South Tyrol III: Mediterranean gardens, thermal water and fine dining in Meran
Apple of discord and melting pot – central and on the periphery: South Tyrol has always be all of it – when it comes to politics, geography, language or the broad field of culture.
And no matter if the different influences have melted, coexist or are in conflict – it’s a rich, vivid, in-tense region. The picture above may be symptomatic for this: a perfect espresso next to a slice of Apfelstrudel – and it’s a perfect match!
In the 1900s Meran had been a glamorous spa town popular amongst the European aristocracy, ranking with f.ex. Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary), Jalta, San Remo, Baden-Baden, Davos,… It still focuses on this type of tourism – but nowadays the social background of the guests has broadened. (Not the national: An overwhelming number of tourists come from Germany.) The Kurhaus and the promenades, the therme, the Jugendstil theatre, the big hotels are legacies of this belle époche.
This is a place to relax, to enjoy the mediterranean climate, the sun, the trees and flowers, the view on snow covered mountains while f.ex. promenade along the Tappeinerweg.
A visit to the the vast botanical Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle is also a must. If Sisi (Elisabeth), the famous Empress of Austria-Hungary, enjoyed her stays here, how could you not? ;)
The ticket includes entry to the castle itself and the interesting and entertaining Touriseum – a small but “engaging interactive” museum about the history (and the impacts) of alpine tourism.
On our last evening in Meran we drove to Tscherms. Here lies the Kränzelhof, which offers manifold experiences: Garden, open air art gallery, vineyard, vinery and vinothek (growing and selling amongst others the typical Tyrolean grape sorts Lagrein and Vernatsch) …
… and last but not least the restaurant Miil. Inside the walls of the beautiful restored old mill Othmar Raich and his team serve great contemporary South Tyrolean cuisine – inspired by the natural surroundings and their produce, by traditional and modern cooking. Example? Beet root consomée with horseradish nocken (dumplings), Schüttelbrot tagliatelle with shiitake mushrooms and veal ragout, pruce needle honey ice – a must if your in this region!
Finally, I hope you liked the visual revisit of our little trip to South Tyrol and perhaps there was one or another helpul tip for you – at least some virtual holiday…