As Europe emerged from the Dark Ages the western part of what is now South Tyrol was ruled by the Lords of Vinschgau who began to call themselves Counts of Tirol after their castle on the mountainside overlooking present-day Meran.
The Tirol dynasty increased their sway to include the territory to the north of the Continental Divide and eventually the entire region from Lake Garda to southern Bavaria bore the name of the castle. Until 1420 Tyrol was ruled from there (the administrative centre was then moved to Innsbruck). The castle remains a gem of Romanesque and medieval architecture. Its palace and chapel portals rank among the most sublime works of Romanesque-style stonemasonry, while the keep houses an exhibition over 20 levels elucidating Tyrol’s history, focusing especially on South Tyrol’s struggle for autonomous status in the 20th century.
This unique archaeological park is situated at an altitude of 1,500 metres at Madonna/Unser Frau in the Senales/Schnalstal valley.
The open air park acquaints both young and adult visitors with life as it was in Val Senales in the Bronze Age, the times of “Ötzi”. His mummified remains and his belongings were preserved in a nearby glacier for 5,300 years and released from the ice in 1991.
South Tyrolean Wine road
Perhaps the most delightful way to become acquainted with South Tyrol’s southernmost winegrowing area is a trip along the wine route. South Tyrol’s “Strada del vino/Weinstrasse” has been voted Italy’s top wine route, chosen from 140 competitors at the “Rome Wine Festival 2009″. It stood out from among the approx. 140 competitors located all over Italy due to its unique connection between wine, custom and tradition, tourism and culture.
Paths of discovery. In the village of Tscherms nearby Merano you will find the labyrinth garden of the Kränzel mansion. Visitors may choose their own „Ariadne thread“: fun, art and wine are only three of the many options to explore. Families with children who simply wish to spend an entertaining day will enjoy themselves just as much as lovers of good taste. distance from hotel 2km
Kränzel Labyrinth Garden
Via Palade 1 – I-39010 Cermes
Tel.: +39 0473 564 549
Born in South Tyrol in 1944, Reinhold Messner has a track record of breaking with taboos – in rock climbing, on mountaineering expeditions, and crossing deserts and the Poles. For four decades he has built up a wealth of experience at the margins of the world that has enabled him to create a group of museums on the subject of the mountains.