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Meran & surrounding area

Discover the diversity between alpine landscape and mediterranean flair

From unspoilt Ultental valley to Dorf Tirol dozing on its sunny slope. From varied, green Passeiertal valley to Schnalstal valley with its glaciers. From the alpine heights of the Texelgruppe mountains to the promenades of Meran-Merano.

Exploring on foot

Wandering casually beneath the arches of the Meraner Lauben, making their way through Italian fashion stores and shops selling traditional costume and delicatessens, strolling down the narrow alleyways of charming villages, your feet will meander amidst the Mediterranean, sometimes sub-tropical-looking floral splendour of the Meran-Merano promenades. Wearing just casual shoes, you can walk along the panoramic paths of green valleys so charming that you can hardly believe that they are all found in the same holiday region around the ALPIANA – green luxury Dolce Vita Hotel. The morning mist rises up from the valleys to the sky, the meadows still covered in dew.


Serious mountain hikers begin their tours early in the morning, after putting on their sturdy hiking boots. Hiking around Ultental-Deutschnonsberg will leave you with lasting views and memories. Racing bikers and mountain bikers will be able to get pedalling, from romantic cycle paths along the valley to challenging mountain bike trails in the mountains.

A taste of southern charm in the mountains

Meraner Land is one of the mildest places in the German-speaking area. Mediterranean plants thrive here: aloe vera, palms and cacti. The flowers of Schloss Trauttmansdorff Gardens at Meran-Merano, which were crowned international garden of 2013, are especially picturesque. Those finding it too hot in the summer will be able to cool off up in the land of mountain streams and marmots.

The ‘urban’ side of South Tyrol

The words ‘South Tyrol’ conjure up images of steep mountain peaks, the Dolomites, craggy rock formations, meadows, green pastures, with perhaps a bit of woodland or a bit of vineyard. Yet South Tyrol also has its ‘urban’ side.

Anyone who has spent a day in lively Bozen-Bolzano or in elegant Meran-Merano will think of ornate buildings, meandering alleyways and picturesque arcades when they think of South Tyrol and have lasting memories of the unmistakeable Mediterranean-Tyrolean atmosphere.
The ALPIANA – green luxury Dolce Vita Hotel gazes calmly down towards Lana. The nearly 12,000- strong village is one of the largest in South Tyrol and features a number of pretty churches and imposing fortresses, as well as having a cultural side in the form of musical or gastronomic events. A bit of the town in the countryside, you could say.


Yet Bozen-Bolzano and Meran-Merano, the lively capital and elegant spa town respectively, can be quickly reached from the ALPIANA – green luxury Dolce Vita Hotel. And they are both well worth the visit, being different from each other and both interpreting South Tyrol’s cultural contrasts in their own special way, which makes a comparison between the two virtually impossible.


If you want to see more of Italy, a day trip to Venice, Lake Garda and Trentino come highly recommended. These destinations may be reached in under two hours’ drive from ALPIANA – green luxury.

Völlan-Foiana

The hometown of the DolceVita Hotel has chosen its location wisely, the tidy little village of Völlan: It seems to be situated in a remote spot and yet right in the midst of things. In the mountains and still not far from the valley. Above Lana and not far from the town of Merano, the sun shines calmly down on this woodland and meadow terrace. Völlan is the ideal holiday spot whether you are looking for an active holiday or just relaxation.

Lana

Lana – one big village. Small enough to retain its rural charm, yet large enough to be able to offer some culture and a lengthy stroll around it, and colourful and lively enough to truly inspire.

Meran-Merano

The noble spa town of Meran-Merano still exhibits some of its former ’belle epoque‘ aristocratic atmosphere today in the form of magnificent buildings, well-groomed promenades, residences and castles and arcades and alleyways. This is a town reflecting the era of artists and emperors, poets and thinkers, noble spa guests and adventurous explorers.

Take a deep breath

Völlan is a fragrant part of the world. Years ago, Völlan used to be a popular summer retreat for the wealthy citizens of Merano, who appreciated its fresh, clean air. Healthy green mixed woodland and apple orchards release plenty of oxygen into the air, 700 metres above sea level. Völlan is a climatic spa. Even today. Völlan is tranquil, yet its charm lies in its small size. Largely spared from tourism, you can find small corner shops and farmers wearing their typical blue aprons - both elements which characterise the real South Tyrol but have disappeared from large parts of it. In Völlan, we still live and love tradition.

Outlooks and insights

Völlan is a little bit of village with a lot of mountain. Völlan is cultural landscape seamlessly embedded in nature which is still allowed to be wild. Views from the sunny plateau stretch across the chequered fruit orchards around Merano and its surrounding mountains, across Lana, the village with an urban flair, and across the river Etsch as it winds its way through the green of the fruit orchards. In short, across everything that merits exploration during your holiday. The Texel group mountains form a rugged backdrop behind the noble spa town of Merano. From the other side, you are greeted by the myth-enshrouded massif of the Rosengarten group.

For centuries, Völlan has been characterised by its rural lifestyle, but it can also look back on an aristocratic past. In the village, you can find imposing farmhouses next to noble residences. Farm history between then and now is displayed at the Farmers’ Museum. On a slight elevation at the entrance of the village, the castle of Mayenburg shows off its two portly towers.

 

HIKING BOOT TERRITORY

Völlan has positioned itself smartly. It is located slightly away from hustle and bustle but still close to the large towns of Merano and Bozen. It sits quietly up on its plateau of meadows and woodland. The mountain village with the mild climate. The activity spot with the healing fresh air.

This is hiking boot territory. Forest paths and panoramic mountain trails are waiting to be explored. At several stops along the way, the Chestnut Adventure Trail gives you information about the knobbly giant chestnut trees in Völlan which line the circular walk.  You can explore the neighbourhood by racing bike and mountain bike, too. Völlan belongs not only to those seeking relaxation but also to explorers in vacation at the ALPIANA – green luxury Dolce Vita Hotel.

Lively Lana

The apple village: A sea of fruit trees creates a backdrop that is constantly in motion, yet changing with the seasons. In spring the trees are topped with pale pink blossom, while in summer their green leaves are dotted with the red cheeks of apples. In autumn their branches flash their cautious yellow hue, while in winter they brave the weight of the snow. An interplay of colour.

Where there’s a ’Waal‘, there’s a way

The walks around Lana are just as varied as the countryside around the DolceVita Hotel. One edge of the village lies right at the foot of steep mountain slopes, while becoming part of the flat Etsch river valley on the other. Situated at the gateway to beautiful walking country like the Vigiljoch, home to some famous larch trees, the wildly romantic Ulten valley and the verdant Passeier valley, Lana has made a name for itself as a base for hikers.

Leisurely walking by water: Lana’s ’Waalwege‘ paths accompanying gurgling irrigation channels, or ‘Waals’, in a leisurely fashion are typical for the area. The Waalweg at Marling is already 250 years old. Along Brandiswaalweg there is little visual sign of water as the channel flows underground. The path runs in the shade of vineyards and pergolas, between orchards and vineyards. The Meraner Waalrunde is worth doing.

The fascination of the old: Clerical art, church culture. Around 40 churches and chapels, cloisters and convents from 10 centuries bear testimony to Lana’s ecclesiastical past. Traces of medieval times also make their presence felt in the form of fortresses dotted around the local surrounding area.

Living Lana: Lana is young, dynamic and full of drive. Whether cultural happenings, culinary events or traditional festivals – Lana enjoys a party, in harmony with typical South Tyrolean style. On late-opening Thursdays, associations, businesspeople and farmers may be seen presenting their products and ideas from their stands. It gets even more colourful at the annual Christmas market.

Spa town elegance

Aristocratic ambience: Meran-Merano is, and always has been, a place of inspiration. For names such as Richard Strauss, Rainer Maria Rilke, Franz Kafka and Empress Elisabeth of Austria. Meran-Merano is well aware of the debt it owes to Elisabeth, Empress of Austria. She started off a whole new trend in spa travel in Europe’s ruling houses, meaning that by the end of the 19th century the town was one of the most popular holiday destinations on the Continent.


Visitors to Meran-Merano come into frequent contact with Empress Elisabeth, or ‘Sissi’, as she was affectionately known. For example, in the form of her stately bust on the promenade or in the well-known Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle, which houses the Touriseum today and is surrounded by botanical gardens in all their floral variety.
A sea of blossom and scents. Four circular walks lead through 80 different types of garden via a series of steps and bridges past artistically shaped terraces, reed-covered lakes and splashing cascades.

A floral town

The many promenades of Meran-Merano near the ALPIANA – green luxury Dolce Vita Hotel also compete with each other in their floral splendour. Palms, cypresses and oleander bear witness to the southern climate of the area. The rocky peaks of the Texelgruppe mountains in the background, still bearing the traces of the last snow and ice even in as the first spring flowers push through, form the only contrast. Alpine romance and ‘dolce vita’ in contrasting harmony.

Cuisine: In Meran-Merano,  both ‘Knödel’ dumplings and spaghetti get a look-in and may be found in all their many variations. Italian seasoning, Tyrolean earthiness. A new cuisine made up of the best of both worlds has arisen in the place where these two cultures collide, and people can savour the various tastes in the many fancy restaurants, atmospheric bistros, wine cellars and cafès.

Architectural tour: Narrow alleyways draw visitors away from the wide streets lined with lively bars and eateries into lovingly decorated courtyards and quiet squares ending up at the Meraner Lauben arcades. This is where small shops huddle up against larger chain stores, bay windows decorate bright building fronts. Some buildings bear witness to Meran-Merano’s aristocratic past: the famous Meraner Kurhaus, for example. A ‘Jugendstil’ pearl radiating splendour inside and out.

A more recently acquired architectural highlight is Meran-Merano Thermal Spa, constructed by South Tyrolean star architect Matteo Thun. However, a day of relaxation here makes you forget all outward appearances and leaves room for inward reflection. Steaming water, pools and saunas, beauty involving natural ingredients such as apples, honey, hay etc., and bathing in the thermal waters of Meran-Merano – still the spa town, even today. More information about Meran-Merano you will find on suedtirol-hotels.com.

Traditional dress and drink, cuisine and culture

The music, the food, the seasons – in Meraner land and the surroundings of the ALPIANA – green luxury Dolce Vita Hotel, in its valleys and towns, there’s frequent cause for celebration.

South Tyroleans tend towards a sociable and humorous disposition and like to keep up traditions and customs. This means that there’s often cause for celebration! Traditional costume parades and village bands, wine and other product tasting such as apples, grapes, chestnuts – all the marvels that the region has to offer are a good reason for a party.


The Schnalstal valley ‘Almabtrieb’, or driving down of the sheep from their summer pastures, the International Mountain Festival, Merano WineFestival - all these events, just like the Christmas Market in Meran, have become known further afield. Yet ‘minor’ events, such as late-opening Thursdays in Lana or village fete-style ‘Kirchtage’ in the surrounding area have their own charm and feature typical, authentic food and customs.

At jolly folk festivals you’ll see feathers bobbing up and down on hats and local ‘dirndl’ dresses whirling round. Yet there also artistic and cultural happenings of a more contemporary nature taking place in Meraner Land listed in detail here. There’s always something going on in Lana and Völlan-Foiana, too.


The ALPIANA – green luxury Dolce Vita Hotel reflects what make the region so special. Meeting new people, social activities, celebrating special occasions, conviviality and openness are values that are upheld here.

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