Someone has said that Italy is only a geographical expression. After my road trip in Trentino area, I wouldn’t be able to fight those words. Just two weeks after the visit in the South we have decided to discover the North-East of my new homeland.
The preparation for this trip was not very long, but intense. The main aim was to do some hiking and discover places that are quite far from the city hustle and bustle, yet not unknown to tourists. We were expecting a lot of traveleres and people walking around looking for a good shot, however, in the end it appeared that the places were quite empty, hiking paths seemed abandoned and we have managed to enjoy the pure nature. We didn’t complain of course! Maybe it was because of the weather or maybe we were just lucky that long weekend was only in Switzerland, but in any case – it was perfect!
Our long weekend started on Thursday morning. I have packed on Wednesday late evening as actually last weeks were pretty busy for me. I have been travelling, had a Friend over and was also celebrating my one year in Italy – I still don’t believe it has passed by so quickly! So there we are, my Friend is waiting for me in the car already and I am trying to have my last sip of hot espresso to wake myself up! I got in the car and… boom forgot my sunglasses so a quick sprint upstairs and got them! My morning grumpiness can magically disappear if I have a travel ahead, so I have got in the car again and started talking about anything. Well.. until first 5 minutes passed by and I have realized that I have forgotten ten million things at home like shampoo or packed only sport bra! Yeah, women problems… Where was my head, I have NO IDEA.
The first destination was Lago di Resia or Reschensee. There we go with the first and main difference for this particular area – everyone speaks German. I would even say they use it as their first language and then italian. Since both of us look more german than italian (for sure myself!) no one ever started with Ciao but Hallo! The problem is that despite speaking German pretty well, their dialect was just too much. I gave up. So I went to Trentino, where they speak two languages I should understand – and in reality I was lost.
The lake of almost 6km length is well know for the unusual bell tower outstanding from the lake. Many legends have been passed on by locals on the bells ringing from the bottom of the lake since the tower has been dammed while the dam was being constructed in the 50s. We have decided to make a walk around the lake.
The trip takes around 3 hours and is 15km long. The views are spectacular, however, probably with more sunny weather the color of water would have been more beautiful. From the perspective now I can recommend you renting a bike and making the trip on your two-wheeled vehicle. The place definitely to visit, but don’t plan to spend too much time there – treat it more as a stop on your way, just like we did.
Around 4 hours later, after nice coffee and lunch, we have been ready to reach Bolzano. I was checking the city before and tried to organize our evening, as I was pretty sure it will be super empty and not interesting. How wrong I was!!! The city is worth to stay over for a weekend. Filled with people of any age having a drink outside bars. The nightlife was fully on! It was just Thursday evening, to be honest I am not used to so many people in Como at such time.
For aperitivo we have chosen Hopfen & Co. It was quite random choice as all of the places we have checked on tripadvisor before were completely full and we couldn’t make a booking in advance as weren’t sure what time we will arrive.
Aperitivo was fine, cocktail was fine. For me, a person with not super sophisticated palate, everything tasted well, however, there was one big but the service. I usually try not to complain and I am very understanding, however, if the waitress asks you to look at the receipt and check if the transaction was done as she is not sure how to read it or is making faces of being annoyed and irritated – god knows why – I get a bit frustrated myself. The only thing I was expecting was at least being polite, but I think it was too much. Anyway, let’s hope she has had only worse day. For a drink head to Franz. Super cool and crowded place. I would recommend it for solo travelers, as I am sure you will meet loads of new people there!
Later on we have decided to go for a walk. I completely forgot to mention that our apartment, found on booking.com was right in the city center, in great price and I strongly recommend it for two people!
The room looks even better than on the photos and the owner is a really nice person.
The places in Bolzano that are the must see if you are there only for an evening:
Arcades – gives the medieval feeling to the city. You feel as if you moved back in time.
Via Joseph Streiter – filled with bars and historic buildings
Via Argentieri – with the Casa Troilo and very cute link to the Arcades
Piazza delle Erbe – with the Neptune Fountain and the food market (that turns into a huge bar at night)
Piazza Municipio and the Town Hall
and last but not least Cathedral and the Castle
Once you cover all those places you can head to… have some gelato!
We’ve tried Gelateria Eccetera as it was one of the only few still open at 11 p.m. It was a good choice though – cremino flavor… mmm… I wish I had some ice cream in my fridge now (or better not!).
It was time to bed, as Friday morning we had some trekking to do. Still in Bolzano.
As I was going through websites and doing research on the area, I have found a nice trekking path between three castles and a tower nearby. You will see the ruins of Castel d’Appiano, Castel Boymont and Castel Corba.
The walk is around 5 km and should take no longer than 2.5h. The only problem is that we didn’t learn from the mistakes from the past and we have got lost as we didn’t read the signs properly! In the end our trekking was almost 8km long and lasted over 3 hours. It was very steep (the original path should be pretty easy), pretty scary as there were no sights of live and we have even managed to trespass to somebody’s vineyard and met their two little, but feisty dogs!
The whole path you can find under this link:
After the walk – and a bit of pain in my legs! – we have started our trip towards Lago di Braies and Trento. About that Friday soon… and there is still Saturday to tell you about.
Considering all the differences that I have noticed between the north and the south or even Lombardy and Trentino, I agree that Italy is only a geographical expression and don’t even try to fight it and find one definition of this colorful variety. Every visitor admires how different and unlike is each city from another and how you can’t compare the places, people and language.
Each has its beauty but also perks, so you have to discover yourself which is your own part of this picturesque peninsula.