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Gardens, design, food – welcome to South Tyrol

Last week I spent three days in a region in Central Europe that is rather unknown by many people outside the German speaking world. South Tyrol is a beautiful region in northern Italy bordering Austria – it combines the wilderness of the Alps with the beauty of a Mediterranean climate and lifestyle. Think of ‘The Sound of Music’ scenery combined with cypresses, oleander and a good chilled Spritz!

South Tyrol is a perfect spot to enjoy throughout the seasons – whether you like sunny days by the pool and in lush gardens, or winter adventures in the mountains. Whatever season you choose, you can pair your experience with excellent local cuisine and wines. You will not be disappointed!

Moreover, this rather small region in Europe offers not only a wide variety of landscapes, it also caters to design aficionados with some amazing hotels to fully indulge your senses – from what you see design wise to what you can enjoy for your body and mind.

And it comes as a clear statement that South Tyrol, given its locations between the Alps and the Mediterranean basin of Italy, offers splendid discoveries for nature lovers. You love plants and gardens? You are sorted in South Tyrol! Believe me, I am with you regarding the love for nature!

I won’t try to convince you too much here, I will let the pictures speak for themselves. However, I will give you a few travel tips for South Tyrol according to my experience there – I spent the three days in the region of the cities of Bolzano and Merano.

Where to stay in South Tyrol for design lovers:

  • Parkhotel Mondschein in Bolzano: beautiful refurbished old town hotel with a dreamy garden and stylish rooms.
  • Hotel & Spa Schwarzschmied in Lana/Merano: perfect design hotel for spa lovers and families. A big indoor and outdoor pool as well as a big spa area and excellent cuisine will satisfy all your senses.
  • Villa Arnica in Lana/Merano: Adjacent to the aforementioned spa hotel, this villa offers a more calm and almost zen-like atmosphere. Adults only, think of old thick walls paired with contemporary design and a quiet garden and pool.

What to experience:

  • Visit the mountain village of Vöran: approx. a one hour drive from the town away lies the village of Vöran in 1200 meters altitude above sea level. You will enjoy lush meadows, valley and mountain views, excellent local cuisine at the Waldbichl restaurant (try the wild herbs Knödel).
  • Wild herbs tour at the Eichernhof where you will learn what edibles grow all around us and you can make your own wild herb salt.
  • Stroll through the old town of Bolzano and take in the atmosphere. Shop for local food at Pur Südtirol and head for a delicious Italian meal at Italia & Amore restaurant.

  • Visit the garden and art exhibition at the Kränzelhof and round up your visit with a wine tasting from their own winery. Don’t forget to take one or two bottles back home with you (as I did).
  • Dine at the superb Miil restaurant just next to the Kränzelhof. Fine dining level with excellent taste experience!
  • Visit the gardens of the castle Trauttmansdorff close to  Merano: this garden is a little dream for any nature lover! The garden is designed on a vast area with hillsides overlooking the valley and Merano, it has different areas presenting plants from around the world and features a little labyrinth and a relaxed café next to blooming lotus flowers. Take your time and have a guided tour if you are really a plant nerd like me!

This blog post has been brought to you in collaboration with Visit South Tyrol.  As always all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands who support this blog!