Bolzano – Dolly Travels

Author: , September 15th, 2018

Bolzano - Dolly Travels

Good evening,

I finally have time to sit and write. We have been in Bolzano since yesterday afternoon, and it seems we have been going non-stop since we arrived.

We had a long train trip from Vernazza to Bolzano. If you look at a map of Italy, you will see that we came from the Ligurian Coast to northern Italy, to the gateway to the Dolomites. Actually, I have to admit, our train trip wasn’t so bad. We got a medium high speed train, the Frecciaargento from La Spezia to Florence, taking only and hour and a half, versus the usual 3 hours on a regional train. We had to wait about an hour in Florence, then we got another Frecciaargento train direct to Bolzano, a little over three hours.

Our hotel, Hotel Feichter, is located about four blocks from the train station, near the center of town. We got checked in, then took a walking tour of the town. It is a lovely Austrian-looking town, and of course, as we walked, we did not hear Italian being spoken anymore; the primary language here is German. Everything is so clean and neat. We walked down one street that had a covered portico to shield us from the sun. The shops were pretty upscale, but we weren’t shopping, we were just strolling.

Of course, for me, the biggest draw to Bolzano, is that this city is the gateway to the Dolomites. From the walkway in front of my room, I can see the stark Dolomite mountains. They are calling me.

Last evening, we walked again, and had not really decided where to have dinner. There was a big black cloud hovering over the western edge of the city. I told the kids that our dinner destination would be determined by what that cloud did. Interesting enough, we were just a few steps from a brew pub when the first fat rain drops started to fall, and within minutes, everyone was scrambling to get out of the rain.

We made it into the pub, got seated and enjoyed a traditional Austrian type dinner.

Of course, Danny had a beer with his dinner. After all, he had to try the locally-made brew.

After dinner, the rain had stopped, so we were able to walk home without getting soaked. However, about an hour after we got back to the hotel, we were treated to one of the most spectacular lightning and thunder shows that I have ever seen, complete with pouring down rain. It was so incredible, I had to open my window and watch the show. Heather and Danny told me that they went out onto the walkway in front of our rooms to watch it. What a fantastic treat…one we could enjoy from the comfort of our rooms.

Today, we visited the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, where we saw the displays focused on Ötzi, the Ice Man: an intact body of a man that was found high in the mountains between Austria and Italy in 1991. He has now been determined to be between 5,100 and 5,300 years old.

Later, we took a gondola up to the town of Oberbozen, a small resort town in the hills above Bolzano.

Tonight, we walked through some small streets, finally settling on one small restaurant for our dinner.

I do enjoy being in Bolzano, for it is an interesting city. There is a university here; it is the largest city in the northern part of Italy. There are many shops, eateries, plus parks and places to relax. Staying here is always a pleasure.

We will leave here in the morning, and take a bus for the one hour ride to Castelrotto, where we will spend four days, hopefully hiking and enjoying the outdoors in the clean Alpine air. For me, just being in the Dolomites makes me happy.

I will try to write a blog post within a day or two. It is hard to believe that this vacation is drawing to a close. What wonderful memories we will have to take home with us.

Arrivederci,
Ciao for now,
Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels

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Bolzano and the Dolomites – Dolly Travels

Author: , April 18th, 2018

Bolzano and the Dolomites

Today I want to tell you about Bolzano, in northern Italy. If you are traveling by train up to Bolzano from Bologna or other points south, you will notice a distinct change in the terrain, the look of the villages along the way, as well as the language of the people who live in this area.

Bolzano and the DolomitesAs the train travels further north, the terrain changes, becoming more rugged. Tiny villages are tucked into crevasses between giant mountains. Fields of hay are grown on the more flat areas, then there are apple orchards and vineyards. Some of the best white wine in Italy comes from this area.

This northern part of Italy once belonged to Austria. Most of the citizens here speak German, not Italian. The churches look more like the ones in Austria; in school, the children are taught in the German language. When there is a festival and the citizens dress for that, their costumes are Austrian in design; dirndls for the women, lederhosen for the men. The food, also, is different. The restaurants serve schnitzels, sausages, more potato dishes. While this food is delicious, it is not Italian food, as we know it.

Bolzano and the DolomitesA typical meal in Bolzano and the Dolomites: a ham hock, sauerkraut and a potato dumpling, with stone ground mustard to go with it. Beer is the preferred beverage, and in Bolzano, we found two very good breweries, both with restaurants.

From Bolzano, there is a cable car that takes passengers up to Oberbozen, as you saw in the earlier photo. That area is another very unique place to hike or ride mountain bikes. On one of my trips, some young men took their bikes on the cable car up to Oberbozen, then rode the trails down to Bolzano. There are trails for hiking or biking.

Bolzano and the DolomitesThe earth pyramids. These are unusual rock formations, found in the Oberbozen area. The rocks are unique. I don’t know if there are any of these anywhere else but in this region. Notice the rocks sitting on top of some of the peaks.

Hiking down to see these was a challenge for me, but if I had taken hiking poles, the trek would have been much easier. Hiking up was even more of a challenge.

Bolzano is home of the South Tirol Museum of Archeology, where the main attraction is a preserved body of a man that was found in some glacier ice high up on a mountain near the Austrian-Italian border. After extensive research, it has been determined that the man is over 5,300 years old. The museum is well done, with exhibits on three levels.

Of course, Bolzano, to me, is the jumping-off point for a stay in the Dolomites. I usually stay two nights in Bolzano, for it is an interesting town to me. But from there, I take a bus for a one-hour, exciting trip through winding mountain roads to Castelrotto, in the Trentino-Alto Adige region. I will post just a few pictures here, for the Dolomites will be another blog post or two.

Bolzano and the DolomitesOf course, there were bicycles. The trails are great for biking. I don’t know where that tractor came from, or where he was going.

That is a rare sight. Usually, there are just other hikers or bikers.

So I will say “Goodbye” for now. I will write more about Italy next week.

You can be sure that sometime, before the first of June, I will write about the Dolomites, for there is my “Happy Place”.

Ciao for now,
Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels

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Bolzano and The Dolomites

Author: , September 13th, 2014

Yes, we are now in Bolzano, the beginning of the Dolomites. I am sitting on the terrace in front of my hotel room writing to you and here is what I am seeing in front of me:

Dolomites - Dolly Goolsby

Tomorrow we will be traveling up to Castelrotto, which is in a valley below those mountains.

Bolzano is a beautiful town, also. We are hearing more German language here, although I am hearing Italian, also. It is interesting to hear a shop keeper change from German to Italian to English without missing a beat. I have been using my Italian language skills more the past few days. I am pleased with myself over that.

When we arrived in Bolzano, we were so hungry! As soon as we got checked into the hotel, we headed for the nearest restaurant. Well, I knew about this brewery/restaurant, so we went there.

Today we went to the Archeology Museum to see Oetzi, the man who was discovered in the mountains above here in 1991. He is over 5,000 years old, so the museum dedicated to him is really amazing. We even got to see him through a glass window. He is very well preserved, and it is just so interesting to learn about the many processes used to learn so much about him. And the scientists keep learning even more.

After that, we had lunch, then took a gondola ride up to Oberbozen, a little village above Bolzano. The weather was great, so we had a lovely day. We didn’t do any hiking, but just strolled around the village, taking pictures, and enjoying the view, the clean air, the peacefulness

Tomorrow, as I said, we will go to Castelrotto. I hope our good weather holds up, so we will be able to do some hiking.

Thanks to all of you who are following the blog, and commenting on the posts. I really appreciate that, and hope you are still enjoying following my travels.

Ciao for now,

Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels | ‎Trentino-Alto Adige Gay Travel Resources