Alto Adige (South Tirol), the most northern region of Italy, in the heart of the alpine circle, has a surface area of 7,400 sq. km. With valleys and mountains following each other, its landscape presents a varied aspect, from the mountainous zone of Ortles (Solda, Trafori, Val Martello) to the polling peaks of the Dolomites and to the porphyry walls of Bassa Atesina. A dominant and majestic scene of the Altoatesine Alps is constituted by the Dolomites that owe their name to the particular calcareous rock of which they are compounded. Their origin stems from the Triassic period, one hundred and fifty million years ago. These mountains, born from an ancient sea and thanks also to their particular colouring, have always fascinated naturalists and poets. A third of the Altoatesino territory is protected under a landscape and environmental profile, which in guaranty and a promise of interesting walks across the following itineraries: the Natural park of Sciliar, the Natural park of Puez-Odle, the Natural park of Monte Corno, the Natural park of the Dolomites of Sesto, the park of the Vedrette di Rics, the Sarentine Alps park and the National park of Stelvio.
Cities: The independent province of Bolzano is endowed with a special statute. Bolzano in the main town of the province and seat of the local government. Other centers are Merano, capital of Tirol, Bressanone, Brunico and Vipiteno.
To be visited:
Alto Adige is a land of castles. To visit and to live in: as some of them have been transformed into hotel castles, it is possible to enjoy a hospitality that has, in itself, an ancient taste. The following is a list of the names of the oldest castles to visit: Castel d’Appiano, Appiano; Castel Ganda, Appiano; Castel Roncolo, Bolzano; the episcopal castle of Bressanone; the Tures castle of Campo Tures; Castelbello of Castelbello; Casteldarne of Casteldarne; Castel Monteleone of Cermes; the convent of Sabiona of Chiusa; Castel Presule of Fié; the abbey of Monte Marina, Malles; the princely castle of Merano; Castel Forte of Ponte Gardena; Castel Rodengo of Rodengo; Castel Badia of St. Lorenzo; Castel Scena of Scena; Castel Coira of Sluderno; Castel Fontana of Bolzano; the abbey of Novacella of Varna / Novacella; Castel Velturno of Velturno and Castel Tasso of Vipiteno.
Regional web site: www.suedtirol.info www.regione.taa.it