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Established as an affluent town since the days of the Counts of Venosta, Meran / Merano is one of those sorts of places that continues to draw its fans back time after time. It is a poignantly interesting melange of Habsburg-era boulevards, Jugendstil art nouveau villas and medieval heartlands that make this small spa town a must do pitstop when in South Tyrol, northern Italy.
Apart from the therapeutic spa legacy since the days of Empress Sisi, and the micro-climate that adds its Mediterranean flair, Meran is a hub of culture (Kunst Meran Museum, Women's Museum and Jewish Museum), innovative food, and an altogether cosmopolitan appeal. Palms, oleanders and tall spruces decorate the boulevards and 18kms of walkways that skirt the town. This is also a serious apple and wine country too, and the hillsides are manicured with apple trees and vines, which, like its visitors, tank up the sunny days and mild climate.
Meran is tucked along a broad stretch of the Adige (Etsch) Valley, half an hour west of Bolzano at the gateway to the Passier & Vinschgau valleys and is appropriately tagged the "Garden of the Alps". The Ortles (Ortler) snow-capped peaks and the Giogaia di Tessa (Texelgruppe) cocoon the town.
It may not be quite the land of "Milk & Honey", but it is the land of Vines, Apples & Healing Waters, including of course the famous Therme that sparkles in modern form thanks to local South Tyrolean hero, Matteo Thun.
Meran is the silent charmer with an accent of Vienna set to Italian Dolce Vita.
Discover South Tyrol with our 24 fabulous hotels - From its perch in northern Italy, South Tyrol, or Alto Adige as it is also known, is a jewel of ancient cultures set in the mighty crown of the Alps. Nestled among the Dolomite mountains (a UNESCO World Heritage site) a marriage of languages and cultures comes together in the area’s healing spa towns, medieval hamlets, fairytale castles, wine trails and foodie destinations.
Known primarily for skiing, South Tyrol is also a year-round home to hiking, mountain biking and strolling through the botanical gardens at the base of its snow-capped mountains. At the end of the day, cap it all off with a signature hay bath or a dip in the healing thermal waters. This hidden Alpine part of Italy is well worth travelling to.
This is the South Tyrol where Austria snugs up to Italy.