Why go to South Tyrol?


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When the Lord was distributing beauty, he visited South Tyrol at least three times. The whole region is so captivating that it immediately gets under your skin. And he won’t let go. “I really like this view,” says local farmer Toni Lanz, on whose farm in the charming town of Toblach (Italian Dobbiaco) we live. He harnessed the horses (in addition to a large herd of cows and goats, he keeps six of them) and took us for a ride around Lake Toblach.

“I go here several times a week and I’m always amazed. Well, just look at it, isn’t it a beauty?” We can only agree. The high peaks of the Dolomites is reflected in the sun’s rays in the completely transparent azure water… And the incredible silence! The people here are rightly proud of their country and treat it accordingly. Ecology and environmental protection are not empty concepts here, but a completely natural way of life.

Mix of nationalities and languages

Toni speaks German with a pretty heavy accent, and when I ask about Italian, she just waves her hand. German is his native language, as it was for generations of his ancestors. But it’s a little different in every family. Three languages ​​are commonly spoken here, German, Italian and Ladino, which is the language of the original inhabitants of the mountain valleys here. It is a mixture of ancient folk Latin, German, French, Italian… It is also taught here in schools, and the local residents are very proud of their Ladin origin and still maintain its traditions. This also applies to South Tyrolean gastronomy.

What to taste in South Tyrol?

If you love good food, then this region is the promised land for you. South Tyrolean cuisine is primarily based on first-class and mostly local ingredients. Apples are widely grown here, and you can find orchards here even at an altitude of around 1,000 m above sea level, because the sun, which is said to shine here more than 300 days a year, can beautifully warm the steep slopes of the South Tyrolean valleys. This also applies to the vineyards, the local wines are really famous, for example the Traminer variety (Traminer Aromatico or Gewürztraminer) has its origin right here in the village of Tramin. Of the red varieties, definitely try the most famous – lagrein. It goes perfectly with venison and other beef delicacies, which he can prepare perfectly here.

Asparagus lovers will certainly be interested in the fact that its season here starts already at the end of March. Favorable climatic conditions allow growers to harvest much earlier than, for example, in our country. Fresh asparagus shoots they travel immediately to consumers and restaurants, which is why it’s so delicious. It is traditionally eaten here with boiled potatoes, boiled ham and Bolzano sauce made from eggs, butter, mustard, a drop of vinegar, salt and pepper. It is really great and perfectly complements the delicate taste of asparagus.

Tips for the trip

  • The journey to South Tyrol takes approximately 6-7 hours, depending on the chosen destination, if you depart from Prague. You can go via Austria to Salzburg, but the route via Germany to Munich is more pleasant and, specifically, faster from Prague.
  • Don’t be afraid to look for accommodation privately, the vast majority are first-class and perfectly equipped apartments providing all available comfort. Living on farms is great for families with small children, where the owners offer, in addition to fresh products, and perhaps still warm strudel or cooking school, the opportunity to see the animals and get to know local life more closely. The best ones are combined under the Roter Hahn brand (red rooster), which strictly pays attention to the quality of the services provided and the products offered.
  • If you don’t know what to bring home from South Tyrol, head to any grocery store. The local cheeses, cured hams and wine are exactly what will remind you of the flavors and aromas of this region at home most of all.

On skis, bikes and on your own

This year, the winter was kind to skiing lovers in South Tyrol, so some ski areas here (Kronplatz, Sulden) are extending the season until the middle to the end of April. But even after the end of the ski season, there is definitely something to do here.

In addition to great routes for cycling and hiking lovers, you can visit, for example, Bolzano, a charming city with a wonderful center and a museum where the mummy of the legendary ice man, named after the local mountains Ötzi, is on display. Brixen is definitely worth a trip associated with Karel Havlíček Borovský. Although he was forced to stay here, food was brought to him from the luxury hotel where he also lived at the beginning of his exile. I would gladly suffer here with him. The welcoming mood of South Tyrol is quite addictive and returning here seems like the most natural thing in the world. You just know you have to.

The article is in Czech


Tags: South Tyrol


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