Merano is the second most populate city of Bolzano province in Alto Adige. The first one is the main city located at about 30 kilometer distance. The city, German mother-tongue, was established on the confluence of four valleys: Venosta Valley, Ultimo Valley, Passiria Valley, Adige Valley. It is crossed by Passirio river, which physically cut the city in two and then died in Adige river. The old city is located at the bottom of Tessa Group and the Salto upland.
For almost four centuries has been the capital city of Tirolo county and today it still has traces of that past. The historic centre spreads toward north, beyond the river, and includes a Portici path which links Grano (corn) square with Cathedral square, Steinach area, Leonardo da Vinci street, Delle Corse street and the city’s gates which have been named after the four valleys accessible from the city itself. Formerly walls used to encircle the city centre; today they don’t exist anymore.
The feeling that a visitor gets walking through the city is a sense of harmony mixed with elegance. You can feel the union between mediaeval architecture and the modern commercial and touristic activity: largely populated city, but no hurry at all. Many are the things to see in the city: buildings and places that mix architecture with culture, like Puccini’s Theatre or Kurhaus Palace, both made in Liberty style. You’ll also can see castles like the Principesco or the Trauttmansdorff with astonishing botanic gardens and the Museum of Tourism. The Trauttmansdorff has been visited twice by the Austria Princess Sissi.
The city rich in cultural activities, with its Museum of Woman or the Jewish Museum and also lots of musical and art events. A special mention has to be done to the Thermal Bath Palace, a very modern cubic building made of glass and steel, which carry on the thermal tradition that makes the city very appreciated and famous at international level.
The modern city is a city with a strong touristic spirit, offering visitors a historic centre, thermal baths, art treasures, the chance to relax and enjoy the calm and at last, a gastronomic world made of Italian and “tirolese” typical dishes.
Many are also the hiking paths inside and around the city full in old bridges and gardens. The low altitude and the mite climate help during the winter season too. Winters offer the full ski area of Merano 2000, simply going up the upland and enjoying the spectacular view over the Ortler massif mountains.