There is a small tourist office right on Waltherplatz. They do offer a guided tour of the city in several different languages, including German and Italian. The tour, as i remember it, was good, going into good detail about the Cathedral and the works of art contained therein. You were also taken to the Archeology Museum to see Oetzi the Iceman and a few other things around town.
I contacted the tourist office during the planning stages of my trip primarily for help with coordinating transportation connections etc. They were very responsive and friendly.
I took a look at their website which is much improved since I was planning my visit some years ago, more information, more downloadable maps and guides. Much more user friendly than before.
The Tourist Office also publishes BM-Bolzano Bozen Magazine which you can find at the rail station, hotels and the tourist office for free. I don't remember it being available when i visited. Progress!
This cathedral is the most remarkable monument in Bolzano, combining Romanesque and Gothic styles.
Started in the 12Th century the Gothic look was given in the 14th, using reddish and yellow sandstone.
Doors, altars, pulpit, frescoes and the architecture itself are reasons to visit with time.
Gourmets have an express attraction around Bolzano - the wine route.
The vineyards are visible from the highway, but this kind of tourism means... time. Exactly what we missed, but, at least, we had time to taste a wine!
Bolzano is located in the Dolomites, with easy access to the most beautiful places of Alto Adige.
The vines with the mountais in the background compose excelent landscapes, here and there enriched by man's addictions.
I was there in a professional visit, but what I saw made me wish to go back, with a "tourist eye". I will!
Wonderfully preserved mummy discovered in 1991 housed in the Sud Tirol Museum of Archeology.
Oetzi is supposed to be the oldest natural mummy (as opposed to mummified like the egyptians) from the Copper Age. The mummy was in such a fine state of preservation that scientists were able to determine the approximate location of the village he grew up in and where he may have lived in his lifetime based on tooth enamel. The mummy was encased in ice shortly after his death, so his body and even internal organs were in a remarkable state of preservation, even though he was thought to have died some 5,300 years ago. Amazingly they were able to do relatively detailed description of his clothes, his features, his cause of death and a great deal of speculation of what his position in society may have been etc.
a fascinating exhibition
The Cathedral, located on Waltherplatz (the main square) is a mixture of styles, mainly Italian Romanesque and the High Gothic. It was finished in the 1500's though the structure has existed since the 1100's.
The belltower is the work of the Swabian sculptor Hans Lutz von Schussenried. Interestingly, though the cathedral is gothic, and quite spacious inside, it doesn't have the huge flying buttresses characteristic of the larger Gothic cathedrals. You do, however, have the gargoyles.
An interesting mix of styles as well as mixture of the Italian and Germanic. The interior of the cathedral was once frescoed by pupils of Giotto. The oldest painting in the cathedral is the crucifixtion scene which dates from 1300's.
The fascist government erected this monument to commemorate the victory of the Italian army over the Austro-Hungarian empire during World War I. Until the end of World War I the region had been settled by Germans (Austrians) since the end of the Roman Empire.
There is a large market on Saturdays that takes place on the piazza in front of the monument.
At the very center of town in the Piazza Walther/Waltherplatz, named after the lyric poet Walther von der Vogelweide (c. 1170 – c. 1230). The statue is the work of Heinrich Natter (1889)
I wasn't entirely clear what/if any connection Herr Walther had to the area/region. His place of birth or origin isn't known though scholars figure he was from out in the country, presumably a place where falconry was practiced. His name means "field of birds"
This is generally the place to meet in Bolzano, There are some nice restaurants around the Piazza
Though the castle dates from 1194, the present castle dates from the 16th century, when the Romer family renovated it with a lot of frescoes and religious paintings. After many changes of ownership, it is in the hands of the city of Bolzano/Bozen since 1974.
the location is right in the valley, surrounded by vineyards, only a few hundred meters from the city center. There are now guided tours and if you are interested the frescoes in the castle are pretty nice.
Mon-Fri: 10 a.m.-12.30 p.m./2 p.m.-5.30 p.m.
some parking available.
The Assumption of Our Lady Cathedral (duomo is Italian for cathedral) is the main Catholic church of Bolzano. It was built in the late 1200s and 1300s, with its steeple added in the 1500s. The cathedral's design is Gothic in style, and its most visible feature is the diamond-pattern of its multi-colored roof tiles. Unfortunately, many of its frescos were damaged during the two World Wars. However, there are some attractive paintings and frescoes remaining, as well as an attractive carved pulpit and an ornate altar.
The Sudtirol Archaeology Museum is designed around its star attraction, a mummy named Otzi. Otzi was found by two hikers in 1991 on a high Alpine pass along the Italy-Austria border. Otzi lived over 5000 years ago, but his body had been mummified because it was entombed in a glacier that preserved it over the centuries. His body was found almost completely intact, as were some of his clothes and tools. He was carrying a copper ax, bow, arrows, and tools for making fire when he died. Archaeologists believe that he had been murdered by an arrow.
The museum has a special temperature controlled room where Ozi's body is preserved. Visitors can see it through a window. Otzi's tools and clothing are displayed in separate cases, which are supplemented by exhibits about the people and technology of Otzi's era.
If you have a car, it's very easy to quickly drive from Bolzano into the surrounding Dolomite Mountains. We did a drive up the Gardena Valley to the town of Ortisei, a cute little town from which we took a gondola a few thousand feet up into the mountains. At the top of the gondola, we did a hike along the ridgeline, from which we had some amazing views of the surrounding mountain peaks and valleys.
The Gardena Valley is also interesting because it is inhabited by speakers of Ladin (also called Ladino), a lesser-known Romance language that is related to Romansch, which is spoken in eastern Switzerland. Signs in and around Ortisei are tri-lingual, in Italian, German, and Ladin.
The Gardena Valley is located about 30 km northeast of Bolzano. The road up into the Valley is fairly narrow and single-lane in sections, so be careful when going around corners.
The capital of the Alto Adige is Bolzano and although quite a large town, it is well worth a visit for its historic interest aswell as its lovely shops. The old part of this town, with its old stone arcades, fruit and vegetable market and Piazza Walter where every year the Christmas market takes place, is also famous for its Civic Museum housing the "Otzi" exhibition. But there are many other places around this town worth a visit .... and of course the fantastic Dolomites ... EXPLORE
Take a stroll and walk to the Castle Roncolo (Runkelstein). Specially if you are interested in paintings/frescoes. There are some good ones. The castle was built in 1237 where it was in a good location to control the trade route.
There is a tavern which offers typical regional food as well.
The walk is from the Talfer bridge close tho the City Museum all along the river Talvera/Talfer and quite nice. There is a bus stop as well just below the castle.
Entrance is 8 Euros a person. Families 13 Euros.
Important: Monday it is closed. Otherwise open from 10 to 18
If you love wines like me, this is your paradise. South Tyrol has been producing quality wines for 25 years, not more, but now they have reached an excellent technique which, together with a favourable climate condition and a good soil, make the difference.
All South Tyrol organizes wine festivals, especially in spring and autumn.
I've attended a Pinot Noir tasting in Montagna, on May 22th, 2010, where six different type of Pinot Noir have been introduced by an expert (producer as well and member of a association protecting local wines), and it was really great. I must confess I was quite forced to attend it by my husband (the real wine expert of the family) but I have to admit it was really easy to understand and really interesting!!!