I started out in Venice with my travel partner joining me a few days later. After a couple of days in Venice (which I have already posted about, we headed to Cortina d’Ampezzo (see Travel and Leisure’s recent article about some of the 12 best small towns in Italy-and then I have a post coming soon) in the northeastern area of the Italian Dolomites and only about 2 hours drive from Venice. After Cortina d’Ampezzo we drove to Lake Garda, which I have also posted about recently. From Lake Garda, we drove to the South Tyrol region and stayed at Hotel Muchele, as already mentioned in a couple of posts. Lake Como was the last leg of this travel with my travel partner.
Then…I headed back for more extended stays in Paris and Nice. (See the list of posts I did on Venice, Lake Garda, and South Tyrol listed below.)
This is a great website about what ‘to do’ in Merano. I missed the ‘Poetry Walk’ and I am guessing if I had taken the walk, I would have been ‘frantically’ translating the poetry on my cell as I passed each bench. (Hotel Muchele had a bench on their grounds from this path.). There are other walks too as spelled out in this Lonely Planet article: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/a/nar/8eca21f3-84e8-4040-9b0d-3364f97e73da/1325311
We were also not there on the day of the market-otherwise I would have made a point to go because I find the local markets, not only full of color and spirit (as well as tasty treats!), wherever I am, but they also teach me more about the traditions and culture of a region.
Also we were a little to early because we missed the Grape Festival which is held in later October.
Some key points you might want to know about South Tyrol, Italy (per Wikipedia):
(1) South Tyrol is in the northernmost part of Italy (sort of an oxymoron)! It is entirely in the Alps, including 13 mountain groups with one of them being the Dolomites. Apparently, there are 5 different districts, with varying climates and varying altitudes.
(2) This region was annexed to Italy in 1919, which is at the same time as the region where the city of Trieste is located which was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. (3) There are 3 official languages: German, Italian, and Ladin. As much as 70% German is spoken in the region. I can attest to that as I think I mentioned in another post, when we were at breakfast and surrounded by other guests, German was the language spoken we heard around us.
(4) Each individual can choose their first language and this holds true in court. In the schools, the various language groups are split up.
(5) It is the wealthiest province in Italy as well as one of the most affluent in the European Union.
(6) The region is known for mountain climbing, skiing, and spas.
Before we headed out to spend some time walking around Meran/Merano, our hotel hosts gave us a recommendation on a restaurant in a vineyard. Although early October, we were able to sit outside with grapevines above us as well as encircling us!.
I never tire of vineyard views. After having lived in the Sonoma and Napa Valleys in California, you would think I would have had my ‘fill’ of stretches of vineyards. Instead, I miss seeing the vines rotating through the seasons and the smell of the grapes being crushed during harvest which spell out, with certainty, that Fall is in the air.
Yes, the majestic archway is where we entered this stoned facade to reach the tasting room.
Merano (Italian) or Meran (German) greeted us with the river, Passer, which is a tributary of the Adige River. Add in the mountain views and some music and there was not much more I could ask for while exploring the 40,000 population town, which is at about a 1000 foot elevation. As you can see from a few of my photos, the facades showed some distinctive character.
And, well, OK, the display cases pictured below did not disappoint.
Schuttelbrot is a South Tyrol crispy flatbread with spices. This recipe calls for fennel, cumin seed, and fenugreek (similar to clover) as well as rye and wheat flour.
Related Posts to this particular stretch of travel:
Do you know the way to San Jose OR…Hotel Muchele in South Tyrol, Italy?
Not enough adjectives to describe the Trauttmansdorff Castle Garden
Lake Garda Arrival
Blending the old and new in Gargnano on Lake Gards
Step into the wee village of Gargnano n Lake Garda
A ride on the Venice waters
On land in Venice
Stop! at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum
On the way to the Piazza San Marco