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The main square in Selva di Val Gardena near Bolzano Italy

Bolzano

The medieval town center, the architecture where Nordic and Mediterranean accents melt, is that of Bolzano. This large town is the capital of the Alto Adige and is well worth the visit for its historic interest as well as its lovely shops. With its old stone arcades, you'll discover the fruit and vegetable market and Piazza Walther where every year the Christmas market takes place.

 

The Old Town is also famous for its Civic Museum housing the 5,000 year old mummy, Otzi (the iceman) exhibition. The 5,000-year-old Ice Man, a partially decayed body found frozen in 1991, now rests in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, the medieval profane frescoes of Castle Roncolo/Schloss Runkelstein and the Renaissance frescoes of Castle Mareccio/Schloss Maretsch.

The museums, castles, and unique mixture of Central European and Mediterranean culture give Bolzano its unique appeal. You'll discover many Gothic frescoes in the old churches, colorful markets, baroque palaces, medieval alleyways, or even the characteristic stretches of geraniums, the gastronomic delights, and the two main languages (Italian and German) spoken throughout the city.

 

However, the best sights in Bolzano don't charge admission: hike in the snowy peaks in the winter, or in the summer, head to the crystal green Talvera River. It is not by chance that Bolzano has, for years, been top of the league in Italy for quality of life.

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