christmas markets and the snow-capped Alps, but any time of the year is good to discover these evocative timeless villages.

Villages in South Tyrol

Certainly the ideal is to go there during local events to discover the Ladin culture and ancient traditions. here are the the most beautiful villages in South Tyrol.

Castelrotto

Castelrotto
Castelrotto

It is located in the Isarco Valley, between Val Gardena and Val di Tires Castelrotto within the Sciliar Natural Park, at the foot of Europe’s largest plateau, Alpe di Siusi.

It is a wonderful South Tyrolean village immersed in a fairytale atmosphere, with a typical medieval layout and a rich artistic and cultural heritage.

In the historic center you will see the church of Saints Peter and Paul in neoclassical style, frescoed buildings and a baroque bell tower from where you can admire the village and the surrounding landscape.

The ruins of the ancient castle of Castelvecchio, of medieval origin, dominate the town and can be reached on foot.

In the village where Ladin is still spoken, ancient traditions are passed on. In fact, every winter the “peasant wedding” takes place, an event that revives the ancient ritual of the inhabitants of Castelrotto until the 1950s.

But there are many traditional events such as the walk with Oswald von Wolkenstein, the enchanting Christmas markets or the annual music events such as the Kastelruther Spatzenfest, a festival of popular singers.

Finally, Castelrotto is a great base for those who want to ski Alpe di Siusi or climb Marmolada.

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Solid walls, Gothic churches and artistic treasures characterize the small town of Chiusa, located in the middle Isarco valley at 523 meters above sea level.

An ancient medieval village and one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, Chiusa is also called the city of artists.

Between 1874 and 1914 more than 300 artists arrived in Chiusa after discovering that the village was the birthplace of the greatest German poet of the Middle Ages, Walther von der Vogelweide. The village also inspired the copper engravings of the German artist Albrecht Dürer.

About 10 km south of the bishop’s town of Bressanone and 30 km north of Bolzano, Chiusa includes the hamlets of Gudon, Lazfons, Pardello and Verdignes.

The village of about 5 thousand inhabitants has a wonderful historical center, with narrow and intricate alleys, luxurious buildings and handicraft shops.

But the jewel of the village is Sabiona Monastery, the Benedictine abbey located on a high hill overlooking the town, one of the oldest places of pilgrimage in Tyrol.

Other cultural attractions are the Civic Museum with the legendary Treasure of Loreto, the Art Gallery, the imposing Branzoll Castle dating back to the 13th century.

Nature lovers can discover the numerous excursions among the vineyards and chestnut trees of the Isarco Valley. You will enjoy a magnificent view of the Sarntal Alps and the Dolomites.

Throughout the year it is also possible to participate in traditional events such as the Törggelen Festival, the culinary autumn “Birmehl”, the medieval Christmas market or the Chiusa New Year’s Eve.

Vipiteno
Vipiteno

At 948 meters above sea level, Vipiteno is one of the highest towns in the Alps and one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.

It was an important trade and transport center of the emerging mining industry in the 15th century.

The constructions of the late Gothic era and the buildings are crowned with battlements and bay windows testify to the heyday of the past.

The pastel colored houses, the cobbled streets and the iron signs of the taverns help to create an evocative atmosphere.

The Tower of the Twelve, an icon of Vipiteno, offers a stunning panoramic view of the city and the surrounding mountains. The tower also divides the city into two cores, the old town and the new, which are aligned along the Reichstrasse, the main street.

The Gothic church of Santo Spirito (1399) which was once connected to the ancient hospital is worth visiting.

The central nave has magnificent fifteenth-century frescoes by Giovanni da Brunico. The parish church of Santa Maria della Palude (1417) is the largest in Tyrol. Inside there are five statues of the precious door altar by Hans Multscher, the most famous wood sculptor of that time in Germany.

The altarpiece represents one of the masterpieces of German late Gothic realism, with clear reflections on Tyrolean art. In the vicinity of Vipiteno is the imposing Castel Tasso (Reifenstein).

Egna

Egna
Egna

Egna is a jewel in the south of Alto Adige and is the gateway to the Italian Mediterranean landscape.

Romantic vineyards, cypress trees and stately homes characterize this village in Bassa Atesina. The arcades in particular make the ancient trading town of Egna evocative.

The houses arranged along the street that once served as a market had arcades under which commercial and social activities took place and still take place.

Pay special attention to the lower galleries, characterized by the so-called “hall houses” (Saalhäuser), whose main facade is a gallery and faces the street, while the courtyard is behind and with buildings used for agricultural, commercial work and warehouses.

These houses are often equipped with Bay window, a kind of enclosed balcony protruding from the facade. Afterwards, you can visit the Folk Culture Museum, created from the collections of Mrs. Anna Grandi Müller, which tells the story of the life of a bourgeois family between 1815 and 1950 through the reconstruction of period domestic environments.

Then enter the church of San Nicolò of Roman origin. Also noteworthy is the Palazzo Zenobio, purchased by Count Carlo Zenobio in 1729 and the civil residence of the Counts who held the Jurisdiction of Enn and Caldiff between 1648 and 1830.

If you want to explore the surrounding area, you can take a short walk to the shrine of Castelfeder or a bike ride along the old railway line that leads to Val di Fiemme. Afterwards, enjoy events such as the Portici Festival, Pinot Noir days or the Christmas market under the historic 16th century arcades.

Glorenza

Glorenza
Glorenza

Glorenza is the smallest municipality in Alto Adige that has the title of city, thanks to its famous role that saw it as the protagonist of the alpine trade for centuries.

The locals say, in fact, “our town is so small that we have to go for liturgy outside the walls” In fact, to visit the parish church of Glorenza you have to leave the town walls, cross the Adige river and only then you will see the elegant spire of the bell tower of S. Pancrazio.

Glorenza is located in the Upper Venosta Valley, 10 km. from the Swiss border. It is also the only village in Alto Adige that still retains its original walls.

Entering the village, still completely surrounded by walls, you immediately notice traces of the Middle Ages. You will notice the majestic access gates surmounted by defensive towers that take you back in time.

Typical arcades and romantic alleys of this village of 880 inhabitants spill into the square where most of the events usually take place.

If you can, browse the picturesque weekly market or Advent market in December to get a taste of local life.

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