Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Two Spectacular Days in Bolzano, Soprabolzano and Renon

Left: View east from Soprabolzano with fall colors. Right: Earth pyramids near Longomoso (Renon).
View east from Soprabolzano with fall colors. Earth pyramids near Longomoso (Renon).

Left: Route to see earth pyramids near Soprabolzano (starting from cable car station). Right: Route to see earth pyramids near Longomoso (starting from Collalbo).
Route to see earth pyramids near Soprabolzano (starting from cable car station).Route to see earth pyramids near Longomoso (starting from Collalbo).

We were last in Bolzano when we passed through last June on our way to Germany. That afternoon, we ate at Albergo Signaterof. (See this post for images of the stube and some of the food at Albergo Signaterof.) Before that, we spent a glorious Fall weekend there in 2007 (see the post Bolzano = Bozen). When we were thinking about a quick 1-2 day get-away, the idea of Bolzano popped up, and it was a done deal.

We decided on one night and 2 days so we could travel with backpacks. We took the train from Bergamo to Bolzano, and with just four hours and 2 train changes (Brescia and Porto Nuovo Verona) we were in Bolzano on a bright sunny Monday morning. We spent time relaxing at the Stadt Hotel Città, walking, and then had an early lunch at the Ristorante Kaiserkron before we headed into the hills.

There are three different funivie from Bolzano up into the surrounding plateaus: Funivia del Colle, Funivia del Renon, and Funivia di San Genesio. In 2007, we spent time in the city of Bolzano as well as time in Jenesien (San Genesio Atesino), above Bolzano, using the Funivia di San Genesio. This time, we visited the Renon area.

The lower station of the Funivia del Renon is close to the Bolzano train station. The upper station is in Soprabolzano (Oberbozen). The Renon Funivia is 4.5 km (2.8 miles) in length, taking passengers up 950 m (3,100 ft), and in only 12 minutes. Not a bad deal. You can also walk up.

Upon arriving in Soprabolzano, we set out for the earth pyramids (le piramidi di terra del Renon) in a loop walk as suggested on the Sentres site. It was an easy 5 km walk through countryside. Orderly farms, stunning countryside, fall foliage and earth pyramids made for a spectacular scenery.

We stayed one night at the Haus Rottensteiner. It was perfect for us, a comfortable place where we received a nice welcome from the friendly owner Helga. She helped us find a place to eat for dinner and encouraged us to jump on the train to get there. A small train connects Soprabolzano with Collalbro with many stops along the way. The RittenCard is included in the stay at the B&B, which we would use for the train, funivia back down to Bolzano, and entrance to the Ötzi museum.

For dinner, we walked from Haus Rottensteiner back into the center of Soprabolzano to catch the train to the Lichtenstern / Stella stop. From there, we walked in moonlight to Hotel Südtirolerhof and a perfect dinner. Delicious.

The next day, Tuesday, we took the train to its end in Collalbro and did another easy 5 km walk to see more earth pyramids. There was a dusting of snow which gave everything a glow. Perfect countryside walking. From Collalbro, we headed back down in to Bolzano for a quick lunch at Hopfen & Co. (nice dish of testina) and then off to see Ötzi for a second time (Museo Archeologico dell’Alto Adige).

Left: Coffee at Stadt Hotel Città. Center: Enchanting street of Bolzano. Right: Testina at Hopfen & Co.
Coffee at Stadt Hotel Città.Enchanting street of Bolzano.Testina at Hopfen & Co.

Church fix. Left and center left: Chiesa del Sacro Cuore (Bolzano). Center right: Convento dei Francescani (Bolzano). Right: Chiesa St. Georg und Jakob (below Soprabolzano).
Chiesa del Sacro Cuore (Bolzano). Chiesa del Sacro Cuore (Bolzano). Convento dei Francescani (Bolzano).Chiesa St. Georg und Jakob (below Soprabolzano).

Renon’s historic narrow-gauge railway - at night (at Lichtenstern /Stella station) and during the day (stopped at Soprabolzano station).
Renon’s historic narrow-gauge railway - at night (at Lichtenstern /Stella station).Renon’s historic narrow-gauge railway during the day (stopped at Soprabolzano station).

Left: A curious horse in Soprabolzano. Right: View east at dusk from Haus Rottensteiner.
A curious horse in Soprabolzano. View east at dusk from Haus Rottensteiner.

Haus Rottensteiner in Soprabolzano.
Haus Rottensteiner in Soprabolzano.Haus Rottensteiner in Soprabolzano.

Walking to Haus Rottensteiner. Spectacular colors and ambiance.
Walking to Haus Rottensteiner. Spectacular colors and ambiance.Walking to Haus Rottensteiner. Spectacular colors and ambiance.

Earth pyramids are formed by erosion of morainic rocks of glacial origin. They are ever-changing. Left: Pyramids near Soprabolzano. Right: Pyramids of Longomoso.
Pyramids near Soprabolzano.Pyramids of Longomoso.

Heck those earth pyramids are so darn fun to look lets have a couple of more shots of the pyramids to the north of Longomoso.
Heck those earth pyramids are so darn fun to look lets have a couple of more shots of the pyramids to the north of Longomoso.Heck those earth pyramids are so darn fun to look lets have a couple of more shots of the pyramids to the north of Longomoso.

Left: And one more shot of the Longomoso pyramids. Right: The town of Longomoso and its reflection.
And one more shot of the Longomoso pyramids. The town of Longomoso and its reflection.

Left: Ötzi examined - an interactive exhibit. Center: Ötzi realized by Kennis & Kennis. Right: Sign describing earth pyramid formation. Wonder if Ötzi looked at these pyramids?


Views from the Renon Funivia (cable car). Left: Midpoint of funivia near St. Georg und Jakob church. Right: I can't get enough of the manicured sloping vineyards around Bolzano.
Midpoint of funivia near St. Georg und Jakob church.I can't get enough of the manicured sloping vineyards around Bolzano.

Views from the Renon Funivia (cable car) over Bolzano.
Views from the Renon Funivia (cable car) over Bolzano.Views from the Renon Funivia (cable car) over Bolzano.

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