South Tyrol or Alto Adige as it is known in Italian is an autonomous province of the northern-most part of Italy. Here, the rolling hills of the Austrian landscape coincide with a healthy dose of Italian flair. The region is entirely located in the Alps, surrounded by the spectacular craggy peaks of the Dolomites, so expect expansive bright blue skies, crisp alpine air, flower-filled meadows and the occasional twang of a cow-bell, making for an utterly spectacular and relaxing environment.
You can get to South Tyrol from a number of airports in the surrounding regions, including Verona, Venice, Milan, Innsbruck or Munich, as well as flying to the region’s own airport in the capital, Bolzano via Rome, meaning you can coincide your trip with selection of fantastic cities. The region’s emphasis on luxury, boutique style hotels means you are not short of choice for a fabulous place to stay. Design stemming from wood, stone and glass, with an emphasis placed on the breathtaking scenery creates quiet aesthetics inspired by nature that are calming and feel connected to the landscape.
THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
Ease yourself into the vacation spirit by indulging in the delicious local cuisine, inspired from fresh local ingredients and prepared with a mix of Italian generosity and elegance and moreish German character. It is perhaps the meshing of culinary know-how as well as its access to fresh ingredients that has resulted in the region having the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the whole of Italy.
MAJESTIC ALPINE SCENERY
Next, it’s time to lace up those boots and get ready for a digestive walk. The region’s bucolic landscapes offer an array of different routes, depending on how leisurely or vigorous you like to take it. Whatever you decide, we urge you not to miss the Alpe di Siusi, located in the heart of the Dolomites. This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountainscape. It has been described as Europe’s most beautiful high-altitude Alpine meadow and is often covered in a flurry of beautiful, sweet-smelling wild flowers. Cycling is also a great way to connect with the landscape, and our favorite route is one that takes you along the edge of the river, passing many of Bolzano’s castles along the way and culminating with the famous Castel Firmian, dating back to AD 945.
UNIQUE MOUNTAIN-SPA EXPERIENCES
After a healthy dose of fresh alpine air and a frolic amongst the hills, all the excitement may be getting the better of you: time to relax with a pamper at one of the numerous spas in the region. South Tyrol’s infamous Hay Bath is a unique experience that stimulates circulation due to the rich protein and essential oils found in hay grown at high altitude. You could also try the enigmatically named ‘Mungo Pine’ treatment, or other treatments based on local produce such as apples, grapes or milk.
MICHELIN STAR CREATIONS
You will, of course, want to end your trip on a high, and a day with a Michelin star chef is probably up there on a list of the most exclusive experiences Europe can offer. Head out on a foraging tour with Chef Egon Heiss before picking up extra ingredients (and some local knowledge) from South Tyrol’s farmers. Back in the kitchen, your culinary masterclass will commence, resulting in a mouth-watering dish that will signal the end of your summer adventure.