There’s a reason Italy consistently lands on top destination lists. World-renowned food, postcard-worthy landscapes, and rich history are all hallmarks of Italian culture. Our staff has selected the small alpine province of South Tyrol as this year’s top must-visit destination. We teamed up with a local and brilliant photographer, Stefan Malhknecht, to walk us through the history and current attractions.
Part of Austria until World War I, this autonomous region combines a unique blend of German efficiency and Italian exuberance. Since most Tyroleans’ first language is German, road signs in the province are bilingual.
Tyroleans welcome visitors from all walks of life to their most famous tourist attraction, a mountain range known as the Dolomites. The paths along this range were used during the first World War and have been converted into “via ferrata”, climbing routes equipped with steel cables to protect climbers. At the mountain peaks, breathtaking panoramic views await.
South Tyrol is also home to allergy-friendly farms called Biohotels, which offer authentic organic foods and furnishings handcrafted from natural materials. Allergy and asthma sufferers can breathe worry-free at one such farm, the Monferthof in scenic Schnal Valley. For twenty years, Monferthof has produced organic, garden-fresh foods with a traditional German flavor.
Another retreat unique to the region can be accessed via cable car. The Taser Alm Hotel and Chalets is a mountainside respite like no other, receiving South Tyrol’s first Ecolabel for its focus on sustainability. Constructed out of timber and powered by a photovoltaic solar power plant, this hotel leads the way in environmental innovation. A large playground and friendly farm animals makes it an endearing vacation spot for travelers with children.
Skip the hotel pool and swim with nature. South Tyrol’s natural swimming ponds are filled with crystal waters surrounded by purifying plants. Tepid water temperatures united with fresh mountain air release muscle tension and free the mind.
South Tyrol is simply the best restorative haven for anyone seeking peace and quiet contemplation. As we embark on a new year, the natural splendor and cultural diversity of this charming mountain locale will renew your body, mind, and soul.
Written By Lauren Lanier
Photos By Stefan Mahlknecht